Ill start by saying I love the Solomons. yes, its got social, economic and governance problems; but I am honoured to know a lot of local people who are friendly, warm, and most of all, committed to getting their troubled country back on track. This is the reason I have spent a lot of time in the Solomons over the past few years.
Yes - I love the Solomons, but I have to say I love it in spite of - rather than because of - the Honiara Hotel. Honiara has few options for accommodation, and all of them are costly. Expect to pay A$200 minimum to stay at a 3 star equivalent place (the mendana or the King Solomon). The Honiara Hotel alone offers most of the facilities a business traveller needs, at a lower price, and this must be why its constantly booked out. It surely isn't because of its musty, grimy, run-down rooms; or its overpriced food, or its indifferent reception staff.
A snapshot of the Honiara Hotel:
Location: Located in Chinatown, the HH is close to many NGOs and the Ministry of Health, making it handy for people working at any of these places. Its not close to the sea, but the upper rooms have a nice view out to the islands of Central Province, and its lovely to be able to watch the sun set from your balcony, should you be lucky enough to have one.
Rooms: Rooms vary in price, but all are musty and run-down. The upper level rooms can only be reached by several flights of stairs, but are closer to the pool. The ground floor level rooms are cheaper but have no natural light, tiny bathrooms and are quite dungeon like. My room also hosted a few nonpaying guests ie massive cockroaches.
Facilities: The pool is huge and great for laps - if you can get past the murkiness of the water and brave jumping in. Pre-paid wifi internet is available in most rooms and is a reasonable speed (for Honiara). The gym is a tiny dusty room packed with equipment, and I never saw anyone in there.
Food: There are 3 restaurants and they are OK, although very expensive. The best is Club Havana, a French restaurant that serves consistently excellent meals. Oasis is beside the pool and the site of the very mediocre breakfast buffet.
Service: Reception staff look harassed - probably because they are. But when i had an urgent problem to solve they couldn't have been more helpful. Cleaning staff are friendly and helpful.
Essentially - if youre working in Honiara and dont want to spend a bomb on basic accommodation, then the HH is for you. If you're on holidays, go somewhere nicer.
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