You know that you are in an interesting place when the listed hotel rules state that: "Weapons are to be handed over to the reception room - No firearms are allowed in the hotel" (see photo) and also "gatherings inside the room for qat chewing sessions are not allowed."
I am not recommending at this time visiting Seyun. But sometimes you just happen to be there and cannot go onwards or backwards, which is what happened to me. I would have loved to just grab my Tripadvisor reviews and find out where I could stay in town but, unfortunately, the only entry for Seyun was for the Al-Hawta Palace and I was told that they were closed.
Why did I need to be there?
I was ferrying a helicopter from Dubai to Sana'a and Sayun was meant to be just a refueling stop on day two after the previous day's flying through Oman. Unfortunately on arrival, after four hours with the wonderful ATC people (see photo of one) we were denied permission to go onwards. It was maybe just as well as the next morning Sana'a Airport was surrounded by armed troops who threatened to shoot down any aircraft arriving or departing.
We were not given a choice of hotel and were taken to the one nearest to the airport which happened to be the Al-Ahqaf Tourist Hotel (though I don't think that they had seen a tourist for some time). We had an armed escort with an AK47 and a mouthful of qat (as had the driver and the customs man), and a vintage car with a crazed windscreen. The hospitality of the people at the airport, though, was fantastic and they proved to be great friends during our enforced stay.
We were told not to leave the hotel. So for two nights we were special guests with nowhere to go but this was not a serious problem.
The hotel was absolutely fine. A twin bed room with en suite and a balcony. It was clean.
Which is more than I can say for the swimming pool. I commented to my colleague that this looked like a serious health hazard but the only person I saw use it in our two night stay was the hotel cook.
They have a very interesting menu and you can have the option of Camel meat sandwich or Cow meat sandwich or, I thought, a very interesting choice of Authority Salad. I didn't try it but am still intrigued.
Everyone was very helpful during our stay. For breakfast they could do eggs most ways you could wish for and had some very nice juice concoctions.
No bar (what a surprise).
The airport in Sana'a opened and we were on our way.
Very interesting visit to Seyun.
- Also Known As:
- Al Ahqaf Hotel Yemen/Hadhramout