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“Was nice maybe 20 years ago, not anymore”
Review of Bab Al Bahr Hotel

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Bab Al Bahr Hotel
Ranked #19 of 27 Hotels in Tripoli
Reviewed 14 April 2009

But its a bit run down now. The staff are abviously government employees and don't seem to enjoy their job. A bit depressing. The entire hotel was evicted with less than 24 hours notice due to a conference booking when I was there.
Food was fairly bland other than the Libyan soup (nice!). Slow internet service only available in lobby. Nice sea views.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled on business
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Thank kokaneeboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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18 - 24 of 38 reviews

Reviewed 13 February 2009

The property is run down and uncared for. The sea in front of the hotel must be the depository of waste from all over the area, as the sea breeze was incredibly foul at times. Food-wise, I only tried the breakfast which was ok, with a fair amount of choice, but coffee is nescafe and sometimes we had to wait for a seat.

The rooms are fairly spacious, but tired and not all that clean. The bathroom in my room was in desperate need of renovation, but at least I didn't have cockroaches running around everywhere, which my colleagues complained of. There is a hairdryer, but no plug in the bathroom and the cord is not long enough to reach the plug outside the bathroom. I had a seaview room, but the windows don't seal properly so there was a howling noise all through the night - bring ear plugs. Unlke what another reviewer said, there was CNN, BBC World, TV5, Fox movies etc on TV, but no remote control.

The staff are nice but bored, unhelpful and unable to do things in any other way than what they are used to. For example, they wouldn't let us complete the check-out procedure the night before our departure, even though we were leaving at 6am the next day. They also demanded payment in cash in advance - there is a bank in the hotel, but it keeps banking hours and the ATM did not work - and the bill is entirely in Arabic, which they may or may not be able to translate for you.

We were told before our trip that there's no middle way between the Bar-Al-Bahr and the Corinthia, but on arrival we were told by our Libyan business associates that there are plently of boutique hotels which are much better. I would strongly advise you to find those and avoid this throwback to the Soviet Union.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled on business
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Thank Icantfindascreenname
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2009

Hopefully some day there will be some decent hotels in Libya that are run to western standards, but until then you will either have to pay $600 for the Corinthia, or put up with these old Libya hotels.

My review is tainted by the fact that somewhere along the way (not at the Hotel) I contracted food poisoning, and so I saw a lot of the inside of the bathroom, which in my case just barely functioned. Taking that into account though, and being fully prepared for the worse, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that room was fairly clean. The bathroom was in greatest need of upgrade with a lot of mildew in the shower and worn fixtures.

Restaurant was basic, but clean and offering a fair selection of items in a buffet. There was a nice tea room in the lobby with accomodating and friendly staff, serving decent tee and coffee of all types.

Insist on a room facing the sea, which is right there - I opened my balcony doors at night and enjoyed the gentle breeze of the sea all night mosquito free. The other site of the hotel looks over chaos that is Tripoli, and is MUCH less inviting.

Here's the biggest problem: Despite having a 7 day reservation we were advised on day three that they were evicting us from our rooms, as the government had a huge delegation coming and needed the rooms - "Sorry, that's the way it is here". As there were no other rooms in Tripoli that week, we panicked! Finally by just refusing to leave they granted us another night, then another threat of eviction - we found someone symphathetic to our cause and we were granted another stay. Unbelievable.

I would say that this is comparable to a 40 year old road side motel in Canada, that hasn't been properly maintained.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled on business
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Thank SpikeNovaScotia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2008

Very basic hotel. Rooms are clean but extremely basic. No western channels on the tv and the rooms are noisy since they are right next to the beach. Dont be surprised to hear children on the beach into the small hours of the morning. The libyans seem to come alive later in the day as the heat dies down.

I never tried the food at this hotel but i never saw anything that appealed to me. I would only recommend this hotel is money is tight. However, if you are on a business trip i would say go to the Corinthia which is light years better.

  • Stayed: July 2006, travelled on business
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Thank derek1407
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2008

Stayed at this hotel several times over the years and this hotel has gone downhill to say the least.

On our recent stay, bed linen was dirty, water did not drain from bath, hotel heating was not working (was a holiday and apparently as staff was at a minimum hotel heating was off despite overnight minimums being in single figures.

The only shining light is that this hotel is likely to be demolished in the next 12-18 months to make way for a new hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
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Thank Traveloguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2007

The Grand (Bab Al Bahr) Hotel is owned by the Libya Government and is used for visiting dignitaries (The President of the Congo was there during my visit). The hotel is run down by North American standards, but its staff is friendly and accommodating. There are two banks within the building which makes exchanging money really handy. Although the banks have great hours of operation, there's an available bank machine for 24 hour Visa cash advances as needed.

One advantage to the Grand is that it's downtown and you can walk around, shop and eat in the many local restaurants (yes, it's safe at any time of day or night). I would return to this hotel although many prefer the Corinthia (for those that want to spend 3 times the price).

If you come to Libya, realize your NOT back home. Things are different. Enjoy the difference! It's a great country with friendly people!

  • Stayed: June 2007
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7  Thank wbell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2006

We arrived at the Bab Al Bahr hotel with the intention of staying there for our entire 16 day vacation in Libya. After being there only 3 days, we decided to leave.
Our family consists of 2 adults and 3 children. Because the hotel did not have a suite large enough for all of us, we had to get 2 rooms. The rooms were average. They both had views of the Mediterranean, which was nice. The largest room had a king size bed for me and my husband and a sofa for our 10 year old to sleep on. The other room had 2 twin size beds for each of our teens.
Each room had a television which picked up 2 english speaking stations which was a lifesaver for my kids and I who speak no Arabic.
Our biggest problem was the air conditioning. Remember that the outside temp is in the upper 90's. Each room has a very small vent to cool the entire room. The first day that we complained about the air, we were told that it was being worked on. The second day, the same response. On the third day as were were checking out because we had found another hotel with units in each room, we were finally told that the air conditioning for the entire hotel is controlled by management who is told what temperature to set the thermostat by the goverment since it is a government run hotel. We were glad to be leaving.
The hotel also has a small souvenir shop that is expensive. I went in on our last day and picked out about 15 postcards and found out at the register that they were 1 dinar each. I later found the same postcards at the Old Town Market ( in the center of town) for 3/ 1 dinar. The hotel also has a restaurant were we had our free breakfast consisting of coffee, juice, eggs, jelly, cheeses, fave beans and lots of bread. This is the typical breakfast in Libya.
I would rate this hotel mediocre at best and as my family plans to visit Libya quite often to visit family in the years to come, I do not ever anticipate staying at this hotal again.

  • Stayed: July 2006, travelled with family
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8  Thank hazmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bab Al Bahr Hotel

Address: Rte. Al Cornice, Tripoli, Libya
Region: Libya > Tripoli District > Tripoli
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 27 Hotels in Tripoli
Price Range: £66 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 119
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Also Known As:
Bab Al Bahr Tripoli

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