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“An excellent hotel, outstanding customer service”

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Djibouti Palace Kempinski
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Djibouti
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 19, 2014 via mobile

The hotel is only few minutes from the airport.
Rooms are clean and calm, perfect for short and longterm stay.
Food is excellent, and customer service is perfect.
An ideal hotel for airline crews and business travelers.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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Thank Ksoukieh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DjiboutiPalace, General Manager at Djibouti Palace Kempinski, responded to this reviewResponded March 25, 2014

Dear Guest,

Greetings from Djibouti Palace Kempinski!

It is an immense pleasure to receive kind comments from you, on TripAdvisor.

We are glad to know that you liked the services and the culinary delights cooked up by the culinary team. We are delighted that you had an enriching experience and our staff members could ensure that you experienced a personal and efficient service in all aspects of the stay.

Guest service is our first priority at Djibouti Palace Kempinski ; therefore your feedback is very important to us. I will share your feedback with my team, it will motivate them to continually deliver excellent services to all our guests.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your experience on TripAdvisor.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Warm regards,

Gilles Longuet
General Manager

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Reviewed March 16, 2014

Why did I pay $275 a night? Because a) I wanted a comfortable room and bed, and b) I wanted a hassle-free stay. The room and bed are indeed comfortable, but the Kempinsky is far from hassle-free. I stayed on 2 non-consecutive nights. Arriving at 5 pm, I was told the room was not ready, although check-in time is from 3pm. Was I offered an explanation or coffee or juice while waiting? Absolutely not. ($275 a night but no welcome drink!) On both stays, the room safe (different rooms) was broken, and on the first stay the air-conditioning was also broken. Getting them fixed was a long-winded Fawlty-Towers style palaver. The management was neither sympathetic nor efficient, and one of the duty managers was arrogant to the point of rudeness.
The room is comfortable, but note there’s nothing in it to welcome the guest – no fruit or anything; and the rooms have no tea/coffee facilities. If you want WiFi, you have to pay extra.
All in all, it’s extremely poor value for money. The management does nothing to make the guest feel welcome.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled solo
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1  Thank tnbms162016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DjiboutiPalace, General Manager at Djibouti Palace Kempinski, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2014

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your comments and feedback about Djibouti Palace Kempinski.
It is true that our services are extended to meet the expectations of our guest and it is unfortunate to read your comments with so many points reoccurring as per your review.
Our company policies ensure that each reoccurring issue is treated on the spot, should there be any and believe action are taken on the spot for any remarks given by our guests.

However our duty supervisor has given his utmost attention and cooperation to remain at your service during your stay, regardless of changing the rooms allocation several times after your request. We strive for efficiency and quality services and I would be glad to welcome you personally on your next visit and ensure you enjoy your stay with us.

Again, thank you for your comments and we remain at your service.

Warm regards,

Gilles Longuet
General Manager

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Reviewed March 9, 2014

One comment up front. I agree that Djibouti is not a standard tourist destination with a long tradition of high quality hotels but my concerns have nothing to do with the regular power failures as this is normal for this part of Africa.

As with many "luxury" hotels, the more you pay, the less you get. We were quite impressed when the hotel's driver came to find us in the passport control line and let us know that he was there for us. As soon as we were dropped off at reception, things started to go downhill. The front desk clerk told us that we would have a nice view from the room - but ended up with a parking lot view. When we asked to change rooms, we were told that we could do so if we paid an additional fee of nearly twice our current room rate (and we were not on a discounted room rate). We stayed put. The beds were quite comfortable and impecably clean. However, the A/C wasn't working correctly and the A/C controls were disabled. The room would cool off and then the A/C would shut off until the room was incredibly hot. Eventually the A/C would turn on again. We called the Front Desk who dispatched engineering. Engineering tried to convince us that the system was working just fine. They just kept arguing that the A/C was working when they were standing in the room telling each other how hot the room was getting. Eventually we were moved but this was a 1.5 hour ordeal between 1:30 and nearly 3am!! The rooms both smelled of smoke even though they were non-smoking rooms. We were told that there were smoking rooms "in the area." We also saw that instead of smoking in non-smoking rooms, people would haul chairs into the halls and smoke there.

The key card system failed six times while we were there. We developed a habit of checking our key upon leaving each time to try to avoid returning to the room to find that they key card didn't work. The last time the card failed, the Front Desk staff had to try five cards before finding one that worked.

Most frustrating was the lack of responsiveness of the Front Desk staff to our issues. Until manager "Andres" took our call, we had regularly been blown off completely or had our concerns trivialized by other managers. In the end, we were comped dinner at one of the delicious but impossibly overpriced hotel restaurants.

Speaking of overpriced (but good) restaurants, we found it endlessly annoying that no member of the staff would readily give us information on restaurants outside of the hotel. They would first ignore our question and point to a hotel restaurant. Eventually they would grudgingly acknowlege that there may, in fact, be restaurants in town but they didn't know where they were (with the exception of the Melting Pot which is out the front gate and to the right.) Eventually, we walked around on our own and found places.

But it wasn't all bad. The hotel is stunningly appointed and is set in a beautiful location - conveniently by the old port. I'll admit that I got pretty cranky about the treatment we received at the hotel and cynically tapped on the fancy "wood" and "stone" highlights and found them to be made of resin...But that's not important. The hotel's appearance is palacial but not well-signed so it's very difficult to find anything (gym/restaurants/ATM - which never worked while we were there/etc.) But there are a lot of really cool meeting knooks with heavy ottoman decor. The infiniti pools were really beautiful and the gym was exceptional for a hotel (it doubles as a subscription health club). One note on the pool is that it is often filled with drinking/drunk and even smoking members of the international military presence. As much as I'd been looking forward to spending time soaking in the views at the pool/beach, I found the pool area to be generally unpleasant and smokey.

The bottom line is that you really have very few good hotel options in Djibouti and this may very well be the best. But, the hotel would do to put a bit more focus on customer service and less on profit maximization. For example, while at the pool, I head the familiar sound of a soda bottle being opened. I looked up to see members of the hotel staff running toward the table to ensure that the customer didn't drink/eat anything not purchased at the hotel. Yes, this is the hotel's perogative but the optics were very poor.

Room Tip: Take a room as high up as possible to avoid the noice of the people using guest room hallways to nav...
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled on business
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2  Thank JSTrip_77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DjiboutiPalace, Manager at Djibouti Palace Kempinski, responded to this reviewResponded March 19, 2014

Dear Sir,

I am sorry that I was not able to see you on departure as I had wished.

I trust also that you enjoyed the dinner in our seafood restaurant Bankuale, where a three course dinner with only fresh seafood and fish is sold at 40 USD per person. Being the only beach front restaurant in Djibouti, we pride ourselves in bringing our guest only the freshest products and authentic flavors as an experience for our dear guests.

In regards to your concerns from below allow me to respond with the following;

As we discussed while you where here, you had booked under one of our corporate accounts (the best rate that we actually offer to any company) for a single room with garden view. Yes, the parking lot is also situated in the garden, but covers say 20% of the area considered as the garden.

The person whom you booked through knows very well that their contracted rate is for garden view and I am sorry that did not get communicated on to you.

In regards to the issue faced with the A/C. For this we genuinely apologize for not meeting your expectations. Knowing that pleasing our guests is our primary goal and service excellence is one of our core values.

Again, we highly appreciate your valuable feedback as it will assist us in becoming better at what we do. Therefore we take your comment very seriously and we will do our best to rectify them for your future visits.

We look forward to welcome you again at Djibouti Palace Kempinski.

Yours kindly,
Andreas Magnus
Executive Assistant Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2014

Business trip with Interpol. probably the best hotel on the country, and not a bad standard for the region, the manager is a very experienced guy and strives for very high standards but this is Africa and a lot of conditions are beyond his control.
Security? I felt safe, no vehicles such as taxis allowed up the drive, security guards everywhere, although I did find one high on KAT and reliving himself up the wall so how effective they are?
The run Windows version 20th century, so PDF anything you need to print in the business centre.
Gym, pools, poolside bars etc very good standard and a great place to relax. Try the swimming with Basking sharks trip, WOW!!!

The room, standard, great beds, soft, warm and very clean but the drop the ball with power sockets, one, they are hidden, I had to get room service to come and show me where they were! Two they are only by the desk so nothing short of 5 meters from your bed.

Room Tip: Try to get a sea view.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled on business
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1  Thank Globalal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DjiboutiPalace, General Manager at Djibouti Palace Kempinski, responded to this reviewResponded March 8, 2014

Dear Guest,

Greetings from Djibouti Palace Kempinski!

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments and feedback here on TripAdvisor. We are happy to know that you spent a good time with us, either in your room, the outlets, the beach or the swimming pool during your stay.

It is much appreciated to read your perfect evaluation of our security measures, our guest safety and security is our priority. We thank you for your kind comments.

We are looking forward to welcoming you for your next stay in Djibouti.

Warm regards,

Gilles Longuet
General Manager

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Reviewed February 10, 2014

Just like to say thankyou to the different folks at the Kempinski.
Djibouti is not a natural destination and there are very few capitals in the world where tripadvisor shows only 6 hotels!

The reception is flexible with our arrangements re trips and dining. just ask, true effort to please the customer. Rooms are 5* standard and so are the pools, of which there is one heavily visited by male military folks and one more private w hotel guests.

Top Highlight - the inhouse fish restaurant - we had a baracuda and the creviche, both stand out in terms of food, as does head chef Salieh who is very good in his trade.

Downside certainly is the price, but as DJI imports all its goods, little chance to change.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank FOL-1003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DjiboutiPalace, General Manager at Djibouti Palace Kempinski, responded to this reviewResponded February 12, 2014

Dear FOL-1003,

Greetings from sunny Djibouti!

We were very glad to read your comment, as it is always a pleasure to hear how our guests enjoy their stay. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed Bankoualé our fish restaurant and that chef Saleh took good care of you. We will surely pass on the great comments. We also hope that we can once again be your home in Djibouti and urge you to contact us directly next time, so we can also make sure that chef Saleh prepares you something special.

Warm regards,

Gilles Longuet
General manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2014 via mobile

Pleasant time at the Kempinski Palace in Djibouti. It is true that there are not that many options in Djibouti but it is certainly the best.
Nice place, nice restaurants, great buffet for breakfast, really nice staff. Rooms are really nice as well.
Had a great time and would recommend it.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled on business
2  Thank Eric D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DjiboutiPalace, General Manager at Djibouti Palace Kempinski, responded to this reviewResponded February 5, 2014

Dear Eric D,

Warm greetings from sunny Djibouti!

Thank you for sharing your experience at the Djibouti Palace Kempinski. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us. Satisfying our guests needs is our most pleasant achievement.

We are looking forward to welcoming you in the near future.

Warm regards,

Gilles Longuet,
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2014

it's for shore the best hotel in Djibouti, with a fantastic pool and sea view. u can enjoy your freetime and relax. good food in the restaurant where you can choose between a full menu or menu a la carte. also pizza is very good. casino inside available.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Fabio C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DjiboutiPalace, General Manager at Djibouti Palace Kempinski, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2014

Dear Fabio C

Greetings from Djibouti Palace Kempinski!
Thank you for sharing the positive experience you had with us. We are delighted to know that you had a good time and we are looking forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Warm regards,
Gilles Longuet
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Djibouti Palace Kempinski

Address: Ilot du Heron | P.O. Box 1960, Djibouti, Djibouti
Phone Number:
Location: Djibouti > Djibouti
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Djibouti
Price Range: $357 - $483 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Djibouti Palace Kempinski 5*
Number of rooms: 320
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

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