Ethiopia Lodges at a glance
As Ethiopia continues to get more recognition and begins to compete for the attention of the discerning and well-travelled safari-goer, the range of accommodation options has improved dramatically. There is still a long way to go before Ethiopia can compete with many of its East African neighbours in terms of accommodation, but there are now enough good options in all the major destinations in the country to keep you comfortable.
A few luxury accommodation options have opened up, and there is a good selection of boutique lodges that have a lot of character and make for wonderful stays in beautiful locations. In some parts of the country, however, accommodation remains basic - so it's important to set your expectations when it comes to Ethiopian accommodation.
16 Best Lodges in Ethiopia
Kuriftu Resort & Spa, Bahir Dar
One of Kuriftu Resort’s three locations, Kuriftu Resort and Spa Lodge in Bahir Dar is a high-end boutique lodge with exceptional value. Established in 2009, this lodge boasts modern facilities within striking stone buildings full of charm. The service here is exemplary and easily outperforms that of other accommodation options in the area.
There are 28 rooms, including 2 presidential suites, many of which offer incredible views over Lake Tana. The rooms themselves are of high quality, mirroring local architecture with typical Ethiopian furniture. In addition, there is a reception, lounge, swimming pool, restaurant, bar, and spa for visitors to enjoy.
Prices start from $140/night during the peak season, dropping to $104/night off-peak.
Gondar Hills Resort, Gondar
Gondar Hills Resort is an exceptional property located on the highest peak of Gondar, designed with traditional stonework to compliment the architectural style of the nearby medieval castles. There are 78 rooms available, with sweeping French windows offering unrivalled views of the surrounding mountains and private gardens where guests can relax and unwind. In addition, Gondar Hills Resort has a heated swimming pool, spa, tennis courts and jogging trails.
The dining options are varied, with a choice between an indoor or open-air restaurant, and two bars. Both restaurants serve a range of traditional Ethiopian food as well as dishes tailored to the international palette.
The resort is the perfect base for exploring the historic city of Gondar, and hosts local artisans to allow guests to discover and learn more about the local culture and artifacts such as the creation of pottery and weaving of local fabrics.
The price for a double suite starts at $165/night.
Mayleko Lodge, Gondar
Found 15-minutes away from Gondar by tuk-tuk and nestled within quiet farmland, the Mayleko Lodge is a simple, but charming accommodation option in Gondar. The lodge’s 20 bungalows with cool stone walls and thatched roofing sit on a pretty clearing on the outskirts of Gondar with delightful views and spacious interiors.
Simple but modern, the rooms boast French windows leading out onto a lawn and terrace for visitors to enjoy. Activities include swimming in the lodge’s pool and horseback riding, as well as dining in the restaurant overlooking the mountains.
Prices start at $95/night.
Simien Lodge, Simien Mountains National Park
At an astounding 3200 metres, the Simien Lodge is the highest altitude lodge anywhere in Africa and offers a wonderful experience for visitors. Guests have their very own tukul, a traditional round house with thatched roofing, decorated with local artwork and boasting solar-powered underfloor heating for when the temperature drops at night. Built using sustainable materials, this lodge is run with the local environment and communities in mind.
The Simien Lodge is a great choice for those wanting to explore the Simien Mountains, as it is a perfect base for trekking and exploring. The Simien Lodge is a great place to see Gelada Monkeys, as large troops of them can be found playing around the grounds of the lodge.
Tip from Brilliant: as the rooms are clustered together, ask for one at the edges to get a better view from your balcony.
Prices start at $120 in low season, and $265 at peak times.
Limalimo Lodge, Simien Mountains National Park
Limalimo Lodge is one of Ethiopia’s most luxurious retreats. Found on the edge of the Simiens escarpment, the lodge has a beautiful modern aesthetic with incredible views of the Simien range.
This contemporary lodge has 12 rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and a terrace looking out into the mountains. The designs are simple and blend into the landscape whilst still providing exemplary comfort.
Built with responsible tourism in mind by locals from the nearby town of Debark, Limalimo Lodge is committed to protecting the local environment and supporting regional communities. It is regularly voted as one of the best hotels in Ethiopia.
Prices for a double suite start at $370 in low season, rising to $445 at peak times.
Mezena Lodge, Lalibela
Newly built just outside of the busy centre of Lalibela, Mezena Lodge is made up of 30 bungalows and a main building designed in the Ethiopian style of stone walls and thatched roofing. The rooms are simply and functional with a private veranda, and the lodge offers two restaurants, a bar, gym, spa, and swimming pool, and all the amenities you would expect from mid-range international accommodation.
Being just out of town makes Mezena Lodge the perfect place to find some peace and quiet away from the hustle of the town centre - and there are beautiful views from the verandas and communal deckings. You can reach central Lalibela via a short walk or tuk-tuk.
Mezena Lodge is committed to sustainability. All staff are Lalibela locals and the lodge reinvests directly into the local economy by supporting sports and development projects, and by planting trees in the area to support a nearby government afforestation programme.
Hudad Lodge, Lalibela
A real gem of the area, Hudad Lodge is found just outside of Lalibela and is accessible by a two-hour hike through the rolling hills.
The lodge itself is basic, but what it lacks in luxury it makes up for in stunning views of the surrounding valleys and canyons. With an unassuming standard tukul design of stone walls and thatched roofing, the real highlights of Hudad Lodge are the wonderful trekking opportunities of the surrounding area, and the dazzling night sky full of stars.
There are four tukuls available, which can house 3-4 guests each and have very basic facilities, although there is no electricity. The lodge also has a restaurant, serving a simple menu.
Ben Abeba Hotel, Lalibela
Newly opened in 2020, the Ben Abeba Lodge has been created following the success of the popular Scottish-Ethiopian restaurant of the same name (you can read more about the Ben Abeba restaurant here). The lodge is situated high on a hillside close to Lalibela’s famous rock-hewn churches and has great views of the Lalibela highlands.
With four luxury bungalows and two budget-friendly cottages built by local masons and carpenters in a traditional style, the lodge is small but greatly accommodating. Of course, dining in the famous restaurant is also a highlight of any stay here.
Prices for the luxury rooms start at $300, whilst the cottage rooms start from $60.
Korkor Lodge, Tigray
Our first choice in Tigray, Korkor Lodge offers a luxurious service and is the perfect base from which to explore the fantastic rock and cave churches in the surrounding region. The rooms are simple bungalows created in a traditional Ethiopian style with stones mined from the local area, and perfectly blend into the stunning landscape. Each bungalow, of which there are 12 in total, features a private patio for guests to relax and soak in the views. Large glass windows within the bungalows represent the fusion of contemporary and traditional design, and every bungalow includes an ensuite bathroom.
Korkor Lodge retains a commitment to sustainability, and this is exemplified in the design of the lodge which aims to minimise any impact on the local environment. The lodge has also been involved in organising scientific missions into the Danakil Depression since 1991, as well as facilitating conservation research for the Universities of Oxford, Washington and Strasbourg.
Prices start at $150/night for a single room in low season, $250 in high season.
Gheralta Lodge, Tigray
Found high up on a plateau with views across the staggering Tigray landscape, Gheralta Lodge is perfectly situated for exploring the nearby rock-churches and enjoying the views of the surrounding sandstone cliffs.
The lodge is made up of five stone bungalows that blend seamlessly into the rural environment, each with an en-suite and small window. With limited reception and no WiFi in the rooms, Gheralta Lodge has an off-the-grid cabin feel. Gheralta has a nice restaurant serving simple food made from local ingredients, and a quiet library for guests to enjoy.
Mebratu, the local farmer whose family had been living off the land until recent years, is Gheralta’s chief guard and his traditional home has been preserved so as to demonstrate the traditional life of Tigrayan farmers.
Prices start at $50/night for a double room in low season, rising to $120 in the peak months of October to May.
Bale Mountain Lodge, Bale Mountains National Park
The Bale Mountain Lodge is by the far the best accommodation option in the Bale Mountains, although pricier than lodges of a similar standard in the north.
Found in an idyllic forest clearing, this boutique lodge has been designed to blend in with the surrounding environment and is the perfect place from which to explore the national park. With a focus on sustainable tourism, Bale Mountain Lodge hires and trains local Ethiopians and partners with a variety of organisations to promote sustainability initiatives in the park. To reduce its carbon footprint, the lodge is powered by a micro-hydro power plant at a diverted section of the local river, which also provides its water.
There are 11 rooms available, all in a luxurious style with a wood burning stove and electric blankets to ensure your stay is comfortable during the cold nights (the staff even ensure a hot water bottle is waiting for you after dinner!). The price of the rooms includes full-board service, with options from a set menu of varying dishes served in a dining hall centred around a fireplace.
Prices start at $190/night in the low season, rising to $340 in the peak months.
Paradise Lodge, Omo Valley
Paradise Lodge is the best lodge in the Omo Valley, although visitors may not find it to be up to the same standard as those in the north. Despite the lack of high-end service, the lodge offers wonderful views of the surrounding landscape from its restaurant, which serves delicious meals prepared with ingredients grown at the lodge’s own farm. The lodge also offers an outdoor pool with a swim-up bar for guests to enjoy, along with a spa and gym.
All rooms are designed as traditional tukuls with stone walls and thatched roofing. Each has its own private veranda and is furnished with local handmade furniture.
Situated in the forested lowlands and near to lakes Abaya and Chamo, Paradise Lodge is a great base from which to explore the area. The lodge is committed to supporting the local communities and hire and train over 250 local people, celebrate local culture, and support 14 children at a local orphanage by financing food, shelter, school transportation and more.
Prices start at $90 for a double room.
Dorze Lodge, Omo Valley
Dorze Lodge is a real gem in southern Ethiopia, with staff providing a level of service that rivals that found in the more established lodges in the north of the country. The lodge has a unique charm and is made up of small tukul rooms constructed in the unique Dorze style and is entirely constructed and managed by Dorze people.
The panoramic views across the surrounding landscape are stunning, and the lodge offers a range of services and products that are traditionally made by the Dorze community such as cotton sheets woven on site, and local high-quality honey. There is also a restaurant serving dishes made from locally sourced ingredients.
Lale's Camp, Omo Valley
Whilst not technically a lodge, Lale’s Camp is one of a kind and a great option for those looking for more a surface introduction to the Omo Valley.
The camp is made up of four large canvas tents, shaded under a canopy of fig trees right at the edge of the Om river. Each is spacious, equipped with an en-suite, featuring a flushing toilet and bucket showers, and private veranda. The food provided at the camp is filling and delicious, with cooked breakfasts made to fuel you through a day’s exploring, delicious picnics, and three-course dinners.
Access to the camp is by vehicle, driving through the remote bush and passing by small villages on the journey. During the wet season the camp can only be accessed by boat. The focus of a stay at Lale’s Camp is to learn more about local customs and traditions and make meaningful connections with local tribes. The camp provides an extraordinary opportunity to explore a virtually untouched area of Ethiopia which would otherwise be inaccessible and hosts only around 50 people a year.
Lale's camp is significantly more expensive than staying in the more basic lodges in the Omo Valley.
Awash Falls Lodge, The Rift Valley
Set on the banks of a river in the Awash Falls National Park, Awash Falls Lodge provides a basic but comfortable accommodation and is by far the best option in the national park. Overlooking the Awash river and right next to the waterfall, the lodge offers views that are hard to beat. Owing to its traditional values of remaining in harmony with nature, the lodge has been described as “The Little Paradise” and was originally constructed to support the ongoing conservation efforts of the Awash National Park.
The lodge is made up of 32 individual tukuls built from natural materials, each one decorated in a simple style with a private shower, electricity point and veranda. A wide range of activities are also available, including camel rides, boating, visiting the Palm Forest and climbing Mount Fentale. The restaurant is a highlight for many guests at Awash Falls Lodge, with the option of dining outside and all meals being followed by a traditional coffee ceremony.
Prices are $100/night for a double in low season, rising to $120 in the peak months.
Hara Langano Eco Lodge, The Rift Valley
Hara Langano Eco Lodge is situated in a peaceful area on the shores of Lake Langano. In addition to the stunning scenery, the area surrounding the lodge boasts an incredible array of wildlife, including hippos and rare birds.
Activities include hiking, birdwatching, horseback riding and boat trips out on the lake.
All rooms are private and secluded, nestled between the lake and surrounding forest with quiet verandas offering the perfect place to relax and watch the sunset. Modern, high-pressure showers are found in the en suite facilities in each room. The restaurant provides a great selection of fine food and drink, with fish caught daily from the lake and ingredients bought from local farmers. At night, the lodge is softly lit with glowing lanterns, giving it a romantic and peaceful atmosphere.
Sustainability and eco-tourism are the central values of this lodge, with a number of environmental initiatives to reduce the impact on the surroundings including solar-panels and water saving measures. The lodge also supports local schools and offers apprenticeship schemes.
The price for a double suite on the lakeside starts at $175 in the low season and $245 in the high season, although cheaper options are available for ‘lake view’ and ‘woodland’ rooms.
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A true adventure across the northernmost reaches of Ethiopia. Experience community trekking on the plateaus of Tigray, where horizons stretch for miles, distant mountain peaks morph into hazy silhouettes lit by the evening sun, and pockets of light and shadow…