Stayed here in May as part of a conference. It is gorgeous on the outside and overlooks some equally stunning buildings. My room was very spacious and really quite nice. But, the toilet didn't flush the entire time I was there, and no matter how often I asked for it to be fixed, it wasn't. This got pretty inconvenient. Otherwise, room was fine. Air conditioning worked fine for most of my stay, until something broke and flooded the hallway, my room and apparently it was an air-con thing, so there were some days when I didn't have it at all. On the 5th floor in May it gets hot!! the lobby staff was nice enough and were helpful to explain how to get to the market, mosque etc. but not otherwise so helpful. Some were really great, others not so much. I speak French and it was fine, others who did not ran into trouble.
Also in the lobby is an ATM, which I used and was fine - my card wasn't stolen or anything - and there are a couple of shops, they are okay but expensive and some of them, the people are never there when you go to look in them. The "fitness center" is a small smelly room with a treadmill that doesn't really work and an older model universal type unit. It's dark and I never saw anyone in it... less than inspiring!
The pool was wonderful, and the pool bar was also very very nice. Service was fantastic and the beef brochettes were amazing. The beef here is really good. The frites were also good. The nice restaurant on the 2nd floor - don't be fooled, it was horrid. There was almost nothing available and then the service was the poorest I've ever had. The waiters actually loudly complained about us to a nearby table (for the apparently terrible transgression of asking things like, "so that table got the very last of all seven of these dishes?" and "how come we've been waiting an hour and haven't been served but they just sat down and ordered and got their appetizers in 10 minutes?").
There is also a bar/cafe in the lobby and it was fine - they also had the brochettes. And there is a bar on the 2nd floor across from the restaurant, at night these two areas are prostitute magnets and they are okay to hang around in, if you are in a group, but if you aren't then it can be uncomfortable. (It can also be amusing.)
The conference facilities weren't at all bad, although we lost power a number of times and once was for an hour or so. I wasn't thrilled with the location, because I like to be able to walk to the main market and other attractions, there wasn't even a little stand where we could buy water or other sundries but it seemed to be a peaceful, safe area. Oh - water - I drank from the tap and suffered no ill effects at all.
Overall I think it's the best you can do in Bamako, but remember that 4 star here isn't as 4 star in other regions, and lower your expectations accordingly!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A leading choice for discerning travellers in Bamako, the 5-star Azalaï Hotel Salam is ideally positioned to cater for business travellers and foreign officials in the capital of Mali. Conveniently located between the new administrative district and Bamako's International Conference Centre, the hotel regularly hosts NGO workers, international delegates and visiting professionals. Azalaï Hotel Salam stands out from other premium accommodation options in Bamako due to its high management standards (ISO 9001 certified) and commitment to warm, generous service imbued with the spirit of West African hospitality. Guests enjoy access to a full range of facilities, including state-of-the-art meeting rooms, reliable Internet access and an assortment of on-site eating and drinking venues. Sprawling gardens, tennis courts, a fitness centre and large swimming pool round out the leisure facilities. ... more less
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