I have just returned from 16 days stay at BAKS Hotel in Addis. I visit the city 3 or 4 times every year and have stayed at several different hotels. BAKS is probably the worst experience I have ever had, including some very basic lodges in remote parts of Ethiopia.
The location of BAKS is convenient for the airport but otherwise involves a 30 - 45 minute perilous taxi ride to anywhere in central Addis. The front desk staff ( a series of very pretty and charming young women who have no professional interest or experience in hotels ( it's just a job). They relay complaints to the owner of the hotel who is rarely there and he ignores the complaints, working on the basis that if you ignore the problem , it will go away by itself. This is fine for one-nighters who seem to make up the majority of the guests. But if you are staying for longer, beware of the total lack of interest or action from the owner. During my 16 nights at BAKS ( the only reason I did not leave sooner was because I made the foolish mistake of pre-paying and it was a 4 minute walk from the hospital where I was working), hot water in the mornings was non-existent. I managed 4 warm-hot showers in the mornings throughout my stay. Needless to say, I reported this to the front desk every morning and was assured each evening that an outside maintenance man had fixed it,.....no such luck.
Each time I mentioned that there had been no hot water, the staff suggested that I come back in the afternoon and have a shower when the sun had enough time to heat the solar panels. Great PR !
Breakfast each morning was a real ordeal. It rarely took less than 20 minutes to get a coffee and even longer to get an omelette or piece of stale toast.
Conytrary to the hotel's web site and assurances of 24-hour room service, this is far from true. The bar and restaurant close around 10 pm and should you need a bottle of mineral water for the night, the doorman "might" try to acquire a bottle from a nearby grocery store as long as its before 11 pm.
The owner of BAKS displays a number of extremely dubious methods of extracting money from guests. In spite of not having more than 4 morning showers, appalling service which often made me late for appointments and general disregard for guests comfort, timing, needs he was not prepared to make one cent concession on the final bill.
Conclusion.....unless you are desperate for a one night stay near the airport or the city is filled with delegates for an AU (Africa Union) meeting, every effort should be made to avoid BAKS. Trust me, I have been in the travel business for over 35 years and know a rotten hotel when I see one.
You have been warned....dont risk it.....it will only end in tears.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are a small family-run hotel located 2km away from Bole International Airport and also close to amenities. BAKS Hotel Apartments have luxurious rooms with a seating room, kitchen and bathroom and is furnished throughout to a very high standard, with quality furnishings. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail and individual attention to make your stay in Addis truly memorable. ... more less