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“acceptable option in Harar if you can't find anything better”
Review of Belayneh Hotel

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Belayneh Hotel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Harar
New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“acceptable option in Harar if you can't find anything better”
Reviewed September 8, 2013 via mobile

My friend and I arrived in Harar at night and didn't think we'd be able to easily find the cultural guesthouses that are so highly recommended inside the walled city. Since the Belayneh is right outside the walled city, we requested a room for one night but ended up staying for two because we didn't feel like moving after the first night. That being said, the room was okay at best for those used to budget accommodations in developing countries. Tidy but dingy. Some plumbing issues. Reasonably friendly service (with a great recommendation for a local guide, Daniel, who we really liked). Good views and food from the rooftop restaurant. Consider bringing your own sheets and towels. By far our least favorite accommodation in Ethiopia, but an acceptable option if you're on a budget or want to stay right by the entrance gate.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank rgnyc425
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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27 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 (6)
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English first
Kampala, Uganda
Level 6 Contributor
406 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 234 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2013

Reasonable enough rooms at a good price, though water supply was an issue.
The day receptionist spoke excellent English.

The top floor restaurant isn't cosy and gets cold in the evening, but does the job, serving good food at very good prices.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank MastaBaba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
63 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2013

We finally got a room here for 300 birr after going to Tewodros Hotel and seeing how dirty it was there. They charged us more than I think it was, since we had someone local phone them to ask, and when we arrived suddenly the price went up. After seeing the room, having travelled all day to get there, we thought it would be ok. The view from the balcony to the market below was interesting, but when the hot water didn't happen and we realised how dirty the place was, we decided a few hours later when returning to the room that night that we didn't want to stay there. Since we hadn't paid we told them we were not staying, and left. It wasn't worth the money - had it been half the price without water and a toilet seat and clean towels maybe we would have stayed the night. The towels were the dirtiest we had seen in any budget hotel. Harar isn't the interesting place the guidebook described to us, and this hotel confirmed what a mistake it had been to go there.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank jclewis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2013

Our room was large, and we had hot water (as long as we left the hot water heater turned on over night). However, it was very loud at night. My friend who had the bed by the window had a lot of noise from the street, and I had noise from inside the hotel that echoed around the staircase. Our room did have a great view of the marketplace outside, and the restaurant upstairs was decent. Beware if you are a vegetarian, like my friend - on non-fasting days, the only vegetarian option they have is a tiny bowl of soup. They also occasionally show movies in the restaurant, which was a nice surprise when we arrived too late to explore but too early to go to bed. One of the front desk staff spoke excellent English, and was great at giving directions for the hyenas and ATMs. Overall, it was a good place except for the noise - try to get a corner room if you can.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Richael O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2012

I wish TripAdvisor had a rating between "average" and "very good" - this place is somewhere in between. Call it "good."

When we came to Harar, we were set on staying at either Rowda or Zubeyda guesthouses, but we were told by two people that Rowda had died and that both were closed. That's why we ended up at Belayneh (side note: Rowda's husband died, may he rest in peace, and her guesthouse was closed, while Zubeyda was open). True, it's not the quietest place, but I don't honestly believe there's a truly quiet hotel anywhere in an Ethiopian city of the size of Harar.

The bed was comfortable, the room was reasonably clean (though they need to do something about the smell emanating from the pipes - bleach would help) and the staff were nice. The best attribute, far and away, is the balcony overlooking the Christian Market and Showa Gate. We spent a lot of time out there, just watching the bustling activity and it was great. Oh, and during the middle of the night, we woke (thanks, jetlag!), went out on the balcony and saw hyenas roaming around! The hotel restaurant does serviceable food and the wait times weren't bad.

Room Tip: Be sure to get a room with a balcony.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank wanderingmarmot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rhode Island
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2010

I never write hotel reviews, but this time I really felt like I should. I kept trying to find some information about this hotel prior our arrival, and only found that it is a good location: no, bus station is never a good location! It is loud with people, traffic, and their "water program" only delivers water for couple of hours in the morning and evening. The sewage stinks really badly. Not a place to relax at all! We paid 200 Birr, no breakfast, the young girl at the reception never smiled and seemed disturbed by the fact that we don't have a map, but would not offer any. I called Ethiopian Airline from there (remember, always re-confirm your flight with them!) and she charged me 20 Birr (maybe it is ok, not sure).
We ended up leaving to place we thought was Rewda Guesthouse, but it ended up being Zubeyda - her sister's guesthouse, if I understood correctly. Both guesthouses are in the old town, this was amazing, calm, beautiful place. Shared bathroom, but clean and with warm water. We just asked one of the "self invited" guide to show us where it was. Such a difference and relief to escape our nightmarish nervous-vibe Belayneh Hotel! There were also some hotels outside of old town in more modern area, where one could also find internet cafe. Pay just 1 Birr per person for 3-wheel taxi to bring you anywhere in Harar. They take advantage of tourist and ask for much more. Enjoy! It is a great place and if you have a nice sanctuary like that guesthouse, you can enjoy Harar's buzz much more!

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank verrata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 313 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2009

The Belayneh is situated next to the bus terminal, adjacent to the walled city and next to a market. The rooms and roof top restaurant are excellent places for unobtrusive people watching, which is one of the highlights of a visit to Harar.
The rooms are clean, basic but adequate, and are good value for the money. I paid 130 Birr/night for a single including breakfast.
The balcony of my room was a wonderful perch for photography of the chat and firewood market below.
The history of Harar is quite different from the rest of Ethiopia, as it is, and always has been, a Muslim city. The encircling 16th century city walls are still intact and the Hyena man still feeds the wild beasts evey night just outside the walls. There is plenty to do in Harar to keep you fully occupied for two days.
The combination of price and location makes the Belayneh a winner

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank travgran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Belayneh Hotel

Property: Belayneh Hotel
Address: Harar, Ethiopia
Location: Ethiopia > Harari Region > Harar
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Harar
Number of rooms: 279

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