Is there an iron in the room? Super-fast connectivity in name only? Staff that remember your name every time you visit? Room service just as good as the restaurant?

Here’s some inside information on the hotels that become the travellers’ home away from home.

Johannesburg, South Africa – Reef Hotel

Modernized, boutique style hotel. Very large airy rooms. Access to parking area is a tight (narrow) uphill, single lane drive, with tight turns. Driver going uphill has to back up if a car is leaving at the same time you are entering. Not for the inexperienced or drivers who have trouble with manual cars on the uphill. Mostly WITS students at the facility. Extremely friendly staff. Central CBD location but desolate at night.

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Nairobi, Kenya – Boma Hotel

Great proximity to the airport but might not be as convenient for those with business in town. Modern, comfortable rooms. Couple of restaurant choices on site. Comfortable atmosphere at the restaurants. Food quality can be a hit or miss. Frustratingly slow internet. Very helpful and accommodating staff. Security systems, including vehicle screening at entrance gates and airport style screening at hotel entrance, in place.

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Lusaka, Zambia – Radisson Blu

Friendly and accommodating staff. Be prepared with the mosquito spray especially for rooms on the ground floor. Can be difficult to get a drinks order at lunch time when meeting participants crowd the restaurant at lunch time and overwhelm the staff. Rooms are large but can do with some modernizing. Lots of restaurant choices at the Mall near the Radisson (and Protea Hotel).

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