I spent three weeks in Dakar for field research and stayed at the Hotel du Phare Les Marmelles in a simple room with A/C. It is located in a quiet suburb of Dakar, 10min from the airport and 20min from downtown by taxi. The trip was very successful, which in part was due to the hotel.
The simple rooms are simple, but suffice for backpackers. Travelers seeking more comfort should rent one of the spacious suits with an own bathroom. The rooms and the whole hotel are cleaned everyday and the patio invites guests to spend the evening enjoying a drink and delicious meal (Belgian Cuisine). The staff is very friendly and helpful -- no matter if you need help figuring out how to get to a specific place in Dakar, need help arranging transportation into the country, or simply need an early breakfast or lunch to go.
This is topped-off by the free wireless internet access that works throughout the hotel and the interesting people that check into this place. During my stay I have meet a malaria-researcher from Britain, a journalist from France24, a French aid worker, Moroccan transportation managers, and a US-entrepreneur over dinner, each giving me insights to aspects of the country, live and business in Senegal I would have never gotten if I had stayed at one of the big western-stile and considerably more expensive hotels downtown.
In short, I can recommend this hotel to all travelers looking for a hotel in Dakar that is excellent value and seeking more than just the standard tourist experience of Senegal.
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