Excellent French food in a Togolese Hotel

1032 Reviews

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Date of travel

January, 2024

Product name

Hotel Sarakawa

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Our first two nights in Togo were spent at the Hotel Sarakawa in the capital, Lomé.

The hotel was large with nearly 200 rooms of different types, with ours being a reasonable size but overlooking the road side, rather than beach side. The very hard large bed squeaked terribly when you moved, but there were good bedside lights, tables and plugs requiring adapters. There was an empty fridge, lots of hanging and shelving space, desk and chair and two occasional chairs with coffee table. Blue and white curtains had a seaside theme, and tea and coffee making facilities were available but only for one person. WiFi in the room was virtually non-existent, but the air conditioning worked well.

The light and bright modern bathroom had a walk-in shower with powerful hot water, and a good hairdryer/mirror combination, but only one set of towels.

Our stay coincided with the Africa Cup of Nations, which I’d describe as Africa’s World Cup, and what was a lovely large bar area had three TV screens constantly showing games, plus a huge screen with games projected onto it. On either side of the screen, were two mannequins dressed in the strips of the sides playing, and a huge league chart was being filled with the results.

The hotel’s website boasted that ‘catering orchestrated by our Executive Chef, Claude Adjetey, will leave you breathless both by its quality and its diversity’.

On our first night we ate in the gourmet restaurant Dawa-Dawa which provided the best, most refined and most expensive food in our five-week trip. Proffered menus were in French and just as I was using Google to laboriously translate, I realised they must have one in English, which they did, although we were told the prices were a little outdated. We began with warm bread and butter and an amuse bouche of a mini quiche, a shot of something green, and salmon with cream cheese. We shared a prawn salad to start, which helpfully came divided on two plates, before continuing the fishy theme with scallops on a galette of mashed potato with Reblochon and a huge piece of beautifully cooked salmon with tomato tagliatelle. With a large bottle of water and no puddings, we signed for 41,400 CFA or £54.

After splashing out on the first night, we ate in the casual Sika Sika restaurant which served a buffet. After a salad bar start, there was an indoor BBQ manned by a very jolly chef who offered beef skewers, sausage, baby chicken and salmon, with sides of rice, tapioca couscous, ratatouille, cassava fries and fried plantain. There was a simple selection of desserts and fruit. This meal was slightly cheaper at £41.

The breakfast buffet had cereals, yoghurt, fresh fruits, and all the components for a full English with Merguez sausages being a nod to the French. The latter were delicious stuffed into a French baguette kept warm in an oven along with croissant. There was also excellent ham and wonderfully runny, ripe Brie, with the coffee also being the best of the trip.

The hotel was located by the sea in a park of 25 hectares, surrounded by coconut trees and different species of West African plants. A long path, past a model of the Eifel Tower, led to the beach which looked very much like a working beach as we could see a fishing net being hauled in.

An Olympic sized pool and surrounding area looked inviting with lots of loungers, but unfortunately, we didn’t have time to use it.

On leaving, our guide told us a story about the hotel’s name. In 1974, President Gnassingbe Eyadema survived a plane crash near Lome’s Sarakawa Region, which killed many on board. He believed that his attempted assassination had been plotted in the German Tropicana Hotel which he had closed down building a new hotel in 1980 which he named Sarakawa.

Helen Jackson

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