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.
- 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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