Hôtel Ivoire

Historic Building in Abidjan

Every middle-class Abidjani holds a dear memory of Hôtel Ivoire. Built in 1963 by Israeli architect Moshe Mayer, it was the place in town to go ice skating and see a movie (the cinema still stands, though the ice rink, unfortunately, does not). Even if you don't stay here, it's worth visiting this hotel for its unique retro African decor.

Renovated in 2011 to meet its world-class five star status, Hotel Ivoire lost a lot of its original style and charm, but if you go through to the back hotel reception, you'll see the remaining 1960s decor of fiery colours and African motifs, heavy wood carvings and fantastically flamboyant furniture. The rooms (from CFA200,000) are, of course, as plush as it gets, with incredible views of the city. You can also swim in the enormous pool that stretches all the length of the back of the hotel (CFA25,000 for the day for non-guests).