This hotel markets itself as 5 stars but the reality is very different.
Despite being open for almost 12 months not all restaurants or leisure facilities are available.
Compared to other hotels in Luanda the rooms are an improvement but staff are very lacking in the basics, food is way below the quality of other Luanda hotels and there seems to be an acceptance that business travellers will just "put up with it" as there are few alternatives.
The restaurant staff are obsessed( to the point of having OCDs!) with removing plates when you have finished and, on most occasions before you have finished eating!They seem to think that having the correct cutlery is more important than serving food at a reasonable or safe temperature! Traveling to anywhere in West Africa requires you to be extremely diligent when dealing with food and the suggestion of lukewarm sea food being re-heated is just not acceptable.
The Italian restaurant has all the trapping of a fine venue however, waiting staff have limited or no basic English yet are expected to take food orders. There was one occasion when the main arrived seconds after the starter and they simply took the starters away despite the fact that we were still eating them??
We had to send our food back on both occasions that we ate there as it was just above fridge temperature. The restaurant manager is obviously very frustrated with the kitchen and waiting staff yet, 1 year on and nothing has improved?
The $85 buffet looks reasonable (if way overpriced) on the surface but what gives them the idea that food will remain warm when it's sitting on a serving area that is not kept anywhere near the correct or safe temperature? Compared to the Tropico buffet, this is a very poor selection and depending on the night you go there, there is either a cold starter with mains to be ordered or all the mains are laid out under a 50 watt bulb. They won't explain this to you but other guests are a valuable source of information.
The only time food was even close to being hot was when ordered from the 1st floor bar but even that was borderline on occasions. Club sandwiches are an alternative at $25 a time but don't expect much in the way of quality. The same goes for the other normal hotel bar fare of burgers etc. They don't serve any form of cold sandwich or baguettes so you really are very limited in choice as this stage.
Evenings feature a very entertaining piano player who seems to enjoy his work. A few "Les Dawson" moments add to the entertainment but it's a nice touch. Once again, simple hotel basics of staff awareness would help here. Turn off the house PA playing it's loop of 3 cds all day so the poor man can be heard above the 14th rendition of Celine Dion singing the theme to the Titanic!! Very apt of course. . . .
The pool is very good and there are enough areas outside to get some fresh air rather than stay in the hotel. Public areas are bright and there are plenty of seating areas but the bars allow smoking resulting in a low lying fog over the entire area.
Prices for everything are sky high - as they are throughout Luanda but this is, by far, the most expensive hotel yet.
The basic rooms are good, clean and the air con works but for almost $500 per night, you would expect more.
More hotels in the area should increase competition, raise standards and reduce costs but, so far, that's just not happening in Luanda. The management need to take an objective look at this hotel and consider the long term damage to the reputation of their brand and explain how on earth they were allowed to market themselves as a five star establishment?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- EPIC SANA Luanda Hotel offers 219 rooms and 19 suites. For business or extended stays, the hotel offers 50 SANA Residence one-bedroom and two-bedroom serviced apartments. Food and beverage facilities include 5 restaurants and 4 bars. An extended Wellness Club & Spa offers an array of facilities, including outdoor/ indoor swimming pools, Turkish bath, sauna, Jacuzzi, Vichy shower, spa treatments and massage service. The hotel meeting and conference centre has nine meeting rooms and boardrooms. ... more less
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