I walk into Hotels, Hostels, Guesthouse, I really do not care what you call them, and I search Hotels for the scent, smell and signs of Travelers. I first look in the common area, restaurants, I do not just look at the rooms, I walk around the Hotel searching for tracks of travelers. I often ask the managers, are there any White People here. If I asked if they were busy, they would say yes, I have to ask indirect questions, sometime I ask is this room or that room occupied.
I am in a place with no simple name, very far from the city; a person needs a car to live here. It is a great neighborhood, clean, a market right next door, the Mosque behind the place has not as of today installed a loudspeaker system.
There were travelers hanging around, or there were French Girls hanging around, doing what French Girls do in Ouaga. There was however bed for 3000 CFA, and so far, the cheapest place to sleep in Burkina Faso, my room was 5000 and almost cheapest.
Sadly, a Guidebook can make a bad Hotel into a good Hotel, I sometime say, - The Guidebook Writer shagged a girl at the Restaurant Hotel. - Here in Africa, I say, - The Guidebook writer found a good place to park their car Hotel. -
I recommended the Mandela in Kpalime, Togo to Taia and Marc and wanted to call them later and say, as a couple, there is a Hotel down the street for 6000 with AC and good priced for a couple, two people in a room. I cannot remember the name, and it was not in the guidebook, and a smidgen too far for me to live in for me. They stayed one night I think in the Mandela, I believe, so for them it was a one-night hotel.
I always pay attention when a person tells me; I stayed 10 day in a Hotel. This is an excellent Traveler sign.
Tito the Slovenia man was not too happy when I said, the only reason I am in the Hotel is because he speaks English. He would disagree he was not happy, because he is a contrarian, but this is the reason, I am here. I wanted one person I could bleed for information on the area. However, anyway, I do it, he only knows a snapshot of the area, and I was looking for a multiple country view of Africa. When he leaves the Hotel will be close to zero interest for me, and I will not return, it is just too far for me without a car.
Returning to a Hotel is a good sign, when a person returns to a Hotel, I listen to the traveler say, and I will go and stay again in this Hotel.
I am always fearful of recommending Hotels, I know hotel where if you choose your rooms carefully, you can do great. Africa is full of this problem, only one room in the Hotel is acceptable. Whatever the case, the I search for Hotel where I would want to stay 1-10, and then vote with my feet, when I leave after 1-2 days this says something. I will leave this no clear name place to sleep after 4 days; I just cannot bear to live here one more day. It is too far from anything to enjoy without a car, I am out in the boonies.
The worst place to live is in isolation, on a paradise, deserted island with a beautiful sunset and nobody to talk with. BUT, there are people who do not want to talk with anyone, ever, and need to be in a cell.
Whatever the case, I pay attention to the tracks of travelers, are there people staying 1-2 or 1-4 or 1-10 and then I remember.
I was explaining to Tito that the rooms in South America were not as nice as Africa, however the Africans cost 8-15 dollars and in South America easy for 3-5 you are very happy, because they are a good value, plus many 1-10 people in the Hotels.