History and Heritage

Originally published on pacificislandliving.com

Danielle Norton checks into Honiara’s Heritage Park Hotel and is understandably impressed, this central, clean and modern hotel ticks all the boxes.

The History

In previous times, the Heritage Park Hotel was the site of the Governor’s residence and the grandeur befitting a person such as this still exists in its modern reincarnation. This is a place for business travellers or those in transit or those interested in the history of the region. Guadalcanal was the site of many battles between the US and Japanese soldiers in WWII but the Heritage Hotel bears none of the scars.

The reception area of the hotel is a wide expanse of shining marble and staff are warm and hospitable. A welcome drink floats over to us on a tray and we sit in the high backed cane chairs in the reception area, sipping our drinks and noting the time on the array of world clocks on the adjacent wall.

The hotel is set on five acres of well maintained tropical gardens. Lawns are manicured and the resort’s pathways are lined with hibiscus and palm trees. From the swimming pool one can look out to sea, and observe boats on the water. With a decent collection of white lounge chairs, the poolside Splash Bar and Grill is the obvious place to enjoy a sundowner and soak up the tropical vibe as evening descends and the cool ocean breeze flows in.

The Location

The hotel is central to Honiara and close to the National Museum and Mataniko Falls. Honiara Golf Club is a ten minute drive away and it’s only 15 minutes drive from the famous Kinugawa Maru dive site. The airport is 12 kms away.

The Rooms

The rooms are perfectly cooled when we arrive, and a lovely arrangement of pink frangipanis and a deep red tropical flower decorate the comfortable queen size bed. The room is spacious and clean, and equipped with a desk and an occasional chair. The balcony has simple chairs and a table and is an obvious place to prop oneself and take in the ocean view.

The bathroom is compact but elegant, housing a shower (no bath) and a toilet. The modern benchtops are decorated with a fresh bouquet of tropical flowers and Heritage Park branded hand wash, soaps and toiletries.

Two bedroom suites with connecting doors are also available.

The food

Drinking an ice cold Solbrew in the Terrace Restaurant of the Heritage Park Hotel is a true pleasure after a hot day in Honiara and ordering from the extensive menu is even better.

The open air restaurant is cooled by overhead fans which give a breeze and help to keep the evening mosquitos away. The lime green cane chairs and tables add a fun, vibrant ambience but this is very much a business hotel. Despite a dedicated meeting room onsite, business people are gathered here with fresh bush lime juice or watermelon juice as the refreshments during the day but veer towards the beer, wine and cocktail menu in the evening.

For my first meal in the Solomons we decided to eat in the Terrace restaurant and I chose a spicy chicken soup entree and a main meal of duck and vegetable curry. Both were delicious but I did suffer meal envy when my companions ordered crustaceans and a pod of bright red lobster arrived at the table.
The more formal GGs Restaurant is indoors, air-conditioned, and offers a la carte dining with European and international cuisine in a more formal environment.

The breakfast buffet is laid out in the Terrace Restaurant at 7am. It has a generous assortment of American style menu items and there is also a coffee machine that can create a decent flat white if you’re a coffee connoisseur. A large flat screen TV hangs on the wall behind, for the international news addicts.

The Verdict

If you are in town on business or in transit to one of the Solomons’ 900 other islands, the Heritage Park Hotel is a good choice. It’s central, clean, modern and has free wifi.

How to get there: Airport transfers can be arranged.
How to book: Online http://www.heritageparkhotel.com.sb or call +67724007
The Price: Ocean view rooms from around $300 •