To cheer me up this evening I received an email from Howie Klein, a fellow blogger and travel writer (www.aroundtheworldblog.blogspot.com)who stayed at the hotel a few days ago. At the same time I received an email from my friend Amede at La Maison Rouge...
this is what Howie Klein writed in his blog entry 'Boutique Hotels of Mali:
'Thanks to a fellow blogger, Sophie, a Swedish woman who runs a hotel in Djenne and blogs about the experience, I got turned on to an informal network of delightful boutique-like hotels throughout Mali. After I booked a room at Sophie's Djenne Djenno, she helped me, through a series of e-mails, plan out where to stay all over the country. All of the hotels are quite small, utterly unique, and very much geared towards serving the needs of foreign travelers. In Djenne, one of the most memorable places we visited in Mali, the Djenne Djenno, a 10 minute walk from the world's biggest and most famous mud mosque in the center of town, has a dozen rooms. We paid around $40 for what would be the equivalent of a junior suite. The hotel is beautifully decorated, beautifully run and impeccably kept up, from the beautiful gardens and wonderful common spaces to the clean, comfortable rooms (with, thankfully, mosquito nets). The restaurant is really good as well.
Our next stop was Mopti, Mali's second biggest city (and biggest port, albeit a river port). The Kanaga, with 80 rooms, is bigger than any of the hotels we stayed at while we traveled around Mali, and is considered the "best" hotel in town. It has a swimming pool and a good location near the river (the heart of town) but otherwise... not nearly as good as La Maison Rouge, one of the most beautiful hotels I've ever seen. The hotel, which opened about a year and a half ago-- and isn't quite finished-- is the dream of visionary French architect Amédé Mulin, who has been building it for over 4 years. Because of the luxuriant public spaces the hotel looks pretty large, although there are only 12 rooms. The rooms are beautifully appointed (although mosquito nets are very much needed) in earthy Malian design. Our double cost us around $80.