Top Twelve Hotel at a glance
- Popular hotel amenities: restaurant, garden, shared lounge, bar, shared kitchen, 24-hour front desk, tour service, airport shuttle service.
- Room amenities: balconies, WiFi access, fans, desks, private bathrooms, extra/rollout beds (surcharge), room service.
- Location: outskirts of Lalibela, 20-minute walk from the churches.
- Room types: single, double, twin and family rooms.
- Our verdict: the hotel has good views and decent facilities. Overall a reasonable base in Lalibela.
Top Twelve Hotel has fantastic views looking out over rural Amhara. Every room has either a balcony or patio from which you can soak up the views, and the staff always have a smile. Like many Ethiopian hotels, it can fall short of international standards, but it’s generally a safe choice of accommodation in Lalibela.
There are twelve rooms (as the name suggests) at the hotel, with single, double, twin and family rooms. All have balconies, most of which offer excellent views of the surrounding area. The rooms on the lower floor have more limited views, although some of these have nice patios and river views.
The rooms are modestly decorated with traditional Ethiopian handicrafts, and all rooms have WiFi access (best in the central rooms), fans, desks and bathrooms with rain shower heads. Extra rollout beds can be used for an additional charge. The rooms are cleaned daily.
The staff will always greet you with a smile and do what they can to make sure you are comfortable, but the lodge has been known to suffer from maintenance issues, and as with many hotels in Ethiopia, it’s important to set your expectations accordingly.
The hotel’s restaurant, designed in a rustic style with wooden beams and a thatched roof, offers a fantastic panorama of the rural landscape. It serves a mix of international and Ethiopian food, and the free breakfast has à la carte or full English breakfast options. It offers room service as well for those wanting to eat in privacy.
The hotel also has a garden, a shared lounge, a bar and a shared kitchen. There is a 24-hour front desk where can arrange currency exchange and airport shuttle services. There is a gift shop, although some items are rather overpriced. The property is not wheelchair accessible.
Lalibela is one of Ethiopia’s most renowned cultural hubs, an important pilgrimage site for Ethiopian Christians and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to its 11 spectacular subterranean churches. The main churches are found in 3 clusters and can be explored over the course of two days. Take a short drive up to the mountains surrounding Lalibela to find even older monasteries built into the cliff face.
It’s a 20-minute walk from Top Twelve to the churches, or a 3-minute drive if you are transferring by car or tuk-tuk.
Lalibela is surrounded by beautiful mountains. The town itself is at 2,500 metres which means there are excellent views for miles around, and Top Twelve Hotel is built on a promontory just outside the centre, making the most of the scenery.
For those looking for more than a surface level introduction to this part of Ethiopia, consider a community trek in Lalibela.
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