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“getting worse every day!”

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Auberge de Grand Popo
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Grand Popo
Reviewed January 4, 2013

Yes, the location is beautiful, the garden and old-style buildings give it a certain atmosphere. The restaurant overlooks the sea and the garden.

But, this place urgently needs a grade-up. The rooms are dirty to say, the curtains smell dust. With two in a bed you can be sure it becomes cosy since the mattresses need replacement. Spots in the bed sheets and broken cheap Chinese toilet seats.

The food in the restaurant had no taste at all. Salt and spices were simply not used: disgusting and not cheap! Hammocks used to be there, but were gone and not replaced. The pool is clean, but not maintained. My wife injured her knee on the sharp edges of the broken tiles.

The hotel has all possibilities to become a top-end place for ultimate relaxing, but it needs a lot of investment to become attractive (again).

Room Tip: don't take the bungalows, they are just beside the road and although not busy, it's like ped...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Sander Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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21 - 27 of 82 reviews

Reviewed December 27, 2012

The Auberge rooms are spread on a large areal which makes this spot a perfect place for a romantic getaway. The restaurant serves delicious food but is a bit slow. The beer is cold.
Prizes both for rooms and the restaurant are catering to tourists.
There is a small souvenir shop. Folks here are also happy to organize a tour to Gran Popo, Heve or the mangroves for you.
If you can't afford a room or are traveling with a camper van ask for camping options.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Carola B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2012

I have been staying at this hotel for many years and have always loved it, and still do. The last time I was there, however, in March of 2012, the fresh water swimming pool had been filled with salt water, a big disappointment. Further, they have just built a military installation almost next door with a big observation tower which makes the previously extremely private beach decidedly less so. The rooms are still comfortable though just basic. The food is good but not as good as before. The service used to be superb but now just adequate. I will still go there and will still enjoy it but I can't forget when it was really great.

Room Tip: If you are with just one other person then the bungalows are the best though the rooms are just abou...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Nigerdave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2012

The hotel itself has a lot of charm and character but it needs a better management. The front desk staff is not friendly and some of the rest of the staff is also anything but motivated. Some are nice however. I would only go there again if the hotel gets renovated and a new team.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Claus K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2012

This hotel offers both semi-detached chalets and an hotel block within its generally quite pleasant (pool excepted), grounds situated on the beachfront, it really should be a nice place to stay. The chalet room was fine but ventilated by an inadequate fan (I assume the very high humidity would kill off an actual air conditioner), and not as clean or well maintained as it could have been. These failings would probably been tolerated were it not for the fact that service was bad. Staff were openly rude, distracted and dismissive, when they were providing service at all. Nor was language an issue, my French is good. Food and drink prices were noticeably high. It's never good business to display obvious contempt for one's customers, I didn't enjoy being there and would never return.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Windowseatview
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2011

L’auberge de Grand Popo seems to be the most established of the auberges in the village and consequently seems to attract most tour groups. It is also recommended by Lonely Planet. I therefore wonder whether the management have become a little complacent and are taking for granted that visitors will come.

The positives are first, the location. Grand Popo is a small village strung along a couple of miles of quiet country road (too far to walk the full length in my opinion -you’ll need to use one of the ubiquitous ‘moto’ taxis). The village is a good place to base yourself while you visit local villages and sample some voodoo culture. Everyone knows the guides in the village and they seem to visit the auberge regularly. We used Matthias to visit the village across the river by Pirogue, and we used Gastonne to go by motorbike to some villages to watch voodoo ceremonies which was well worthwhile. Therefore Grand Popo itself is well worth a visit and the auberge’s is location is right on the beach. As is often the case in West Africa, the beach is generally quite dirty but in front of the hotel its kept spotless as are the rest of the grounds, and small swimming pool. The restaurant of the auberge is in a great location and overlooks the beach.

Unfortunately, I felt there were quite a few negatives. We had booked a bungalow with sea view- its had one, but only just, through trees and across the gardens. The bungalow was a wooden chalet style. There are also more rooms in a wooden colonial style house.

The room was a decent size, with a fan but no A/C or fridge.. It was simply decorated and I would say was borderline clean. My main issue was with the windows and curtains. To put it simply the curtains were disgusting -covered in stains from a thousand crushed insects. Now, people may say ‘but this is Africa’ and I have no problem with simple décor. But to me, when locals are washing their clothes daily in the river to stay clean, having such filthy curtains is just laziness. The windows had insect grills, which were also covered in the carcasses of a million dead flies of all descriptions. It was a forensic entemologists dream! I chose to keep the curtains closed as it was impossible to see through the fly screens anyway- this made the rooms quite dark. Other examples of what I perceived to be laziness were that our room wasn’t cleaned at all in the two days we stayed. Empty beer bottles were left on the balcony and the towels weren’t changed.

The bathroom in our room was a simple affair with toilet, sink, cold water shower and washing bucket and was adequate.The chalet had a balcony which was nice to sit on at night when there was a sea breeze-the room tended to be quite hot especially if there was a power cut which made the fan go off. There was a mosquito net which looked brand new but we were both bitten in the night so I’m not sure how the insects got in. One day we returned and found a number of small crawling insects in the bed so there obviously a way of them breaching the net.

My other main issue was with the staff. With the exception of one person, they varied from indifferent to surly and rude. Maybe the fact that we only had limited French didn’t help but this wasn’t a problem in other parts of Benin and Togo. In fact I’d say the staff at the Auberge were the least friendly people we met in Benin. Food and drinks were often banged down on the table and the staff looked like they wished they were elsewhere. On one occasion the waitress put her head in her hands on the bar as she was serving us and closed here eyes. Maybe they’re being worked too hard but it doesn’t lead to good service. The exception I mentioned was a waiter called Noel who was friendly, cheerful and helpful. With more staff like him we would have been more amenable to the shortcomings of the room.

Food and drink were expensive too and although we certainly didn’t go crazy during the two nights we stayed our restaurant bill was higher than the room charge which caused us to check the receipts, though all was in order. The food was Ok bit nothing to rave about.

In summary, I think L’auberge de Grand Popo has been the number 1 Choice for a long time and neds to brush up its act to stay that way.

Room Tip: Ask to view the rooms upon check in
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LS13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2011

We stopped at this place on a short break whilst visiting our daughter who works in Lome. You must be aware that the Auberge Grand de Popo is at the end of a paved road with a dirt road beyond. There is nothing else to do here within walking distance! We stayed in the two story building with the veranda around it. There are NO mosquito netting over the outside vents so beware. There are also no drink making facilities in the room's like most hotels have...maybe this is designed to make you spend more money??! We had the shower towels replaced with out asking but the shower is cold with little water pressure. The restaurant was o.k. and in a nice spot. The kitchen kindly made me chicken curry a lot as I like to have a idea of what I am eating! (this was later added to the menu) The hotel beach was nice but the surf rough and when windy you get constant salt mist coming over so cover thosse cameras up! At the end of the day the swimming pool had warmed up by the sun so no cold shocks on entering the water! Not a bad place at all to visit but take plenty of reading matter to pass the time....

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank JohnS320
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Auberge de Grand Popo

Address: B.p. 6, Grand Popo, Benin
Location: Benin > Mono Department > Grand Popo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Grand Popo
Price Range: $37 - $48 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 22
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