Stayed at the pioneer for 7 days and enjoyed ever minute of it. The hotel is a wonderful trip back in time, with the wooden porches and rocking chairs and all of the old features. I had read the reviews prior to our stay and thought it was a kind of 'marmite' experience of love or hate it, but I found the place wonderful. We stayed in a room overlooking Banyan park with views of the ocean, you could sit on the balcony and watch the world go by, great people watching. You could hear the entertainment from Front street bars at night. We even saw several whales breaching out in the ocean from our balcony. One thing to be wary of is the noise of the birds every night at dusk and at dawn roosting in the trees in the park as they can be noisy if you are a light sleeper.
The hotel itself is basic in comparison to some, but this is purely down to the historical nature of the building,, but this does not detract from the service and comfort.. that said I do feel that the bed linens and towels could be improved upon. However the bed was extremely comfortable. The air conditioning was very noisy, so we did not use, but the ceiling fan was just as good during the night for us. The court yard and pool area seems to be a bit of a damp squib as it seemed to be rarely used during the time we were there and this would be perfect for residents to eat breakfast or other meals as opposed to th Pioneer Grill which is attached to the hotel. We did experience a slight issue one morning where we were sent to the back of a line outside, when entering the dining area for the hotel side. I was slightly bemused by this as a hotel resident so brought this up with Katherine on the desk and it was something she was not aware of, but soon remedied. There is a discount of 15% for hotel guests eating in the restaurant, but you are required to get a discount card each time from reception. The meals we ate at the grill were good, service was varied, and slightly impersonal at times, but overall good with regular entertainment from the resident parrot.
The hotel is situated right on the harbour front in the centre of Lahania and ideal to be able to walk to an assortment of shops, restaurants and attractions. Car parking is free, but you require a pass for reception and it is across the road in a public car park. We never had any difficulties parking during our stay, but this may be different at busy times of the year.
I would certainly return to The pioneer and recommend it for anyone for a short stay, who has a interest in historical buildings and happy to move away from the blandness of big chain hotels less