I stayed in the Holiday Inn Suva in October 2007 for a few nights on a holiday. Whilst I enjoyed the hotel there were a few issues that would have improved my stay.
One of the first things I looked for when I checked in was a guide to the hotel. Is hotels around the world you find a guide to the local attractions and services in a draw or on a table somewhere. It took me a day to find the guide to the hotel services. It was in the wallet that contained my room key. By ‘In the wallet’, I mean it was the wallet. There was not much information inside – it did not make mention of what hours the pool operated from, nor did it say what to do with towels. Certainly it did not say how to get to any of the local attractions.
When I had booked the room I chose the hotel because of the facilities that it offered – in terms of Internet access. The Web Site stated that Wifi was $0, and that there would be a charge of $5 for wired Internet. When I got here I found that the wired internet was $0.60 per minute, with a maximum of $36 per day. By ‘Maximum’, I mean it was $36 until you got to 30 Mbytes and then it was $0.40 per MByte. This is a bait and switch in the extreme.
I suspect that the Web Site is not accurate, but that is not my fault. I have since discovered that the same Web Site lists each room as having a PC. I somehow do not think that this is what they intended. This is not some two-bit company we are talking about here offering to book rooms. This is the OFFICIAL WEB SITE for the Hotel!
I have emailed two different email addresses, and also made an online complaint about this issue and I have heard nothing. Thankfully I am protected, since the Holiday Inn has a ‘Hospitality Promise’ which states that if I am not completely satisfied with anything it will be free. I am intending to use this ‘Promise’.
The pool at the hotel is nice, and the water is warm. Being on Suva Harbor there is no beach. The hotel butts onto the ocean, but the land was a former mangrove rather than a beach, meaning it is more suited to fishing than swimming.
There is no gift shop in the hotel – at least not that I could find. This is rather unique when it comes to hotels in my experience. Normally they are trying to stop you from going outside to discover the real world. Not here.
Another thing that is missing is the wall filled with self-serve brochures showing what is on where. There are a few at the tour desk, but that is all. The only way that I got a map was to visit the main desk and ask where the museum was. The person gave me a map that showed where the tourist centre was. Even the tourist centre was not really set up to handle tourists.
The staff at the hotel were all friendly, wanting to open doors for you and help you when they could. Sometimes this was a bit pointless, such as when I got a soft drink at the bar and was taking it to a seat 5m away. After 2m the waiter insisted on taking the drink and carrying it to my seat. Still, service was good.
Outside the hotel I found some good restaurants. One Chinese establishment offered a Rum Steak for $7.45, including salad and chips. I got two pieces of steak, adding up to about 300-400 grams I would guess. They were rough cut and seasoned, making them tender and juicy. Cheaper than a club meal in Oz, and not subsidized either.
The hotel is on the southern outskirts of the commercial district, meaning that some walking is needed to get to all the shops. Or a Taxi Ride. Suva is a strange collection of one way streets and alleys. I went looking for a set of shops that I had visited the day before. And I could not find it. I did find the garment and fabric district but not the shops I was looking for. And I found Dick Smith Electronics too, the story above the Gloria Jean’s coffee shop. I knew Dick Smith needed to be nearby since I had seen a reference to it in the listing for an arcade a few streets away.
Once more I have no idea if the Hotel has a minibus, as they do not have a guide for the hotel. But given the price and availability of taxis, I am guessing that they are not really needed.