Gonder hotels

While we were in Northern Ethiopia in October 2010 (when the exchange rate was already like USD 1 = ETB 17), we found that in December 2011 almost all prices in Gonder had gone up a lot. Most hotels would charge USD 20 + for bare rooms, where we would have paid USD 6 the year before. We were especially disappointed by the Fogera hotel in Gonder. Their garden is great and the views are amazing, but the rooms are definitely overpriced to the extreme. Going rates are USD 30/room, and with some negotiation you can reduce it to USD 25, but there is just no maintenance at all to the rooms: broken light bulbs, missing curtains, no locks on doors or toilets………it is really not worth this amount of money. The service from the hotel is also extremely poor we found and they are not open to any feedback: all our bills kept changing as they were constantly mixing up prices and taxes for foreigners. When we returned a steak to the kitchen as we needed a saw to cut it, we ended up in a long discussion that we had to pay for it, even when the quality had been abominable. It seems the hotel staff is caught between an owner who is hardly there and hopes to make a lot of money out of the place and demanding tourists. We were told at least several times that hotel staff would have to make up for a returned steak or a lower payment for a room. After we returned from a trip to Gorgora, the room we had rented for the last night was given away to other people. The only thing they could offer us was a very poor room for USD 20…… it had to include warm water but the bath room was a mess. We asked them to repair the system so we would really have warm water by the time we would come back from dinner, which they  promised us, but then did not do anything. When we complained that we would not pay USD 20 for a poor quality room with NO warm water, things got really difficult. I would definitely NOT recommend this place to anybody. The problem though seems to be that currently in Gonder all prices have increased ridiculously and it seems  hard to find cheap places. We were also fed up with the fact that almost every place seems to have separate prices for food and accommodation for foreigners and Ethiopians……my impression was as well that VAT was only added to bills for faranjis…..for every single price you had to haggle a lot to get a normal rate….it was a relief to be back in Sudan again (where we live) where you just get the normal price for a bus or meal and are not being cheated on constantly.

This last visit to Gonder was a bit of a disappointment: Prices have gone up so much while there is not really a clear reason for it (besides everybody telling you that ‘inflation’ is the main cause) and even more worrying is that will it is sometimes ok to pay a higher price for a certain service, that service has to be of good quality then as well, which was hardly ever the case……



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