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“Surprisingly Good”

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Highlander Hotel & Apartments
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Mount Hagen
Engadine, Australia
Level Contributor
144 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Surprisingly Good”
Reviewed 31 August 2013

My wife and I travelled to Mt Hagen for the annual Sing Sing. We had read the reviews on Tripadvisor before we came and were not sure that we had done the right thing. All the doubts were cast aside. Our room was in the main building, above Reception and we found it to be excellent. Great shower, thick towels, comfortable bed and sufficient room to move about. It was so good to have a hotel with decent lighting so that we could easily read in bed - if only the larger hotel chains could get back to providing this! Housekeeping was at a good standard and the staff friendly. Food in the restaurant was very good, particularly the vegetables, which are apparently sourced locally. Contrary to some other reviewers we found the restaurant service to be excellent. James, in particular, was first class and remembered our names and preferences for every meal. There is a need for security and the steps taken at the Highlander reassured us that we would be well cared for. Considering the difficulties in PNG and particularly those in the Highlands, the management of this hotel is doing an excellent job.

Room Tip: Rooms in the main building are very good.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank adshare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HighlanderManager, Manager at Highlander Hotel & Apartments, responded to this review, 2 September 2013
Dear Adshare
Thank you for your recent review, and positive comments; I will pass these onto our staff who will certainly find them rewarding and encouraging.
The Western Highlanders are extremely proud and very welcoming people. The Hagen show is a great opportunity for them to showcase their culture and to embrace the many overseas tourists who visit the Province.
At the Highlander the Management and Staff always endeavor to create a totally enjoyable stay and experience for our guest, once again thank you for your comments
Nigel Logue
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60 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Newport Beach, California
Level Contributor
335 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2013

Your first impression will be that you are checking into a prison. Barbed wire, electrified fences and armed guards everywhere. In fairness Mt Hagen does not seem to be a safe town and the moneyed clients who stay there would be targets for crime, especially robbery. Rooms are spartan and adequate. The worst part of our experience is the terrible disinterested staff in the restaurant. We waited over an hour for any food service despite every group that arrived after us being served first. Entreaties were met with sullen indifference. Do everything you can to schedule as little time as possible by getting to desired locations in highlands directly. Ideally use charter air services to get to lodges directly, if possible. Mt Hagen itself has little to see other than dirt and crowds. Get out of the city and immediately the beauty of the countryside is evident.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank beentheretooo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HighlanderManager, Manager at Highlander Hotel & Apartments, responded to this review, 4 July 2013
Dear “beentheretoo”
Thank you for your contribution and comments. It should be pointed out that as a condition of the Western Highlands Provincial Liquor Licensing Act all licensed premises must have solid fences and wire on top, as a further precaution and requirements of security audits of the various multinational companies involved in the LNG Project that utilise the Highlander.
Your comments regarding the service in the restaurant and are noted, we are consistently reviewing our service standards and can only apologise for your experience.
We are glad that you enjoyed your trip around Papua New Guinea and we look forward to perhaps see you and your family back at the Highlander Hotel
Regards
Nigel Logue
Hotel Manager
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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
71 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2013

Great stay at The Highlander. Staff were helpful and friendly and the rooms in the main building are amongst the most stylish in PNG - gable ceilings and views to the mountains give an alpine feel. Service in the restaurant was a little spotty but the food was excellent.

Room Tip: Go for executive in the main building
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank thekeystotravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HighlanderManager, Manager at Highlander Hotel & Apartments, responded to this review, 2 April 2013
Thank you for your recent review of the Highlander Hotel, all the staff are proud of the Highlander and as you mentioned the Highlands people are genuinely helpful and friendly. We are very fortunate in having access to a multitude of fresh produce and as you mentioned this reflects in our cuisine.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the Highlander in the future
Nigel Logue
Hotel Manager.
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Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2013

I stayed here on a stopover for work and was pleasantly surprised. The rooms were well equipped and the restaurant was nice. Considering the location (getting to the highlands is not without it's challenges) this place is a credit to all concerned.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
4 Thank pjcrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HighlanderManager, Manager at Highlander Hotel & Apartments, responded to this review, 22 January 2013
Dear PJ Crew

Thank you for your recent review, and we are pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us. Our staff are a key factor in ensuring guest satisfaction is not only maintained but wherever possible exceeded and you comments reflect this. You are correct in that getting to the Highlands challenging (especially during the wet season) we are pleased that you took the time to post your review

We look forward to welcoming all of our guests to the Highlander Hotel & Apartments.

Nigel Logue
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Totton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 December 2012

This is the second review I have written on the Highlander Hotel, and this is by way of a farewell and a big thank you to all the staff who have always made my previous stays at the Highlander such a pleasant experience. In particular to Miriam, on the front desk, who always made my frequent check-ins and check-outs such a painless and swift process.

On my final visit, in November, prior to leaving PNG on the completion of my contract, my last night was made memorable with an excellent Steak Night dinner with two very good friends. Thanks for the treat!

In the 12 months of using the Highlander, I have seen it progress from strength to strength, in the standards of food, delivery of service, and creating the right kind of ambience. When the present Standard rooms are refurbished, it will be, obviously, even better.

The fumigation program has obviously worked. Didn't see one of the little creatures.

Once again, to the Management and staff, well done for the excellent work in looking after your guests. Truly appreciated.

Room Tip: Rooms in the main building are best. Worth paying the extra.
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
3 Thank Bedou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HighlanderManager, Manager at Highlander Hotel & Apartments, responded to this review, 18 December 2012
Dear Bedou
It was a pleasure reading your recent review and on behalf of all the staff we thank you for your kind words. We trust that one day we will see you again at the Highlander.
At the Highlander we are continually striving to exceed our guest expectations and for our staff it is an immense feeling of achievement when they are recognized for their ongoing success.
Once again thank you for your comments and we wish you all the best in your future endeavours.
Nigel Logue
Hotel Manager.
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Gosford, Australia
Level Contributor
152 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 November 2012 via mobile

There is not a lot of choice on where to stay in Mt Hagen. The highlander might look nice on arrival in the foyer but the rooms are very, very average. Part of the rooms furniture was broken when i arrived and the towles were badly stained. Management did not seem to care when informed and this attitude is therefore reflected in the staff attitude. There is no attention to detail except the price. You are a captive here and you get raped through the prices they charge.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank The67Yak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HighlanderManager, Manager at Highlander Hotel & Apartments, responded to this review, 9 November 2012
Dear Little Choice
Thank you for your comments and I can understand your frustration that upon check in a draw fascia was loose, and that your towels were stained. Your referral to “Management” is a little ambiguous as we have a number of managers in various areas and I can assure you that they have a great pride in their work and ensuring our guest satisfaction is continually improved.
In relation to our pricing Mt Hagen is located some 600 kilometres from the nearest sea port at an altitude of 1650 metres; all items must travel up the Highlands Highway, the condition of this major road has been widely publicised.
Once again thank you for your comments and we can assure, not only you, but all our guests we are continually striving to exceed our guest expectations.
Regards
Nigel Logue
Hotel Manager
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Level Contributor
677 reviews
128 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,863 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2012

Highlander Hotel is the best hotel currently in Mt. Hagen, but that doesn't really mean much. As we drove into town, I thought it was a prison. Razor wire all over the huge fence, with a manned guard tower. Not much to look at from the outside for sure.

The hotel has two sections - a new section which is the higher level executive rooms and suites - and the old section which is the standard rooms. Ensure that your tour operator gets you in an executive room in the new section. It is well worth the price difference.

LOCATION - Mt. Hagen isn't a very big place, so most things are within a short drive or walking distance. The hotel is on the fringe of downtown. Most people probably won't leave the hotel anyway, so not so important.

AMBIENCE - Despite the prison-like exterior, the lobby is remodeled and pretty nice, and so are many of the walkways, the bar and restaurant. There is an outdoor pool with some tables and umbrellas around it, not too bad at all.

ROOMS - We were first shown a standard room. It reeked of cigarette smoke, the wallpaper was yellowish-brown with smoke stains, the mirror was almost totally corroded, the twin beds were old and hard, the TV was an old-style one. The phone didn't work, there were handprints all over the windows, the shower was grody and corroded, overall pretty disgusting. Enough that we went back to the front desk and asked for another room. We were informed none of the standard rooms are non-smoking, nor are any remodeled.

We asked if there were any newer rooms, and we were shown the executive rooms. These were brand new, very nice, spacious, flatscreen tv, nice bathroom, really quite nice - the difference between these and the standard rooms is massive. Really a no-brainer. And the price difference wasn't that much - maybe $60 more or so, which in PNG is not much.

BUSINESS - The hotel supposedly has internet, which they sell for a whopping 100 Kina ($50). However, when asked, the desk attendant admitted they always had problems with it and that it had been out for three days. There is 3G coverage in Mt. Hagen with Digicel, so we bought a SIM Card for our Blackberry phones and used them as modems. That worked well. There is a desk in the executive room that worked.

FOOD & DRINK - Food and drinks are massively overpriced here. Wine is about $18 per glass, beer is about $15 per bottle. Breakfast was some $27.00 and not included in the room. The food we had at the restaurant was terrible, inedible actually, and the service was worse. For that we paid a giant price. The breakfast is nasty too, but they will make you eggs, which were ok. Again, terrible service. The folks were nice enough, when you saw them.

SERVICE - The front desk service was bad, the service in the restaurant was worse. The bellman was really nice, and the manager was good once we found him. The bar guy was nice, but tried to overcharge us for the wine by about 25%, and there is no price menu. Once busted, he changed the price to the correct amount.

There is an ATM in the lobby, and you can buy Digicel minutes at the hotel.

If we had to stay in the standard room, I think I would have rated this hotel 1-star. But the executive room was quite nice and comfortable, so I'm giving it more based on our final experience. Still not a great place with bad, expensive food and bad service, but it was ok in the end.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Johann&Sandra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HighlanderManager, Manager at Highlander Hotel & Apartments, responded to this review, 17 October 2012
Dear Johann
Thank you for your valuable feedback, we are constantly looking at ways to better our service and guest experiences, this has enabled us to utilise your comments in our staff training for which I am most appreciative.
We are scheduled to completely renovate our standard rooms later this year and bring them more in line with the rest of the Hotel. We do have various number of room styles to suit the extremely variable market in Mt Hagen, unfortunately some booking agents book the minimum standard with a view to saving money for the clients, as you highlighted the difference is really a “No Brainer”.
During you travels in PNG you may have experienced or read about the national Highlands Highway, it is continually being worked on and as this is the only source of goods from the coast, the price of the raw products are greatly increased from other centres in PNG. The price for the glass of wine is correct but at current exchange rates a beer is approximately $5.50.
Johann, thank you for your feedback the staff and I wish you the best and hopefully we will see you back at the Highlander in the future
Nigel Logue, Hotel Manager.
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Additional Information about Highlander Hotel & Apartments

Property: Highlander Hotel & Apartments
Address: Waghi Parade | PO Box 34, Mount Hagen SO 251, Papua New Guinea (Formerly Quality Hotel Highlander)
Phone Number:
Region: Papua New Guinea > Highlands Region > Mount Hagen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Mount Hagen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Highlander Hotel & Apartments 3.5*
Number of rooms: 95
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located at the western end of town the Highlander is a secure property. The Hotel has undergone renovations which opened in August 2011 adding the new Palmuri Restaurant, the Nu Ming Cocktail Lounge, Business Centre, Boardroom and 20 new Executive rooms. The existing rooms are continuually being improved and updated. Within the new foyer there is a gift shop, hairdresser, beautician and spa treatments.The swimming pool has been retiled and the new gymnasium is adjecent to this area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Highlander Hotel & Apartments Papua New Guinea/Mount Hagen

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