The “Maribela Hotel”:http://hotelmaribela.com/ was our home for three nights as we were visiting the rock hewn churches of Lalibela in Northern Ethiopia.
The fifteen rooms are over three floors, and as there was no lift we were pleased that unlike at the Melbourne Hotel, Eskedar’s planning had worked and we got room 101 on the first floor right at the top of the stairs. All rooms had stunning views of the Ethiopian Highlands and the narrow twisting road we’d arrived on. The large room, with stone walls in the hall, had a large low bed and two good arm chairs either side of a table. There was a kettle, cups, two tea bags and two sachets of sugar but no milk. There was no wardrobe as such, just three random coat hangers on a set of hooks. The lighting was reasonable and traditional wall hangings hung above the bed. There was a practical wooden floor but no TV, safe or mini bar. The bathroom was large but lacked hooks for towels and shelving to put out toiletries. I discovered that hairdryer had a three pin plug that wouldn’t fit into the socket next to it, our adaptors didn’t work and you couldn’t move the hairdryer as the cord was fixed to the wall. Reception provided another hairdryer, but had to be plugged in nowhere near a mirror.
The restaurant, on the lower ground floor, was run extremely effectively by Morgas who was friendly, chatty and very helpful although the food was a bit hit and miss. Some dishes were unavailable – I couldn’t have lasagne because ‘the machine has broken and is being repaired in Addis’ which was also where the avocados are for the guacamole salad were. An Indian chicken curry was a good portion size but the chicken was a little tough and the sauce thin. However a steak with vegetables and a beef stroganoff were much better.
We finished our evenings sat on comfortable sofas over a fabulous open fire with a night caps in hand. Lalibela is situated 2530m above sea level and so had chilly mornings and evenings.
We had a break mid day on our first day of sightseeing and decided to enjoy the view and sun from the huge day bed on our balcony only to find we were being dripped on from the balcony above. By lying closely together we just about managed to avoid getting wet.
Whilst the hotel says it takes credit cards, the machine hadn’t been working for some time. Wi-fi was available at reception.