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Whilst none of these hotels could be described as cheap, it doesn't mean to say they don't offer good value, as they provide some wonderful experiences: enjoy Moroccan food at the Corinthia whilst you look down over the medina; imagine the time when glamorous film stars lounged by the pool at the Waddan; be pampered like a princess (or prince) at the Radisson; or simply enjoy a cool drink on the sublime terrace of the Rixos.

Al Waddan

Originally built in 1930 by Italians, it was formerly a casino, then government offices. Renovated in 1988, it’s now part of the Intercontinental Group, and you can see the gigantic Tripoli Intercon rising up beside it. The Akakus restaurant is in the original hammam (original tiles) and serves Libyan/Mediterranean food, separate VIP room. Main restaurant has outside terrace with sheesha and barbecue planned. Occasional dining events.

Leptis room has dining for 450, also suitable for concerts or meetings.

Beautiful original 30s pool with colonnades. Two-room gym and spa with steam room and massage.

We like: Interiors by Lebanese designer and stylish Italian furniture

We like less: Proximity to flyover, variable quality of food.

Website: www.alwaddanhotel.com

Bustan Hotel

Formerly a successful company guesthouse, the Bustan opened as a hotel in 2008. Situated in Seraj and with only 45 rooms, it is in a completely different category from the other hotels in this section. It is, however, one of the most useful to expats because it offers a range of activities to non-residents including circuit training, pilates, salsa and squash. Non-residents may also join the health club to gain access to the excellent gym and pool facilities. The gardens are beautiful (bustan means ‘garden’) and the room rate includes same-day dry-cleaning and internet.

We like: the beauty and tranquillity as well as the friendliness of the staff

We like less: variable coffee and lack of fresh juices

Website: www.bustanhotel.com

Phone: 021-582 6833


This is the Grande Dame of Tripoli hotels – if you can be that when you’re only seven years old. It was the pioneer of luxury hotels and to a certain extent paved the way for the others. Tried and tested, but you pay for quality. It’s first and foremost a business hotel in an excellent location providing service and luxury. Used by diplomats, VIPs, and journalists. Some companies still have their offices there. 300 bedrooms, six board rooms, wedding hall, facilities to host large exhibitions.

Indoor pool and spa.

Restaurants: La Valette (international), Venezia (Italian), Fes (Moroccan), Tripoli café, Orient (Asian)

We like: Modern and airy reception with a touch of Arab decoration and ingenious semi-fake palm trees. Great location between sea and medina.

We like less: It’s surrounded by roads

Website: www.corinthia.com

Four Points by Sheraton

Part of the Starwood group, this hotel is aimed at middling business travellers. It is open for business at the time of writing (January 2011) although the French restaurant Cazerolle will not be functional until the grand opening in March 2011. Meanwhile you can get light meals at Al Andalous Café as well as drinks and shisha in the Café Morocco.

There are 204 guest rooms and five meeting rooms and it is the only hotel in Tripoli to have its own beach; from inside you catch many tantalising glimpses of the sea. Interior design is Tunisian and the furnishings come from Italy; together they create a subtle blend of Arabian and European style which is warm but calm.

We like: location, good parking and the coffee

We like less: the building site next door – the big sister Sheraton

Email: fourpoints.tripoli@fourpoints.com

Phone: 021-337 2300

Radisson Blu Al Mahary Hotel, Tripoli

Scandinavian style with a touch of Arabic. Opened 1 Sept 09, six meeting rooms of different sizes, largest ballroom in Tripoli,  BNP bank, watch shop, tourist shop

Ground floor Oya Cafe with terrace and newly planted garden; Filini franchise Italian restaurant; Marrakesh Restaurant with traditional band every evening except Sunday, good view; Al Mina has different buffet every night

We like: The view from the business floor, the Orchidia spa (with fantastic mosaic in Jacuzzi) which is open to non-residents and has some treatments specially for men, friendly staff

We like less: The occasionally stuffy air quality but presumably that can be resolved

Website: www.radissonblu.com/hotel-tripoli

> contact

Phone: +218 21 340 78 78

Fax:  +218 21 340 78 88

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Rixos Al Nasr

Opened spring 2010, the swankiest hotel in town is beautifully positioned in Tripoli forest with views of trees from the rooms. It is part of a Turkish chain and is largely staffed by Turks. Boasts a huge presidential suite which has been tested by the President of Eritrea. It has an indoor pool and extensive spa complete with a snow room in which to cool off!

We like: The gorgeous terrace which makes a great place to relax and enjoy a drink

We like less: The high cost of our indifferent lunch

Website: www.rixos.com

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Listings (6)


Updated January 2011