November 5, 2003
Reception looks quite flashy but isn't overly friendly, speedy or efficient though your presence in Tripoli will nonetheless be registered with the local police for you (11LD pp -- unclear whether it is cheaper if you do it yourself) and the hotel will then insist on retaining your passport pending check-out and full payment (no credit cards -- cash only -- standard rooms 90LD/king-size beds 95LD). They will ask for a deposit of 150 LD (though this is negotiable -- we got it down to 100LD as we were leaving the next day). You need to pick up a T/V remote control from the deposit desk on check-in.
Rooms are OK-to-fine -- (not very clean) bath with lots of hot water, mini-bar (empty but you can at least chill your own water in it), comfy beds and chairs, complete black-out curtains for those photosensitive sleepers, large T/V with CNN and the usual mod cons. The hotel is on 10 floors but don’t bother going up to the top in the hope of a view -- ask instead for a room om that floor facing seaward.
Breakfast (and dinner should you be so inclined) is served on the first floor) -- overlooking a patio with the outdoor swimming pool. Choice of bread rolls, jam, fried and scrambled eggs and beef sausages, tuna/tomato/olive combo -- coffee or tea from a dispenser and vilely sweet purple squash-cum-juice. Not surprisingly, we didn’t dine here (see restaurant entry below).
As well as the pool, there’s a mini-gym and sauna, a couple of shops for postcards and knick-knacks, business centre should you want to send faxes or telexes, post box (no stamps though, but the post-office is not far and worth a trip anyway to see the construction of the new mosque opposite to it).
From journal Let loose in Libya