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“Personable service, good location, quiet, comfortable” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Lion's Den Hotel

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The Lion's Den Hotel
Kefle Ketema- Kirkos Kebele-01/19 | House No. 028, Addis Ababa 1234, Ethiopia   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
10% off room rate
Ranked #8 of 69 hotels in Addis Ababa
New York City, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Personable service, good location, quiet, comfortable”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

The proprietor and staff make you feel like you're visiting their home and are very attentive. Great coffee ceremony every afternoon with excellent coffee served with the whole staff. Does not have a dry, functional hotel atmosphere you would get at Addis' larger, typical hotels. The rooms are suites with a separate living room, which is very nice. The building is a solid European-styled structure. Next door to the Greek club for additional dining options and tennis. Located near the city center, but away from the traffic so that it is quiet. Wifi to the rooms was in the process of being fixed while we were there, but otherwise a great option for an easygoing, comfortable lodging option in Addis.

Room Tip: Wifi availability in the rooms "was being repaired at the time", so something to ask about...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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61 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New Delhi
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

I had booked this hotel after reading some real fab reviews on tripadvisor esp about the owner/manager-Bubi. Since I also run a similar hotel in New Delhi and ours is a very personalized hotel so it was really nice to be staying into a place similar to ours-i.e. with a personalized touch.

Okay, the good things first:-

The room had exceeded my expectations. The bedroom was small but there was an adjoining sitting room with an open kitchenette with functional fridge & electric kettle but no gas/hob to actually cook food. It gives a feel of a small studio apartment with plenty of sunlight coming in. It is not swanky in anyway & neither is meant to be. But it is clean and more posh than a lot of other places I have stayed in Africa. For a price of $65 ,its rather good. Also @$65 One has to come with reasonable expectations.
There is a tall table that separates the kitchen from the sitting area. There is a small TV (not a flat screen) which has 2 movie channels and BBC news. Out of the 2 movie channels 1 channel was not clear so not viewable.
I was promptly picked up at night from the airport by a very friendly guy called Hanok and he could speak some English which I was to realize later that was superb by Addis standards. There is another boy- Thader- who is absolutely great. Extremely helpful. He walked 2-3 kms with me to hunt for my ph (which was pick pocketed while walking around the hotel) and lodging a complaint at the police station.
The food here is delicious.

The boys working here are absolutely exceptional. They can speak understandable English and are SO helpful that one cant even imagine.


Now, the bad things & there is a long list of them:

Firstly, the hotel is a long way from the main road , while there is a short cut which is also about 300-400 mtrs from the main road. Once you reach the main road you are still many kilometers away from any kind of action-bars, cafes & shops etc.
Secondly, when I asked the receptionist-Mahlet next morning if the area was safe, she said yes it was and that nobody would bother me. Hearing this I walked outside not taking the shortcut as it is a small narrow lane which is dingy even during the day time. Mahlet gave me wrong directions to the Ghion hotel where I wanted to go and buy a city map. To write it very briefly, I was pick pocketed by a couple of street urchins & I lost my Samsung Galaxy Note. As upset I was after losing my phone, I expected the hotel people to have told me to be cautious of pick pockets esp in the form of children as everyday there are dozens of such thefts happening to unknowing tourists.


Thirdly, there is no internet in the rooms. You have to go down to the lobby where there are 2 desktops which DO NOT WORK. I worked briefly on my laptop but after every 40 seconds the connection gets cut and you have to disable & enable again to get it working which also stopped working after sometime. So if internet is in your priority then this place is certainly not for you.

Fourthly,You can still walk towards the main road during the day but at night it is very dark and not advisable at all even by the hotel staff. So if you even need to go to the super-market to buy water, you have to take a cab.
Though the location is claimed to be on the Bole road but it is on the most un-happening part of that road and that too way inside. You need a cab to go just about anywhere.

Fifth, the receptionists speak very little English & despite after repeatedly asking if I could go anywhere during the day for some sightseeing, they were absolutely clueless about it. Another one in the evening was clueless in guiding me if I could use my free time in the evening to go anywhere interesting as a tourist.

Sixth,When I wanted to buy a simcad with active internet,I was given a simcard the rental for which was Birr150-about $9. Rental for $9. When I refused to take it then she said okay no problem, we don’t want to make a customer angry….Hotel taxi is thrice as more expensive as local cabs outside.
Seven, Maybe iam being too critical, the shower has no pressure and bathing is not a pleasure.

To conclude it all, will I ever stay here again- ABSOLUTELY NO. Simply because despite staying here for 2 nights out of the 4 nights in Addis, I couldn’t get the feel of the city thankfully bcoz of the incompetent staff.(ladies at the recp).
I went to stay at Hotel Wassamar at Bole Road & by just paying $25 more,it was like moving from 3rd world to 1st world..
About Bubi- Iam sure she is a very helpful person but if you are coming to this hotel depending on Bubi’s guidance then ensure that you don’t land on the weekends as she doesn’t come on Sat/Sun.

Room Tip: Since the hotel doesnt have a lift so you can ask for the rooms on the lower floors.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grosse Pointe Michigan USA
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

The hotel is small, but has a special charm. The manager (Bubi) and her husband and the other front desk employees speak very good English. Bubi is certainly the "hostess with the mostess." She is very accommodating and has lots of tour ideas and will even get a reasonably priced driver for you. She went out of her way to visit me in an Addis Ababa hospital on a holiday after I had stayed at the Lion's Den for a couple of nights a week earlier. She makes everyone feel like they have a real friend in Ethiopia. Since she lived in the USA for quite a number of years, she definitely understands the needs of folks from other cultures. The free computer in the lobby was a real asset. I have recommended the property to many others. Note: no elevator

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the rooms, which were more like small one bedroom flats. Bubi and her staff were more than helpful and did their best to make my stay at Lion's Den feel like home. The breakfast that came with the room was very good. You have a wide choice on the menu. I ordered Ethiopian food during my stay at Lion's Den so that is all I can comment on, everything I tried of the local dishes was tasty. I would definitely stay again and look forward to doing so when I return to Addis, hopefully next year.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
raleigh, nc, usa
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

We booked with the Lion's Den because they said it was "near" the airport. Not so, the Hotel was near Meskel Square and took a long time thru heavy traffic to reach. And it was not located on a main street. Also, after calling on arrival for pickup we waited over 1 hour for the shuttle--it never arrived. So we called again to be told that they were expecting us to call again when outside at the pick-up area. We were in transit for a next day flight, and were assigned a suite for $75USD, a smaller room would have sufficed at a lower cost. Other travellers used the Harmony Hotel which was closer to the Airport.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Accra, Ghana
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012 via mobile

They don't tell you this but all the rooms are huge suites with a living room and kitchen. Overall a great stay in a modern, well-maintained hotel. My only dings are because my girlfriend booked the room but when we arrived and saw a white guy they doubled the price. Still a good value at $50. I guess you can expect some institutionalized racism in a developing country that hasn't quite figured out that racism hurts everyone yet. Maybe they will grow up one day and join the developed nations that have outlawed all forms of racism. :)

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iserlohn, Germany
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2012

good location, friendly staff, great variety for included breakfast, big rooms, airport pickup problem-free

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about The Lion's Den Hotel

Address: Kefle Ketema- Kirkos Kebele-01/19 | House No. 028, Addis Ababa 1234, Ethiopia
Phone Number:
Location: Ethiopia > Addis Ababa
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 69 hotels in Addis Ababa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Inexpensive luxury hotel in the center of the city 5 min from the airport, 3 min from shopping center. ... more   less 
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