I have stayed at Senegalstyle 4x and I am here in Senegal now on another trip. I am a satellite technician for a tv company so I bounce around wAfrica a lot. I am not staying there now because she's full but I have in the past and I never wrote a review and she asked me to. I am doing so now because looking at these two below is not the experience I have had.
First of all, I am African. I'm Senegalese but went to school in the US from 14yrs on. I know how irritating it can sometimes be when your have no French or it's not very good (like mine!). I get by and speak Wolof of course and I can stay anywhere I want and bill the company, but I stay with Sineta & Jonathan when I can for one reason, HOME. I'm always in hotels but I don't know anyone there and the passive aggressive staff (at some places) are paid to be nice so when you ask for something, they pretend to like you, then talk about you when you walk away!lol! I speak in English so they think I don't know wolof! I don't have to deal with that at Sineta's place. She's always happy to see you, asks how your day went, listens to your stories, she's more like a mom than a person you are paying to take care of you. If you want to discuss current events or find out what's going on in town, she knows about everything and goes toe to toe with you on politics so don't dish it out if you can't take it!
I love staying there but if you want sheets changed every day or drag her good towels to the beach, she doesn't do that. My mom didn't at my house when I lived at home, I don't do it now and no one else I know does either. Who can honestly say they change their sheets and gets a new towel every single day? That's an incredible complaint to have when staying at a guesthouse a HOME STAY GUEST HOUSE. Read the advertising - it's not a hotel.
The wash lady (a person, not a machine) comes on Sundays and I know that because she washes my clothes too when I'm there. She does a great job and everything is hung outside to dry. There are clothes lines in the back that can clearly be seen from the garden so to suggest that the wash lady should be washing not only all the clothes from the week, but sheets from all the beds slept on by the same person, (not different people - of course they get changed as people leave but if I'm there a week, unless I do something like spill some coffee, she makes the beds and leaves on the sheets I had the night before). And I'm ok with that!!!
Hotels yes, homestays no. That's not how it works in Senegal in private homes. Wash weekly one day, iron the next and African woman has a job instead of being replaced by a machine and life is good.
I didn't plan to do a review about sheets and towels but looking at the other ones, they tried to make it sound like the place is dirty unkempt. Nothing could be further than the truth. As one that routinely gets fussed about taking shoes off coming in, I know first hand that she's meticulous about what matters like food quality, health issues, public places within the house being neat for everyone to enjoy and bathrooms being clean. Oh, there IS TOO an ensuite bathroom with a foot bath even and as she said, the photos are right so I don't know why those girls are saying there are no private bathrooms here.
That is certainly not true.
My recommendation is and always will be 5 out of 5 for Sineta and Senegalstyle - she does an amazing job with what little she charges us and shares with everyone freely. I am an African that is mostly American, she is an American that is mostly African and we get along splendidly. Looking at the other reviews it looks like everyone else loves her as much as I do. Those two needed to stay at the RAadisson because slamming her about sheets and fried bread (French toast??? that's American!) is totally unrealistic.
When I look at a review all I want to know is if the kitchen where my food is being cooked and the overall place is clean. Are the bathrooms clean and in good repair. Is it cool and well ventilated in the summer? Is it in a good neighborhood so I don't have to worry about safety issues? Is it convenient to transportation?
The answer to all the above is YES so don't sweat the small stuff.
And the tours are great and the price is good for this area so again, I totally disagree with those two. They cost $130 basically for long day trips to the villages outside of Dakar, round trip, 6 to 8 hours, with an English speaking driver and guide. If you go with 3 or for people and split the cost it's very cheap. If you go by yourself, it's stil very cheap because the convenience and avoiding the hassle factor makes it worth it.
I've paid $20/$25 for every tour I've taken and I have no problem with that and don't understand what they are complaining of. Should they be free or what? $10 tours for 6 to 8 hours outside of Dakar? Totally unrealistic. Not in Senegal.
To sum this up, Sineta is human after all, not a machine and she does an amazing job all by herself. I'm Senegalese and I know for a fact every single household here has at least one maid and/or cook. She doesn't have any domestic help other than the wash lady. I asked her why and she said it's because she can clean faster and better. It's true I have seen it so leave her alone when she needs it and let her do her thing.
Just treat her and her staff as you'd like to be treated and you'll have a great time!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- NOTE: Pls contact us directly as the booking agencies do not have our calendar of availability. GREETINGS from DAKAR, SENEGAL, WEST AFRICA! Try something different and live with a REAL FAMILY! Our prices are now LOWER THAN EVER BEFORE! For travelers on a TIGHT BUDGET our HOMESTAY GUESTHOUSE MODEL makes Senegal an even MORE AFFORDABLE PLACE to visit for ECONOMY TRAVELERS & BACKPACKERS! Clean, comfortable and most importantly, BUG FREE! SenegalStyle HOMESTAY B&B is usually full so BOOK IN ADVANCE (€40 a night PER PERSON w/breakfast!) to reserve your room! Our rates make SenegalStyle perfect for PER DIEM Embassy & NGO TRAVELERS here for CONFERENCES & TEMPORARY WORK SCHEDULES! American Owned and ENGLISH SPEAKING, our guesthouse is NEAR EVERYTHING with only a 10 min walk to YOFF & BCEAO Beaches, we're close to Dakar Airport & offer BILINGUAL GUIDES(English/Italian/French/Japanese AND Spanish) who will meet you AT THE AIRPORT, (€23) & bring you to SenegalStyle or accompany you to villages & other places outside of the city! Other Guest Services include our TOP RATED SenegalStyle TOURS & DAY TRIPS, NEW RESIDENT 'Welcome Wagon' Services, Taxi Transport and SenegalStyle FRENCH, WOLOF, ARABIC LANGUAGE Program & our Top Rated SenegalStyle AFRICAN DRUM Lessons! Schools INCLUDE room accommodation, 2 meals, laundry service & FREE WIFI so bring your laptop or other wireless device! TOP RATED TOURS for SOLO TRAVELERS & GROUPS made SenegalStyle the 2011, 2013, 2014 Certificate of Excellence Winner & 2015 TRAVELER'S CHOICE AWARD! Ask me about budget flights to Dakar and for late night arrivals, I STONGLY RECOMMEND our AIRPORT PICKUP SERVICE! SenegalStyle B&B HomeStay GuestHouse... You're in good hands at a GREAT PRICE! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Senegalstyle Hotel Dakar
- Senegalstyle Bed And Breakfast