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“Excellent staff, location, garden”
Review of Seven Olives Hotel

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Seven Olives Hotel
Ranked #8 of 10 Hotels in Lalibela
Reviewed January 17, 2010

I will always remember this hotel not so much for the rooms which are basic but clean but for the staff and location. It overlooks the town of Lalibela and is a short walk to the famous churches. The garden and terrace area are fantastic and the food excellent. One must walk behind the hotel to take in the ridge view of the surrounding hills and the town below. Molla who works at the front desk did me a great favor and arranged my marriage in one of the chapels during the Christmas morning; for this I am most grateful. Since the place was overun during the Christmas time, it was amazing to see all the staff working so hard to bring food and to make certain that everyone was happy. The hotel staff really should be commended on all their hard work.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Davek200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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73 - 79 of 109 reviews

Reviewed December 29, 2009

After a tough four day trek across 50 miles and significantly high mountains, I just wanted somewhere to be able to unwind and rest for an evening before heading off on the rest of our journey.

The first room we were given was really poor. There are no safe deposit boxes, the beds looked dirty and we had two singles rather than the double. In fact in made me quite despondent. Through sheer tiredness we didn't complain but fortunately we were moved to another room by the manager, which was a distinct improvement. We at least had a hot shower, which a number of our group didn't but it wasn't the cleanest of places.

There is a restaurant in the hotel. This was fine for when we first arrived and just wanted drinks and food, it took a while to come out but tasted fine. I would recommend heading out of the hotel and trying out one of the little restaurants a few metres away, they were a lot cheaper and very tasty.

The best thing about the hotel is definitely the surroundings, the area outside where you can sit and have a drink is a little oasis of calm.

Dial up internet is available.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank TerriLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2009

I run bike tours to Lalibela and have used 7 Olives the last 4 years for me and my clients as although old, this means it also has character and also the best patio of all the hotels. Rooms are fine for what you need as Lalibela is not about 5 star hotels. The rooms and beds are fine and staff very nice and one of best retaurants in the village.
It is the most accesible location of all hotels to the vilage and churches and has old tree growth and lots of birds that the others do not have.
Many of the other hotels like Juresalem are in the village where goats and roosters etc will wake you up early. Seven Olives does not have this issue. Peaceful.
scotty/off beat roads

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled on business
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2  Thank offbeatroads
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2009

I stayed in Lailbela for a little over two weeks because of the
stunning scenery, access to quality day hikes, and, of course, to make
repeated visits to the stone churches. The Seven Olives Hotel served
me well, and I stayed there throughout my visit. The rooms were a tad
small, but were clean and comfortable, with reliable water and hot
showers (except for during several power outages.) What made the
hotel work for me was the balance of creature comforts and security
(good food, both Ethiopian and "western" dishes, overly accomadading
staff, daily room cleanings) and a rather seamless conection to the
town (located in the middle of local businesses and residences,
dinning patio overlooking the town, access to several short or long
hikes into the countryside.) The hotel compound is secure, but without
the sense of being cloistered. It was fairly easy to begin feeling,
after a few days, as if I was actually a part of the town, not just an
incidental visitor. Additionally, the local guides we hired through
the hotel's front desk were top quality and well worth the money.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank zytherzoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2009

Very very aged and it was no fun to use the molded shower. We checked the other rooms, which possibly were not as molded as ours, but had other shortcomings. Some rooms had armchairs, some had a lamp near the bed, others didn't. The LP recommended rooms 10-16, but only odd numbers have a "view". Actually it's just that the door is located on the side where the view is (behind trees). The best asset of these rooms is that they have new wall paint and new bed covers, but the bathrooms were the worst we had on the trip. No water one evening. For 26$ too expensive.
Anyway: staff is very friendly at reception and especially at the restaurant. Food is very good. I guess the recommended dining al fresco is not a good idea, as it gets quite cold in the evening and the terrace is not illuminated.
The view from the terrace is ok, but there are quite a few trees between the terrace and the view. You cannot see the churches from the terrace.
I wouldn't recommend the "receptionist" Mesfin Ali. He might pick you up at the airport and wants you to book him as a guide for far too much. He also tried to get an extra 100birr for photo permissions in the churches (you need permission only for video cameras!). He was the worst guide we had. Lazy, sleepy, not interested, not enthusiastic at all, shortened the visits....

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank JinxiBerlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2009

We came to this once proud hotel, the oldest in Lalibela. The setting is undeniably beautiful and a haven for many Ethiopian birds. But there the pleasure stopped. The first room we were given has a broken tap and a bucket under the sink. The next we were shown had mould on the walls. The final one we settled on had rubbish all over the bathroom floor. We were handed loo paper and soap as we went in - like prisoners. The rooms were grubby and uncomfortable. All this was for 30 US dollars per night. My partner and I have roughed it before and at $5 a night you would see the funny side but not at this price. Staff on the gormless side of amicable. No on sight manager - it is remotely managed from Addis. All in all it felt rudderless, uncared for and in terminal decline.

I slept in my jeans and moved out after 1 night.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank SMISHMAN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2009

My young son and I stayed here for three nights. Our room was very comfortable, with one large double bed and one twin. The bathroom was a decent sized, if a bit rough (the water never fully drained from the floor). The garden and terrace area are fantastic, with lots of flowers, birds, and views. We ate at the restaurant frequently, and enjoyed it. This was a great place for us, especially for the price.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank msfour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Seven Olives Hotel

Address: City Center | P.O.Box 37, Lalibela, Ethiopia
Location: Ethiopia > Amhara Region > Lalibela
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 10 Hotels in Lalibela
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Seven Olives Hotel 1.5*
Number of rooms: 148
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Also Known As:
7 Olives Hotel

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