Estrada da Areia Branca Becari, Dili, East Timor
California Hotel Dili Reviews
A hotel far from town Oct 10, 2010
California Hotel is located near Areia Branca beach, a 10 minutes drive from the centre of Dili and it´s run by Chinese. On arrival I was just given a key and told that I was in room number 6. It would have been nice if someone could have told me where it was. Same thing with the room – no information on how things worked. It took me two days to figure out how to get hot water in the shower. When I asked for help I was told that I had done something wrong. It would have been nice with some information on how to work the AC as well since the remote control had Chinese characters on the buttons.
Rooms were nice, had AC, TV (BBC World, an Australian and a Portuguese channel), fridge and tea/coffee making facilities, but there was no safety deposit box. They get a big plus for free internet in the room. The bed was awful though, hard as a rock. I had to use the pillows to sleep on.
The bathroom was okay, water was warm (when I finally got it to work), but water pressure varied. The wardrobe was in the bathroom, which was not ideal. The clothes were always damp.
The hotels restaurant, the Bagan Beach Café, overlooked the beach. Could have been a nice place, but there was never anyone there. I had dinner there the first night, but they had hardly anything on the menu. The staff was not very friendly either. Their body language was very negative. It seemed like they all had an attitude problem. I did had breakfast there since it was included in the room rate. It was a continental breakfast, but it was lousy. Toast, marmalade and either fried noodles or rice, which they never managed to keep warm.
The staff, including the manager, spoke very little or no English. It was a struggle to communicate with them. When I checked out the manager wanted me to pay for the room. It did not seem that he understood that I had paid a travel agent for a package. When I gave him the hotel voucher he just looked at it like a big question mark.
Would I recommend this hotel? Not if you are an individual traveller. It´s a bit in the middle of nowhere. Walking into town takes 40 minutes. Taxi stop running after 6 pm, which means that you can´t really have dinner in town as you should not walk alone after dark.
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