I looked at many places before settling on Alliance Villa (not to be confused with Alliance Boutique Villa) a bungalow down a pothole dirt track in one of the neighbourhoods. It had all that I was looking for - an air-con room with ensuite bathroom, breakfast included, an in-room safe deposit, locally managed/owned with a garden to chill out in and reasonably priced - I got a promo rate of USD15/night for a 6-night stay.
My stay was perfect, only marred by the water problem on the first 3 days which almost spoilt my holiday.
I stayed on the first floor in Room 105, because a TA reviewer said the ground floor room was next to the reception, so it's not very quiet.
The first night, the water was but a medium trickle barely enough for a shower. I thought it was because of the low pressure. The next afternoon, the water output became worse - the taps ran dry after 3 minutes. This needed looking into. The staff checked and said they would repair the problem. At night, the water came back on but only for 5 mins, then it trickled. I seriously thought there was a water ration going on, but the staff couldn't confirm or deny it.
Day 3 morning and there wasn't enough water to brush teeth! Another guest on my floor was also facing the same problem. By now, I had e-mailed the management asking for a quick solution - or give me a room with water. I didn't get a reply, but the villa staff helped me move to the ground floor room 102 in the afternoon after a guest checked out. Except for the mustiness, the room was fairly quiet. It is opposite the reception counter - but it isn't noisy because of guests checking in and out, it's noisy because of the television (the staff watches it most times) but with the air-con on in the room, you can barely hear the TV. More importantly, there was running water!
The reason why I didn't change hotels was because of the villa's garden. I couldn't find many affordable places with a garden to chill out in, so was glad that Room 102 was available. The management did eventually reply, but only after 3 days, on the day I was checking out. He was very apologetic, and traced the problem to the new water pump, which wasn't working very effectively. Would have been good to know that straight away. Also, another thing the staff won't tell you is that every night, at 8pm, without fail the electricity (and lights) goes off for about 5 minutes before starting back up again. By the second night, I was prepared with a torch in hand.
As other reviewers have commented, the hotel is about 15 - 20 mins walk to pub street, but I liked it because it was in a quiet neighbourhood, and every time I walked through the gates of the bungalow's front yard, it was like coming home.
There is a short cut to the Old Market, but it is down a dark-ish alley - a torch is very handy - but although there were a few stray dogs, they didn't bother me. En route to the market, there is a non air-con restaurant on the right which serves very cheap and tasty food and juices. A TA reviewer said they had to take a tuk-tuk to the Old Market because of this dark alley; you can actually walk on the main road to get to the Old Market, just that it is more dusty and will take you slightly longer to get there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in green tree, plants, flowers, peaceful and quiet part of town. ... more less
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