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“Staff is trying hard, beach is beautiful and managers have a great story.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Monaco Plage

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Hotel Monaco Plage
Bel Air Hann | BP 10898, Dakar CP2218, Senegal (Formerly Belair Plage)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #32 of 41 Hotels in Dakar
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Staff is trying hard, beach is beautiful and managers have a great story.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2011

Staff is trying hard, beach is beautiful and managers have a great story.

My business partner and I stayed at Monaco Plage Hotel this past week. I booked there because the other hotels in town were full for a conference. It’s on a slightly out of the way beach, but once you get over a few things, it’s actually a pretty good place.

Things to get over include the industrial zone you must drive through to get to it and the bad smell you experience in the taxi created by the fish plant next door. But the beach is actually quite lovely and the managers, who recently arrived from Morocco with their children, are working hard to help the staff achieve greater standards with the hotel.

Hotel Monaco has it’s plus’ and minus, but if you can get over them, it’s actually quite lovely.

If you go, say hi to Laure and Stephen the managers, Aisa and Amina the waitresses and Christian the night manager and be sure to try to filet du boeuf.

Room Tip: fitness room plenty of new towels
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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16 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
New York
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2011

I tried to like this place. i really did. At first, I thought the beach was nice, if a little dirty. But what the photos don't show is Hotel Monaco Plage (better known by taxi drivers for its adjoining hotel, Voile D'Or) is in a massive industrial area and about 100 yards from a huge container freight terminal with noisy trucks, tank farms, etc. I thought, OK, that's not so bad, I don't mind watching shipping.
But the Portuguese fish-rendering plant right next door to the hotel (and I mean right next door) has an industrial chimney that spews nauseating smoke, and depending on wind conditions, suffuses the beach in a wretched, stinking fog, driving swimmers out of the water. I complained to the hotel about the stink, which on one occasion made me nauseous and start to actually choke, but was told it's no big deal, it's just fish. There's also a small effluent pipe coming from the plant pouring into the ocean about 50 yards from the hotel. You can taste the stink in the food and it gets in your clothes.
There were other problems:
* I used Booking.com to reserve and shortly after received a note from the hotel suggesting I pre-arrange transportation from the airport to the hotel for 25 euros. I agreed and asked that the driver meet me outside the terminal with a sign bearing my name. This was agreed. I was prepared for no one to show up, and of course I was right -- no driver. So I ran the gantlet of taxi touts at 5 in the morning and picked the least aggressive guy I could find. Turned out the fare was about $15.
* When I arrived my room wasn't ready so the staff took me to the adjacent Voile D'Or where I was put in a dreary, unpleasant room, but I was able to get a few hours sleep. After a few negotiations I was finally able to get into my room around 1 p.m. -- however, it had no ocean view, which I paid extra for (I complained about this and about $8 a night was knocked off the bill).
^ The hotel is not really good value for money, despite being cheaper than other Dakar hotels. For instance, the tap water is as one would expect not potable, but the hotel doesn't provide any clean drinking water -- you have to buy it from the bar for about $3 for a 1.5 liter bottle, which is more than I pay in New York. The restaurant is good, but expensive. A cheese pizza was 5,000 XFR, which is about $12. That's the same price that's charged at the much fancier Le Meridien Almadies conference center, where I am staying now. Also, I exchanged a small amount of money at the hotel and was given a very low exchange, 400 XFR to the dollar when the going rate was 465. Sure, I know the hotel needs to make money, but in a small place like this you don't expect to be gouged. Also, couldn't the hotel provide small in-room refrigerators to keep the $3 water bottles cold? The grim room I slept in at Voile D'Or had one.
* Rooms are dreary and air-con has been geared so it will only stay running for about 20 minutes at a time, so at night you keep waking up in a sweat to turn the AC back on. Also, there are mosquitos, as expected, but couldn't the hotel provide mosquito nets?
* Power is inconsistent and the hotel's generator is very loud, and the power failures also interfere with the air-con.
* It's not the hotel's fault, but the ocean is full of trash. A couple of times I found myself surrounded by plastic bags, bottles, debris etc. I can forgive this in West Africa, but if you are turned off by it you won't enjoy yourself here.
I can say a few good things about this place:
* Grounds are kept spotlessly clean.
* Rooms (at least my room) was kept spotlessly clean.
* Staff seems friendly and eager to please. Some English is spoken, but you will do better with French.
* Hotel and beach are popular with Senegalese, who are welcoming and friendly. Generally not too many hustlers to bother you. I enjoyed, from the ocean, watching the spontaneous soccer games break out and the boxing and wrestling teams training and practicing.
* The colorful, long Senegalese fishing boats are busy most days pulling in fish just off the beach. You can see eagles, fishhawks, kites, ibis, kittiwake and all sorts of birds catching fish and hovering over the boats.
The final word here is that I've done a lot of traveling on every continent and this hotel was almost below my tolerance level. So if you are sensitive to any of the problems I described you won't enjoy yourself here. Even if you do book this hotel, I suggest you do it only for one night to see if you like it. Three days here was two days too long for me, so for heaven's sake don't book a week's vacation here sight unseen.

Room Tip: Try to get a room on the second floor with an ocean view. Don't stay in room 121.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MonacoPlage, Gérant at Hotel Monaco Plage, responded to this review, October 24, 2011
Dear B,

First, Laure and I would like to thank you for your comment and appologize the inconveniance you experienced during your stay. You clearly relate facts with objectivity. This can never be objected and is always constructive.

We are working to improve the service and the facility. On other aspects like the surroundings, we unfortunately do not have much handle.

For the service: Laure, 2 receptionnist and myself are the only persons fluent in English. We are working on modifying the organisation and/or hirring French/English/Spanish speaking staff. In any event, we gave instructions to the front desk so that they call us in case or urgent need. Laure and I reside onsite.

The cleanliness of the site and of the shore is for us a constant effort of control and education of our staff to improve the cleaning-up, even in all and every corner. In 4 months since our arrival, customers have seen an improvement. You tell us that we still need to improve. We are and we will continue. As you say, West-African countries, and more generaly Africa, do not have the same standards. Laure and I have travelled in 6 stars to 0 star hotels in many countries and try to transmit what international cleanliness standard are.

Along with this effort, we are renewing all the rooms and will later renew all the outsides. For budget reasons, we will complete the renewall of the rooms in a couple of months from now.

The exchange rates we propose at the hotel include the taxis to/from the banks. Considering your impression, we may reconsider the rates as it's not at all our objective to earn money out of this service.

Now the surroundings of the Monaco Plage... The nice thing is that the winds turn east when the rain season ends which suppresses the inconveniance of the smokes. But... no miracle, when july comes, the smokes are back until october. Besides that, there is nothing else to say but your words. We are inside Dakar city with the advantages and inconveniances of it.

Thank you again for your comment. We have discussed your comment this morning with our staff. It will definitely help us all to improve our customer experience.

Best regards,

Stéphane & Laure
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2011

Been surprised by this piece of paradise. Located in an industrial suburb of Dakar, I was kind of worred when said by the taxi driver that we were getting there. But once you enter the place, it's gorgious !!!! The beach is definitely one of the only nice beaches of Dakar.White thin sand, palm trees... LOVED IT!!!!
Rooms are fair. Chose a room with view on the ocean. The nice thing is the restaurant. It's really high level. You have to try!
Too bad they've not translated the menu in English. That's a global comment by the way, not so many English speaking staff. Oh well, we've managed it ok anyway.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
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Additional Information about Hotel Monaco Plage

Address: Bel Air Hann | BP 10898, Dakar CP2218, Senegal (Formerly Belair Plage)
Location: Senegal > Dakar Region > Dakar
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #32 of 41 Hotels in Dakar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 34
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