Oh dear! Where does one start?!
There was a time when every Holiday Inn in the world was the same and the concept of the original franchise was rigidly adhered to. Luckily that has changed and some individuality is encouraged. However, one does expect minimum standards from the Holiday Inn group, but this seems to have been overlooked at the Holiday Inn at Port Moresby.
It is rumoured to be one of the most profitable Holiday Inns in the world, so why bother with standards?! In Papua New Guinea, and Port Moresby in particular, hotel profitability is due to the very limited alternatives. One of the main ‘competitors’ to the Holiday Inn here is the Crown Plaza, which is part of the same group.
Some attempt to modernise could be seen: the entry sign was new and used the new logo; and the reception desk was modern and clean. Beyond that, one finds an old, tired hotel. So let’s take a closer look.
Check-in was fine and the staff friendly and welcoming. No free ‘welcome’ drink, nor any other extras. No chairs to sit in.
To the room, on the second floor of the Garden Wing. This was a basic Australian-motel style room, not the top-end Holiday Inn room that the author is well used to having inspected at many Holiday Inn hotels. No desk in the room was a surprise! In what is touted to be a business hotel, a desk is surely a must, but even that essential item was not present. Looking in other rooms, there were some desks, so it seems that you have to ask for one.
The Wi-Fi did not work, but we managed to find a slow connection on the ground floor in the small lounge reserved for guests. Wi-Fi access was not free, but indeed, very expensive. The best option is to buy a Digicel modem stick, which is not expensive, and use that.
It is hard to be polite about the restaurant. The food was well below standard and by far the worst offering of any Holiday Inn used by us; we cannot imagine another one as bad. The buffet was very poor, but there was not much alternative. On the second and third nights, we did not eat at the Holiday Inn.
Breakfast was equally poor. We managed it once, but then decided to drive to the Airways Hotel, where we had an excellent breakfast for the same price.
The outside bar was one of the better features of this Holiday Inn and a place to drink that overlooks the gardens, which were fairly pleasant yet of limited size. A new Holiday Inn Express that is being built nearby had taken some of the land away. Before this, there was a running track around the property, however it is now closed.
The swimming pool was basic and had a few old, wooden sun beds and no mattresses or towels available. Not very enticing.
The gym was better and is used by the locals, making it fairly busy. There were a number of running machines, which is useful in a city where running on the streets is not recommended.
There a number of small shops, a tour booking service and hair dresser on the ground floor of the Holiday Inn, but, around the hotel, there is little. The nearest alternative eating venue is the Lamana Hotel, which has a reasonable restaurant and a very popular night club.
Overall, we rate this as the worst Holiday Inn that we have tested. It becomes even more painful given the high prices, which also make it the most expensive Holiday Inn tested. If you are a member of the Holiday Inn priority club, then a good tip is to use points at the Holiday Inn Port Moresby and earn them at a cheaper property in, say, Thailand.
However, the biggest problem remains: That is, if you do not use this hotel, there is not a lot of choice. The other hotels are the Gateway, Lamana, Airways and Crown Plaza. Those we will look forward to testing on future trips.
Holiday Inn Port Moresby Images
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