I stayed 2 weeks (Nov. 2013) at Ras Hotel, Churchill Av.: Good location, close to Mesqal sq, Bole and Piazza.
Cheapest rooms on ground floor, 300birr/17$, simple but clean, there is rarely warm water in the shower, if you are lucky sometimes in the afternoon...but it's neither really cold. Insist if you want one of those (they prefer to sell the more expensive ones). Rooms from #1 – 20 are on the sunny side (very worthwhile), above #20 to the north and the parking, feels much colder. It's very silent at night, but be prepared to get up before 8am - room service starts knocking on the door. During the whole day the maids keep coming in your room/chatting in the corridors.
It's very safe though, the maids are honest and friendly; so never fear for your belongings being stolen out of your room! Breakfast buffet caters to the Ethiopian guests (which is the majority in Ras); for international taste it's limited to scrumbled eggs and white bread…
Reception staff is not overly friendly, but correct. One guy who behaves like the boss is to avoid; he's sth between suspiscious and straight out hostile. Better choose a moment when you see a woman sitting on the right side (people in charge for reservation/rooms/money). English language skills of all the staff are very basic.
Restaurant ok, nice in the evening, when you are tired and hungry and don't want to go out anymore...Meat dishes are better than pasta (very lame, carbonara is horrible).
Finally I moved up to Taitu hotel...and I felt much more comfortable there!! Conclusion: go to Taitu right away! : ))
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