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.
Since the hotel doesnt have a lift so you can ask for the rooms on the lower floors.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.