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Sheraton Addis Ababa, Ethiopia [Master Thread]

Sheraton Addis Ababa, Ethiopia [Master Thread]

Old Apr 22, 02, 4:17 pm
  #1  
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Arrow Sheraton Addis Ababa, Ethiopia [Master Thread]

Has anybody ever stayed at the Sheraton Addis Abeba? What can I expect? It is a luxury collection property so am I right that it will also be a LC property in terms of standard and service. Also are there any special rooms to ask for?
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Old Apr 8, 07, 3:55 pm
  #2  
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Well, as the last post on this hotel was 4.5 years ago I can assume this is not the most travelled location in the Starwood network...

Nonetheless, any stayed here recently? Any tips to offer, any views on the likely Plat upgrade?

Thanks.
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Old Apr 8, 07, 5:00 pm
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I've stayed twice. Two years ago and four years ago. Absolutely one of the most sickening experiences of my life. The hotel is over-the-top luxurious. It overlooks terrible poverty. It gives me nightmares. PM me if you care to discuss. It's all a little too emotional to cover in public forum. If you go, I do wish you a good trip.
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Old Apr 8, 07, 6:25 pm
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I stayed there in July. It is a beautiful gated property, which as the last poster correctly points out is surrounded by poverty. It is by far the nicest hotel in the city as far as I could tell. I wasn't sickened by the experience as the last poster was. However, as I presume most visitors to Ethiopia are, I was dismayed by the fact that the majority of the population live in horrible poverty, mud huts and shanty towns and that it seems that modernity passed this country by. I didn't feel that I had to live in those conditions while in the country to help, so I didn't feel bad staying at the Sheraton. I did stay in a pretty crappy hotel in the city of Gondar though.

As a Plat at the Sheraton, I was upgraded to a suite and sent a fruit basket. There is also a lounge, but I didn't have time to use it or see what was in it.

One warning....even in a beautiful modern hotel, be careful what you eat. I was with a group and most of us refrained from eating uncooked vegetables. One woman with us ordered a salad from room service. She became very ill. While we can't be sure that the salad caused the problems, it was the only thing that she ate that no one else in the group did.
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Old Apr 9, 07, 4:15 am
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Thumbs up Fantastic Hotel

I stayed at the Sheraton in December of 2006. It is a wonderful hotel. I'm plantinum and was upgraded to a very nice and large suite overlooking the hotel grounds. I stayed using SPG points. The pool is excellent, but the restaurant is a bit overpriced for the quality of food. The bar/club in the hotel is quite popular on weekends and is a good scene.

The surroundings of the hotel are mired in poverty, as is much of Addis, but to call it "sickening" is a gross exaggeration in my opinion. On a side note, I found the streets of Addis to be very safe during both the day and night.
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Old Apr 9, 07, 8:01 am
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Stayed there for 3 nights last November. As a Platinum I was upgraded to a suite overlooking the musical fountain that works nightly. True that the hotel is in the very center of town and surrounded by extreme poverty, but please this is not unique in the world and spare me the fake sentimatalism. The only alternative in the city would be the Hilton whiach does not compare.
Service is flawless, restaurants are excellent and I found the prices quite reasonnable. If you travel to Ethiopia you have to go to Lalibela to see the churches which are stunningly beautiful (1 hour flight from ADD).
Have a great trip, Ethiopia is incredibly beautiful!
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Old Apr 9, 07, 9:20 am
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I have been to Ethiopia as well. It is a truly amzing place to visit. It has very strong sense of 'place'. When I was there I really wasn't reminded of anywhere else in the world. A feeling that is not all that common.
I would add a trek in the Simian moutains to a list of must. We did a 5 day horse trek. We saw saw troops of baboons more than 500 strong as well as a lot of birdlife. It was not as strenuous as it sounds.
In Addis we didn't stay in the Sheraton or the Hilton but in the hotel Taitu. This hotel was the first western style hotel built in Ethopia. It dates from 1911 and was very cool. The beds felt like they were from 1911 as well although I think the bed bugs were younger. . For about US$7.00 it was an experience.
Yes Ethiopia is very poor but instead of being "horrifed" give something back by spending at local businesses and being genourous to the people you meet.
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Old Apr 9, 07, 10:47 am
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Thanks for the info all! Sounds like a good option for a couple of nights at the start and end of the trip to ease in and out of things. I go to India every 1-2 months so I am pretty used to juxtapositions between poverty and luxury.

Lalibela and Gondar are on the list, must read up about the Simian mountains.
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Old Apr 9, 07, 12:10 pm
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Originally Posted by camsean View Post
Yes Ethiopia is very poor but instead of being "horrifed" give something back by spending at local businesses and being genourous to the people you meet.
Agreed. I have been to Ethiopia more than just the two times spent at the Sheraton. (I've also stayed at the Hilton.) When in Addis, I usually stay at the Ghion, still an okay hotel.

My comments about poverty probably reflect my perspective as a person doing relief work (inside and outside Addis, and in Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan and Djibouti). Juxtapose a month in a medical relief setting with a visit to the Sheraton and you might be horrified too. And consider the different perspective one would get walking the streets of Addis - 20 miles a day, largely in outlying areas - as opposed to taking taxis or spending most of one's time in the city centre.
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Old Apr 9, 07, 3:43 pm
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I have stayed at the Sheraton Addis maybe 100 nights over the last five years (I was last there about a month ago). As others note, it is surrounded by poverty. The same can be said of any hotel in Addis. I too work in development and health and my employer always makes reservations there when working in Ethiopia (not at my request--they get a good deal). Some of my colleagues are "appalled" at staying in a luxury hotel and show their solidarity with the masses by insisting on staying at a mere two-, three- or four-star hotel. Frankly, I find that reaction a bit precious--ANY hotel you are staying in is fabulously luxurious compared to the conditions of a great many Ethiopians. If you want to "show solidarity" please steer clear of any hotel with A/C, running water, and Meta beer for 30 birr a bottle. It has never been clear to me how a "fehringi" staying in a less-luxurious place benefits anyone.

It is owned by a Yemeni-Ethiopian sheik who is perhaps the major property developer in Addis.

The lounge is perfectly okay--happy hour runs promptly from 5-7 with drinks and snacks (nothing special). Platinum treatment used to be very good, but over the last couple years is has really slipped. That being said, even the basic room is perfectly fine.

Another poster mentioned the Ghion--a perfect good (two-star) hotel with a terrific restaurant (they have two--one serving Western food the other serving Ethiopian--the good one is the Ethiopian with the fasting [vegetarian] meal going for about $4).

A real down-side to the Sheraton is its location--about a brisk 15 minute walk from ANYTHING. Lots of kids will be following you asking you for money. As the Sheraton is uphill from Churchill Ave (the main drag), the walk down is okay, but the walk back is a killer.

Maybe I'm jaded--I work among starving and dying people about 200 days a year--the Sheraton is a real treat and i don't feel bad about staying there. I don't "deserve" it any more than the the people outside its gates "deserve" their poverty. But then, do any of us deserve most of the everyday luxuries (stable economy, personal transportation, supermarkets, income, health) that we take for granted? Choosing to deny that we are advantaged (in SO MANY WAYS) seems like such an empty gesture. If you want to do something for Ethiopians, I can think of 1000 ways to make a difference--not staying at the Sheraton ain't one of them!
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Old Jun 9, 07, 11:01 am
  #11  
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Two stays last month. Plat upgrade both times to a nice 1 bedroom suite with terrace, though on the second visit the room looked out over a bar with live music still late. I wasn't sleeping, but wouldn't have been great if you were. Amenity card offered both times, and the points have posted correctly. The hotel is very nice in a classical style, though I was underwhelmed by the restaurants. By rest of country standards I thought they were very good but by international standards pretty average and not cheap.

A trip report to follow on the rest of my trip.
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Old Jun 10, 07, 7:35 am
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Originally Posted by rhetor View Post
I have stayed at the Sheraton Addis maybe 100 nights over the last five years (I was last there about a month ago). As others note, it is surrounded by poverty. The same can be said of any hotel in Addis. I too work in development and health and my employer always makes reservations there when working in Ethiopia (not at my request--they get a good deal). Some of my colleagues are "appalled" at staying in a luxury hotel and show their solidarity with the masses by insisting on staying at a mere two-, three- or four-star hotel. Frankly, I find that reaction a bit precious--ANY hotel you are staying in is fabulously luxurious compared to the conditions of a great many Ethiopians. If you want to "show solidarity" please steer clear of any hotel with A/C, running water, and Meta beer for 30 birr a bottle. It has never been clear to me how a "fehringi" staying in a less-luxurious place benefits anyone.


Another poster mentioned the Ghion--a perfect good (two-star) hotel with a terrific restaurant (they have two--one serving Western food the other serving Ethiopian--the good one is the Ethiopian with the fasting [vegetarian] meal going for about $4).
I agree we use to have a contract rate with the hilton. It is pretty nice, but anything with a USA name is over the top compared to the local economy.
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Old Jan 24, 08, 8:53 am
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Originally Posted by troyintn View Post
I agree we use to have a contract rate with the hilton. It is pretty nice, but anything with a USA name is over the top compared to the local economy.
Has anyone stayed at the Hilton in Addis Ababa recently?

What can you expect as a Diamond, compared to the Platinum experience noted at the Sheraton? Does the Hilton have a lounge?

Where is it locationwise both to the city, airport and Sheraton?

Thanks for your feedback.
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Old Feb 15, 08, 3:12 pm
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I've had meetings at the Hilton and have seen colleagues' rooms there, but have never stayed there or know about "Diamond" status perks. The Hilton seems much more like a middle-tier conference hotel and the Sheraton is definitely top-notch.
In terms of location, the Hilton is a couple blocks away from the Sheraton. They are both about 15 minutes from the airport. From both hotels you have a bit of a hike to get into town, but taxis are everywhere and inexpensive.
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Old Mar 8, 08, 3:05 pm
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My stays at the Sheraton Addis were very acceptable. The service and atmosphere was excellent, with staff having a real "can do" attitude.

The rooms were comfortable - on two different stays I was upgraded to an Executive room on the 4th floor where the lounge can be found opposite the lifts. These rooms are of a good size, with very comfortable beds and a good bathroom (except there was no walk in shower).

On one stay, I was given a one bedroom suite, which was very comfortable, and had both a bath, walk in shower and guest toilet.

Be careful of the lounge however. They only provide free drinks between 18:00 - 20:00, when snacks are also served. Cakes were seen earlier in the day, but while I think these were probably true, did not try any so cannot confirm. A friend through the breakfast in the morning was ok - I did not try as I was focused on getting as much sleep as possible ;-)

Having also stayed at the Hilton, and experienced both an Executive room and a Junior suite, I would warmly recommend the Sheraton by comparison, even though it will probably be a little more expensive.

Last edited by Club_IC; Mar 8, 08 at 3:13 pm
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