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“Hotel w. Character in Dumpy Capital City” 3 of 5 stars
Review of King Solomon Hotel

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King Solomon Hotel
Hibiscus Ave, Honiara, Guadalcanal Island, Solomon Islands   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Honiara
Luanda, Angola
Top Contributor
602 reviews 602 reviews
328 hotel reviews
Reviews in 298 cities Reviews in 298 cities
927 helpful votes 927 helpful votes
“Hotel w. Character in Dumpy Capital City”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2009

I stayed here for two nights before boarding the Bilikiki liveaboard for a 12 day dive trip around the islands (diving was fabulous and the liveaboard service second to none). The Bilikiki recommended the Kitana Mendana Hotel (nice wooden structure. Executive rooms are nice, older rooms not that great) as it’s closer to their office and near where they onboard passengers, but after reading the Trip Advisor reviews I opted for the King Solomon.

The hotel reception, restaurant and bar is centered around two traditional style Solomon Islands thatched houses. The bulk of the rooms are up a steep hill accesses by cable car. There are a few standard rooms in front of the reception.

I had requested a deluxe room but there was a mix up and I got a standard room in front of the hotel. These are older, smaller rooms next to the car park and beside a hair salon and a solicitor’s office. They were doing construction work from 8-5 so it was very loud as well. There are no windows and the bathrooms are tiny and have a 1950s style sink design. There is no hot water in these rooms as they have been waiting for months for apart from Australia. The rooms also lack soundproofing, so the minute your neighbor turns on the TV you get blasted out of bed. Good thing abut the room is that it was very clean and the aircon, fan and fridge worked very well--a must in the steamy Solomons! Stil, they are sad and tired rooms as the attached picture shows.

I requested to move rooms but since they were full, they could only accommodate my request the next day. (The hotel is usually fully booked to Australian medics and others aid workers with the reconciliation project on long tern contracts helping, so book your room well in advance.) The next morning, the room transfer was effected smoothly, I was helped with my luggage, my laundry was transferred to my new room and they gave me a deluxe room at a discounted rate to compensate for my trouble.

You have to take a cable car up a hill to reach the deluxe rooms, in itself a neat experience. The deluxe rooms are bright, airy and spacious with tiled floors and a large bathroom with shower stall. They also have fresh flowers in the room that adda a welcoming touch. Air con and fan worked fine. There is also a fridge. TV only has CNN and an Australian channel. It’s worth paying more for the deluxe rooms. There s a tiny pool on the first cable car level. During power cuts the cable car doesn’t work so try and get a room on Level 1 or 2 otherwise you have along steep climb up lots of stairs!

You can access the internet if you have a laptop by buying a Bumblebee card for either 2 hours (Solomon $50) or two weeks $250. Sadly nothing in between. This is not a hotel fault but a failing with the wireless service provider. Internet service is very slow. Apparently, the local telecom company got upset at folks calling for free on Skype and slowed down the internet so that you can’t use Skype!

A buffet breakfast costs $55 extra. It’s generous with a good selection of hot dishes, toast, fresh fruit and fruit juices, including the wonderful bush lime thirst quencher that is great for re-hydrating and helping control sweating. They have nightly activities in the restaurant including Solomon and Gilbert Islands dancing 3 times a week. The best places to eat are the Chinese restaurants on the main street near the Kitano Mendana Hotel opposite the Air Pacific Travel Office and next to the second hand clothes store. The hotel receptionist can direct you.

Take advantage of your time in the Solomons to book a Battlefield Tour with Wilson or Jeff (he’s a VERY talkative and detail oriented ex Aussie army man, so don’t book more than a half day tour with him at a time!). The reception has their contact details. A half day tour costs $450 for one person (about $65) or $325 for two. Some of the taxi drivers will offer to take you around and charge $100 an hour, but you need a four- wheel drive to access some sites. A taxi to/from the hotel is $70 and the taxi drivers are honest about prices.

There is a new hotel (Park Heritage) being built which is supposed to open by end 2009. It’s reputed to be five star and will definitely offer the best hotel service in the Solomons but the New Zealand manager says it will be around an international 3 to 4 star. May be worth checking out if you need your luxury.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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87 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2009

The staff are friendly and helpful. Polite. But they need to be trained better in the use of modern technologies and amenities that are standard feature in hotels these days, like the internet. The hotel is in Honiara, the capital of Solomon Islands. It is centrally located--in fact has the best location and access to the centre of Honiara. But Honiara is a small, beautiful, sleepy town, where there are powercuts for hours almost every day and roads are potholed and all shops and businesses close by 5 in the evening. It really is far from anything resembling a modern city. Given those conditions, King Solomon Hotel is run comparatively efficiently. But it is highly priced for the amenities it offers. The hotel has stand-by power generator. Regular water supply, hot and cold, regular housekeeping, simple rooms with air-conditioning. Internet connection is bad frequently. Don't understand why they cannot set-up high-speed dataports in each room. The second floor rooms get noise from pool-side and in-restaurant parties downstairs. The hotel is usually occupied by a motley crowd of expatriate UN, INGO, RAMSI (Australian/NZ military), paramedical and engineering staff. Young and beautiful. So conversation is always interesting. The topmost floor suites are the most in demand and have great Pacific views.

Stayed March 2009, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2008

If you can't get into the executive rooms at the Kitano Mendana, the King Solomon is your next best option. However, if the choice is between the older rooms at the Kitano (which are awful) and the King Solomon, the King Sol is the far superior choice.

The standard rooms are reasonably modern - and they are spacious, bright and clean (except for a very mouldy showerhead). They would probably rate 3 stars in Australia.

The hotel pool is great - it gets a nice cool afternoon breeze and is a nice place to relax away from the challenges of downtown honiara.

The location is also good - across the road from the Australian High Commission and only a 5 minute walk to the Lime Lounge cafe.

Just a couple of words of caution: the music from Sports Bar travels up the hill on the weekends into the lower rooms - I needed earplugs to sleep. Also, staff can be a bit slow and unresponsive.

  • Liked — Rooms and pool
  • Disliked — Mouldy showerhead and noise from the bar
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2008

Due to a short contract in the Solomon Islands I found myself living in the King Sol for almost 3 months.

During that time there was a lot of improvements going on.

Rooms. As others have stated, the ratings on an international scale do not apply in the Solomons. This hotel would struggle to reach a 2 star rating of a European hotel.

My room was always clean. The staff were friendly and willing to help in any way. I had a suite with kitchen, if I was short of pans or utensils I only had to ask the "House Mary" (Solomons for maid) on my way out to work and things would appear in the room.

The worst aspect was the airconditioning. They were very very noisy.

TIP: Avoid the eastern side of the hotel if possible. (The left hand side as you look up at the hotel). The lower rooms will have to endure the Karaoke and music nights, which go on after midnight and the upper rooms are close to the Solomons Decompression chamber. This produces generator and the decompression pressure changes during the night. Even the noise of the airconditioners do not drown out the noise.

During my stay, matressess, flyscreens, kitchen equipment, some tiling were replaced . I had fresh flowers placed in the room regularly.

The bar and restaurant were both popular and the quality acceptable.

The pool was great it is a natural shape and not suitable for laps, but I spent most evenings from 1700 - 1900 lounging around or in it. A great place to meet fellow guests.

The staff were on the whole great, they have a scheme where if you are a guest you can stay free in the Gizo Hotel free over the same period. For example if I was booked into the King Sol for all of October and I went up to Gizo in the northern province for a couple of days, I could stay at the Gizo for free (Accommodation only). The staff would arrange this.

The main two drawback were the lack of communication on what is happening. I returned to the room on one occassion after work and the verandah in front of my room was gone. They were re tiling the floor and lifted the whole floor. I had to balance on beams to get in the door. The other is Sol Time, all over the Pacific life is not hurried, sometimes things would not be done in a timely manner, for example if you asked for something and the staff member was finishing for the day, instead of telling another staff member they will do the task when they return to work.

I stayed at other hotels in Honiara and visited all of them for meals or to see people staying there. The King Sol is by far the best of the others. The garden alone has a wonderful collection of Frangipani plants and others too as well as birds and frogs.

On the cable car which carries you to your rooms, beware of sitting down after rain. It leaks and the seat cushions become wet.

  • Liked — Location, better than the others available.
  • Disliked — Noise from Bar and surrounds at night, air conditioning
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
199 helpful votes 199 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2007

My husband is an Australian who, over the past 18 months has commuted back and forth to Honiara working . The first time he went he stayed at the Pacific Casino - which he disliked immensely, however that hotel was burnt down in the April 06 riots.
After looking at the others his choice is the King Solomon as best in Honiara. I have visited and stayed at the hotel too.
Given RAMSI presence in SI all the hotels have been able to charge "aussie" prices - however the hotel is certainly not at aussie quality. It is spotlessly clean, usual amenities ike fridge (no mini bar), TV, air conditioning, balconies, fly screens, phones, hotel pool, restaurant & bar, room service etc. However all on Solomon Islands terms! Sometimes the electricity cuts out, sometimes they forget to collect the laundry, sometimes they forget to deliver your room service.

The rooms are not high quality. The mattress is cotton covered solid sponge foam - which is very hot to sleep on. The air conditioners are 30 years old and very noisy. Vinyl floor, old bathrooms, cane furniture.

And the people are lovely - they are extremely friendly and welcoming. very helpful and pleasant - you just have to be nice to them in the first place. put aside your expectations of aussie hotels and remind yourself you are in the beautiful south pacific and go with the flow!
The hotel is set in beautiful gardens on the side of a steep hill - so many room have lovely views of gardens and Iron Bottom Sound. The pool is small and in a lovely, naturalistic setting.

For westerners re: food - Lime Lounge, Rainbird Cafe, Sea King (I think??) Chinese Restaurant. The Hotel Honiara has a French Restaurant and is excellent. The Kitano hotel has a japanese teppanyake/sushi restuarant also excellent.

  • Liked — friendly people, beautiful gardens
  • Disliked — old, inefficient noisy a/c
  • Tips/Secrets — be nice to people and they will be wonderful to you
  • Stayed December 2005, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2005

While in Honiara, I stayed at the King Solomon Hotel which is situated in Hibiscus Avenue, on the side of a hill facing north towards Iron Bottom Sound. There are 60 guest rooms and self-contained units at various levels on the hill with a cable car to take you up to your room. Two traditional 'Leaf Haus' lodges cover the foyer, reception, lounge, gift shop, offices, and also the bar and restaurant which are popular with both guests and locals. The area is decorated with many beautiful carvings depicting traditional aspects of life in the Solomon Islands. More detailed information and my images can be found in the Solomon Airlines website ----------------

  • Stayed February 2005, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about King Solomon Hotel

Address: Hibiscus Ave, Honiara, Guadalcanal Island, Solomon Islands
Phone Number:
Location: Solomon Islands > Guadalcanal Island > Honiara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Honiara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The King Solomon Hotel specialises in long term accommodation, with a selection of self contained rooms and apartments available in the heart of Honiara.You will find the 'King Sol' nestled amidst lush green gardens, within easy walking distance of the Solomon Island's Cultural Museum, banks, business houses, shopping centers and cafes.The King Solomon Hotel offers fast wireless internet connection, Honiara's top chefs and friendliest staff, a beautiful waterfall swimming pool, a gym and nightly entertainment. Conference facilities are also available for up to 200 people.Many rooms have views across Iron Bottom Sound to Savo Island and beyond. Enjoy the friendly atmosphere and fast service at the hotel's popular Bamboo Bar Cafe. The King Solomon Hotel is your ideal corporate stopover or holiday base. ... more   less 
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