In a country like Ethiopia you accept that things don't always work like clock-work. However, when a hotel bills itself as not a normal Sheraton, but as the only Sheraton 'Luxury Collection' hotel in Africa your expectations rise accordingly.
The hitches started when we left customs for the Sheraton airport shuttle. Both the Hilton and Sheraton have shuttle desks and while the Hilton shuttle left right away, the Sheraton one waited for every single guest to clear customs.
To explain: If you haven't got an Ethiopian visa you need to first buy it at the airport and then go through immigration. This means that there is a gap of over an hour between the first and last people from a flight leaving the airport. The Sheraton is around a 15 min drive away outside of rush hour and so it can easily make two trips and still collect everyone.
Instead, most of us who arrived on the eight hour Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt had to hang around at the airport for the final few passengers to come through...and when we finally did set off we had to turn around again because the mini-bus had forgotten someone.
Then, when we arrived the check in desks (literally individual desks) were busy. However, we were just left standing around. None of the attendants called a waiting guest forward when their desk became free. Similarly when we left in the early hours of the morning, I was taken to task in quite a rude fashion for a 330 ml bottle of water that had still to be charged back to my room (they had my credit card details, so what's the problem?)
In fact the overall air of the hotel is pompous and stuffy as if the staff have had the luxury collection tag drummed into them - in the wrong way. Unlike it's only competitor in Addis, the Hilton, the atmosphere is cold which really makes you notice the difference between your surroundings and the shanty towns outside.
The rooms themselves are comfortable and the building is of a high standard. However, for a better atmosphere, better service and a cheaper price you could stay at the Hilton. Which incidentally has better facilities in terms of shops, a clinic, a gym and a better pool.
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- Also Known As:
- Sheraton Addis Hotel Addis Ababa
- Sheraton Addis Ababa
- Addis Ababa Sheraton