The absolute advantage of this hotel is that it is located in a nice park. And so much about the positive things.
We were on a business trip, spent almost 2 months there (3 times aprox. 3 weeks).
First we had garden apartments. Was quite big, no internet service. Quite relaxing until the weekend comes and the nearby swimming pool becomes very crowded and for some unobvious reason they keep on playing the same music very loudly. Furniture, equipment needs serious refurbishment. Cleaning was OK.
Then we moved to the main building. Rooms are not too big, their condition is just as bad as the garden apartments. Our biggest surprise was that on 3 days out of 7 there is no hot water. On the remaining 4 the cold one "was missing". This meant very rapid showers. And usually the water pressure was low - avoid 3rd (top) floor. Main building is also noisy, loudspeakers of the nearby curches / mosqs will wake you up at about 5-6 in the morning.
Fixed line internet is available in the main building, though it is seriously overpriced and slow. The ancient elevator in the main building should be put on display in a technical museum (mind the step: no doors in the elevator inside).
The food was not too variable. After 4-5 days you get really fed up with the breakfast (absolutely no change for 2 months, the same narrow selection every day). Same thing applies for the dinner: it is a la carte though the menu did not change, it remained the same 20-25 dishes. Ask for the room service foods - they are absolutely not advertised in the restaurant but they are available (e.g. club sandwich). Some foods are otherwise quite OK, and the fresh orange juice is also a must to try (but not the one they have during breakfast).
Business center is something to avoid. It's owner (Mimi) provides you very unreliable and utterly expensive service, and also she did not keep her word. We made a mistake by renting mobile (internet) sticks there. Avoid it, if possible.
All other shops are also highly expensive, just pop out to any other place, it is worth it - even at the airport things are much cheaper...
We went only once to the swimming pool (as hotel guest it is for free). Afterwards we had serious stomach problems for 2-3 days.
The hotel also has a fitness center - if you pay extra 140 birr you may enter. (We did not.)
Still the worst experience was our last day, when someone called my room from the reception desk. Without introducing himself he insisted on that I should immediately go down. So I did and the caller turned out to be the front office manager. He was missing a letter that our Ethiopian partner company sent earlier to him. He said that due to the absence of this latter we should pay our own bill. After 30 minutes of shouting (really) and after I could finally reach the contact person from my partner company this was solved (mobile network is unreliable). But his approach clearly showed me that he should not be working with guests. (Why on the last day did he find it out? Why didn't he call the number he also know? etc). And of course they had the original letter with them at the reception desk - it turned out to be there when I checked out. They simply did not know where they had put that. And of course in this case it is the guest who can easily be blamed and he has to solve the problem.
The root cause for all these problems is that there are not too many hotels in Addis - hotels that offer such a service can still get on quite well and fetch a lot of money...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ghion hotel which is popularly known as "the Garden palace hotel of east Africa" is located in the heart of down town Addis Ababa in spacious verdant compound,adjacent to what was once the jubilee palace of emperor Haile Selassie I. Opened in 1951, the Ghion hotel has for years distinguished itself as the hotel where heads of state or governments and other VIPs stayed. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ghion Hotel Addis Ababa