Hotel Timor

For reasons out of our control, our house will not be ready for a couple of months, so we are booked into the Hotel Timor.

The Hotel Timor is (I believe) the only hotel that one could call a hotel in the modern western sense. It is fairly spartan but is functional and operates reasonably well. I am no genius in this area. but I guess it might be a 3.5 stars on a good day. It has air-con, satellite TV (BBC, CNN, ABC Australia, Portuguese & Indonesian channels and HBO), showers that work, toilets that work, even tea and coffee making facilities.

There is also a shop (mostly closed as far as I can tell), a business centre which is really just an internet bar (256kbps connection with 6 pcs USD8 per hour), a coffee shop/bar (with Portuguese pastries) and a restaurant, which does a full western breakfast (USD7-50 each) and Portuguese menu (typical main USD10) in the evening.

One feature that is noticably missing is paper. There are no newspapers or magazines to be found. No hotel service directory in the room, no writing paper, no maps of Dili, no advertising of any local services and no tourist information to be found in the building.

There are alternatives to the Hotel Timor. If one wants some ability to prepare food in your room, there are very few options. Vasco Da Gamas has a kitchen area but very limited utensils. The usual alternative has small rooms in motel style, with direct access to outside and a pool. We had the choice of moving to Vascos or to the Esplanade Hotel, but after more than 3 months of living in close quarters and facing another couple of months in even closer quarters, we decided to opt for the big room option and forgo the cooking facilities. Yes, we will get sick of it, but 2 months in a shoe box with barely enough room to store our luggage was our non-preferred option. It is clear that most accommodation is geared for solo guests.

The most annoying part is the room service people. They are keen as mustard to get their work done and one is left no opportunity to sleep-in as they are waiting outside the door at 8:30am, ready to pounce. Then a fleet of about half a dozen come in and change and clean everything. Floors are swabbed, surfaces dusted and stuff moved so we can move it back to where we want it (again).