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“Adequate, quirky”
Review of Honiara Hotel

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Honiara Hotel
Ranked #5 of 8 Hotels in Honiara
Reviewed 9 April 2013

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.

Room Tip: Request a newer room, but not too far away from the main building if you want internet.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled on business
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4  Thank dorianscat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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21 - 27 of 41 reviews

Reviewed 8 April 2013

As with the other reviewer's comments, make sure you get a room in the newer wings of the HH or you'll be spending your nights in a dank and musty room with the resident cockroaches and a mould collection only a mycologist (person who studies fungi) would love. Although I talk about a newer wing, these rooms are still old and tired and not at all inviting unless you can't find alternative accommodation in Honiara.

Although the staff are friendly and the food is reasonably priced for Honiara standards, this is a place that had its heyday in the 70's and 80's and no money has been put into its upkeep since. You will also get extremely fit or break your neck climbing the snail infested steps each day from the reception to the room.

I am being kind by calling the Honiara Hotel average.

Room Tip: Rooms closer to the ocean I believe are the newer ones.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled on business
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2  Thank Stephen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2012

I always LOVE my stay at Honiara hotel before I fly to the village. Being half caste I get to see the other sides of solo that tourists don't. I'm grateful for their showers, clean beds & actual mattresses, actual toilets. Lol. Air conditioning, delicious cheap restaurants - it's not even far from town - maybe a 10 minute walk...close to the hospital & the bus stop. It really does feel like heaven to me after staying in my local village. I have no complaints whatsoever :) love Honiara hotel almost feels like a second home whenever I go back to solo :)

  • Stayed: April 2012
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7  Thank KeruT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 October 2012 via mobile

Had a self-contained room in the new wing. Room looks great (resort like) during the day, with oven, flat screen tv and other appliances, save for a washer. However when night falls, the dimness in the room makes u imagine all sorts of creepy crawlies and scary stuff.

Wifi was also weak in the room. Be sure to choose a room in the new wing closer to the main building.

However, the lady at the reception provided really good service, putting up with all sorts of requests from my group to change room. Very friendly and accommodating.

Great apple pie at the Cafe Haviana!

  • Stayed: September 2012
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4  Thank Veeene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2012

The rooms are very average, but at least they have air-conditioning! No wifi access in half the hotel (make sure you get new-wing if it matters) and the curtains let the light into your room all night from the outside hallway. Very nice pool and bar, and check-in staff are good

Room Tip: Make sure you get a room in the new wing!
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled solo
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Thank Trueman94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2012

I have read some of the reviews of the Honiara, and again, I find myself giving the same advice. It's important to understand that you are not visiting a "resort" destination. Honiara is as much a part of the third world as it is the South Pacific. Any expectation of finding a Sandals or Club Med on this island is wishful thinking. This is a developing nation. You simply have to lower your expectations if you are planning to visit this island. That said, the Honiara Hotel is just fine. Nthe rooms are a little tired, but the staff try hard. The air conditioning works, the linens are clean, the lights work, the plumbing is generally ok, although I did have a brief run of brown water in my shower. The pool is quite good, and the restaurant was surprisingly adequate and affordable. The criticisms that this hotel is a bit far from town are silly. Are you going to visit the island and not have a car? Get real. The Honiara gets a solid "average" because of where it is. If it were in Cancun it would be a one and a half. If it were in Mogadishu it might be a five star, but here in Honiara it's a solid "average".

Room Tip: Get one of the rooms on the upper part of the hill
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled on business
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Thank westwilshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2012

I wanted to stay in a hotel with large rooms and hot water after two terrible ferry crossings in extremely rough weather between Honiara and Auki. My first stop was the Mendana and it looked very tired, and I think there is almost nothing worse than a tired beach hotel. Next was the adjacent Heritage Park, and though it definitely had the best rooms, it was sterile and could have been anywhere in the world. Third stop was the Honiara, and this immediately felt like the Solomon Islands.

The key to staying here is to choose the correct room category. Rooms in the old wing are depressing, dark and dismal - avoid at all costs! If you want to pay a cheaper price, guest houses such as the St Agnes Mothers Union Guest House are infinitely better value. Rooms in the new wing (note that this is a relative term not an absolute) are far superior. However, check a few rooms in this Hill Top Deluxe Wing, ensure that hot water, TV and Air Con are all working - one room I tried had no hot water, and another had some air con problems. I ended in room 815 which had clear view over the area, far better than 814 which sat over an unsightly roof.

The room had a few little niggles, drawer handles were broken, and the shower squirted water onto the bathroom floor from an extra hole if the shower head was shifted. However, this is the Solomon Islands, a place without a highly developed tourism industry, so I overlooked these problems. It is important to must manage one's expectations before coming to a place such as Honiara. The highlight was the large balcony with great outdoor furniture - a lovely place to spend a late afternoon. Sleeping was comfortable and quiet, even though the mattress was smaller than its base - better than the other way around I suppose.

Always ask what discounts are available, as I was given 40% off the rack rate for checking in on a Saturday (same applied to Friday and Sunday arrivals) as long as I departed on Monday. Staff at the front desk were very welcoming, and same applied to the housekeeping staff.

I only ate one meal at the Oasis restaurant. It was a large meal but quite expensive. The restaurants here cater to the expat market and the higher than normal prices reflect that. I found the staff at Oasis to be a bit aloof.

The hotel is sprawled across the hill so you may have a long walk in going anywhere. Be aware that there are a lot of steps in this place, so if you are not particularly mobile, this may cause a problem. The hotel has several car parks, so it is possible to park closer to your room - very handy when it comes to carrying luggage around.

If this hotel was in a place such as Europe or Australia, I would rate it lower, but for the Solomon Islands, it is the pick of the bunch in terms of comfort for a reasonable price - but only if you stay in the hill top rooms!

Room Tip: Only consider rooms in the Hill Top Deluxe Wing.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank TheTravelCamel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Honiara Hotel

Address: PO Box 4, Honiara, Guadalcanal Island, Solomon Islands
Region: Solomon Islands > Guadalcanal Island > Honiara
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 8 Hotels in Honiara
Price Range: £110 - £113 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 297
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Also Known As:
Honiara Hotel Solomon Islands

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