Heritage Plaza is a little hit and miss in terms of a hotel and its location. It is not inside the city walls and is slightly more expensive than some that are either in the wall or near them. With a local Bajaj (motorcycle taxi with cover eating area) you can be anywhere in the city for less than 50 US cents – if they come by. Otherwise it’s a 10-15 minute walk to where they are and/or the outer walls. It’s ok. The bed was – yes – ok. The room size was good and the hotel is quiet enough. The room I had did have was cool, clean and not much else. The bathroom was, however, a nightmare. The shower tray was tiny, clogged with hair and the water poured all over the bathroom and into the bedroom. A lot and every time. I had to ‘steal’ some towels to try and not break my neck walking around in my own room after a shower. The TV played 1 channel. There were 2 good closets and that would be it for the room.
The desk was manned and that is all I ever saw of the staff. Supposedly they had a restaurant, but I was never there hen they might have been so can’t comments.
Breakfast was outside in a nice outdoor area, but poor. I went next door to ‘Stackbucks’ for a poor, but better breakfast. Yes it is a Starbucks rip-off.
I really can’t recommend this place that much. It did the job, but was expensive for this city and what you get.
Lonely Planet calls this hotel “Palatial”.
Only if you are smoking strong drugs.
Harar is not blessed with any real ‘hotels’ so try and stay in a guesthouse or cultural house. Cheaper and probably have better showers.
When you step out of the bus at 9 pm after a 12-13 hours journey, the only thing you may want is to find a bed and sleep! Fortunately, Belayneh is conveniently located very close to the bus station and at less than 200m from the walled city.
To my knowledge there is only one pension inside the walled city, Rewda Pension, and for some reason( not the price which was 300 bir for a dollhouse room with toilet outside in the yard, not sure there was water), after visiting it I did not want to sleep there.
So, Belayneh, where the sleepy receptionist gives you a key for a room with a bathroom in exchange of 200 birs (pay in advance).
The breakfast (orange juice, coffee or tea, eggs in whatever form and toast with margarine and jam), included in price, is taken upstairs in the restaurant from where you have a view over the market at Harar gate.
Very simple hotel for western standards, but almost luxury in Ethiopia: bathroom with hot water, toilets, clean sheets on a double bed; nothing more, but what more do you need here?
Best in this hotel is the view over the market, from the restaurant or the balcony of some rooms.
200 birs (10 US$)
Tewodros (Thewodros) Hotel Harar, Ethiopia
I stayed at the Tewodros Hotel May 15-18, 2010. I had three areas of concern.
1) The room 118 did not have lighting when I arrived. They switched light bulbs unsuccessfully, but only later it was discovered that the light fixture was connected through another switch in the hallway and you had to jiggle it just a bit to get the bedroom light to come on. In the morning, I discovered there was no water coming from the shower head. I asked to move to room 15 where the shower was working. However, the drain was stopped up, and after 4-5 minutes it flooded all over the floor. The sink faucet did not work and the counter was so filthy, was didn't want to place anything on it. In short, the place is not maintained and not cleaned properly
2) The main reason the place is not maintained is that the manager, Abel (?) is stoned on chat from mid-afternoon on. He has piles of it he is sorting through in front of the hotel. By about 7 pm he is so zonked that when he speaks, his lips move but no sound comes out. It is really weird.
3) Lonely Plant recommends the place, and the reason I went there was for fair treatment on guided tours. I agreed on arrival to the Hyena Man tour for 150 Birr, I then discovered that LP says it should be not more than 30-50. When I confronted Abel about this, he said "costs are going up." I said the book is only one year old. The following day he wanted 200 Birr for a city tour, which I thought was excessive. But it got worse. He said he could get me a ride with his friend to Wajaale at the Somalia border for 200 Birr, (then dropped it to 150 Birr). I was assured his friend would leave the following morning between 8-9 am. But Able needed 50 Birr for fuel right then. I said OK. Then he said "Buy me two beers." Another 14 Birr. (All of this is while the lips are sometimes moving and not sound is coming out.) About 9am the next morning he states his friend isn't going to the border until the afternoon, and says he will have a woman accompany me all the way on public transportation, including the bus change in Jijiga. When I asked about the 64 Birr I had advanced him, he said "That is for my advice." The woman jumped off the bus before Jijiga so she was of no help. The total fare to the boarder was about 50, or less than his "advice." Abel exhibited all the classic behavior of an addict.
Thank God and Greyhound I'm gone.
We arrived in Harar around 5am and we asked the minibus to drop us at this hotel. They let us in a room right away so we could get some rest. The room costed 70 Birr for both of us. It has a hot shower so that was a total plus!
If I was here with my girlfriend this is the place I would have stayed at. It has two rooms with western toilets etc. It was a bright and full of color as opposed to the rest of Harars other options plus you cannot beat the location. The ladies that run it are very kind and it would be an excellent place to experience the warmth of the city.
This place is nothing special other than it is clean and the staff is friendly...it's big which also makes it popular with tour groups so depending on your timing it may fill up evey now and then. The staff can ring Abdul or one of his sidekicks to show you around and there is a bar in the front.
Its clean and some rooms have a view of Shoa Gate.
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