Hotel accommodation is an important component of tourism and Ethiopia has hotels of varying standards in the different regions of the country . But our expectations about Ethiopian hotel standards has to be reconciled with the present economic standard of the country as a whole .
The capital of Ethiopia (Addis Ababa ) has hotels ranging from two stars up to five stars . The Sheraton Addis is One good example of a high standard luxury collection hotel.It is the first of its kind in the continent of Africa. There are also a Hilton Hotel ,Intercontinetal hotel and Radisson Blu bisness hotel. All of which can be catagorised as a Five star hotels
In this part of the country you find hotels of varying standards. From tourist class up to cheap hotels . In some parts of the north like the Semien mountains area , if you intend to trek , you should prepare yourself to camp . Many tourists find camping there a very exciting experience.Good quality camping equipment is availbable.
The number of tourist standard hotels is less in this region . You will have to do more and more camping, especially as you go far and far into the Omo Valley.Most of the hotels are two or even less stars and in some hotels (limited to some rooms) you may need to use a common shower. But these things happen only in the very high season .However the camping sites and lodges are a mix of both standard and basic .
From experience we have learned that there are three categories of tourists that come to Ethiopia. The first ones are those who expect and measure Ethiopian hotels absolutely by European standard. They have forgotten the present realistic economic situation of the country, and usually they are disappointed.
The second groups of tourists are tourists who have traveled much and come with almost accurate expectation and measure. They are the ones who usually rate Ethiopian hotels as relatively good ones.
The third groups of tourists think that Ethiopia is almost a desert and are very few low standard (if at all there are) hotels. They had great fears to come and, if they do, they come with a lot of unnecessary mental and material preparations. They are usually surprised to find hotels of such standard.
For any one who could be content with moderate comfort, finding accommodation in Ethiopia is not a thing of concern. Undeniable that genuine tourists class hotel are restricted to major tourists towns. When measured even by African standard accommodation at all levels is not at all expensive.
Roughly Ethiopian hotels can be separated in to four categories. The categorizing is some how relative to each cities of Ethiopia.
1. European standard hotels
2. Tourist class hotels
3. Medium range hotels
4. Cheap hotels
European standard hotels
These kinds of hotels generally fulfill a good European hotel standard. But they are very few in number and are limited to the capital city. For example, the Sheraton Addis (located in the capital) is rated number one in Africa.
Tourist class hotels
Hotels that fall under this category are partially government owned. But there are a good number of privately owned hotels that belong here. Basically, these hotels are there for tourists and are generally used by tour companies in Ethiopia and Europe for their clients. They have comfortable rooms, hot shower, satellite TV, and restaurants that serve western food. If you are simply looking for the best available accommodation, this one fits very well to your need.
There are two government chin hotels and a privately chain hotel that we can put under this category. Luckily they do not concentrate on one or two tourist routes of Ethiopia. They seem to distribute themselves evenly to avoid redundancy.
The Ras hotel chain controls the south eastern part of Ethiopia. They are in Debre zeit, Nazereth, Dire Dawa, Harar, Awash National park (a lodge) Asela and Goba.
In the South the Wabi Shebele government chain hotel ( currently privately owned ) and the Bekele Molla privately owned chain hotels dominate. The Wabi Shebele hotel has branches in Langano, Awassa, WendoGenet and Goba. The Bekele Molla hotel has branches in Debrezeit, Modjo, Nazereth, Ziway, Shashemene, Moyale, Langano, Arbaminch and Robe.
In the West Ethiopia hotel chains dominate. They have branches in Ambo, Nekemte, Gambella, Jimma and Woliso.
Medium range hotels
If your priority concern is to keep down accommodation costs and at the same time a reasonable level of comfort. Mostly these hotels are privately owned. They have clean good and comfortable hotels with hot shower and more or less TV. Most of them have good restaurants and waiters that can communicate English.
Try to use these hotels if only you are in limited budget. They generally have clean rooms with cold and sometimes hot shower. Bear in mind that regional variations are inevitable. Some hotels in some towns can be grouped under medium range hotels whereas in other towns under cheap hotel category. Thus do not expect a clear demarkation.
If you wish to book hotels in any part of Ethiopia ,please contact us.