It was the earthquake that did it. We finally found somewhere else that was reasonable, so we moved from Hotel Timor to Hotel Dili.
Hotel Timor (HT) fits into the normal definition of an accommodation-based hotel, with foyer, front desk, restaurant, cafe, business centre, room service, bar fridge stocked with miniature spirits etc. etc. It has room service, a pool, tea and coffee-making facilities in the room – the usual stuff. And it is of the monolithic style.
Once you leave HT, the word “hotel” is used in a completely different fashion. Although there are a couple of others in the monolithic style, most are little more than a collection of pre-fab or demountable rooms, ranging from backpacker style to serviced apartment in style. Many of these were put together for the massive influx of highly-paid aid workers and defence personnel moved in here along with the UN 5 or so years back. I include Hotel Dili, Hotel Dili 2001, Hotel Esplanada and Timor Lodge Hotel in this latter category. I suspect most of these would be in the 1.5 to 2.5 star category.
Of course, I may be a little unfair, but they do in general, provide solid accommodation with the essentials. The essentials being bathrooms, toilets, a restaurant and air-conditioning.
After a couple of days, I have to admit that giving up the Hotel Timor business centre was pretty easy. And parking my bicycle 3 metres outside the front door feels nicer than 200 metres away in the Hotel Timor storeroom out the back.
And the almost invisible Hotel Dili restaurant is actually not too bad at all. Virtually all the long-term residents eat here every night and life is good … except for the mosquitos.