I stayed in the house of friends in El Obeid. But, Walking through the town, I noticed a new hotel that isn’t mentioned in my guide or on the Internet.
I walked in to have a look. It is the “Shad International Inn” beside the two gas stations GAPCO and Shell. It is not as grand as the name sounds, but it is very correct an impeccably clean.
They have single (SDG 80 per night) and double rooms (SDG 100 per night) with en-suite bathrooms. The rooms have a TV, a refrigerator and air-condition. The rooms and the bathrooms are quite small but nice.
This two star hotel is simple but clean. It provides bed and a breakfast buffet which is simple [ continental breakfast] but adequate.
The two bedded room was quite large , clean and had en suite bathroom with hot water, towels and soap provided.
There was a work table , AC and Wi-fi.
Cost per person SD£ 160 or US$60
Within walking distance of the market and almost next door to the Sheikhan Museum.
Pretty desperate. We had gone to El Obeid on business and were supposed to be put up at an NGO rest house, pretty basic; but our Director turned it down and insisted we go to the hotel. At least there would be breakfast available. That was the only positive feature.
From the outside the hotel looked ok, but our rooms were like cells; some even had no window at all. The attached 'bathroom' was bare concrete with a bucket placed under a tap for when/ if the water came, and a shower which suggested water did come sometimes.usually at night; but not during our stay.
After a long journey, any bed was welcome. That's all there was :a bed, and maybe a chair. Spartan to say the least.
I cannot comment as to cost , as we were on a business trip.
Unique features- all negative.
The only positive thing was having breakfast outside in the so-called garden
Whether has been any improvement in the past 10 years, I don't know; but judging by the general appearance of the town , I doubt it very much.
The rooms are like prison cells. You are lucky if there is a window.
The bathroom has no water most of the day, so a bucket of water may have to suffice if left under a tap which might produce a dribble
Can there really be anywhere worse?
Only the food was passable.
There are a few hotels in El Obeid that take tourists. When I worked here I had my own flat, and on subsequent returns I've stayed with friends, so most of what I know of the hotels is second-hand information or the result of a curious peek inside.
The Hotel Kordofan, north of Victory Park, is a big colonial-looking building but is not quite so impressive inside. It looks alright but I've heard very bad things about this place and anyway it seems to spend most of the time closed. Even when it's open it's usually empty.
On the south side of the main souk are a few hotels that seem a better and friendlier bet. The Lebanon and The Aroos are the pick of the bunch - neither are luxurious but are reasonably clean and comfortable, have private and dorm rooms, and at a dollar or so a night are very cheap!
Funduq al-Lubnan is El-Obeid's cheapest and friendliest hotel, run by an energetic Southern Sudanese man by the name of William. After being turned away by two hotels (the Arous because we were unmarried, the Medina because of the prices and the smell), being accepted in a usually male-only dorm was something of a relief. He took us to the security office immediately, chatting all the way about the town, then shuffled all the other guests (mainly long-term) around to give us a room to ourselves. The next visit, we were placed on the roof for a night, followed by a stormy and sleepless night in one of the dorms.
Facilities are basic, but there is water for toilets and showers (even if you have to walk past the TV and several goggling faces to get it!). As it is meant for men only, women might feel a bit uncomfortable...obviously not a place for lone females, but in a group it is fine. As for price, we paid 350 for a bed, which is just over a dollar.
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