Winn Hotel is the most centrally located hotel in Bahir Dar. In a prime position on the main street a short walk to the lake and both bus stations as well as numerous restaurants and cafes, the hotel also boasts a crisp, sleek, modern interior style that you would expect of hotels twice it’s price.
The very imposing two-story Zamiyda guest-house is a sight to behold from the street. The bright colours sit in contrast to the exquisite wood carvings and the interior design is as eccentric as the toothless owner. As entertaining as he is, fortunately you will get more out of his son who speaks excellent English. Unlike other traditional houses, Zamiyda can be reached by vehicle and also can offer vehicle parking.
This traditional Harari House has stood for 400 years. The bright courtyard brings the place to life as does the lovely female owner who will make you feel incredibly welcome as soon as you cross the threshold. As with all Harari traditional houses, it showcases many antiquities in the traditional multi-level living room. The guest rooms stray a little from this traditional style but the frilly bed sheets are so out-of-date you can argue that they still constitute historic!
This is a rare truly budget option, currently under exploited by foreign visitors. The rooms are very rudimental but are excellently located and provide a bit of serenity on a nice side street close to the old city walls. There is a nice cafe adjoined underneath run by an American-Ethiopian man and a good shaded courtyard to relax in. We are assured that it is also possible to spot Hyenas from the rooms overlooking the stadium.
Good quality modern rooms located close to the old city gates. It is worth climbing the stairs to the upper floors to get good views across the city and the surrounding areas. The penthouse suites are recreations of traditional Harari households, so if you wish to experience this with a little more comfort then you can book here.
This hotel offers such good value high quality rooms and service that we decided to leave out other more expensive “luxury” hotels that we felt didn’t match Ras Hotel’s level. The rooms are very much of a corporate style with deep mahogany furnishings, yet the real jewel in the crown is the excellent courtyard bar/cafe by giant trees, the perfect place to recover after a day trekking through the beautiful alleyways of Harar Jugol.
This hotel has built itself an excellent reputation amongst all travellers and is incredibly popular despite its location away from the old city. The warm hospitality is apparent upon arrival. The rooms are very well equipped and furnished to a high standard, albeit it tailored towards an Arab palette. The walk to town is downhill all the way and will take approximately 20 minutes but we would recommend taking a Bajaj or Peugeot Taxi on the way back rather than tackle the steep incline.
This hotel is a combination of styles that shouldn’t work together but combine to make a really pleasant place to stay or while away the afternoon. The main building of the hotel has the lobby of a luxury hotel and the room quality far exceeds their very fair price. Downstairs the hotel transitions through an informal dining area into a large shaded and planted courtyard which also has a few rooms less formal in style but larger and more comfortable. Karamara Ras also boasts to have the most famous bar in town, which unfortunately we didn’t have the energy/time to test!
Set away in the old quarter, staying here will immerse you in the typical day-to-day life of this city with a very cosmopolitan past and present. The hotel is a typical old fashioned traveller’s stopover with a dark and heavily wood-clad lobby/reception and rooms with more focus on function that style, however it possess a certain nostalgic charm. In the neighbourhood you will find plenty of vendors selling exotic fruits, intriguing cuts of meat and patisserie that show Greek, Turk and French and Arab influence in this cultural melting pot.
We don’t know if the innuendo is intentional. We would be surprised if it was as this hotel is otherwise fairly bland, that being said, the rooms (priced by size) are all are spacious, clean and roomy and have everything you need from a budget option. The rooms are all set in a large courtyard and garden that are much larger than the combined size of all the buildings which is a bit of an anonymity amongst this otherwise built up area. An advantage of staying here is that it is within walking distance of the airport.
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