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“Check your bill carefully before you go”
Review of Hotel Akwa Palace

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Hotel Akwa Palace
Ranked #8 of 32 Hotels in Douala
Reviewed 10 July 2014

I stayed here for 2 1/2 days earlier this week.
The hotel isn't in the best part of town, but is there a best part in Douala ?.
Checkin was easy enough where they took 2 days room stay up front on my CC. The gym is a little small, but reasonably equipt.
I only dined at the outdoor bar and restaurant which was nice enough and I quite liked the food.

So far so good.

Now the not so good parts, quite frankly most of the staff seemed miserable and not really that interested. The only smile I received was at check in, and non after that.
It almost seemed a chore to have to serve me my dinner and drinks. I didn't tip anybody because the I felt the service didn't deserve it.

Now the part I am really not happy about. When I checked out I looked at my bill, however I am English and therefore do not really speak or write French that well.
When I finally got home I decided to decypher my bill and found several things that upset me.
The hotel charged me for 2 days breakfast, on the website I booked these were to be included. Plus they also increased my room rate from 85000 a night to 95000 a night. Therefore I have been overcharged a total of 34000 local, £41. Needless to say I am not impressed. I have tried to email them through the website to no avail. The stay would have been quite reasonable if it wasn't for this rip off at the end. Very sad really.

Room Tip: Double check your bill before you leave, and do not get a room on the main street unless car horns o...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank ZX6RRick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerard_Schraven, Directeur général at Hotel Akwa Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 26 July 2014

Dear ZX6RRick,

Thank you very much for leaving a comment on your stay at Hotel Akwa Palace on Trip Advisor which has been shared amongst our staff to help us improve on our services.

After a careful investigation, I can confirm that no errors were made on our side. You have been debited 107 000 FCFA, VAT included, for each night that you have spent at the hotel as per your reservation confirmation received from Booking.com. This amount breaks down as follows: 95 000 FCFA for the room night and 12 000 FCFA for breakfast.

Looking at your bill, I see that my cashier had undercharged you by 10 000 FCFA on the first night which was Sunday (although you were booked to check in on Saturday), amount which was subsequently added at a later stage on the bill. It is a fact that the rate for Saturday night was 97 000 FCFA inclusive of breakfast,

Glad to see that you have enjoyed our food at our restaurant by the pool but feel sorry that you have felt that our staff seemed miserable. We do get many positive comments from other guests who feel the opposite, but we have taken note of the experience you have had.

I do hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back in a not too distant future.

Yours sincerely,

Gérard Schraven
General Manager

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56 - 62 of 209 reviews

Reviewed 17 May 2014

The Akwa is one of the very few international hotels in town.

The swimming pool area + restaurant are nice. The restaurant is rather pricey, but Douala is an expensive city, so....

My room was acceptable but a bit outdated.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
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2  Thank manywhere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerard_Schraven, Directeur général at Hotel Akwa Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2014

Dear valuable Guest,

Thank you so much for taking your valuable time to post your comment on your last stay at Hotel Akwa Palace on Trip Advisor!

Your comments have been shared amongst our dedicated members of staff; we are happy to see that you have enjoyed our facilities and look forward to welcome you back soon.

Yours sincerely,

Gerard Schraven
General Manager

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Reviewed 6 May 2014

I would recommend this hotel for leisure, but most certainly not for business.

We even had issues with airport pick-ups where we had to outsource a private car for airport transfers after numerous email correspondences with the hotel. Our meeting delegates were very unhappy with their rooms (there were strange smells in the hallways and some of the beds were not clean). We had to ask hotel staff to tidy the rooms and clean the sheets. Ultimately, we asked for our delegates to be placed in senior suites.

I'm not sure if it was due to language barriers, but we had difficulties communicating with the staff. Their staff is very kind though, and I would recommend this hotel for leisure, but just not for business.

Room Tip: Go for the senior suite. It is well worth the extra money.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank Daje2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerard_Schraven, Directeur général at Hotel Akwa Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2014

Dear Daje2,

I would like to sincerely thank you for leaving a comment on your stay at Hotel Akwa Palace on Trip Advisor.

Our hotel is essentially a business hotel catering for business people (at least 95%), because the leisure market is very low in Douala, being the economic capital of the country. I do apologize for any misunderstangings you may have had with our staff during your stay.

The guest rooms are being cleaned and bed linen changed on a daily basis usually between 8am and 2pm; it does however happen that with a full hotel, this time might be stretched to 4pm, which was the case when your group was inhouse.

I am happy to see however that some of your delegates were upgraded to senior suites.

Some of your delegates were accomodated in the non-renovated wing of the hotel whilst others were in the renovated one; there is indeed a great difference between the two wings and your delegates could see that difference.

Glad to note that you have found our staff to be kind and helpful and we have certainly communicated this to them.

We look forward to having you back in a not too distant future and thank you once again for your valuable comments.

Yours sincerely,

Gerard Schraven
General Manager

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Reviewed 28 April 2014

I'll start with the good points:

Free airport shuttle (one way) driver was there waiting
Lobby areas are OK
They had a buffet lunch one day by the pool that looked appetizing though I didn't try it
I think the location is "central" for Douala
Staff was polite; English not a problem; check in and out were fine
Nice restaurant "Africa Saga" more or less across the street, small supermarket about four blocks further up the street on the right
WIFI worked pretty well, sometimes it would cut out and I would use the wired internet connection in the room
Not far from the airport or train station so you can plot your escape from Douala

Now the bad points:

Everything about the hotel is really, really dated. From the beat up shuttle van to the unappealing exterior facade and especially the rooms. Oh, the rooms.

Rooms are quite shabby, red curtains, red carpet, very dated. Think "there's some kind of radio knob here on the front of the nightstand" dated. Tube TV, no flat screen. Old, saggy mattress. Old bedspread/blanket (in the tropics). Thin and rough bedsheets. The room just generally gave me the "heebie-jeebies."

Hot water didn't really work, it got warm once in the mid-day, maybe there's a solar heating set up, but no hot water at all in the morning/evening over two days.

In room safe was nonfunctional (it was closed and locked and pressing buttons did nothing).

The location may be central, but it is unattractive and a bit seedy. I had read that this was a bustling street, it's really not, a bunch of spread out older buildings with some businesses in them, but everything kind of run down, and then some casinos and strip clubs nearby. You may meet the occasional street hustler or hooker if you walk around the hotel. It didn't feel particularly safe at night, though if you stay right on that main street during reasonable evening hours you are probably fine.

I normally choose hotels that are central to the "sights" but I don't think Douala has any sights whatsoever. With taxis being so plentiful and cheap, I wish I had stayed at a higher rated hotel in another area of town and just grabbed a taxi when I needed to go somewhere.

I'm used to African hotels being dated, overpriced, and not great value, I try not to be too fussy about that, but this place fell far short of my already lowered expectations.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
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2  Thank STLvagabond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerard_Schraven, Directeur général at Hotel Akwa Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2014

Dear STL Vagabond,

Thank you for the comments you have left on Trip Advisor on your last visit to our Hotel Akwa Palace in Douala.

We have noted the good points with a big smile. It is a pity you have not tried out our Sunday Buffet because it is really very delicious and we do get a good number of return customers, simply bevause we offer good variety and quality.

We have also taken note of the bad points. Gathering from your comments you were given a non renovated room; I do aplogize however about the fact that you have not had hot water. During your stay we experienced a hot water pipe burst which has affected approximately 15 rooms. As for the safe, I wish you had contacted our receptionist for help.

As you have noticed the hotel is very central and surrounded with shops, banks, restaurants and nightclubs. We do not recommend our guests to venture out at night by foot on their own and usually our security staff are available to accompany them, if it is not too far.

It is true that Douala does not have many sights but the ones that I would recommend are the flower market and arts & crafts and the Maritime Museum.

We have 60 renovated rooms and I would therefore suggest to you that you request for one, should you ever return to Douala and want to stay at our hotel again in the future. It will be a pleasure to have you back.

Yours sincerely,

Gerard Schraven
General Manager

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Reviewed 23 April 2014

Entering the hotel, you get an unpleasant smell.

I got a suite,
Got no warm water, which was known by the hotel.
Got bitten in the room by fleas :-( For sure from the room, since it was the only place where I removed my shoes.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
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Thank erik_coremans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerard_Schraven, Directeur général at Hotel Akwa Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2014

Dear Mr. Eric Coremans,

We thank you for having taken your valuable time to post your comments on Trip Advisor.

It is with great concern that I have noted your comments on the presence of fleas in your suite; this has somehow surprised me since the floor of the suite is fully tiled with a small sisal carpet in front of the bed and since we had just carried out a spray of all our rooms and suites as part of our pest control program. Nevertheless I got your suite redone as a matter of precaution.

I do aplogize for the fact that you had no hot water; in fact approximately 15 of our rooms and suites got affected after a hot water pipe burst during your stay. Our receptionist should have contacted you to suggest a suite move.

Once again please accept our apologies for these inconveniences and I look forward to welcome you myself on your next visit.

Yours sincerely,

Gerard Schraven
General Manager

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Reviewed 28 March 2014 via mobile

This was my second one month stay at hotel akwa palace located at the heart of douala. During the stay i had a great feeling of being pampered by all the staff who are so professional and friendly. I believe that committment and organisational culture travels from top to bottom and full marks to Geraud, the general manager who stands like a beacon for his staff. I will stay again whenever I visit douala again. In the end hats off to Geraud and his team. Please keep up the good show.. cheers

Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
1  Thank Rashid J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerard_Schraven, Directeur général at Hotel Akwa Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2014

Dear Rashid,

Thank you so much for your kind comments on your stay at Hotel Akwa Palace posted on Trip Advisor.

I have shared them with all our staff who look forward to welcome you back in a not too distant future.

Warm regards,

Gerard Schraven

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Reviewed 19 March 2014

Rooms are soso (old fashionned, bed not so great, old tv).
I had issues with the safe (no batteries).
Globally service is medium, but people are rather sympathic.
The food is nice.
The bar is pleasant.
Location is great (close to some nicea places).
The swimming pool is nice.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank y h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerard_Schraven, Directeur général at Hotel Akwa Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 25 March 2014

Dear Y H,

Thank you very much for your comments received on Trip Advisor following your stay at Hotel Akwa Palace. These were shared amongst our dedicated staff members to ensure that your next stay is even better.

Some of our rooms have already been renovated in 2010 but I believe that you were given one in the old wing which, I am happy to announce, shall also be renovated by the end of this year.

We very much look forward to welcome you back during your next trip to Douala.

Your sincerely,
Gerard Schraven

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Additional Information about Hotel Akwa Palace

Address: Boulevard de la Liberte 920, Douala 4007, Cameroon
Phone Number:
Region: Cameroon > Littoral Region > Douala
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 32 Hotels in Douala
Price Range: £103 - £135 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Akwa Palace 4*
Number of rooms: 184
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideally located in the heart of Douala, the Akwa Palace Hotel combines the charm of the colonial tradition with the most modern comfort within a refined and warm atmosphere. The Akwa Palace Hotel is close to the vibrant cultural and tourist centers and is situated in the middle business district of Douala, the economic capital of Cameroon. The Akwa Palace is made of 2 buildings, the Akwa 1, 3*** and the Akwa 2, 4**** Deluxe. ... more   less 
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