The National Hotel on Menelik Ave. backs onto the Ghion Hotel (where National guests have pool privileges). When I was there in January, 2005 (Coptic Christmas) I paid $99USD for a 5-night stay, which included a hot breakfast each day in the dining room. This is less than one night at one of the 5-stars, so if you are paying your own way as I was, it is good value.
The rooms are large and clean, though rough around the edges -- you know it's not the Hilton, but it's comfortable -- with satellite television and hot water. From my window, I could watch the runners each morning as they went back and forth along the bleachers in Meskel Square, about two blocks south.
Twice a day, the church across the street broadcast three-hour-long services that after the third day of Christmas were starting to wear out their charm, so ask for a room away from Menelik Ave. if you want it quieter.
Some rooms were large enough to accomodate a family of four comfortably; all have ensuites; the elevators are small, but fast enough. There is a business centre off the lobby with internet access, and the front desk is staffed around the clock.
The dining room meals were very inexpensive -- not fine dining, but good, plain food. Addis has a number of good restaurants, so this wan't an issue. The bar adjoining the dining room sells bottles of water, and the hotel laundry service was fast and inexpensive. Leave your key at the desk when you go out -- it's the only one for staff to access the rooms for cleaning, a detail I discovered on the third day.
The hotel takes credit cards and you can charge items except business centre to your room. There are a few shops off the lobby selling clothing and sundries. There seemed to be a lot of families staying here -- with and without children -- from other parts of Africa and Europe, and as a woman alone, I felt quite safe.
I found the National Hotel listed in a guidebook, with only an Addis phone number for contact, but I was able tofind more information on line, and booked it with no deposit through NTO (which I believe is the government tourism office in Addis) ([--]) (see also [--], which is where I found the email address for booking.)
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- Also Known As:
- National Hotel Addis Ababa