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How to Book a Hotel in Cotonou
In order to book an accommodation in Cotonou enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Cotonou hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Cotonou map to estimate the distance from the main Cotonou attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Cotonou hotels and see their ratings.
When a hotel search in Cotonou is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Cotonou is waiting for you!
Hotels of Cotonou
A hotel in Cotonou is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Cotonou hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Cotonou are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Cotonou hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Cotonou hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Cotonou have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Cotonou
An upscale full service hotel facility in Cotonou that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Cotonou hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Cotonou
Full service Cotonou hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Cotonou
Boutique hotels of Cotonou are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Cotonou boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Cotonou may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Cotonou
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Cotonou travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Cotonou focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Cotonou
Small to medium-sized Cotonou hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Cotonou traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Cotonou hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Cotonou
A bed and breakfast in Cotonou is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Cotonou bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Cotonou B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Cotonou
Cotonou hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Cotonou hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Cotonou
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Cotonou hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Cotonou lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Cotonou
Cotonou timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Cotonou often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Cotonou on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Cotonou
A Cotonou motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Cotonou for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Cotonou motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Cotonou (French pronunciation: [kɔtɔˈnu]), formerly Kutonu, is the largest city and economic centre of Benin.
Its official population count was 761,137 inhabitants in 2006; however, some estimates indicate its population to be as high as 1.2 million. The population in 1960 was only 70,000. The urban area continues to expand, notably toward the west. The city lies in the southeast of the country, between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Nokoué.
In addition to being Benin's largest city, it is the seat of government, although Porto-Novo is the official capital. It is home to most of the country's government buildings and diplomatic services. The city is a major port and home to an airport and a railway that links to Parakou. Other features include Cotonou Friendship Stadium, Cotonou Cathedral, Cotonou Central Mosque, the Ancien Pont Bridge and the 20-hectare Dantokpa Market, which has a commercial turnover of over one billion CFA Francs a day. Another familiar feature is the motorcycle-taxis known as Zémidjans.
See also: Timeline of Cotonou
The name "Cotonou" means "by the river of death" in the Fon language. At the beginning of the 19th century, Cotonou (then spelled "Kutonou") was a small fishing village. Though originally ruled by the Kingdom of Dahomey, in 1851 the French made a treaty with the Dahomean King Ghezo that allowed them to establish a trading post at Cotonou. During the reign of Glele, his successor (1858–89), the territory was ceded to France by a treaty signed on May 19, 1868. In 1883, the French navy occupied the city to prevent British conquest of the area. After Glele's death in 1889, his son Béhanzin tried, unsuccessfully, to challenge the treaty. From then on, the town developed quickly to become the largest harbour in the region.
Cotonou and surroundings
The Oueme River as it flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Cotonou.
Cotonou is on the coastal strip between Lake Nokoué and the Atlantic Ocean. The city is cut in two by a canal, the lagoon of Cotonou, dug by the French in 1855. Three bridges are in this area. The Oueme River flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Cotonou.
The city has established transportation infrastructure including air, sea, river (to Porto Novo), and land routes that facilitate trade with its neighbors Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Togo.
The erosion of the coast has noted for several decades. It worsened in 1961 following the major work undertaken in Benin with the construction of the Nangbéto dam and deep-water port of Cotonou, in Ghana with the Akosombo Dam and in Togo at the port of Lomé. Houssou Paul, a pilot project funded by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) revealed that in 40 years, the coast to the east of Cotonou fell by 400 meters. This erosion has led many people to leave their homes along the coast. The Beninese state prohibited the pumping of sea and sand for the construction of protective dikes.
Under Köppen's climate classification, Cotonou features a tropical wet and dry climate, alternating with two rainy seasons (April–July and September–October, 800 to 1,200 mm (47 in) of rain per year) and two dry seasons. In December and January, the city is affected by harmattan winds. Temperatures are relatively constant throughout the year, with the average high temperatures hovering around 30 °C (86 °F), and average low temperatures at around 25 °C (77 °F).
Climate data for Cotonou (1961–1990, extremes 1910–present)
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source #1: NOAA
Source #2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (humidity, 1951–1967), Meteo Climat (record highs and lows)
1979: 320,348 (census count)
1992: 536,827 (census count)
2002: 665,100 (estimate)
2005: 690,584 (estimate)
Besides French (the official language of Benin), the main languages spoken in Cotonou include Fon, Mina, Aja and Yoruba.
Further information: Transport in Benin
Boulevard Saint Michel de Cotonou.
Street scene in Cotonou
The Autonomous Port of Cotonou is one of the largest in West Africa. The city is connected to Parakou in the north by the Benin-Niger railway. Cotonou International Airport provides service to the capitals of the region and to France, as well as the major cities of Benin: Parakou, Kandi, Natitingou, Djougou, and Savé. There are road connections to neighboring countries: Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Togo. A prevalent mode of transport in the city is the motorcycle-taxi, Zémidjan.
In 2015 a suburban passenger railway line was being developed between Cotonou and Pahou.
Because of its status as a transport hub, Cotonou has become a crossroads of West African commerce, with much trade moving here from Abidjan because of the Ivorian Civil War. The city is a so-called "market town," enabling trade with the countries of the African interior, such as Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. In addition to the port, there is a free trade zone in the interior of the city for use by the landlocked Saharan states. However, the city is rife with corruption and illegal trade, especially with neighboring Nigeria. It can be considered the economic capital as it houses two-thirds of Benin's industries and is the headquarters of the nation's major enterprises and banks.
Important manufactured goods include palm oil and cake, brewing, textiles, and cement. Motor vehicles and bicycles are assembled, and there are sawmills in the city. Petroleum products, bauxite, and iron are major exports. There are offshore platforms drilling for oil. The city is a center for the automotive trade, with European brands being sold from vast open-air parking lots. In the past, Citroën assembled cars (for instance, the Citroën 2CV and Ami 8) locally.
By 2012, piracy in the Gulf of Guinea had significantly decreased trade at the port of Cotonou.
In the Missebo area, Cotonou is a textile market of African print mainly handled by Indian wholesalers and retailers.
Cotonou: Main sights
Ancien Pont Bridge.
Cotonou Cathedral or Notre Dame des Apôtres, near the Ancien Pont. It is noted for its distinct burgundy-and-white-striped tiles. The cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cotonou. The diocese was originally created on June 26, 1883, as the Apostolic Prefecture of Dahomey from the Apostolic Vicariate of Benin Coast, Nigeria. After several names changes under Dahomey, on 14 September 1955 it was promoted as the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cotonou. The cathedral was run by Archbishop Bernardin Gantin (died 2008) from 1960 to 1971. The archbishop of the cathedral and Cotonou is Marcel Honorat Léon Agboton.
National University of Benin
Ancien Pont Bridge
The headquarters in Cotonou of the ORTB.
The Office de Radiodiffusion et Télévision du Bénin (ORTB) - the national television and radio operator - is based in Cotonou.
The city is threatened by the rising waters from the Gulf of Guinea.
Cotonou: See also
List of deep water ports
Railway stations in Benin
"Dahomey" in the Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed., Vol. 7. 1911.
GNS: Country Files Archived May 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. Earth-info.nga.mil. Retrieved on 2011-06-15.
IRIN Humanitarian News. BENIN: [http://www.irinnews.org/report/80126/benin-coastal-erosion-threatening-to-wipe-out-parts-of-cotonou Coastal erosion threatening to wipe out parts of Cotonou.
"Cotonou, Benin Climate Normals 1961-1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
"Klimatafel von Cotonou, Prov. Atlantique (Süd) / Benin" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961-1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
"Station Cotonou" (in French). Meteo Climat. Retrieved 11 June 2016.