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“Noisy and basic”
Review of Simien Park Hotel

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Simien Park Hotel
Reviewed 22 March 2014

Stayed here for one night in an ensuite room on the ground floor. The room had large windows and a glass door so there was light pollution until late, as well as a lot of noise from the nearby main road and bar. The room was very basic and I wasn't convinced that the bedclothes were clean. It was very cold at night. On the plus side there was properly hot water in the shower and free wifi in the hotel bar, but I'd advise looking elsewhere and not staying more than one night if it can't be avoided.

Room Tip: Staying in an upstairs room should be quieter with less light pollution.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank wordyt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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27 - 33 of 54 reviews

Reviewed 14 December 2013

Debark is only worth visiting as it is the gateway to the Simiem Mountains. We stayed here 1 night after trekking for 4 nights 5 days. Our guide phoned ahead and they turned on our hot water tank as we wanted hot showers, which was very nice, but when we went to turn on the shower there was no water. They did get it up and running in about 20 minutes - I don't think the tank was switched on or something. So we did manage to have hot showers with half decent water pressure. The cleanness of the room and bathroom were OK. Both could have used a good scrub. The wifi worked for a while and then went blank. I don't think it was the the hotels fault but the telecommunication system overall. The sheets were thread-bare and the bottom sheet kept coming loose so you were sleeping on the mattress - which is not good in my point of view. We ate dinner here and the food was OK. We left too early to get breakfast the next morning. Overall - we had a hot shower and a bed after 4 nights without. Could have done with just the hot shower and slept another night in the tent though.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CDNTRAVELLERS2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2013 via mobile


Debark is a dusty, busy little town built along a newly tarmacked main road. There's an interesting market which serves as the hub of the town, and shops have paintings on the walls outside to show what they sell, eg a cow. When we went there I felt that it was as close as I could get to going back in time - that's a feeling I often had in Ethiopia.

We stayed here as a group, booked by our tour operator. The rooms are pretty basic - electric sockets sticking out of the walls, the sink was loose and the shower didn't work well, but there was hot water.

However, the food we had was good - supper and breakfast - we were given a buffet of Ethiopian food, which we enjoyed and we weren't sick.

The thing we enjoyed here is that the restaurant is on the UK first floor (US second floor), overlooking the road, and we watched the people of Debark walking, walking, walking up the road. Amazing! We also walked, up to the market and bought ourselves walking sticks, which were really useful on our walk in the Simien Mountains - to be recommended at about $5 - we had the pleasure of making his day - we bought five - and we then had the pleasure of giving them away afterwards!

And the Simien Mountains? Don't miss them - they are stunning and memorable. It is possible for people of different abilities to do different walks, so make sure you join a group of your own ability or find a guide.the park has arranged with people tomsell things at specific points so that tourists don't get hassled along their way, and the people (adults and kids) have agreed fixed prices, so it's a really good place to buy souvenirs, as you can to look or not, and you don't need to bargain.

If you go to this hotel, don't expect much, but use it as an easy base to see the town and the mountains.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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1  Thank kthernehill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2013

I see some harsh reviews but you have to reset your baseline for hotels in Ethiopia. By these standards, if you get a room in the new annex, a double storey stack of quite spacious rooms with en suite bathrooms and balconies, it' s a perfectly acceptable stay while arranging your trek in the Simiens. My room had its own water heater and the shower, though shabby, was plentiful and luxuriant, washing away that travel dust. Also I recommend the redecorated bar for atmosphere, service and bunna be wetet (coffee with milk). I was here 12 and 10 years ago, and believe me, it's greatly improved from the communal outdoor shower! Debark compared to then is a sorry sight - like Addis it has been subjected to random concrete development with adjacent demolition, and the new widened tarmac road has mowed away the old roadside buildings.

Room Tip: Get an en suite room in the new annexe - hot water aplenty.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Jonathan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2013

I am told that this place is the best option in Debark, which says more about how dirt poor this town is than anything else. I've stayed in more basic places in my time in other parts of the world, but the problem in Debark is that there is literally nothing else to do nearby in town, which means if you're stuck in the town for any length of time it's incredibly boring. When we stayed, there was no power to the hotel (or indeed, that side of the whole town), so when it got dark we couldn't even read our books. That said, a fairly decent buffet-style dinner was laid on (largely by candle light). Overall, I suppose this hotel would be fine for a one-night stay if you arrived back late from the Simien mountains, and left early the next day. But I would not advise a longer sojourn than that.

Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
Thank Bielding
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2013

This is a good option if you need to stay in Debark on your way to/from the Simien mountains. The rooms are rather spacious, a bit run down, but simple and clean enough. Debark is nothing exciting as a town which means you'll be staying only a night or two in Debark.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Amsterdamned74
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Reviewed 29 November 2012

Crikey, this was the most appallingly inappropriate choice of hotel by Ace Cultural Tours. A group of relatively elderly travellers were here imprisoned in a run-down concrete block which faced a building site. Our inviting room had handprints on the walls, and the furniture and fittings were falling apart. It was cold, dank, depressing and reminiscent of one of those Grim Up North 1950s documentaries about deprived children living with incurable diseases and domestic abuse. The bar was scary, the dining annex like an unfurnished parish hall in the Gorbals, and you were about 30 minutes drive from the entrance to the Simien Mountains Park. Our Ethiopian buffet dinner was, in the circumstances, really rather tasty and cheered us all up as we contemplated the dark and cold climb up the concrete steps towards our grim cells on the mental health ward for the criminally insane. What on earth was our tour operator thinking of in housing us here?

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank weltravelledofSussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Simien Park Hotel

Address: Simien Mountains National Park, Debark, Ethiopia
Region: Ethiopia > Amhara Region > Debark
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Debark
Price Range: £169 - £238 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 20
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Simien Park Hotel Ethiopia/Debark

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