The best hotels in Ethiopia— where are they? Here’s everything you need to know…
While Ethiopia may be the cradle of mankind, the start of the hotel industry hasn’t even peaked in this ancient country. As more and more travelers are discovering our East African gem, hotels are starting to blossom around the country.
If you’re coming for a visit, picking your hotels in Ethiopia is one of your most important decisions.
Hotels in Ethiopia: What to Look For
1) Location, Location, Location
You didn’t come all the way to Africa to sit in traffic. The best parts of Ethiopia can’t be seen from a car. It is best seen while walking down the street. While it’s always a good idea to check current safety guidelines like the UK’s Travel Warnings for Ethiopia. Most consider walking around in the day time very safe- with violent crime almost unheard of.
That’s why it’s great to pick a hotel in the center of whatever of city, town, or village you’re staying in. Being able to walk to around and view the local markets, stumble upon a lovely cafe, or just take in the scenes around you (there is also something interesting) is part of the experience.
It’s always important to pick a hotel that has high ratings for cleanliness. You want to be able to relax in your room and feel comfortable. Make sure you check a platform like Trip Advisor or Google Business and read previous customer reviews.
3) Food Quality
Since you’ll be eating at least one meal in the hotel every day (breakfast), you want to pick a hotel that has great food. Not only should it taste good, but it should comply with international standards of food hygiene and avoid the use of any tap water, sanitize salad and other fruits and vegetables, and use only freshly cooked meat.
While most larger known hotels like ours easily comply with this, it is still always a good thing to double-check— especially when staying at places outside Addis Ababa.
Pick a hotel that gives you the best value for your money. Don’t pick a hotel that charges you extra just because they assume foreigners can handle the cost. Pick a hotel that is price competitive and really offers wonderful accommodation at a fair price.
To save money, book in advance, come during the low season or look for a special (ex. booking directly through the hotel, booking more nights, etc.)
5) The View
Ethiopia surprises most travelers because it is full of wonderful sites of mountains and forests. It might not have huge safaris, but it has almost everything else. Pick a hotel where you have a waterfront view or your own personal view of the mountains.
If you’re in a city like Addis Ababa, choose a hotel like ours that has a view of the whole city.
Traveling should fill you with moments so beautiful that it takes your breath away. Stay at a place where you can really enjoy these scenes for as long as you want.
The 12 Best Hotels in Ethiopia
#1 Limalimo Lodge, Simien Mountains
The Simien Mountains often referred to as “Africa’s Grand Canyon” is one of the best-hiking destinations in East Africa. The highest peak, Ras Dashen, is the highest mountain in Ethiopia, and the 10th highest in all of Africa.
The Simien Mountains are graced with extremely rare fauna and endemic species like the Ethiopian wolf and the Gelada Baboon also known as the “Bleeding Heart Baboon.”
Travelers absolutely adore the Limalimo Lodge. It prioritizes sustainable and community-focused tourism. Built by two Ethiopians who grew up near the gateway of the Simien Mountains and receiving investments from African Wildlife Capital, the hotel is the perfect place to view this UNESCO listed site.
#2 Haile Resort, Awassa
Haile Resort in Awassa is the kind of accommodation where five years later you’ll still be talking about it. It has a beautiful view of Lake Awassa. The team has done a wonderful job at making the hotel an absolutely luxurious place to stay, while still giving it some great Ethiopian cultural vibes.
Walk around the grounds and enjoy the incredible floral life, the swimming pool, the lake, and some of the best views of the sunset. For those still hoping to stay connected to friends and family back home, the resort also offers reliable, high-speed internet.
#3: Lewi Resort, Awassa
Lewi is another popular choice when staying in Awassa. With dining set up right beside the lake, you can enjoy a wonderful ambiance for each and every meal. For those who love monkeys, this also attracts quite a lot of furry friends. Hang on to your food or be prepared to share a french fry or two.
#4 Bale Lodge, Bale Mountains
The Bale Mountains don’t receive enough attention. Tucked along the way from Addis to Awassa, this beautiful national forest is home to some of the most stunning animals, birds, and fauna. It’s one of only a few places to see the endangered, endemic Black Lion. It’s rated as the 4th best bird-watching spot in Africa with over 300 different types of birds. Scientists today are still discovering new species of life here.
The Bale Mountain Lodge, built inside the park, is one of the most memorable places you’ll ever stay in. With wonderful staff, exciting views, and cozy accommodation, this is truly worth visiting.
#4 Maribela Hotel, Lalibela
Lalibela offers so many wonderful hotels so it is hard to pick just one. But Maribela is definitely a favorite amoung travelers due to the views from your room. Looking out from your balcony is a beautiful view of Lalibela’s mountains. The hotel is also within walking distance to one of the most famous restaurants, Ben Abebe, which offers a 360-degree view or the gorgeous scenery. It’s also just a 10-minute walk or a 5-minute bajaj ride from the ancient rock-hewn churches.
#5 Kuriftu Lodge, Bishoftu
Bishoftu, also commonly known as Debre Zeit, is only a short 55km away from Addis Ababa. It’s a common getaway for both Ethiopias and Foreigners living in Addis. Bishoftu is home to five crater lakes. While most people don’t swim in them, you can enjoy a wonderful boat ride. There are also hiking and enjoyable walking paths to try in the morning (advised to get a guide).
The best way to enjoy this charming little town is to “resort hop.” Visit one for lunch and another for dinner. The town has many wonderful resorts so it is quite hard to pick.
But one of the most popular is Kuriftu Lodge. It combines the luxury of resort life with health and beauty. The same owners as Boston Day Spa, the most popular spa in Addis, built Kuriftu so you can imagine it has a relaxing vibe as well. They also just built the first water park in the country so it’s a great place to stay if you have kids.
#6 Pyramid Resort, Bishoftu
If you don’t stay at Kuriftu, then the Pyramid resort is also a great choice. While it resembles nothing like a pyramid, you will feel like you are discovering something special when you come here.
Unlike other resorts that are sitting right beside the water, Pyramid is set high on the overlooking cliff so that you have a perfect panorama overlooking Lake Bishoftu. They’re also known for their great juices and pizza.
#7 Kuriftu Lodge, Bahidar
If you make your way north to Lake Tana, you’ll find yourself in the lovely town of Bahidar. It’s a beautiful town most famous for Lake Tana and it’s monasteries. It’s also a short drive away from the Blue Nile Falls.
While there are many hotels in Ethiopia, especially in this charming little region, Kuriftu Lodge once again is a popular favorite. Relax by the pool with a view of the lake, and you’ll have a wonderful time.
#8 Paradise Lodge, Arba Minch
While not close to other tourist towns, Arba Minch is definitely worth a visit. Especially if you’re seeking out a wildlife experience. First, it’s home to some of the largest Nile crocodiles in the world–spanning over 6 meters long. You will see hundreds of them during your visit. You can also visit Nechisar National Park where there are zebras, gazelles, baboons, jackal, and many kinds of rare birds.
After an adventurous day out, there is no better place to stay than Paradise Lodge. It’s a beautiful safe haven offering spectacular views and service that continually gets high ratings from visitors.
#9 Planet Hotel, Mekele
Planet Hotel in Mekele which is in the northern Tigray region is a wonderful stopover. Especially for weary travelers, the hotel offers modern comforts for those in need of some rest after a lot of travel. They have a great breakfast buffet, clean rooms, hot showers, and fast wifi.
While you’re in Mekele, make sure you try some of the northern foods like, “Helbot” and “Tihilo” which are quite hard to find in Addis Ababa. Mekele is also known for great honey– especially the thick, white honey that almost tastes like icing. Buy it per the kilo to enjoy back home. It also makes a great gift for friends.
Yaya Village, Suluta
The small town of Suluta, only 11 kilometers away from Addis Ababa, is worth a stay for anyone athletically inclined. Started by the famous Haile Gebrselassie, Yaya Village is part of the Haile Resort chain, but with a special twist. Set at 2700m above sea level, it’s a sports village for international athletes. It is equipped with Olympic standard running track, professional guides, football fields, volleyball courts, horseback riding, weight rooms, and other indoor games.
While everyday travelers might not be inclined to stay here, it’s definitely one of the best hotels in Ethiopia for anyone serious about their sports performance.
#11 Best Western Plus, Addis Ababa
Out of all the hotels in Addis Ababa where do you stay? We, of course, welcome you to enjoy Best Western Plus Addis Ababa as one of the best hotels in Ethiopia.
We are situated at the heart of the Bole area, only 5 minutes away from the airport. We are within walking distances to the best shopping, restaurants, cafes, and sites the city has to offer. There are so many things to do in Addis Ababa, and we are in the prime location for you to enjoy them all.
Our team offers the warm hospitality you seek during your trip with freshly prepared, delicious food, both Ethiopian and International. Our breakfast buffet is also complimentary to all our guests.
There you have it. The top 11 best hotels in Ethiopia. Have a question or comment? Leave it below.
*Note, all views belong to the writer of this article. Best Western Plus encourages all travelers to do proper research, and can not officially endorse or be liable for any information in this article. The hotel also does not receive any commission or financial incentive for recommending these