While the hotel probably is the nicest place in Djibouti I was extremely disappointed with the quality of service for the price I paid. This hotel offers the standard atmosphere and amenities of a 5 star hotel but it's far from 5 star quality. I booked a 2 person junior suite for 2 nights. I took advantage of their websites offer to book early online and receive a 30% discount. Even with the discount I'm still wondering why I paid so much money. At check in the gentleman asked me who I booked through...I booked on the hotel's website and already gave him the confirmation print out. He had no idea what to do and just stood there for much too long until he finally went to ask for assistance after I asked repeatedly asked if there was a problem.
I finally got my key. The room was quite spacious. I love it when hotels provide slippers. The junior suite provides a loveseat (pillows were stained), huge windows (hand a face prints all over), desk (standard) and a king size bed (very comfortable but again, pillows were stained). The bathroom had an average (not on par with 5-star) toilet, bidet (again not on par), bathtub (rusty water, tired to flush it out but it stained the tub so I gave up), shower (showerhead was from the ceiling but no wall attachment of detachable handle) and vanity (dirty). Water was yellow and had a bit of a smell, not surprising for this country and bottled water was provided. The full length mirror had hand prints and writing in marker all over it. I killed one small cockroach in the entryway. The room also had the shared door to the next room. Not well insulated so you could hear the other guests TV or talking if you did not have your TV on. I requested a smoke-free room. The room was fine but the hallway reeked of smoke.
Cleanliness is key to a quality service and this hotel has not stepped up to 5-star standards. Even their spa was disappointing, 5-star services at a 2-star execution. It was sadly dirty: fingerprints, dirt and bugs. The massage was average and the facial was the worst I've ever received (I can wash my own face, that's all they did).
The buffet was also a disappointment, nothing like their rivals at the Sheraton here in Djibouti. While there was variety and the bread was quite good, it still lacked that 5-star quality. I also had to argue with the staff to get the breakfast for 2 even though I checked in with 2 guests. For the money I paid both guests deserve the complimentary breakfast. Because I had to go discuss the situation with the front desk, we were late to start breakfast. If I had not grabbed all the food I wanted right away we would have gone hungry. They removed everything at the end of their service time and then tried to kick us out as we were still eating, NOT 5-star service!
Room service is 24hrs but takes time for the food to arrive. I had the smoked salmon sandwich and it was very good.
The pool and casino are nice. The casino unfortunately allows smoking.
Overall I give it 3 stars because it is the nicest thing in Djibouti and has all the services of a 5-star resort. Just don't have high expectations of the service being at a 5-star level. They really should lower their prices for the value you receive.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Away from the busy districts, yet only few minutes from the airport, Djibouti Palace Kempinski is ideally located at a prime beachfront between the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, in a secluded and peaceful setting of palms and bougainvillea. Djibouti Palace Kempinski features a plethora of entertainment amenities, including a fully equipped fitness center, mountain bikes, outdoor swimming pool, mini club, restaurants and bars. Djibouti Palace Kempinski redefines luxury service in the Land of Gods. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Djibouti Palace Kempinski Hotel Djibouti
- Palace Kempinski Hotel Djibouti
- Palace Kempinski Djibouti