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“Could do better” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Esplanada

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Hotel Esplanada
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3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Avenida da Portugal, Dili, East Timor   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 19 Hotels in Dili
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Could do better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2013

The glittering reviews this hotel has received are obviously from chain smokers with a liking for grim towels, amateurish service and probably fancy the attractive Aussie manager who is often seen with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. The pool wasn't working all week and I received a 20 per cent discount from accommodation. At least, I think I did. The receipt I received from the rather surly woman at reception merely said 'accommodation and meals' and a figure. I had to schlepping my bags outside and find a taxi myself. At least there was fresh air there whereas the wonderful balcony bar and restaurant would be a continuous fug if it weren't open to the elements. Timorese men smoke heavily and were joined by the development set, mostly young and cocky, who smoked as if there was no tomorrow.when eating, I had to move constantly because of the smoking - something the Europeans and Aussies who were the main culprits would not be allowed to do in their own countries. Bringing cancer and diabetes is not the way to develop Timor Leste. The staff were nice but need training. All this for $100 a night. They need to do better!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
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235 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Indonesian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Nice, France
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

I use Tripadvisor a lot when selecting hotels, and when going to East-Timor this was the first place I came. I read the great reviews and thought I made the right choice - they are wrong! There is NO WAY that this place deserves to be top of the list. NO WAY. Here's why:
- The bathroom is a health hazard (see my photos, which hopefully load). Way below minimum standards for any hotel, or hovel. This sink is disgusting. The shower is...well...words fail me. A hole in the roof with a bucket would be more sanitary.
- The bedroom is just about big enough to squeeze around the sides of the bed to get to the bathroom. There is a tiny fridge in there, but I didn't risk putting stuff in the dirty old thing. In saying this though, the bedroom is the best part of the place. The A/C does work, and there is a fan (see photo)
- The pool is a pond. Green with algae. I did see someone swim in it... But they must have been out in the sun too long! You can barely see the sides of the pool even a few inches below the surface, and you definitely can't see the bottom.
- The people on the front desk are a sour bunch. Except for 'Romeo', who seems a happy chap, the rest are unhelpful and can't even be bothered to say 'hello' when you arrive, or 'goodbye' when you check out. Horrible.
- The veranda restaurant/bar is pretty average. Food is average too. And this is the only place you can get free internet access, otherwise it's USD 10 per 56 Mb from the rooms. So you find a constant crowd of users huddled over their laptops up there. But then, the access gets a bit patchy with so many people trying to use it.
- Laundry is a joke. USD 2 per item. But it's a sorry joke. Hardly looks different when you get it back.
- Whatever you do, don't walk around the room bare foot. I wear socks. The first evening my socks started off grey. By bed time the soles were black. Do they ever actually clean the floors? Seems not. Not so sure they change the sheets between guests either. My room was made up for the next arrivals when I left and the same sheets were on that I has slept in all week. Yuk!
You getting the idea? And all this for USD 110 per night, plus 5% if you want to pay by CC.
My colleagues were staying a bit further down the coast at the Arbiru Beach Hotel for the same price, except that internet was free from the rooms, and laundry was free too. And the apartments they got were huge. Kitchen, dining area, office space, big bedroom, big bathroom, and a pool that was actually not a pond. There is even a proper reception area, and security. So there's one place better for a start.
I also visited the Hotel Timor, and that is even better. So there's 2 better than the crappy Esplanada without even trying.
The Esplanada was packed though - probably after reading Tripadvisor reviews. But please, believe me. If going to Dili, try the other places first. This is last resort territory!
What can I say that's good? Mmmmm...they take credit cards (for a price). It's opposite the beach (like most hotels down this way). It's walking distance to some OK restaurants/bars, which is good since taxi's stop when the sun goes down (oh yes they do, and the sun goes down early out there). There is some live music 1-2 times a week (beats Pub Quizzes which are popular in other hotel bars).
You do get a bottle of water each day in your room. Use it. Don't drink the local water (in case I need to state the obvious).
Oh, breakfast. The stuff on the 'buffet' is basic to say the least ('buffet' is over statement of the millenium). But you can order scrambled egg and a few other items from the menu. It's OK. You won't starve, and I didn't get sick while I was there.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashttravel, Manager at Hotel Esplanada, responded to this review, November 3, 2013
Dear Bob,

We are very sorry to read your review of Esplanada and we apologise for your experience with us. However we find it strangely inconsistent with all of the regular feedback we receive from our clients regarding our accommodation and the services we provide.

We personally inspected the room you were staying in and did not find the standards you described. All of our rooms are currently being refurbished and whilst your quarters have not been completed as yet, the shower fittings and tiling is new.

The sizing of the rooms as described by you is also hard to concede with the area of the rooms being approximately the same size. Yes, our double room beds are large extra king sized – but we have also had families stay with us with an extra mattress provided and guests are more than happy with the arrangements. Please see the link from one of our clients entitled;

“A great visit with family”

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g297517-d567842-r181418242-Hotel_Esplanada-Dili_Dili_District.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT

With so many other detailed comments, we will try and approach them in series:

We do regret the state of the swimming pool during your stay. One of the difficulties in running any operation in Timor is the inconsistent access to quality materials and supplies and for the past month Dili has been out of stock of pool chlorine and a variety of other commodities. An emergency shipment of pool chemicals arrived from Australia for the Hotel a few days post your departure and we have had technicians rectify the situation to bring the pool back to it’s regular sparkling self.

Cargo ships from Darwin have been periodically delayed and Dili has been completely out of pool chlorine (all suppliers and fellow pool owners), along with milk and a variety of other stables. The chlorine was ordered from Darwin on the 17 September 2013 and received on the 29 October. In the interim, whilst algae levels were hard to control and led to water discolouration our maintenance staff kept all pool water levels PH balanced with high salt levels making it perfectly safe for swimming, if unsightly. As an added precaution for future supply difficulties we now stockpile all pool chemicals in shipments directly from Australia.

Dedicated WIFI internet access is free for all hotel guests at Esplanada and we have no records of you being charged for internet usage. Upstairs in the bar/restaurant we provide a separate free internet access point for other clients and you are right that it has become a de-facto office hub for many Dili international workers as free WIFI access is in very short supply here. Please forward (via email scan) any charges for your wifi and we will refund you immediately, we simply haven't got any records of this and we have not charged hotel guests for internet access for many months. Therefore if you were charged it was unauthorised and we would need to investigate this further once we received the documentation.

All rooms are cleaned daily and linen is changed every 2-3 days depending on the number of guests occupying the room. As a solo traveler your linen would have been changed on your third day of stay and we most definitely change all linen and clean upholstery between guest check-ins.

The hotel has been fully occupied for the past three months and because of intermittent access to the rooms we often rely on guests alerting us to any problems that occur. Rest assured had you mentioned the broken light fitting in your bathroom it would have been fixed promptly by our maintenance staff at any time during the day or night. This however is no excuse, as the cleaning staff should have brought it to the maintenance managers attention. All cleaning staff have been receiving training to implement their regular room inspection regime. We apologise for this, but we would have greatly appreciated you brining it to our attention so we could have fixed it immediately.

We cater to a wide variety of clientele from business travellers and international consultants to holidaymakers and intrepid tourists. Many government ministries and NGO’s regularly make use of Esplanada to accommodate visiting international workers and while we zealously welcome people who choose to stay with us through TripAdvisor recommendations, our reputation is also earned beyond these pages.

We regret that you did not make your opinions known to us whilst you were a guest here as we would have gone out of our way to redress any services that you felt were substandard. You would have seen the great gusto at which we would have addressed your concerns which may have influenced your review.

Further to that, as with any of our clients, when we make mistakes we not only rectify them we make it up to the client where ever we can. This can come in the form of a complimentary meal or some other form of acknowledgement of our sincere regret at disappointing our clients.

We have already had a few staff meeting regarding your review and we will definitely benefit from your feedback. The staff are extremely disappointed we didn't measure up!

We also thank you for taking the time to write this review, it has obviously taken some time and effort and we appreciate that you made that commitment to give us feedback. We will definitely take it all on board.

All we can ask is to give us another chance if you visit Dili again and allow us to make it up to you. We are close team and we take it personally if we disappoint clients. We are confident that you would have a terrific experience should you choose to stay with us again. We hope we can meet again and remedy the situation.

All the best, take care and happy travels,

From all the team at Hotel Esplanada.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

I recently spent 3 months in Timor Leste for work and stayed at the 'Espy' where I felt so welcome and comfortable. It is a fabulous hotel - on the beach with great views, comfortable, light and airy, spacious rooms.The deck, bar, restaurant area is the best 'living room' you could ever want and the garden, pool area is brilliant. The service is great, so warm and friendly. The staff, owner, Ash, and the manager, Alex, provide such a friendly,welcoming atmosphere. I absolutely love this place and will always want to stay there on future trips to TL.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

Fantastic! Situated next to the beach in the heart of Dili, Hotel Esplanada offers respite from the occasional hustle and bustle of Dili. I stayed there for an extended amount of time with work and got to know the hotel and the friendly staff well. It has a beautiful open air restaurant that over looks the beach which makes it a perfect place to relax with drinks as the sun sets in the evening. Clean modern rooms that have everything you need, with a pool only a few steps away. Strongly recommend.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2013

This is my third time in Dili and my first stay at The Esplanada. I had a wonderful time and met many people in the pool area and upstairs in the restaurant. The lobby has many art works from various Timorese artist. I purchased a few pieces and actually met one of the artists that is part of a local band that plays in the restaurant area once a week.

I am away from home periodically with my work and it can be difficult to be away from my family. The Esplanada showed me every courtesy and hospilaity. which was a great distraction.

The rooms are great and food is reasonab;y priced and delicious. The serice is amonget the best I have received.

I intend to bring my family next time.

Thanks to Ashley and the team at The Esplanada.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2013

Had a great time in Dili. The place is awesome and a nice pool for relaxing after a hot day in the sun. A great escape from the hustle and bustle of Dili as soon as you enter you feel relaxed. The food is awesome. Ash the owner is a great help and very hospitable. The rooms are clean and staff friendly. Totally didn't expect this in DIli.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the main road if you are worried about noise during the day.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013

This year my children and I stayed at Hotel Esplanada again and we have really enjoyed our stay. My children love the pool, and the new Balinese style furniture, including a daybed, has made the pool area look 4 star. This year, there were no outdoor business meetings so my children could be as loud, within reason, as they liked.
We had 2 occasions when I required assistance in our hotel room, fridge not working and toilet not flushing, and these requests were acted upon immediately. (And were easily fixed)
Romeo, the proprietor, is friendly and helpful. The staff in the restaurant were wonderful: cheerful and helpful. We will definitely be back next year.

Room Tip: There is a gift shop in the foyer selling beautiful tais items that are very reasonably priced. Also...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Esplanada

Address: Avenida da Portugal, Dili, East Timor
Location: East Timor > Dili District > Dili
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 19 Hotels in Dili
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Esplanada 3*
Number of rooms: 34
Also Known As:
Esplanada Hotel Dili

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