I went to Bahir Dar with the intention of staying at the Summerland Hotel, failing that the Blue Nile Hotel was my second choice of hotel. However, when I arrived in Bahir Dar and visited both hotels I was told that neither of them had any rooms.
It seems that the EthioStar may have a deal with some locals that they will pay them a commission for any potential guests that make a booking at the hotel because when I arrived at the Bahir Dar bus station, it was this hotel that was aggressively touted to me by eager locals wanting to make easy cash and even greedier taxi drivers wanting to make more cash.
Desperate to find a room after my first two choices apparently being fully booked I, reluctantly, went to the Ethiostar expecting the worst. Instantly the service far exceeded the reception I received from the Summerland and Blue Nile hotels.
The guy in reception was very polite, explained the rooms they had and the rates. I was shown an available standard single room prior to deciding whether I wanted to stay and was able to negotiate the cost of my room.
My room was in a block separated from the main part of the hotel where the reception was based. This block was airy and full of light with old red carpet lining the hallway stairs but who cares. The room was painted in magnolia with a double bed, wardrobe, dressing table and chair and a colour TV. The room and bed sheets were reasonably clean but attention needs to be made to floor sweeping and mopping.
The bathroom had an open shower (with no shower curtain) which seems to be the standard for the hotels in Ethiopia but was aesthetically far more pleasant than the Weygoss Guesthouse bathroom in Addis. This was a simple basic room that I was happy to stay in.
I however did have a problem with the hot water in that it didn’t work so for my first night, the morning after and that evening I had to go to another vacant room to use the shower while the hotel tried to fix the one in my room. On this point I would urge guests who have a problem with their room to be patient with the hotel staff.
After my second day in Bahir Dar in this hotel and having to shower for the second time in another room I just wanted to move to a room with a working hot water shower. Remaining polite throughout the staff were insistent that the shower could be fixed but I was due to go out and wanted to have a shower at that moment after a particularly grubby day on a boat trip on lake Tana and visit to the Tana Monasteries. It took about 45 minutes before I was given the keys to another room so that I could shower and they agreed that the hot water in my room was definitely busted.
I didn’t appreciate waiting this long wait but I think what I came to see in Ethiopia is that when something is broken, they try and fix it. That sense of disposability and nonchalant attitude of replacing something regardless of how small the so-called defect isn’t prevalent. The staff were not trying to be difficult, but helping in the best way they saw fit but that just wasn’t in a manner that I was accustomed to.
When I was moved to a different room, it was pretty much the same as the one that I had left but there were bugs in the bathroom and the shower head seemed to be full of lime scale so water didn’t come out properly, but I tolerated these issues
For the birr 250 per night price breakfast was included which was without a shadow of a doubt the best breakfast I was to have from a hotel out of the four I stayed in while in Ethiopia. Again, it was not the buffet style many travellers may be use to but it consisted of scrambled eggs, a very nice shoa bread roll with jam and butter.
You can also leave your important items in the hotel safe which I did with no problems.
Oh, I did also have some injer and a fish wot which was absolutely delicious- incredibly tasty. My only regret is that i didn;y order more wots but i didn;tknow what i wad doing and that conventionally you have a few wots at least with each meal. You must have some tradtional food in this hotel restaurant.
Overall, for what I paid I think I got very good value. Really, this hotel was on a par with the Weygoss Guest house in Addis and that was US $45 I stayed in. I would recommend and stay in this hotel again.
One last note. ALL the rooms in the block I stayed in are far better than the “executive” premium rooms which I viewed. They are just grim!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC