When it comes to accommodation in the world’s least visited country, Nauru, choices are pretty limited. The small pacific island country has three accommodation options for the couple of hundred of tourists the country gets in a year. It has two hotels (Menen and Od N Aiwo) and one Air B&B.
The Menen Hotel (also called Menem Hotel sometimes) is certainly the best accommodation available on the island. While you might read certain reports saying that the place is dreadful with Lonely Planet saying that you have to lower your expectations when you get there and people comparing it with concrete shells in Aleppo, things are looking up for half of the professional accommodation in Nauru!
The hotel is located in the Meneng region of the island, which is in the south-western part of the island, just below Anibare Bay. It is about a 15 minute drive from the airport or an hour walk. Everybody knows about it and it shows on all maps. The hotel also organise a shuttle bus to pick up people heading there after each flights.
As last year was the 50th anniversary of the country and this year is the 50th anniversary of the hotel, a vast renovation project has been launched at the hotel and a new general manager has been hired. Things have changed drastically. The hotel got the coat of fresh paint it direly needed, the rooms have been refurbished and activities have been organised, which makes the Menen hotel an interesting option for your stay in Nauru.
You won’t find Menen Hotel on booking.com and the likes, you’ll have to contact them by phone or email and either make a reservation with a wire-transfer payment or tell them you’ll pay in cash upon arrival. The reservation confirmation Menen Hotel can provide you by email is also required to get a visa for Nauru. It might be a headache to get your reservation sorted, but we’ll take care of that if you are joining any YPT tour to Nauru!
The Menen Hotel has all kinds of different rooms, with the twin rooms being quite comfortable, equipped with televisions, fridges and microwave ovens. A room at the Menen hotel will set you back approximately $165 AUD. The rooms are old but have been refreshed and are a much better alternative to the other hotel of Nauru
The hotel has a surprising number of facilities available for you. It has, for example, a convenience store, a bar, a bottle shop to purchase liquor and one of the best restaurants in town. The hotel is also the host of one of the four ATMs (linked to the Australian Bendigo Bank) in the country.
Things are not perfect yet and the renovations are a work in progress, the swimming pool is empty and so is the gym, but the general manager has informed us that these things would come back soon. In the meantime, you can easily swim in the beach, right behind the hotel!
Get internet in Nauru
Menen Hotel is the one place where one can get high-speed and reliable internet in the whole country. It is not cheap but for $20 AUD for a day, $50 for a week and $100 for a month, you can stay connected during your stay on the Pleasant Island.
A bunch of services
Menen Hotel is also a great launchpad for your activities around the Republic of Nauru. The lovely staff there can help you rent a car or a scooter from a local, find you a local guide to prepare an expedition inland but also do your laundry at a very reasonable price. Note that it is also possible to rent surfboards and surf right behind the hotel, where the waves are actually quite good.
The heart of Nauru’s nightlife
On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Menen’s hotel reef bar comes alive and is the place to be for nice beach parties. The hotel is also a short walk away from Anibare Bay, which is considered by the locals like the best place to swim and the location of The Bay restaurant, which certainly serves some of the best food on the island.
All in all, as long as you don’t expect the Ritz or a Four Points, we at YPT believe that the Menen Hotel is a very decent place to stay, considering the places we do tour to and really appreciate the enthusiasm of the local team!