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“More a local bar with rooms than a hotel”
Review of King Solomon Hotel

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King Solomon Hotel
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Honiara
Certificate of Excellence
Murray Bridge, Australia
Level Contributor
71 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“More a local bar with rooms than a hotel”
Reviewed March 21, 2013

We stayed in a downstairs room on our arrival in Honiara as we were transferring the next day to Gizo. The room was accessed from outside along a rough pavement and had poor security. In fact the door looked as though it had seem quite a number of lock repairs! There was a big flat screen TV, air con which did work, clean sheets and hot water. The room itself was tired with old furniture but after all this is a fairly poor country! We left very early in the morning for a 7:30am flight so that was our first brief experience.

Returning from Gizo twelve days later we again checked in but had booked a sea view "upstairs" room. Not having been upstairs before we had no idea of room numbers but found our room on level four (lift level 2) faced the framework of the underneath of the next level of rooms, not even a garden view! We were tired. Our flight was late and we were in no mood to start complaining. Again the room was clean. Sheets spotless but only one towel for two of us plus a hand towel. Working safe. Tea and coffee facilities but with a big sign on the mirror saying don't drink the water, but not bottled water supplied. Also the coffee was old or subject to moisture in storage so the granules were more like bricks!

Next morning we were woken up at 7:30am by the "night" staff telling us we were checking out! News to us, we'd booked four months previously for four nights! We were awake now so took our time to get ready and go downstairs to sort out the room booking. First off the staff didn't really care that we were in the wrong room, or not in the room we'd wanted and then proceeded to tell us that we could stay on! Kind of them. I stewed on this for an hour over breakfast (another story) and then thought no this isn't good enough, the two hotels on the front had room if they booted us out so we complained. We got a nice "manager" I think who apologised that we'd been woken up, and apologised, after I showed her their confirming email for our original booking, that we were in the wrong room. We asked for a reduction in the rate but said we were happy to stay put. She listened and nodded and then went off to the office. When she came back she had changed our room to a level 7 room which was indeed ocean view (barely ocean view as the ocean is really quite far away over a LOT of rooftops). Then she reduced the price. So we were to be charged 1050 per night instead. We were quite happy with that and took the new and old keys to repack our cases and move rooms.

At this point the funicular railway which runs from ground floor to level 7 broke down! There are wooden stairs which run between the levels when the lift breaks down, which is frequently!

This was the end of our average experience, it was downhill after this.

Our room again was clean, old and tired in decoration but had working air con, lots of hot water, a working quality TV, a microwave and a working fridge. Again the coffee sachets were moisture damaged and dispensed bricks. Milk was in a carton but OK. We assumed that if we boiled the water we'd be OK. We bought two bottles of water and then refilled them throughout the day with boiled kettle water. We had NO tummy bugs at all.

We had a single breakfast in the buffet style breakfast room. It was 100 each. It was all you could eat but we were put off by the flies on the fruit and in the bread bin! The sausages were OK but fatty and the egg had been cooked quite some time before, it was dry. We got no service at all from the single girl at the desk, she must ignored us when we asked how breakfast "worked"! But she did run after us when she thought we were leaving without paying! Later that morning while we sat and watched the rain we asked if we could get two coffees. They looked at us as if we were insane! This is a hotel isn't it? Coffee, no, we don't do coffee, the kitchen is closed. It was midday. A fellow guest told us that the Bamboo Bar was open for breakfast and lunch and does excellent coffee. The next three mornings we went there for breakfast. Lots of choice, freshly cooked, great coffee and excellent, and I mean excellent customer service! Get this though, the Bamboo Bar is part of the same hotel and it right next door!

We ate in the hotel in the evenings as it rained most nights and we didn't have rain clothing or umbrellas (hint, take small folding umbrellas). The food was hit and miss. One night we had roast pork, it was stone cold. Another night we had a huge crayfish but it was overlooked. Another night pizza which was excellent. Last night was white fish in butter sauce which was outstanding. Service though was appalling. One night the woman behind the desk had her head on her hands and appeared to be asleep. She sat there for ten minutes before another member of staff came from reception to take our order! To say these people need training is an understatement!!!

It clearly says above the bar entrance, diners and guests only. Sadly it's full of locals who usually end up drunk and falling over in the toilets. I only used the public toilet once. Someone had been violently sick in one of the cubicles and it was everywhere. Not nice to see. Another had no toilet seat, another no paper!

We were told by another guest that this place is less of a hotel now and more filled with Australiian aid workers, firemen, police, nurses and doctors who take up most of the top three floors. Of course if the owner is getting this kind of money on a regular basis then he/she doesn't have to work so hard on keeping ordinary once only guests too happy! This is reflected in the quality of the service, what service! Having said that the room maids were excellent. The room was kept very clean with fresh towels, we asked for two or each, bins emptied, fresh soaps.

We would not stay again. They charge Australian premium prices for rooms, food and beer but can't offer Australian levels of customer service.

The lift is a quirky feature but doesn't work more than it works! The pool is clean and pleasant on a mild day otherwise you'll get eaten alive by mozzies. Disappointing.

Room Tip: Ask for level one or two so that it's not too many stairs if the lift is out of order. The ocean...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ozdivergt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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284 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (108)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2013

Granted I only stayed here because the Mendana and Heritage were full, I hope I don't have to stay there again. The staff need a whole lot of customer service training and hospitality training for the hotel to feel more like a hotel. There was no parking and we were told to park across the street (because we asked, no one offered this information or asked if we had a car to park). We were not greeted at the front desk, we had to actively manage our check-in process to get it done. I cannot say anything positive about the rooms. The bathrooms have a window that basically is open to passers by in the hallway and the showers have curtains that stick to you and the floors, tiles, etc were dirty. The quality of the beds were poor. The towels were stained. The air conditioning unit has to be turned on and off manually and it's so high, you have to go on top of a chair or desk to adjust it. There is limited cable channels on the TV. There is no closet, the hangers are not high quality. The housekeeping staff barely knocks before storming into your room. The cable car is slow and often does not stop on your level -- the hotel is not accessible for handicapped people-- there are a lot of steps even when you use the cable car. The buffet for breakfast is not replenished and poor quality. There are no bell boys, instead guards are told to help and they are clueless about doing so. Never saw anyone that resembled a manager. If you have trouble sleeping with noise, do not stay over a friday night as there is loud kareoke.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NC23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Noosa, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

It's not a hotel for the 5 star residents. It's a hotel with Honiara character. It's built along the slope of a mountain so the view from the balconies are great.

The hotel staff are very friendly and helpful. Hotel rooms look a bit tired but well maintained. My daughter loves the cable-car elevator - so uniquely King sol!

Will go back again!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Faye_Sunshine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
Level Contributor
225 reviews
223 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 555 helpful votes
Reviewed February 2, 2013

A dump getting by on word-of-mouth, longevity, and paucity of hostelry in this town. Although an hour after checking in and looking around for an actual restaurant did find a better, newer (and less expensive) hotel in front of the water. next time. The 1150 sol room (170 usd) midway between stops 1 and 2 on the funicular was spacious, with a few sticks of cheap, poor quality furniture. It all felt completely low-end. Worst was the decrepit air conditioner mounted in wall above entrance door: loud as a lawn-mower. Took a couple of hours to cool the room and impossible to sleep with it on. Impossible. On Saturday night stay noise from bar was so loud in room could not hear tv at max volume, but ended at midnight. Hearing the music, imagined it was karaoke, was shocked to see it was actual live music, a band so bad. Overall feel of this establishment is kinda rustic; it's fastened to the side of a hill and all wooden, maintained to just enough avoid becoming run-down. This might pass for charm to some folk. Breakfast was inedible, coffee instant. internet. Internet paid card got about sixty minutes for 7 usd.

Room Tip: a sliver of water can be seen from 'seaview' room, for an extra 100 SOL$
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Paubranco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2013

Honiara is not a tourist haven just yet but if you have to stay a few days you need a warm welcoming secure type of place like the King Sol. Quirky it is, with its own unique transport to your hotel bedroom situated on a hillside right in the heart of the town but above the hustle and bustle.Its not a flash place but clean and friendly with a small bar, and has a laid back feel about it with a good breakfast buffet and some local evening entertainment on a couple of nights a week. A pleasant BBQ each Sunday lunchtime by the beautifully designed but small plunge pool set amid tropical gardens is a bonus. Shane, the Australian proprietor, is always keen to receive suggestions as to how his service can be improved.

Room Tip: Higher, The better.Most rooms have balconies.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank croftsline
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level Contributor
103 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2012

first visit to the Solomon Islands and it was a great stay, a very lovely property, very clean and well maintained. The staff are very friendly helpful and engaging. The rooms are a good size and well maintained.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Amber M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2012

Very comfortable hotel .Some rooms with sea views.
Cute little cable car or funicular to take you up the hill to your room.
Rooms are a good size and well equipped with TV from several countries including Australia and microwave
Beautiful pool with live music at po0l party each Sunday,
Floor show most nights in the restaurant
Owned and run by Australian expats who employ
friendly and helpful local staff.
Occassional hiccups like cable car breaking down(not crashing) or water failing are fixed quickly .In house restaurant with great food and Bamboo bar next door is also a great place to hang out.
Home away from home

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AscotValeTraveller
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

Property: 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 7 Hotels in Honiara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — King Solomon Hotel 3*
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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