Hotels in Papua New Guinea

by Joanne Thomas

Although it is a remote and relatively undiscovered destination, tourists heading to Papua New Guinea have a wide range of lodging options to choose from. Accomodations range from traditional thatched huts in the wilderness to expansive beachfront resorts and even private islands. Some are designed with a particular niche market in mind, such as scuba divers, surfers or eco-tourists; others equally welcome those seeking a sedentary beach vacation in an exotic locale.

Coral Sea Hotels

Coral Sea Hotels is a chain of seven hotels throughout Papua New Guinea. Three of the properties are in Port Morseby, the nation's capital and largest city. They consist of serviced, self-catering apartments near the beach at Whittaker Apartments; the Tuscany-inspired Ela Beach Hotel; and the 95-room Gateway Hotel close to the airport. The Melanesian Hotel, located in Lae, offers guest rooms with harbor views, a pool surrounded by tropical gardens and a buffet restaurant. The Coastwatchers Hotel in Madang is a good choice for golfers as it is surrounded by the fairways of Mandang Golf Club. The resort-like facilities of the Bird of Paradise Hotel in Goroka include a fitness club, squash club, an outdoor heated pool and a children's play area, as well as two restaurants. The Highlander Hotel is notable for its mountain location in the town of Mt Hagan in the heart Papua New Guinea.

Island Resorts

The numerous small islands and islets of Papua New Guinea offer some remote, private and luxurious hideaways. Lissenung Island Resort is an adults-only private island with the South Pacific to one side and the Bismark Sea to the other. The resort is the only property on the island, offering rustic but comfortable accommodations in traditional-style thatched cottages, as well as a PADI-certified dive center and a main lodge with a sandy floored seafood restaurant and bar. Nusa Island Retreat offers island-style bungalows on the edge of the ocean and caters to surfers, divers and sport fishermen. The resort includes a restaurant and bar, a gift store selling locally made carvings, and laundry facilities; the town of Kavieng on the island features banks, restaurants, stores and a tourist bureau. Loloata Island Resort specializes in scuba diving vacations, operating two dive boats and a dive store. Its 23 beachfront guest units all offer a balcony and hardwood floors and are available with or without air conditioning.

Eco-Resorts and Lodges

Eco-Resorts and Lodges in Papua New Guinea range from rustic to luxurious, but all boast stunning natural surroundings. Driftwood Resort combines a waterfront location with dense rain forest surroundings in eastern Papua New Guinea. With only seven guest bungalows, it is a peaceful retreat where the focus is the natural beauty of the bay. The resort offers a long menu of fishing expeditions and adventure tours. Napatana Lodge is a traditional-style pole house built with assistance from local craftsmen. Accommodation options consist of timber bungalows facing the bay or budget-friendly guest rooms overlooking the garden. The lodge specializes in eco-tourist adventures that include interaction with local community members and environmental groups, including cultural tours, guided bushwalking and bird watching, and village stay programs. Trans Niugini Tours operates six wilderness lodges in various locations throughout Papua New Guinea. These include the Sepik Spirit, a "floating lodge" offering live-aboard cruises on remote lakes and rivers; the Bensbach Wildlife Lodge with eight guest rooms overlooking a river in a protected bird habitat; and Rondon Ridge, located at 7,100 feet on Kum Mountain.

Luxury Lodging

Two of the most luxurious resorts in Papua New Guinea -- Kalibobo Village and the adjacent Madang Resort -- are owned and operated by Melanesian Tourist Services. Kalibobo Village offers guest rooms, presidential suites, waterfront bungalows and cottages with two or three bedrooms; Madang Resort offers five categories of guest rooms, suites and villas. Guests at either resort enjoy access to the facilities of both. Some exceptional facilities include an Olympic-size salt water pool, a PADI dive shop, a replica of an authentic indigenous Spirit House and a pond filled with tame, hand-fed barramundi at Madang Resort. Kalibobo Village boasts its own luxury yacht which guests may charter for diving, fishing and snorkeling trips and scenic cruises.

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