Ethiopia’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism revealed its ratings of hotels in the Amhara region and only one hotel has fulfilled the four-star criteria.The regions’ 58 existing and newer hotels were assessed but only 12 hotels were rated. The ratings by the Ministry places Bahir Dar’s Avanti Blue Nile Hotel as a four star hotel, making it the only hotel brands in the region to receive the distinction. Avanti, owned by the Ethiopian business tycoon Al-Amoudi, was opened three years ago after long years of construction.
Tana Hotel, another long-standing hotel owned by Al Amoudi, has not been graded. Tana, which used to be part of the government-owned Ghion chain, is most notable for its location on the lakeshore ground, but it has scored bad points as the rooms are old and dilapidated. Few changes have been made since its government-owned days. Three newer hotels in Bahir Dar, Benmas, Addis Amba, Rahnile and three others in Gondar Florida, Landmark, Jantekel Hotels were bestowed with three stars. Curiously, Bahir Dar’s tallest building, Grand Resort & Spa is omitted from the ratings. One another surprise was the long-standing and highly rated Goha Hotel in Gondar town which had to settle only for two stars. The first choice of most tour operators, Goha hotel is rated by many the best hotel in the former government Ghion chain. The hotel’s management staff told Ethiopia Observer that they were baffled by the official ratings and they would be appealling against the decision. The pricey Kuriftu Resort and Spa, all made of stone and covered with creepers, was conspicuously absent from the ratings, which some say is related to its small number of rooms.
The hotels were rated based on their services, the existence of fire emergency exists, the availability of competent and skilled manpower and other criteria and study conducted in partnership with the World Tourism Organization (WTO). A similar survey in the Tigray region honored Mekele’s Planet Hotel with four-star ratings. Two other hotels in Mekele, Axum Hotel and Desta Hotels were given three star hotels. Three hotels in Axum, Sabean, Yared, and Consular were also rated three stars. Awasa, the capital of the southern region, had four four-star hotels in all, including Haile Resort and Lewi Resort.