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“Friendly Hotel”
Review of Ethio-Star Hotel

Ethio-Star Hotel
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Ethio-Star Hotel
Ranked #10 of 23 Bahar Dar B&B and Inns
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Friendly Hotel”
Reviewed 30 April 2010

The EthioStar had very friendly staff, the room was clean and the view from the top floor very good. It is also much quieter at the top. Breakfast service was slow and breakfast limited. good service to the airport. Much much better value that Ghion!

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Yohannis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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24 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 January 2010

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!

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lushberry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2009

We stayed in Bahar Dar for one day/night. The hotel was a little rough - maybe 2 stars. But from our research, all hotels in Bahar Dar are at about this level.

The room was clean but small and the "Lake Tana view" was noisy at night/early morning due to traffic on major road below. Recommend getting a room as far back from the road as possible. The view is not worth the noise.

Our in-room TV had three channels, one of a which was a Middle Eastern channel playing repeats of America's Got Talent.

The bathroom was small and basic but functional.

The location was central and convenient. There is a cafe at the front. Also we enjoyed dinner on the terrace of a nearby hotel -- out the front door and a block to the left on the same main road (not sure if that hotel is any better, and I'm sorry I can't remember the name...).

Ethio-Star Hotel had no in-room Internet access, and the nearest Internet cafe is unusably slow. But we found a high-speed spot about five minutes away that was great -- sorry I can't recall the name but if you get the same guide, Tegistu, then he can take you there....

Tegistu had booked us into this hotel. And for all the hotel's faults (though again I should note that I don't think other hotels in Bahar Dar would be any better), our guide was lovely. He was recommended to us on Trip Advisor and so we want to return the favour. His website is ethiopiantraveladventures.com . I haven't recommended a guide before on TripAdvisor but what I liked about Tegistu was that he was very knowledgable about the history of the area and his English is excellent. He could explain the history of the Lake Tana monasteries in a way that was clear and interesting. He has a degree in journalism and some kind of post-grad tourist guide diploma, and he came across as a young man who was smart, up to speed on history, ambitious and eager to please.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank wrongwaysmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2009

I travel to Bahir Dar lots, first I was a tourist now I work there. I have been to almost every hotel. The Ethiostar is still dilapidated like all the rest, but what sets it aside is the fact that it is the only Hotel where you will not be arguing with unpleasant staff. The people that work at the Ethiostar are all helpful, and kind, especially the receptionists and the bell boys. That makes all the difference to me. No headaches. It's a very simple hotel, 2 star category for western standards, but the rooms are clean and nice if you ask for those with a lakeside view. The food is acceptable too, which is saying a lot in Bahir Dar. Next to the hotel there is a fantastic Juice Bar called Melon Juice Bar and its famous for its mango and avocado juices. The coffee is also delicious, home made (from raw beans everytime) and served traditionally.
It is the 2nd largest hotel in town with 80 rooms. Opposite the entrance is the start of the beautiful lakeside walking path, where you can see monkeys, wonderful birds and if you are very lucky a Hippo.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank carlotortora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ethio-Star Hotel

Property: Ethio-Star Hotel
Address: PO Box 531, Kebele 1, Bahar Dar, Ethiopia
Region: Ethiopia > Amhara Region > Bahar Dar
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 23 B&Bs / Inns in Bahar Dar
Number of rooms: 80
Also Known As:
Ethio-Star Hotel Ethiopia/Bahar Dar

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