History Hotel Es Safir, former Aletti Hotel Present Hotel Es Safir, former Aletti Hotel

Hotel Es Safir, former Aletti Hotel

Josephine Baker stayed there, Jean Gabin and Jean-Pierre Aumont. This is certainly a very uncommon hotel, and we love it for the role it played under several, very different circumstances. Allow us to share different experiences:
'I was fascinated by the Art Deco Es Safir hotel - once the Hotel Aletti, and Algiers' casino …

At first glance the building looks "authentic" or in original condition, but as you get closer you see that it hasn't been looked after and it's rundown. Some people are put off by its neglected state, but I love its strangely unexpected appearance. I find that in Algiers you're faced with this aesthetic experience all the time - an initial impression of splendour or perfection shattered by flaws.' Zineb Sedira in conversation with Christine Van Assche, Saphir (The Photographers' Gallery, London, Kamel Mennour and Paris Musées, France, 2006)

"You get more than a bed to sleep in at the Safir a hotel popular with out-of-town officials with business at the local government offices. Under French occupation this was the Aletti, one of the city's chic addresses. The building is as grand, the view over the harbour perfect and some of the rooms still vast and decorated with character, but while renovation continues, much of the furnishings and fittings are tired and the plumbing unreliable. Expect to pay more for renovated or seafront rooms."
Lonely Planet review

Built between 1926-130 by architects Bluysen&Richards, renmaed Hotel El Safir;
1960s: Journalists checked into the Hotel Aletti, a big fin-de siècle building, which in those days was home base for all the journalists who were following the Algerian situation.

Ben Bella nationalized two of Algiers' hotels, the Aletti and Albert Premier, along with two restaurants, a biscuit bakery and a cinema.

The 150-room Aletti was turned over to a "management committee" of four employees; all its funds were blocked, and the government even held deposits left by guests in the hotel safe.

"Apart from brothels there were hotels where a tip, a nod and a wink to the barman would elicit the number of a certain room where satisfaction awaited the client. Of a different class was the Hotel Aletti, down by the sea front. This elegant establishment - reserved for officers of field rank (majors and above) - was reputed to provide ladies of equal elegance. It was further reported that some of these ladies, if reasonably thrifty, would be able to buy hotels of their own after the war."

'I arrived in Algiers on the day of a coup; there were tanks in the street and the taxi driver said, “Oh, you’ve got to stay in the Aletti". It’s where the journalists covering the war of liberation used to stay and where the Algerian government played host to the Black Panthers, the PLO and the Tuareg rebels. And while I was there I got that terrifying knock on the door at four in the morning and was taken away by the police in an unmarked car and interrogated for 12 hours. So, mixed memories, but a very atmospheric place. Quite comfortable, too: big rooms, big windows and a huge dining room with a picture window overlooking the bay of Algiers. And Algiers is beautiful; it’s got this intense, crystal-clear light.' The London director of Human Rights Watch since 2006, Tom Porteous, who has also worked for the BBC World Service, the Guardian and the British Foreign Office, from which he resigned over the invasion of Iraq, in conversation with David Jenkins about the seven wonders of his world ...

150 Rooms
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Hotel Es Safir, former Aletti Hotel
Country: Algeria
City: Algiers
Opening date: 1930

Note from the Host

General Manager


14, Rue Asselah Hocine
Algeria, Algiers

Tel: 001-2121 735040
Fax: 001-213-273-78-63

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