The place to Explore Benin and its Culture
When making a travel journey, a full integration to the new culture will make the experience even more rewarding. One of the most important aspect of that integration is the living arrangement one decides to do. Benin has some really unique hotels that are worth mentioning. Most people tend to stay in the typical continental style hotels. However, some locals have built modernized hotels while incorporating authentic Beninese features. There are four hotels that I’d like to highlight mainly due to these specific factors:
These four hotels, from North to South, are:
The Pendjari Lodge is the place for those looking for a 100 percent immersion into a Safari-like setting. Located in the Northwest, near the Pendjari Park, the ecolodge includes 8 large tents built on top of concrete and is fully equipped with a shower, toilet and a double bed. It’s built with local material and it’s very eco-friendly. They have an area where guests within the lodge where guest can go enjoy good local food. What makes the Pendjari Lodge very unique is the mesmerizing panoramic sight you get from sitting on your elevated outdoor terrace. From dawn to dusk, your senses will be enamored by nature’s beauty. It’s a great place to relax and explore the wildlife of Benin. For more info, visit their website.
Casa Del Papa is the result of thoughtful planning and concept. It’s located on the Southwest lower part of Benin and has one very particular Benin: on one side, there is a lagoon and on the other, the beach.
The rooms are built bungalow styles and equipped with a fantastic array of amenities such as a pools, tennis courts, kayaking, boat-riding, a seaside outdoor restaurant, wifi and lots of nearby great sights to visit. Guests get to also see how the local fishermen live and with luck can be taught a few things about fishing. This also means that guest will be lucky to savor on delectable local dishes made with the freshest seafood.The room decor is very westernized but they’ve added a few local arts and custom built their furnitures with local woods. If you want to experience a unique tropical place that has a lot to offer and is in a great location, this is the place to stay especially for couples. For more info, visit their website.
Located on the lower Southern part of Benin in a small fishing town name Possotomé (Sounds like Po-So-Toe-May), Chez Theo is on the shore of Lake Ahémé (a-Hey-May). It is a very quiet, modest 30 room hotel designed like a modern version of African huts with western amenities and interior decor. It gem is their restaurant which is built on the lake therefore, making it a very pleasurable and memorable dining experience to guests.
Just imagine the breeze that can be felt while enjoying a delicious drink or a local dish. It’s a great hotel for people that have a passion for fishing and are looking forward to taking nice scenic walks or enjoy water activities around a lake. If you are looking to not be distracted and just want to relax and feel at peace with nature, this is the place to be.
Le Complexe Touristique, le Palais (Touristic Resort, the Palace) is probably the best upgraded and urbanized African bungalows style hotel. It is located in Porto Novo which is the capital of Benin. The external part of the hotel is designed to remain authentic to African architecture and has an added bonus; most Bungalows are usually one floor. Le Palais is the first bungalow hotel in Benin to has 2 floors.
This structure is innovative and complimentary to a typical African architectural design that has never been modified. It located near a lake, offers great amenities and I would say is ideal for business people or for special events. The restaurant faces the lake which is a nice visual incentive. The hotel looks more like a gated community apartment complex rather than a typical resort-like setting that most hotels in the area feature. One thing for sure, the architecture will be something that will grab your attention and gives you something different to explore. It is also conveniently located in the capital where there are lots of historical sights to visit. For more info, visit their website.
Overall, all of these hotels have their own unique features and benefits. Most are located by the water and there still remains a few good ones that are unspoken of. The good part of choosing these particular hotels is that it will allow you to be among the locals within a local setting and it would give you more a sense of what the Beninese lifestyles are about.