Ghoz Ateek Hotel: state-owned and run-down
The Ghoz Ateek is Misrata's big state-owned hotel. It is the equivalent of the Al-Kebir in Tripoli or the Tibesti in Benghazi. And like them, from the outside, with its palm tree-lined driveway and fountains, it looks impressive. It's only when you go into your room or try to use the facilities that you begin to see that all is not well with the place.
I had to stay here for some time and was very glad to leave. The place was clearly built with great ambitions, but it has been badly neglected and is beginnning to fall apart. The service is eccentric to say the least. Anyone who has seen Fawlty Towers will know what I mean. Many of the rooms have damaged baths and sinks and are badly in need of a fresh coat of paint and some new furniture. The inclusive breakfast consists mainly of bread, watery coffee and artificial juice. The restaurant grudgingly serves the same poorly-cooked, overpriced dishes every night.
Most of the facilities , including the swimming pool without water, the internet cafe with the padlocked door, the locked cinema and the hair salon whose hairdresser has left, are permanently closed, even though the staff will tell you every day that they will open tomorrow. I know because I was there for three weeks.
Occasionally, Italian tour groups visiting Leptis Magna stay here for the night. A standard room costs 90 LD, including breakfast. There are also some poorly-maintained, self-catering studio apartments which tend to be used by local honeymoon couples at weekends.