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“Stars are falling off...”

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Laico El Farouk Hotel
Ranked #35 of 38 Hotels in Bamako
Reviewed May 5, 2013

Staff at reception are ok, they certainly don't overdo it, they wouldn't give you any explanation for example as to where and when breakfast was happening or where you could find the pool - you got to ask. Rooms are spacious, but dark, rather dirty (while doing some yoga poses in my room I got a glimpse under the bed - urghhh, I immediately asked for the rug to be removed from my room!!), I had a cleaning cloth with me and gave the room a bit of a cleanup (the handles of the doors/wardrobe and inside wardrobe were sticky and obviously hadn't been cleaned for ages, neither has the little fridge been cleaned), cleaning staff are friendly but forgetful (one day you have no more toilet paper, another day no towel or both etc), my chair fell apart but it was never replaced, the door to the outside doesn't close properly (mosquitoes...), the shower curtain and rail fell down, the bathroom ceiling has a big hole, the flat screen TV is fairly large but unfortunately reception is so bad that you can't really watch anything. The A/C sometimes works, other times not and it can be boiling hot in the room. My colleague was first given a room without a bed (minor detail, isn't it? well we had a good laugh ;-)). Food is ok, not much choice some waiters really friendly others not, breakfast is ok but sometimes I do wonder about hygiene (the cheese buffet looks not appetizing and not fresh). People are smoking in the breakfast area - really not pleasant, also inside the corridors and there is no aeration!!? Pool area could be cleaner but ok the pool itself seems reasonably clean. Overall I wouldn't stay here if I wasn't here for professional reasons - the stars are falling off, the standard is not what you would expect elsewhere from a so-called 5* hotel - overpriced!!

Room Tip: get a room with a bed if possible!!! :-)
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled on business
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Thank misssunshine66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6 - 12 of 26 reviews

Reviewed May 5, 2013

This was my second time staying at the hotel and the experience was far better than the first time. This may be due to the fact I stayed longer this time and got to really use the hotels facilities but one thing that remained constant was the inconsistency of friendly and helpful staff. The reception and porter team were very friendly and helpful but the bar area and pool area not so much. They would huddle at one end of the bar and just talk and not offer any service.

The rooms are fine. They're spacious, tiled (which is great for the hot weather) reasonably clean and the Internet can be strong at times. The in room Internet is patchy at the best of times, it's ok for general browsing but is a real pain when trying to use it with Skype.

I've not sampled much of the food but I've managed to find a good meal for lunch and dinner, it's the steak sandwich (which is actually steak on 3 little burgers)

Drinks are fairly expensive but there's no other option and they only provide complimentary water on your first day.

The pool is very nice. It's secluded by big hedges and overs plenty of room for laps, or just relaxing. It's also a relaxing temperature, not hot and not cold.

I've found a good tip is the key to great service.

Overall it's a nice place to stay while passing through.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
1  Thank shawnpeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2011

This hotel is recently bought by the Libya Hotels group. But it is still more commonly known by its old name ‘Kempinski’. I stayed here for 11 days on a business trip after the hotel I was booked in was not up to my expectation. I must say I got a much better walk in rate as compared to what was quoted to me on email. Its is a good clean hotel, with the bare luxuries of any business class hotel. The rooms were spacious and tiled- which is a blessing in humid hot Bamako and also carpets always get damp and smell!
There is a nice view of the river Niger from most rooms- its quite pleasant.
Room service and reception were extremely efficient and helpful.
As for the staff and service in the dining area- this was not what I expected. The breakfast food was never consistent and staff would never welcome you or show you to a table, take your order for tea or coffee- and they was staff! All they did was chat and stand in one corner. A toaster would be placed everyday when clearly there was no bread for toasting! Very funny.
The pool is lovely and slightly secluded so you don’t have people having drinks etc nearby.
Overall for the price I paid and comparing to other hotels – and believe me I went to check all the popular one this was a good pick. And compared to ‘five star’ hotels in other African countries this wasn’t a bad pick.
Lastly you’re always better off paying in the local currency (CFA) than in dollars or euro as the rate at the hotel is very low.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled on business
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2  Thank shreyashah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2011

This is according to the sign outside the Hotel a 5 star Hotel, we reasoned that they must have painted on the stars them self. The Staff was friendly, but not helpfull. What was wrong, where to start? The food was very expensive, and I was shocked at what I got, I had a steak and chips, I have had better looking and tasting food from a dodgy looking garage shop. The rooms had a dirty feel to it, I did not want to lay down on the bed, the bath had old brown stains everywhere, phone did not work, All rooms...is smoking rooms (including the lobby and the dining area). While we were eating a staff member were giving her 2 small children food on the table next to us, the only got bread, so imagine trying to eat your very bad overpriced food while a hungry african boy is looking at you with hus nose running....not easy.

Bamako in general is not a nice place, but it was a good experience. This Hotel is not a nice place and a BAD experience.

Room Tip: No such thing...
  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled on business
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2  Thank Viljoen_Chris-Marie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2011

While the staff were helpful and friendly, the environment was humbling; too simple rooms for a 5* hotel, stench in the passage, holed bathroom basins with no plugs, leaking toilets, dysfunctional fridges, tasteless food. It beats me why they won't take initiative to learn from their big brother (L'Amitie) esp iro food

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled on business
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1  Thank Cosy11_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2010

OK hotel with the charm of a communist building fom the 1970's. Reception staff is not responsive. Breakfast not great. Rooms without mosquito nets, you need to have the window closed at all times. 30-40 USD would be an OK price for this standard.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled on business
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1  Thank dspalthoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2009

reception says, on sundays post machines do not work, they do not fix it and ask you to get cash from an atm - which allways works - at the lobby. they do not feel themselves responsible to guarantee visa payments. in those countries, it is difficult to find international standards in accomodation. prices are generally expensive. my complaint is how reception treat customers.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank aires_ist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Laico El Farouk Hotel

Address: Blvd du 22 Octobre 1946, Bamako BP E 5063, Mali (Formerly Kempinski Hotel El Farouk Bamako)
Location: Mali > Bamako
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #35 of 38 Hotels in Bamako
Price Range: $124 - $191 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Laico El Farouk Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 90
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