A hotel surely ripe for closure

1032 Reviews

Star Travel Rating

1/5

Review type

Accommodation

Location

Date of travel

January, 2024

Product name

Amazone Hotel

Product country

Benin

Product city

Bohicon

Travelled with

Couple

Reasons for trip

Culture/Sightseeing

When the most positive feature of a hotel is the strength of the WiFi, it’s not a good sign.
The Amazone Hotel in Bohican, Benin, was a last-minute replacement for the Sun City Hotel in nearby Abomey which had closed down.

The rudimentary check-in provided a key card with masking tape wrapped round it and the room number scrawled in thick felt pen. We were then escorted through a large empty car park to the rear of the hotel, and then down a narrow alley with building work on one side and crates of empty bottles on the other. There was no lift to our first-floor room (149) but help with our bags was provided.

The room was spacious but appeared unready for us with the bedding simply folded on the bed, and only one towel in the bathroom. Eventually the bed was made, and a second towel was found, which was not exactly bath sized and comprised of two old towels sewn together with a ragged seam.

The somewhat saggy mattress was in a wooden frame with sharp corners jutting out at the bottom, just at the right height for catching your knee on. Because the air conditioning was operated by the key card, the room was stiflingly hot, and the noisy overhead fan was switched on. There were bedside tables, but no lights and the wardrobe contained three battered metal hangers and could be locked in the absence of a safe. There was also a dark brown two-seater leather sofa, wall unit, dining table with chairs, a TV, and an empty, unplugged fridge. Plug points were a little inaccessible, and there was no complimentary water or tea and coffee making facilities.

A small balcony without any seating overlooked a partially built swimming pool.

The long, narrow bathroom had an open shower, complete with bucket, with water that dribbled either tepid or very hot. The single bar of soap was the only complimentary toiletry and there was no hairdryer.

Our inclusive meals were taken in the large and rather desolate restaurant which had large tables for six or eight. There was a kitchen sink in the corner of the restaurant which made it seem a little domestic.

The menu, in French, was relatively limited with lots of unfamiliar dishes and as we quickly discovered not everything was available. A lunchtime chicken sandwich and salade compose wasn’t exactly what we expected, and the salad dressing came in an empty water bottle.

Having waited an hour for lunch, despite being the only guests, we pre-ordered dinner and having gone down early for an aperitif, found the food placed immediately in front of us. As the bolognaise sauce wasn’t available, I’d opted for chicken with the spaghetti which comprised of spicy pasta with a bony chicken leg on top along with cubed potatoes, green beans, and carrots. The filet de boeuf was no better, with chunks of dry, tough meat accompanied by tepid French fries and a little sauce on the side.

The bar was very limited and just had beers (although I discovered a bottled shandy) and soft drinks. Our lunchtime water had been served with half pint tankards but in the evening, we were given wine glasses with the bottled beer.

Our trip coincided with the Africa Cup of Nations and football was being shown on the TV. The staff were engrossed and cheering noisily until 8.45pm when there was a power cut. We were plunged into total darkness and all the staff disappeared. Fortunately, I had the light from my laptop screen but 45 minutes later, I ventured out and found the English-speaking manager who said he’d been told there was no one in the restaurant. As the generator had failed, and needed repairing, we requested candles which were delivered along with a round of drinks with a written message translated by Google as ‘the two fish that I just brought to you were by the boss’. Eventually at 10pm the power returned, and we took the opportunity to leave, but having got into bed, it went off seven minutes later, but we’re not sure how long it was for as we fell asleep.

Breakfast was no better and we were served cups and saucers containing a mint tea bag, and individual sachets of coffee, powdered milk, an energy drink and four sugar cubes along with a flask of hot water. Why they didn’t just ask what we wanted remains a mystery. Eventually, without ordering, we were served tasteless French bread and a small, thin omelette. Whilst I enjoyed mine, my husband wasn’t happy with the preponderance of spicy green chillies, bearing in mind we had a long car journey to follow.

We were pleased we only stayed for the one night and as we were the only guests, suspect it may quickly be following the route of the Sun City.

Helen Jackson

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