Chevalier de Boufflers

Chevalier de Boufflers
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Debarcadere de Goree, Goree Island, Senegal

Amenities:

Bar/Lounge, Free Breakfast, Refrigerator in room, Restaurant, Safety Deposit Boxes, Wifi

Price:

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  1. Expert Review

    4.0 rating based on 1 rating
    Oct 2013 · Kate Thomas

    A 20-minute ferry ride from the hustle and bustle of downtown Dakar is Goree Island, a beautiful, breeze-blown rocky islet...

    A 20-minute ferry ride from the hustle and bustle of downtown Dakar is Goree Island, a beautiful, breeze-blown rocky islet lined with handsome colonial buildings and bougainvillea. It was from here that Senegal’s slave trade supposedly operated, and the evidence is still in place: at the museum at La Maison des Esclaves, you can join guided tours that will take you back to those dark days. But Goree isn’t all sadness; it makes for an interesting daytrip from Dakar, and although most visitors don’t stay overnight, a bed at Le Chevalier de Boufflers is an experience you won’t forget.

    Named for a French statesman, the guesthouse is housed in an old colonial building with terracotta walls, cracked flowerpots and an adjacent fish restaurant that looks out over the harbour. Although Goree feels far from Dakar, it has a Dakar zip code and is officially part of the city, so you’ll feel miles away but you won’t really be. It’s even possible to stay here and commute to the city each day; dozens of Goree residents do just that, taking the first weekday ferry at 7am. The boats, which are well-maintained, generally run until 10pm on weekdays and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

    Le Chevalier has just a handful of rooms (from 5000 cfa per person) at once simple and romantic. We stayed in a large sea-facing room on a hot summer’s day; the breeze that filtered through the old wooden shutters was a refreshing change from the humidity that lingered in the air that night on the mainland. The beds are large, with flowing mosquito nets (bring bug repellant in case of holes) and the furniture is shabby-chic. The wooden floors complete the look.

    The guesthouse is by no means luxurious, and if you come expecting creature comfort you’ll be sorely disappointed. The power fluctuates, there’s no air conditioning, and at night shadows dance around the rooms. But if that doesn’t dissuade you, you’ll find that a stay here is something special. You’ll feel, for a night, as if you’ve discovered one of Dakar’s best secrets, escaped the madding crowd and breathed in the island’s fresh air. You could even, if you’re feeling brave, take a dip in the cold ocean to start the next day. Le Chevalier de Boufflers in just one word? Enchanting.

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