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“Such a beautiful place”

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Kuriftu Resort and Spa Bahirdar
Ranked #1 of 16 Hotels in Bahar Dar
Certificate of Excellence
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
232 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
“Such a beautiful place”
Reviewed October 26, 2013

Kuriftu is one of the best in ethiopia.. Actually it is very hard to find a luxurious place in Africa.. But kuriftu is very luxurious in nature.. This is the most important thing.. I did not stay at the hotel, i only went there to have lunch.. The food was delicious and from their open kitchen you can see the very well cleaned kitchen.. Also above the lake, there is cave-like sitting place where you can enjoy the lake view and smoke shisha.. Great place!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Selin_88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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303 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
Date | Rating
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English first
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2013

After spending 2 weeks in rural Ethiopia, an overnight at Kuriftu was just what the doctor ordered. (Truly - my friend is a doctor, and she insisted we stay here. And I have no regrets!)

The staff was warm and helpful. Meals were delicious. The property is centrally located in Bahir Dar, so it's easy to get around town. Our room was on the second floor, and we had a spacious deck with a lovely sitting area AND a fireplace - all overlooking the pool, and with a view of Lake Tana. Bright beautiful flowers growing all around. The rooms were spacious and uniquely decorated. The half-board price includes a 3 course dinner, breakfast buffet, 45 minute Swedish massage, and 30 minute foot massage.

Great coffee at Wube Coffee across the street. Fun music and cultural dancing (in the evenings - except Mondays), also across the street.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank speedwagon13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra
Level Contributor
297 reviews
149 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 201 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2013

Beautifully designed and presented. The rooms and lodge buildings all made of stone and covered with creepers. Our room on the second level with large balcony overlooking a big pool and out to lake Tana. The balcony had fire places and an outdoor sleeping area. Inside was generous appointments - all very stylish. Our tariff included one massage per room but it seemed there were not enough masseurs to go around! It also included a fixed menu dinner - the service was excellent but we did not enjoy the slightly western-type food.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tav_mind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen
Level Contributor
69 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2013

Kuriftu Resort has a perfect situation on the banks of Lake Tana. It offers boats out to the island monasteries. The surroundings are well kept, and there are many plants and flowering bushes, as well as a nice pool area.
It was hard to fault our room as it seemed at first sight to be nicely furnished. But on closer inspection, there were imperfections: the bed linen had a dank smell, the toilet door could not close at all, tiles in the shower area were broken or missing, the mosquito net was torn in many places. The fact of the matter is that the owners need to be willing to invest in refurbishment and better upkeep.
Food is simple but fairly good. I would not recommend the lamb tibs, as the meat was tough when I had it for dinner.
The staff at the resort , especially in the reception area, are very service- minded and helpful. Those at the spa were an exception. The spa is supposed to be complementary, but when we went for a massage, they only had time for one person, despite the fact that there did not seem to be much going on.
This resort has many possibilities of becoming the perfect setting for a lakeside holiday, if there was better overall management of it.

Room Tip: Rooms near the poolside, and away from the main road are quieter.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank viv_leejensen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corbera de Llobregat, Spain
Level Contributor
336 reviews
122 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed September 21, 2013

We spent two nights here. Two relaxing days after the two days at the Simien Mountains. Had a huge and well equipped room, with an outdoor bed and a fireplace in the private veranda and two wide beds inside with mosquito nets and a/c. The bathroom is also big and plenty of hot water. The restaurant is expensive but has very good service and great food. Additionally we both took a massage which completed the days.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank homedelsac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2013 via mobile

Stayed at the resort overnight and woke to no water, no flush toilets. Water returned briefly, but almost immediately we were without it again. Along with a poorly arranged driver, who abandoned us on the side of the road, we were only told "sorry". No refund or alternatives were arranged, including providing even a free glass of wine while waiting to leave the resort. We paid $200/night....western prices, but no more than 2 star service.....lower your prices if you can't guarantee minimal service.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank C T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2013

This is a beautiful spot and the staff genuinely wants to do right by its clientele. But as one of the three or four most expensive rooms in the entire country, Kuriftu is implicitly telling guests they can expect the best amenities -- and here they fall dreadfully short.

During my weekend stay, my room lacked the basic amenities, you know, the kind of stuff that separates us from the animals, the kind of stuff that even the most basic accommodations offer, much less a resort charging nearly $200/night:

+ non-functioning toilet
+ non-functioning shower
+ non-functioning sink
+ non functioning wall heater (it was chilly and damp)
+ a leak in the ceiling

What makes these deficiencies all the more aggravating is the patina of luxury Kuriftu tries to paint on the resort: Champagne and a mini-bar for a price; the four-poster bed; the separate chamber for the commode; the staffer who walks you to your room along the well-manicured path upon your arrival.

The staff is legitimately eager, almost too eager. A server follows you around, constantly over your shoulder, as you stroll through the breakfast buffet. It's that brand of servitude that makes the guest far more uncomfortable than it is accommodating. Pour yourself a second cup of coffee and the server insists on taking it from you to place it on a saucer, then on his tray, all so you can walk the ten feet back to your table, a gesture that, while kind, is inefficient and just plain weird for everyone.

But register your dissatisfaction about the fact that you can't bathe or crap, and they sort of shrug.

There was a bizarre moment upon check-in when we opened the door to the nicely appointed suite to have CNN on the flat screen blaring at high volume. For whatever reason, high end places insist on having the television on to greet guests when they first arrive at a room, as if Wolf Blitzer is the first person I want to see and hear from when I set my bags down in my lakeview bungalow. Not a problem, though, except for the fact that there was no remote control in the room -- and it took the staff 20 minutes to find one back at reception. Bizarre.

At 7am on Saturday morning, the sound of large metal beams clanking on cement reverberated through the gentle silence of dawn as the staff was setting up a tent for a conference that was to take place later that morning.

In the breakfast room at that time, the quiet was interrupted by LOUD feedback and "ALLO! ALLO! ALLO!" as another staffer was testing out the speaker system on the other side of the partition. After 10 minutes of this madness, I took my book and bolted back to my bungalow.

I don't like getting ugly. You can see from my distribution of reviews that I'm a TripAdvisor grade inflater, but after asking kindly how Kuriftu planned to address these problems and the response lacked urgency. So finally, I got mean.

There's an allowance you have to grant a hotel in the developing world, something I completely understand and always do. But when a property charges rates that would be pricey by western standards, they forfeit the right to be sloppy. And that was my issue. I asked the manager whether he was embarrassed to be charging a rack rate of over $200/night for a room where, literally, nothing worked.

He claimed that there was a water outage in the town. I can't verify if this is true or not, but most high-end properties have emergency tanks, pumps and, for that matter, generators. When you charge premium rates, that's a necessity, especially when it's happened before (see reviewer on Nov. 12, 2012). There's a Sheraton high rise going up next door to Kuriftu and it's a safe bet they're compensating for whatever issues Bahir Dar's water supply presents with reliable contingency plans -- any luxury property worth its salt would.

Sensing my ire, the manager showed me to the Presidential suite for the second night. And it was lovely and spacious. With a torrential downpour outside, I decided not to walk to the restaurant where I had a prepaid dinner waiting (part of half-board rate). At 10p, I got a knock at the door asking if they could bring dinner to the suite. It was a kind gesture, and I took them up on it.

The next morning, I went to shower. When I grabbed a towel from a wood shelf in the Presidential suite bathroom, it fell on my foot. Apropos.

I'm giving Kuriftu a generous 3-star rating because (a) my visit was clearly an outlier. (b) I almost drove the young manager to tears during our confrontation and (c) the grounds are truly beautiful, as is the pool area.

But I can't in good conscience recommend Kuriftu. My understanding is that the lakeshore of Bahir Dar will be offering several new high-end properties over the next few years, including the Sheraton that's sprouting next door. If any of these have opened, it's worth taking a flyer.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kfastuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kuriftu Resort and Spa Bahirdar

Property: Kuriftu Resort and Spa Bahirdar
Address: lake tana avenue/ Fasilo, Bahar Dar, Ethiopia
Location: Ethiopia > Amhara Region > Bahar Dar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 16 Hotels in Bahar Dar
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our resort offers high-end luxury in an Ethiopian paradise setting. Breathtaking landscapes encompass the resort as guests enjoy our outdoor pool and sunbathing terrace that overlooks the natural wonder of Lake Tana. After taking in the natural beauty of the wildlife and countryside, our organic spa and gourmet restaurants are the perfect places to relax as you prepare to continue your getaway experience. With achingly perfect panoramas, Kuriftu is where luxury reaches its pinnacle and service is simultaneously warm, genuine and sensational. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kuriftu Hotel Bahar Dar
Kuriftu Resort And Spa Bahirdar Ethiopia/Bahar Dar

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