Mountain View Hotel - Lalibela
Okay, let’s start with the boring part. The hotel rooms are very clean, spacious and light. My standard single had two single beds a suitcase bench, bedside table, a couple of armchairs but similar to it’s sister hotel in the same area, the Tukul Village, there was no wardrobe but you don’t really need one given you won’t need to be in Lalibela long- a day really is more than enough! The bathroom was, along with the Tukul Village, by far the nicest bathroom I had seen in a hotel in Ethiopia and had a bath and shower mixer. The shower had a shower curtain and was just a very good standard bathroom and very clean.
Now that’s all out of the way let’s get to the USP. The view. My god what a view! The view from every hotel room and the terrace is spellbinding, it’s hard to describe and no camera can do it justice. Mountain View Hotel? World View more like. You see the full expanse of Lalibela and it is simply immense. I first visited this hotel when I went for dinner while actually residing at the Tukul and even in the 10pm darkness the atmosphere and night time panoramic, unobstructed by any harsh artificial lighting, is breathtaking. It was dark but with the light of the moon and stars what I saw was spectacular and I felt like I was on top of the world.
The dinner menu on the night I went for dinner was very carnivorous and I asked whether I could have a fasting meal thinking it was Wednesday when it was in fact Tuesday. This was not mentioned, no objection raised, very shortly after ordering I received a platter of the best meal I had in Ethiopia with rolls of injera with greens and tomatoes and spiced lentil wots- absolutely delicious and far better than the fasting meal I had at the Tukul Village. At birr 39 or 40 far cheaper too.
Please be patient with the waiting staff in the restaurant, their English isn’t very good but even then I’m certain that it will be far better than 99% of the hotel guest’s Amharic. How is your Amharigna? These are local girls rightly benefitting via employment from the tourism in the town. Their English and serving skills will improve.
If you can’t get a room to stay in at Mountain View while in Lalibela, make sure you at least go for dinner so you can just have a look at the hotel. A visit to this hotel is a must. It is an extremely ambitious project that I think has paid off.