It's as though a Pacific Island version of the Overlook hotel (ref: The Shining) was vomited on by a late 70s Surfers Paradise Motel developer. It has all the modern conveniences like wicker furniture, fake palm trees, fiberglass sculptures of mermaids and dolphins, and 1920's chandeliers, and it is charming for all those things alone. In its day was no doubt a premier place, but those days are slipping away. And I think it needs a lot of maintenance to revive.
Unfortunately cheap renovations (using cheap building materials) and even cheaper room amenities like nylon towels and showers that needle you worse than a high school bully, preclude it from becoming somewhere I want to return to any time soon. It's also a rambling and huge place that is quite far from town, and has been added onto and onto and then joined together with concrete paths and ponds and stairs and landscape gardening.
But daggy style and shoddy towels is not a good enough reason to totally reject a place, so here are my real (and some may say petty) reasons for not wanting to return:
I was in a 'newer' room which seemed finished, but was not 'finished' if you know what I mean. The sheets were dated even by aunt Muriel standards, the bathroom was a bit ick, and had a shower curtain. Yuck, I hate them. The hot water lasted about two minutes after you waited 6 to receive it. The wi-fi router was so far away that the internet flaked out most of the time (not good if you're a junkie like me). And worst of all, the toilet paper was the weird kind that is sort of like grey crepe paper. But before you claim I'm a spoiled brat, I should say that I'm more than happy to tolerate any of those things at a backpackers or average motel, but the room was actually close to AU$200 per night. So in terms of value, I don't really think it rated.
There were some good things, though. I had one of the best steaks of my life in the French restaurant (definitely go there, even if you don't stay there), and have the steak with Crayfish tail. But don't bother with the Chinese restaurant where the waitress just couldn't be bothered interpreting the specials from Pinyin to English - even though it was a case of asking her boss a few metres across the room. The food was okay - but I wouldn't go back.
The service staff were lovely, the beer was cold (love Sol Brew), and they have made-to-order breakfast (recommend the Spanish omelette). The pool is also really good (great for lap swimming). And hey, the quirky, mixed style of the place is highly endearing if nothing else.
So if you are in Honiara, do it for a couple of nights to experience the kitsch discomfort value, or just come for the food, but really, stay somewhere else if you can.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda, Booking.com and Priceline so you can book your Honiara Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.