"Well, our problem has returned and we need to dump fuel and head back to Douala" said the pilot on night-time Air France flight from Douala to Paris. That freaked me out a bit. I was on my way back to the States from Malabo, EG and was ready to get home. I had no visa for Cameroon - and getting dumped into a third-world airport in the middle of the night wasn't my idea of a fun time. Air France didn't help much - they provided very little information about what our next steps would be. But after a bit of chaos in baggage claim, I signed onto a voucher with three Brits and we all piled into an over-stuffed bus that took us to the Akwa Palace in downtown Douala.
It was obvious from the outside that this place was much nicer than the flea-infested version in my worst-case scenario mental state. The staff was friendly and checked us all in very quickly. Rooms were clean and spacious. WiFi was glacial in the rooms, but decent in the lobby.
In the morning, I found my way to the restaurant for breakfast which was very nice. Food was great. Many professional people - not all guests of the hotel - were there as well. The hotel has a really nice pool and pool-side bar/restaurant. Later on during the day I had lunch in the pool-side bar - lamb with fries - which was terrific. The gift shop was loaded with dusty, vastly overpriced junk... no reason to buy anything there. I wasn't brave enough to venture too far out into the city, but there isn't a lot around this hotel. Others who know Douala better may have a different opinion - but I erred towards the side of caution, not knowing when we'd be called on to head back to the airport.
All in all, my experience was positive. The manager was super friendly and very interested in improvement ideas. Apparently the rooms are being updated - that will be helpful. The public spaces could be brought up to date as well. In any case, while you may be able to do better in Douala than the Akwa Palace, I was grateful to have had the experience of staying there.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ideally located in the heart of Douala, the Akwa Palace Hotel combines the charm of the colonial tradition with the most modern comfort within a refined and warm atmosphere. The Akwa Palace Hotel is close to the vibrant cultural and tourist centers and is situated in the middle business district of Douala, the economic capital of Cameroon. The Akwa Palace is made of 2 buildings, the Akwa 1, 3*** and the Akwa 2, 4**** Deluxe. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Booking.com, Jovago.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Hotwire, Cancelon, Cheap Tickets and HotelQuickly so you can book your Hotel Akwa Palace reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.