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Reviewed 19 October 2015

We came to Massawa from Asmara for one night. Given the state of our hotel in Asmara I wasn’t expecting anything better in Massawa. The weather was hot and humid so it was important to have a room with a working A/C. The first room they gave us was small, and we had requested a suite. So they showed us another room. It was bigger in size but was just as run-down. The two A/Cs blew some cool air but it wasn’t enough to cool the room. It was difficult to sleep in that heat. The shower has no shower curtains. Bring your own soap/shampoo. They do provide you with a tiny piece of soap that melts in your hand after first use. Two towels are provided as well. There’s only cold water, which was fine since we were feeling so hot. We had dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. The fish was really good. It came with a few pieces of vegetables and bread rolls. Everything was very garlicky, which I don’t mind at all. I also got a local beer. I ate as fast as I could to get back to the room and put my face in front of the A/C. I was melting.
The staff was nice, nobody was rude. They worked at a super slow pace, it’s not even Africa-slow, it’s more like close-to-a-black-hole-slow, where time almost stops. I don’t blame them. It’s the humid heat.
Let’s just say I have never been happier to check out of a hotel.

  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
7  Thank Surfacing1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2015 via mobile

Good hotel! Just near the old town! My room was good with AC and good bed. The bathroom was ok. Breakfast in restaurant was good as well. Primo Giovani the owner is a very nice guy and is the owner of Albergo Italia in Asmara too. Thy organize boat trips to the Dahlak islands, don't miss them!

Stayed: September 2015, travelled as a couple
3  Thank rfrare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2015

I stayed here for one night in August 2014 while visiting Massawa. It was so hot that we literally hid in our room for a few hours sleeping after we arrived because the AC was nice and cool.

The hotel is very pretty. Outside of the rooms it is stiflingly hot everywhere.

The wifi was a bit hit and miss. I couldn't get it in the lobby at all. I sat half a metre from the hub point, on the window ledge outside the main office, leaning into the office window next to it and still I lost connection often!

The pool area was deserted when we were there, but it was beautiful.

Haile Selassie's old destroyed palace is across the road and completely open to anyone who wants to have a look- fascinating.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
10  Thank S M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2015

The Grand Dahlak hotel is conveniently located at the top of Tualud island, right before the causeway connecting it to Batse island, where the Old Town is situated, just five minutes away.

As there were quite few people in the hotel I could land only a double despite being alone, so probably booking in advance can be needed, the prices though are not prohibitive and it's possible to pay in local currency too.
My room was spacious, well furnished and clean and so was the bathroom, the A/C worked just fine. The only downside was the shower, I could only get cold water, which can be refreshing given Massawa hot and humid climate, but after a long day out and being quite sweaty, a warm shower instead of a cold one would have been less of a shock...
The swimming pool looked okay but didn't try it. I tried the restaurant for both breakfast and dinner: mind that many things listed on the menu are not available so you better ask beforehand what they have. For dinner on my last night I chose to go with the catch of the day and enjoyed it a lot; spaghetti with vongole were excellent too, it was the first in my life I had more vongole than spaghetti!
Wifi, as everywhere in Eritrea, is expensive and disappointing: for a "hour" of navigation (and just 50 megabytes datas limit) I payed one hundred nakfa, but the problem is that in reality I struggled big time to just get online. Truth to be told, at least I got online for about ten minutes, while all my other attempts in Asmara were simply unsuccessful, no matter the hotel or the price I payed for the wifi.

The hotel offers trips to Green island (again, don't expect a dream beach or an unspoiled environment) for 1200 nakfa per trip (up to seven people) but not always there is people to share the cost. It is also possible to rent mask, snorkel and fins at a moderate price asking directly to the captain of the boat, for snorkelling on the reef around the island: a nice way to spend a couple of hours, there are some interesting fishes out there.

To sum it up, the hotel is indeed the best of Eritrea but don't expect a five star service, it's Eritrea after all and commodities aren't readily available. Keep down your expectations and you'll enjoy the place much more in my opinion.

  • Stayed: November 2014, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
9  Thank Sputnikboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2015

This hotel is supposedly the best in town, therefore busy both with locals and foreigners.

However, the property is hugely disappointing:
- Reception staff is numerous, but all they do is fill in registers and forms. They seem to love their administration rather than trying to make their clients happy.
- My bedroom was decently spacious, yet the A/C didn't really get the temperature below 25 degrees in winter, and was leaking abundantly, so that a yellowish pond was formed in the middle of my room every morning
- Service at the restaurant is appallingly bad: they keep forgetting your order which you need to remind them several times, it takes an average of 45 minutes to get breakfast served and 3 hours to get a one-course meal at lunch (including 45 minutes for the bill)!!! Furthermore, food is not particularly good and waiters barely speak English though they don't tell you they don't understand anything of what you are telling them. In addition, an average bottle of South African wine is sold at a steep 1,000 Nakfa.
- Wifi is not available

A place best avoided... but then you don't have an alternative better choice if you travel to Massawa

  • Stayed: January 2015, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
6  Thank FrenchTraveller001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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