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“what a magical place…!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Lalibela Hudad

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Lalibela Hudad
Certificate of Excellence
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“what a magical place…!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2014

Imagine an island floating atop of a mountain, overlooking the highland of Ethiopia, eagles flying around while your having breakfast, the sound of monkeys and leopards once in a while, your own african hut with kingsize bed, and delicious food…. This is paradise. You have to walk two hours to get there from Lalibela, but it is worth every step you climb.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank tonvanderkroon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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145 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2014

The commitment involved in climbing for more than an hour up a rocky mountain path to ascend 800m from Lalibela with its rarefied air is amply rewarded by the warmth of Mesfin's welcome, the extraordinary views of the surrounding mountains, and the campfire evenings shared by guests and workers.
I'd offer three tips:
Don't take any more luggage than necessary - leave as much as you can in Lalibela town;
Prepare for the cold at night and the sun in the daytime - woolly hats, gloves, sunglasses & sunscreen are all necessary;
If you want to see the churches in Lalibela, plan to spend one night in the town before or after going to the Hudad - it's too far to make the trip down from the Hudad in a day and see all the churches.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank gordonrainsford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2014

This is our second time to the Hudad. We were there for Christmas, 2 years ago and this time we brought another family with us. I made great promises for the best Christmas ever. I promised alot and felt a bit nervous as I hadn't stopped talking about how wonderful it had been.

I booked for 3 whole days...would there be enough to do for 3 adults and 6 energetic children?

Well it was even better than I had remembered. And we all just loved it. There was plenty to do, which also included slowing down and doing nothing! Watching the birds, playing Mankala, searching out the Rock Hirax early in the morning when they are basking on the warm rocks. Sitting and watching the sunset. And when we felt a little energetic Soccer competitions with the locals, lovely walks in the surrounding area and visiting a local family in their tukkul and staying for coffee. Trying a little wheat grinding.

And then at night, the campfires, foot massages by the locals to soothe the tired feet of their guests, singing, dancing, laughing.

AND THE FOOD IS SENSATIONAL. Cooked by the most delightful young woman.

Mesfin, the owner, is the most gracious host.

Derebe (who's contact number is on the website) is the most wonderful guide. He has the most lovely personality. He is kind, great with kids, knowledgeable, patient and really knows how to be the perfect guide. He follows your lead as to what would suit best.

We really miss everyone there. It was such a special experience. We feel like family! One of the children has decided she will come back as a teacher and set up a school there. She said she had never felt so relaxed and at home

Room Tip: All great. Some are closer to the dining area. We were at the far end but it was good to have a w...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jenny O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2013

I've been living and traveling overseas for 10+ years and Hudad impressed beyond expectations - this is a truly exceptional place for anyone lucky enough to visit. I chanced upon the Hudad, hesitating upon such a number of glowing reviews for a place that has only been open for a few years - what could merit this? Only some of the most stunning scenery I've seen during my travels, and an incomparably warm welcome by Derebe and all the staff. You should not come here if you are seeking luxury accommodations with full amenities, but if you love "glamping" amidst breathtaking views, you will not be disappointed. The geography of Hudad is special, a small circular plateau with vertical cliffs on all sides, giving nearly 360 degree views of the valleys upon valleys of Lalibela. Sunset and sunrise were particularly spectacular and I will never forget my evenings of singing and dancing with the staff - as the only guest at that time. Derebe is as warm and genuine a person I've ever met during my guided travels, highly recommended for Hudad and elsewhere in the area. I don't often return anywhere I've once traveled, but I truly hope to return to Hudad - absolutely worth the hike, and hopefully the type of person going to Hudad will enjoy the hike in the first place...

Room Tip: Hudad was renovating and building additional tukuls and family chalets when I visited, I loved stayi...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Danniana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bruges, Belgium
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 29, 2013

Stayed at Lalibela Hudad for two nights and it was incredible. The tukuls (huts) have been built in Ethiopian style with mud walls and thatched roof! Each room has beds (either double or two singles or triples as far as I saw), little windows and an adjacent Eco toilet (with stunning view over the plateau), washing basin and shower. The rooms are equipped with sheets and pillows but bring your own towels and sleeping bags & washing products. No need for mosquito nets as too high up. The plateau stretched for miles and you can see incredible birds and the captivating gelada baboons too. Our guide took us to watch the sunset and then up to a higher plateau one day. The food is great (buffet in evening and portidge/omlets for breakfast)but if you are new to Ethiopia be careful of the Ingera pancake as the flour used to make it can affect western stomachs at first! There is pasta and rice as an alternative. The walk up to the Hudad is strenuous if you aren't used to the altitude/ walking but my mum (over 60!) made it partly on a mule and partly walking- it is hard but totally worth it if you want that taste of Ethiopia. The lovely owner is planning to build some more tukuls and a sunset restaurant which will be stunning once finished in early 2014.

Not for the faint hearted as the walk is hard and if you aren't prepared for a bit of an adventure may not be for you but it really is a magical space to get away from the bustling world below.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Helenamiscioscia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arequipa, Peru
Level Contributor
165 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2013

This gets 4* for effort. A local Ethiopian’s dream of utopia. Perched 800 metres above Lalibela, it sits on a high mountain plateau that offers beautiful views, peace and tranquillity, and can only be reached on foot. The tukuls are large but basic – and very cold at night. There are no showers at the moment except by arrangement, but they are currently working on this for each of their tukuls. Toilets are ‘thrones’ delightfully outside your tukul, hidden in hebe bushes. Very restricted menu but the food is excellent. Foot massage in the evening and, if you’re lucky, the guides and security staff will sing and dance.

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank GreyNomad100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 4, 2013

We travelled around Ethiopia for two weeks, and staying at Lalibela Hudad was one of my favourite experiences. We were lucky enough to be the only guests there, and the staff /local visitors made us feel incredibly welcomed and appreciated for our visit. Having a foot massage and our own private singing and dancing show was really special. Although we were part of a private tour (had booked through Boundless Ethiopia), at times our other hotels had felt overrun by larger tour groups, which the Hudad gave us a retreat from.

The location of the Hudad does mean it is challenging to get to, even with a mule assisting with our luggage, the climb certainly made our hearts race and feel very unfit compared to the local villagers! When you reach the top the views are incredible, and we spent hours looking at our surroundings and taking it all in. Not to sound too cheesy, but at night it felt like we were on an island.

I agree with other reviews that the accommodation is quite basic, but that does add to the charm. We were fortunate to be there when the first room/tukul ensuite bathroom was completed! The food we had was great. The location does mean that getting supplies to the Hudad can be a challenge. This meant we had limited options for drinks, although we didn't mind, it's something to be aware of.

We had Eyayaw as a guide (eeyayaw@yahoo.com). We hadn't realised that we would need a guide for our entire time there - just to help out with the language and getting around, so any future visitors should be aware of this. He looked after us well and also arranged a trip to a local village for a traditional coffee ceremony, which was incredibly special. His English was good too (especially compared to some of the other Ethiopian tour guides we had had).

Overall, I felt the Hudad offered a truly special experience in Ethiopia, and would highly recommend.If you are expecting a luxurious retreat the Hudad isn't somewhere to go to, but for me this added to its charm.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rachel E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lalibela Hudad

Property: Lalibela Hudad
Address: AboChagula Reserve, Lalibela, Ethiopia
Location: Ethiopia > Amhara Region > Lalibela
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Lalibela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Lalibela Hudad is a rustic ecolodge close to Lalibela. It's a secluded natural sanctuar. A great place for wildlife sighting, hiking and relaxing. ... more   less 

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