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