Things work differently in Ethiopia and these leave both positive and negative experiences for visitors. The unfortunate part is that the good experiences are missed because they are not advertised or made known to guests.

After my visit to Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa, these are things I gathered that visitors have to consider before choosing or booking a hotel room.

Free Airport Pickup

Almost all hotels, if not all, in Addis Ababa, provide free airport pick-up and drop-off for their guests. Guests are likely to miss this because they are not made aware at the time of booking and they may never know until they leave the country. If you missed the airport pickup, request to be dropped off after check out.

If you want to be picked up at the airport, send your arrival details to the hotel and they will be right there on time for you.

Airport pickups cost travelers some good money as airport taxis are always expensive.

Free Suana And Steam

One thing common among Ethiopian hotels is free Sauna and steam bath. You can have an unlimited number of Sauna and Steam baths all for free.

Discounted Massage For Guests

All hotels, at least all those in Bole, offer body massage services for both their guests and the public. Guests are given discounts on massage services.

No Air Conditioner or heating system

If you need to use an air conditioner or ceiling fan in summer or have a heating system in winter, then first ask the hotel if they have them fitted in their rooms. Hotels, in exception of those that belong to international chains, do not have air conditioners and heating systems in their rooms. Ethiopia experiences low temperatures at times and it can be difficult for some people to stay in such rooms without a heating system.

Don’t be met with surprises, find out if your room has all that you need.


Malaria is one of the common diseases in Ethiopia. For whatever reason mosquitoes joined me in my room. For two days the hotel couldn’t provide me with a mosquito spray. My room was changed when I tried checking out to book another hotel.

I cannot confirm that this is the case among all hotels in Ethiopia but it is advisable to contact your doctor or GP before traveling to a Malaria-prone country.


Your Addis Ababa hotel booking is likely to come with a free breakfast. You may complain that there isn’t enough to take for breakfast when you join the buffet. I had to stop going for the breakfast before I didn’t see the need to. So it’s my tour guide who told me that you can request the main dish and any other thing you may want to have for breakfast if not found on the table.

How could there be breakfast without an omelette? Not knowing I had to request it. Because of the language barrier, the employees hardly approach you to tell you what you need to do. So next time you go for breakfast, request whatever you didn’t see on the table.

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