The Al Fanar Palace hotel may be a palace by name, but certainly not by nature. Althougth you may be pleasantly surprised by how the rooms are decorated, this recently built hotel fails to make the best of what it has with modern and welcoming decor; instead, it is the very kitsch lobby which sets the tone.
This hotel review is a translation from the French published on our French site Easyvoyage.com.
The Al Fanar Palace is outlying; located on a large boulevard 30 minutes from the airport and 15 minutes from the town centre. The area around it is rather noisy and unwelcoming.
The swimming pool is in the process of being covered for the winter, for the time being though it has a large terrace.
Believe it or not, this is a new hotel, built in 2004, with 147 rooms. From the outside, the hotel is not really suggestive of the kitsch decor that you find within. Once inside the very dark lobby (which features green paint and lots of dark wood) you will notice the photographic portraits which adorn the walls and the Jordanian curtains. The furniture in the lobby consists of antique armchairs, sofas and chandeliers. Guests at the Al Fanar Palace can enjoy swimming a few lengths of the swimming pool (in the summer only) or relaxing in the hammam, sauna and jacuzzi. The more sporty ones among you may prefer to tone up in the gym. There is also a room with several computers that all have Internet access. There is apparently a bar in the lobby, although for some unknown reason this was closed on the day we visited.
A real surprise awaits you in the rooms, which you may expect to be decorated to reflect the rest of the hotel, i.e, a little on the kitsch side. The decor in the rooms is actually quite nice, certainly nicer than that of the lobby, in any case. The decor is the same in all the rooms - only the layout of the beds changes (1, 2 or 3 beds) - and the red and white tones of the rooms (carpet, curtains and bedspread) make them cosy and welcoming. The furniture is traditional and unfussy and a selection of small paintings adorn the walls. The rooms are spacious and clean and have a television, telephone, safe, mini-bar, air-conditioning, Internet, hair-dryer and hospitality products. The decent-sized bathroom has a bathtub.
Only one restaurant is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all served as a buffet. The charmless dining room is just as dark as the lobby, with very few windows, old, dark wooden and plastic furniture and a few rather unappealing paintings on the walls. The cuisine is local and international. The buffet is located in a small room adjacent to the larger room. A central wooden bar stands in one corner of the main room whilst the round and rectangular tables are laid close together. Another restaurant, the Andalous, is open to groups or at peak times. Outside of the hotel you will find a pizzeria with a large sun terrace which is soon to be covered to enable it to be enjoyed in winter too.
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