When headed to the youngest country in the world, I was a bit concerned on where to stay. South Sudan unfortunately has had a period of instability which brings up safety issues. Through my search for a suitable place to stay, I found Juba Grand Hotel. With a central location and good reviews, I looked forward to my stay.
Only 10 minutes away from the airport, I arrived at the hotel in the morning. Walking through the small lobby, the receptionist greeted me and organized my check in. On the white walls were some traditional decorations plus a souvenir stall near the reception.
I met with Ms. Shimelis, the Front Office Manager, who gave me a quick tour of the property on the way to my room. The hotel has 102 charming rooms in rows around a lush central garden.
My room like the others 102 units had a private porch facing the walkway. On entering my room I found a seating area in front of my large bed with a useful mosquito net. A dresser with a mirror and TV faced the love-seat. The bathroom was simple but functional. What I really appreciated was the high speed internet wifi.
A few steps away was the large outdoor rectangular pool. Loungers surrounded it so it was perfect for both relaxing and getting a few laps in (especially in the heat). Next to the pool is the wellness center which includes a spa, massage treatments, a barbershop and mani- pedi services.
There is also a gym with a complete set of exercising equipment. The hotel even has certified personal trainers available.
On the other side is the Adok Restaurant and Bar which serves international cuisine a la carte.
The main restaurant, Asmara Restaurant, for all day dining and the buffet breakfast is located next to the lobby. There was a pretty decent selection of food both hot and cold for breakfast.
Later in the day I met with the GM, Metin for a cold drink. He loves traveling and adventure which is what brought him to South Sudan in the first place. Managing the hotel in a challenging environment is not for the faint hearted and Metin seems to have things well under control! He explained that they didn’t have many tourists and most guests are business travelers.
I can understand the importance of their business center and several meeting rooms. Gudele Hall is a large conference center used for big events. Outside in the garden is the African Hut which is an open-air event space. Here they can serve up to 500 people in this natural and serene environment.
The walled compound is also safe with the guest rooms behind the reception building.
The team at the hotel were all very friendly and helpful. Ms. Shimelis helped me organize a tour of Juba and a knowledgeable driver.
Overall I had a relaxing stay in Juba Grand Hotel thanks to the great room, facilities and warm staff. Next time I’ll be sure to visit again!
Juba Grand Hotel
Address: P.O.Box 459,
Addis Ababa Rd, Juba, Republic of South Sudan
Tel: +211 (0) 955 026 142