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traveller



OUR COUNTRY

The Grand Papua ... the hotel as it is today (far left); the luxurious Grand Bar (left); the hotel in 1942 (right).

The second hotel had 44 rooms and a dining room, seating 120. Queen Elizabeth dined there. The hotel was the height of colonial pampering, advertised as 'an oasis of luxury in the ramshackle wastes of New Guinea'. Until the 1960s, the waiters were bare-chested Hanuabadan villagers in starched white ramis. The hotel burnt down in 1991 and the site is still undeveloped, with the Grand Papua on an adjacent block.

IN THE ROOMS

While not huge, the rooms are well appointed with flat-screen TVs, fridges, lounge chairs, coffee and tea-making facilities, safes and ironing boards. The hotel has four one-bedroom apartments on each floor, for longer-stay guests. The apartments all have large balconies. On the top 15th-floor there is a gymnasium with views and an executive lounge for afternoon drinks or private meetings. On the lower floors, there is a spa, a number of function rooms and three levels of parking.

FOOD AND DRINK

Food in the main dining room is excellent, whether you choose the buffet or a la carte. The hotel has regular changes of themes, including Asian and Mediterranean nights. Starters are PGK17–35, mains PGK30–75, and burgers and pizzas from about PGK30 each. There are Saturday cooking master classes with executive chef Kupsami Gounder. The classes include complimentary canapes and champagne on arrival. The executive lounge also hosts ‘High Societea’ gatherings for long lunches, as well as ‘Wine meets Food’ sessions with expert sommeliers The Grand Bar truly is that, with comfortable furniture, knowledgeable staff and enough flat screen TVs to cover all sports. Happy hour is 5–6pm and 9–10pm daily, with specialities being Heineken buckets for PGK60 and Mojito cocktail specials for PGK20.

For those who just need a snack to keep them going, there is a cafe on the basement-four level (importantly this is where the ATM is as well), which also provides an exit on to Hunter Street. – JOHN BROOKSBANK

WHAT GUESTS LIKE “The executive centre and 15th-floor gym are excellent."  – Tripadvisor “Great for business meetings. In the heart of PNG, easy to get around. Convenient, affordable, nice pool and relaxing atmosphere.”  – Tripadvisor “Rooms are well built and nicely decorated. The customer service when checking in was very fast and efficient. Basically everything you want from a business hotel.”  – Tripadvisor

July – August 2016

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Paradise: the in-flight magazine of Air Niugini, July/August 2016  

The July/August 2016 Issue (Vol 4, 2016) of 'Paradise' magazine, the in-flight magazine of Air Niugini, the national airline of Papua New Gu...

Paradise: the in-flight magazine of Air Niugini, July/August 2016  

The July/August 2016 Issue (Vol 4, 2016) of 'Paradise' magazine, the in-flight magazine of Air Niugini, the national airline of Papua New Gu...