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“Best in Socotra”
Review of Summerland Hotel

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Summerland Hotel
Sanaa, Yemen
Level Contributor
97 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Best in Socotra”
Reviewed 19 July 2013

If you are looking for a clean and relaxed place to stay in Socotra and you don't care how much are you going to spend, this is the best and cleanest hotel in the whole island. I don't recommend eating inside this hotel as if you eat outside would be way cheaper and taster. The location is good and close to the city market.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank mhareth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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26 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Kyiv
Level Contributor
320 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,026 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2013

In my considered opinion, camping is by far the best way to explore the amazing island of Socotra. But if there’s no way you can cope with roughing it, you are only left to the very limited choice of basic hotels in the dusty capital city of Hadibo.

We stayed in Summerland hotel for one night upon arrival, in a double room (US$100).

The reception area created wonderful first impression: lovely decoration, comfortable sofas, very welcoming although a bit uncertain receptionist who showed our way to the room, but wasn’t too fast to help with the luggage or arrange for any help with it.

But as we moved on, the hotel grounds didn’t look impressive despite some courtyard greenery, so rare in Hadibo. There was some reconstruction underway (I believe they expanded the premises), and the patio on our way to the room was littered with construction debris.

The corner room on the second floor, accessible by stairs, was tiny. But it was nicely decorated, functional and impressively clean! There were two small beds, a bedside table, a wardrobe and a TV (that we didn’t watch).

No A/C, just a loud ceiling fan that stopped operating at about 6am when the entire island faces blackouts. Not much soundproof or privacy in the room – we could hear the other guests passing by and see them well through thin window curtains. Because of the heat and noise I can’t call sleep quality good enough.

Few electric sockets (UK type; so pack universal adapter if you aren’t British) were handy to charge camera batteries. Side note: if you choose camping instead, mind that electricity is available not in all camping sites; so charge your gadgets every time you stay in the lodge with charging facilities.

The biggest value of Summerland hotel was the ability to have decent shower – something you might be deprived of if you opt for camping and will stay outside the organized eco-lodges. The bathroom impressed me greatly, with excellent amenities and cleanness in particular. Water pressure was weak, but it was good to have hot water in principle. WC was of Western type.

The breakfast was sufficient but nothing to rave about. Yet for Socotra it could be even called luxurious.

Let’s face it – although Summerland hotel is truly your best choice in Socotra with its underdeveloped infrastructure, this hotel is overrated for what it offers. Therefore I merely cannot rate it higher than average and would only recommend it to those who are in desperate need of comfort – at any cost.

And I would only recommend it for two nights max: upon arrival, if you need a good rest after the long flight, and/or before the departure – to at least get a good shower and pack properly.

Considering the flights’ schedule to/from the island, this is precisely when you should expect the highest occupancy here – most of the tourists departing early in the morning will try to stay here in Summerland. So do make sure to book in advance and don’t trust your local company doing so! We were terribly let down by Socotra Eco Tours who failed to book us a room in the Summerland for the night before our departure despite my precise multiple requests by e-mail few months before our arrival and repeated reminders after. Socotra Eco had simply ignored them, and without a single apology we were taken to a dump of Taj Hotel instead (pls, see separate review).

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
12 Thank Cora_v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Doha, Qatar
Level Contributor
102 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2013

We were very surprised at the quality of the Summerland Hotel. It's a little simple inside, but very welcoming, and the central courtyard is full of greenery which is a change from the concrete and rubble found in the surrounding town. We had an double room which was just a little bigger than the bed, but the bed was very comfortable, ideal to get refreshed after spending time camping around the island.

When we come back to Socotra, we'll definitely return!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank ADFezzer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2013

Stayed at this hotel for 5 nights at the end of feb 2012. Was recommended by our great tour operator 'eco-tours' (cant recommend these guys enough! Did everything for us and showed us everything!)
Was a nice clean hotel with great service. The staff couldn't do enough to tend to our needs! The most expensive hotel on the island (by Socotra standards) but definitely the best and worth the money! Only place that had hot water. And has its own generator which is a must on an island which has constant blackouts! Nice breakfast selection and nice chill out area on the upper court yard area to discuss your days excursions with other guests. Only minor negative points is the wifi was a little weak but enough to get my emails etc (and again I guess as good as it gets on a remote island!) and in the double rooms the beds were so large there was no floor space for the cot for our son. So we upgraded to a suite (which I would also recommend if you are travelling with any children)
So to sum up... I wouldn't stay anywhere else if you are going to Socotra!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Keystomybeemer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ajijic, Mexico
Level Contributor
95 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2013

After a week of camping is was so wonderful to check in here and have a hot shower and clean sheets! It is very clean, the staff is ultra friendly, and really the only nice place in town. I did think the way they charged was weird. One room for one person is $60, the same room for two people is $100. Sure it is an extra breakfast and some more laundry, but $40 more? Breakfast was nothing to write home about. Don't eat there for any other meal, it is way too expensive.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Rebmex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
37 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2013

My husband and I were fortunate enough to visit the very special island of Socotra for 3 short days back in November of 2012 and stayed at the Summerland Hotel. Socotra is very beautiful, untouched and very sparsely populated, so many visitors choose to camp throughout the island. Therefore, there are only 3 hotels in Hadibo, Socotra's dusty capitol. If you are looking for a hotel with western standards, this is the ONLY game in town. It is considered a 5-star hotel there. By western standards, it is more like a 3-star hotel, but it is still a very welcome respite nevertheless. The hotel is large and whitewashed, with comfortable air conditioned rooms and an on site restaurant where they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. We only ate breakfast there, but it was pretty decent, with local and western options, both hot and cold.

The manager(s) of the hotel are very sweet, nice, and honest, and there is wifi available in the lobby lounge area for US$5/hr (they call it the "internet cafe", but you need to have your own computer).

Our room (standard double) had a very comfortable queen size bed, white linens, refrigerator, and cable television. The closet was small and handmade out of local wood, and the bathroom was large, with a shower (no tub). We were grateful for hot running water, as we saw an earlier report that they only had cold water in the hotel.

There is an all-white outdoor space (almost like a motel setting) upstairs with a balcony so we could sit outside and see Hadibo from above. It is located across the street from the main mosque, so we heard the call to prayer at 5 am every morning.

All in all, this was quite an impressive hotel when you consider how much poverty there is throughout the country. Relatively speaking this really was a 5-star hotel, on one of the most unusual and spectacular islands in the world. Highly recommended if you don't plan to camp there.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
11 Thank SUSAN L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
Level Contributor
30 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2012

I stayed on the beautiful island of Socotra from November 28th till December 8th 2012, staying at the Summerland Hotel in Hadibo the main town of Socotra. I found the hotel a calm and refreshing relief from the town of Hadibo, which has a terrible amount of poverty. The hotel and it's staff were a breath of fresh air, they looked after myself and my two Arab friends very well, Tahab the manager was a polite and helpfull individual. This hotel is really the only decent base for those who visit this amazing Island. Socotra defies the superlatives I could possibly give it. The changes in the islands landscapes as we travelled around, were amazing. We visited villages that the ordinary tourist would probably never see, the welcome we received was so humbling that I felt I was being treated like a King. I met people who I will never forget in my lifes journey, you must try to visit this place if you can, the beaches are beautifull, as are the people around the whole island, although I confess one of my friends was born on the Island and returns every year. So don't be afraid, these people are very friendly and need your help as they try to improve their lives. Believe me, you will never forget Socotra.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
10 Thank BEEMA45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Summerland Hotel

Property: Summerland Hotel
Address: Hadibo, Socotra Island, Yemen
Region: Yemen > Socotra Island
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Socotra Island
Number of rooms: 29

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