Most of the hotels we stayed in were of a very good standard. Our tour company chose 4 star and 5 star hotels when available and these were certainly equal to any in Europe and the rest of the world. These are the hotels we stayed in - see individual pages (when completed) for more details on each hotel.
Sana'a Movenpick. 5 star. Probably the top hotel in Yemen with all the accompanying facilities, set on a hill overlooking the city. It even has a bar! Tel 009671546666
Ta'iz Sofitel. 4 star. A really lovely hotel, beautifully decorated with great food and an excellent swimming pool with a view of the mountains. Tel 00967 4200 311
Mukalla Holiday Inn. 4 star. A lovely location overlooking the sea with good facilities. Tel 00967 5306 160
Mahwit. Al Mahweet Hotel. Very charming hotel with lots of character overlooking the main street. Lovely rooms - not luxurious but very clean and comfortable.
Seiyun Al Hawta Palace. Built in traditional style, with beautiful gardens, a nice pool and good food. A great hotel.
Two not so good were the Hodeida Taj Awsan and Golden Tulip in Aden. Both were scruffy with awful food.
One of the older, Western hotels in Hodeidah. Built 40 years ago, and shows it! Singles, Doubles and family rooms are all air conditioned, with Western private bathrooms. If you ask for a double with a large bed, you will get a room in the interior of the hotel, with no outdoor window. A better option is to ask to see all the rooms available---they all look different. You can take a room on the exterior with twin beds, and push them together to make a double---these rooms are bigger and have big windows. Clean, but old. Restaurant on top floor with decent food and good views of the city, although they are often out of ingredients. Great Yemeni foul for breakfast. Small drink shop and gift shop in lower level. Very popular with tours coming through the area. We paid $45 a night for a double.
Western restaurant on site.
I've stayed here twice and enjoyed it immensely both times. Located in Hajjarah, just down the road from the popular Manakha. Much less crowded than the Manakha Tourism Hotel (owned by this manager's brother). This hotel has 2 floors of rooms, all with common baths. Rooms are large and sunny, with basic mattresses on the floors. Bring your own sheets, though, if you are picky about cleanliness! The best part is the food and dancing at night! They serve 3 meals a day for 700-1500 Yemeni rials a person ($3.50-7.50), and you get huge, delicious, clean meals. The bottom floor mufraj is the site of male Yemeni dancing and music each night, and is lots of fun. The hotel is just a short walk from the amazing rock city of Al Hajjarah. Guides at the hotel will take you on hikes during the day for a fee, or you can just wander on your own. There is a small shop near the hotel with drinks and snacks, but no other options for buying food there. They even have same-day laundry service. The only bad part we experienced was that they ran out of water one night, and didn't get it back in time for us take showers the next morning---it is rustic at times! If the power goes out, there won't be hot water. Prices: We paid 3,000 rials ($15) for a 4 person room which we used as a double. Our friend stayed in a smaller, single room for 2,000 rials ($10). Prices are negotiable with the manager, Ghalel Al Askary. This is a can't-miss place for any trip to Yemen!
GORGEOUS Views. Great tour guides. Yemeni dancing every night.
This is a new 7 story hotel in the heart of Sanaa's old city. The interior of an old city building was gutted and rebuilt as a 4 star hotel. This is great for a night or 2 of comfort, but quite expensive compared to other places in the old city. Rooms are equipped with big beds, but if you ask for a double, you will most likely get 2 twin beds pushed together in a small room! Each room has a private, TINY bathroom, with hot water only long enough for a 4 minute shower. Each room also has cable TV, as well as a minifridge with drinks. We were there in Dec, and the rooms were very cold. The upper level has suites available, which apparently are just larger rooms with a mufraj, as well as the view of the city. The terrace cafe on the top floor, as well as the lower level restaurant serve excellent food, although the dinner buffet ($17 a person) is pricey for Yemen. The manager, Mirella Furlanello is an extremely helpful Italian woman. All the reception staff were very kind and spoke excellent English. Prices: Single $59, Double $99, Suite $199.
Huge, delicious buffet breakfast included in room price, with hot food, assorted cheeses, macchiatos and fresh fruit. Great views from the top floor terrace and mufraj. Free, high-speed wireless Internet throughout the hotel!
This is a very convenient hotel in Say’un to explore the Hadramaut Valley. Tarim, for instance can be made in a day excursion.
The rooms are spacious and the price is very correct (about 4 US Dollars for a single room).
This, as far as Ive discovered, is the only true budget accomodation in Sana'a. It's fairly basic with the requisite matress on the floor in large airy rooms and shared bathrooms. Usually there's hot water and electric, but occasionaly that pack's up. But compared to $25 for the Felix Arabia I think $10 is very reasonable. If you haggle you should knock that down to about $8. If you are studying in Sana'a and stay longer its cheaper again. I pay $5 a night.
Being in one of the tallest tower houses in the old city it has magic views from the roof. There is a lounge area on the top floor often visited by better healed tourists. Can be a bit noisy with all the mosques at 4 in the morning - try to get a room without one outside. If staying longer would recommend the rooms on the 3rd floor rather than the 6th. (Not such hard work climbing those stairs every day either!!)
I was pleasantly surprised by the Al-Mahweet Hotel. Despite the fact it is located in a small town high in the mountains, it was the best hotel I stayed in during my trip to Yemen. The hotel offers breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys, as well as old town Mahweet, which clings to a mountaintop above the hotel.
The hotel has only 22 rooms and two suites, but many of the rooms are located in a new wing in an adjacent building (which is attached to the main building). These new rooms are very spacious, and newly renovated and furnished. Each room has satellite television, air conditioning, and its own bathroom.
The Al-Mahweet hotel has a good open-terrace restaurant which specializes in Yemeni cuisine. The restaurant, as well as the hallways and common areas, are decorated with traditional Yemeni arts and crafts, creating an old-time Yemen atmosphere.
And there is even a replica of the interior of a traditional Bedouin tent on a second-floor terrace, where guests can relax on the cushions, and enjoy mint tea or a smoke from a hookah.
Located on the corniche and facing the Red Sea, the Al-Fakhama Hotel is one of the best hotels in the port city of Hodeidah. Despite its four-star rating, the rooms are a little run down. Not all of the light fixtures in my room worked. The water pressure and water temperature in the bathroom were not consistent, and the fixtures in the bathrooms are ancient and did not always work properly.
The Al-Fakhama Hotel offers 63 rooms and 14 suites. Each room is equipped with satellite television, air conditioning, and its own bathroom. There is also a restaurant which specializes in very good seafood from the Red Sea, and a coffee shop where guests can purchase drinks and a snack.
The hotel caters to local businesmen, and therefore has a business center and conference hall.
The Taj Shamsan Hotel is located in the heart of Bab Mosa, the medieval old town of Ta'iz. It is one of the most comfortable and well-appointed hotels in Ta'iz, which helped make it the winner of the Golden Award for Tourist, Hotel and Catering Industry in 2005.
The Taj Shamsan Hotel has 64 rooms and eight suites. Each room overlooks a different part of Bab Mosa, with views of mosques and minarets, bazaars, and medieval buildings. All rooms come equipped with air conditioning, mini bar, direct-dial international telephone service, and satellite television.
Guests at the Taj Shamsan Hotel have several options for dining. The Panorama Roof Top Restaurant provides spectacular views of the city and surrounding mountains, and offers Yemeni and international cuisine. The Al-Howta Coffee Shop also offers local and international food, and is even a popular meeting place for more affluent locals. And the Shamsan BBQ Terrace is a good place to enjoy a meal in the open air overlooking Ta'iz.
Other amenities provided by the hotel include laundry and dry-cleaning services; a boutique specializing in Yemeni fashions, jewelry, and handicrafts; a fully equipped fitness center; and an internet cafe.
Until recently, Socotra was closed to tourism, and was very difficult to get to. That is changing, as birdwatchers, eco-tourists, divers, and adventure travelers are starting to discover the natural wonders of the island. Because Socotra is still well off the beaten tourist path, such amenities as hotels and restaurants are very rustic, and do not meet basic international standards. Therefore, anyone traveling to Socotra must be willing to "rough it."
The Socotra Tourism Hotel is one of only a few hotels in the main town of Hodibo. Despite its name, the staff seems both unwilling and ill-prepared to cater to tourists' needs. The rooms are very basic, but are reasonably clean. Each room has a sink, shower, and squat toilet. The shower and squat toilet are in the same small room, so taking a shower basically involves standing in the toilet. Rooms are not provided with toilet paper, so guests must either provide their own, or request it from the staff, who may or may not have any on hand. And the hotel does not provide any towels either, so guests should be prepared to bring their own.
The hotel also has problems supplying water and electricity on a regular basis, but that may be a problem with the town as a whole. Often there was no water at all, or only a small trickle. And occasionally the power went out in the evening, so the staff would be outside trying to hook up a generator. Even when the generator was hooked up, the lights still flickered on and off.
The Arabia Felix Hotel offers 32 rooms in what was once four traditional houses in Sana'a Old Town. This means that to reach some rooms, it is necessary to walk a block down the street to enter a separate building. What the hotel lacks in luxury or comfort is certainly made up by its unique location and old-time Yemeni atmosphere (the former houses are about 400 years old).
The rooms are basic and clean. The interior walls are whitewashed with intricate scroll-work and Arabic script around the window frames. Above each window is a semicircle of beautiful stained glass that glows in the sunlight. The only amenity in the rooms is a telephone. There is no television or air conditioning. During the day, the sun shining into the rooms can make them quite hot, but they cool off quickly at night, due to the high elevation of Sana'a.
Only a few rooms have en suite bathrooms. Guests in most rooms, therefore, have to share one bathroom and shower per floor. And the sink is located in the hallway. This is the only hotel I have ever stayed in where I had to shave in the hallway.
The Arabia Felix Hotel has an adequate restaurant featuring Yemeni and other Middle Eastern cuisines. Guests can dine inside, or under the flowering trees in the hotel's inner courtyard. There is also a coffee shop where guests can puchase coffee or cold drinks.
newest hotel in town to compete against worn-out Hilton
typical obsequious euro-service but failed to deliver; 9-step internet connection process, exactly one coat hanger in the room
nice pool and good secure premises
security, view and pool
Most people try and book their hotel before they arrive in Yemen because the idea of arriving in a country like Yemen that is frozen in time is intimidating for most but dont let the negative media attention drive you to take a tour and get put up in an expensive hotel. After arriving at the airport I walked outside past the expensive yellow cartel taxis to an older gentlemen and said in Arabic '' Lau Samaht, Ana ureed n athab ela al Medina Qadeema minfadlak '' which means Excuse me, I want to go to the Old City please and chances are they know where you are going anyway. The man smiled and the process was easy, he didnt ask for a lot of money and instead chatted with me in Arabic and told me about the buildings into the old city. My point is that you can arrive in Yemen and go to the Old City and you will be fixed up with a hotel within 20 minutes. If you have trouble finding one (unusual) just ask someone ''Lau Samaht, wayn al fundooq rakhees''? which means excuse me, where is a cheap hotel? Chances are they will not only point one out but probably take your there!
You wont have to pay the big bucks for a Western style hotel and get to meet the local people around the area.
There are nice hotels in all over Yemen. Visit www.cheaphotels.com abd enter your choice of country.
Nice old buildings, historic places and very very nice nice people. I am sorry to say that a lot of people think Yemen is a terrible place. I was in the New York underground one day in 2001, when a crazy men with a knife came into the train whostarted to stap people without even looking at them. I saw people running away from the train, got out immediately and when I made to the exit I asked two ambulance men "what's going on?" they simpky said, there is man with a kife on the loose. No place in the world is safe, aven at your own home if you think about it. Freedom of travel is very impoprtant to me, no matter what no one will ever deter me from crossing frontiers even if it's only to say I am visiting Gaza, Ramalla, beirut, Kabul or Baghdad.
The Hamedda is better known than its next door ‘sister’ hotel because of the food. Just check out my Restaurant tip on this page! In terms of sleeping, the hotel next door is actually better rated. This is a basic ‘Funduq’ and you get the mattress, blankets and pillows on the floor. It’s here or next door. That’s it! They are the only 2 in town. My advice: stay next door and eat here!
YOU CAN POST YOUR POSTCARDS FROM HERE! They have a postbox in the lobby.
PLEASE NOTE: Most guide books give you the wrong phone numbers for these hotels!
Please see more photos of Shibam here:
DAO's SHIBAM PAGE
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