Mezena means, ‘flat, fertile and accessible’ according to one translation. But don’t be misled: the site isn’t flat (steps are a key part of the experience) and the hotel is just to the east of Lalibela town centre. However, the Mezena is one of the few luxury hotels in Ethiopia, albeit too large to be called ‘boutique’.
The 16 acre plot holds 30 large and well-furnished en-suite bungalows, built on the slopes below a central terrace and swimming pool. The terrace leads to a large bar, the hotel reception, ceremonial coffee room and restaurant. There is also a small spa and business centre.
The terrace is one of the best sundowner spots in town.
Before the Mezena opened, the Maribela was the best hotel in Lalibela. Located a 10 minute walk north of the town centre, it is still a great property. There are wonderful views of the valley from the rooms, although these are clustered together in a single accommodation block rather than individual bungalows.
There is a restaurant that generates consistently strong reviews and the staff are famous for their warm welcome and attentive service.
Mountain View Hotel
Perched on a ridge overlooking the Lasta Mountains, the Mountain View Hotel is an interesting example of Afro-modernist architecture built by two former guides, Getachew and Metaso. The rooms are comfortably furnished and spacious, but relatively simple when compared to the external building and the view.
The rooftop terrace is a great place from which to watch the sunset after which you can wander to the restaurant where you can choose from a good range of Ethiopian and international dishes.
A modern interpretation of the ancient stone tukul houses unique to Lalibela, Tukul village is a popular hotel that is located just a 10-15-minute walk downhill from most of the major churches of Lalibela. A joint Dutch-Ethiopian enterprise, each room takes up an entire floor of a tukul and has large bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and private balconies with lovely views over Bet Giyorgis.
The food is excellent and offers great value for money, the menu offering an imaginative mix of Ethiopian and international dishes.
It is not often that a hotel can boast of hosting a former US President. So don’t be surprised when you see photos of G.W.Bush around the place.
Lalibela Lodge consists of a small dining area, adjoining bar and 16 rooms, all of whom come with their own private balcony. They are south facing to allow you take full advantage of the beautiful mountain scenery. The rooms are close to one another and the overall look and feel of the place is basic but comfortable. It is cozy and offers a warm welcome.
The food at the restaurant has a wide range of both Western and Ethiopian cuisine and is delicious and accommodating.
Top Twelve Hotel
Named after the 12 Disciples (we think), Top Twelve is a great medium-sized hotel on the hillside behind Mountain View, close the Ben Ababa Restaurant. It is clean, comfortable, light and well run. The design draws upon the Church of St George and you have to respect a place that tries to incorporate a medieval-style large church door into a modern hotel. The views are beautiful and the charming covered terrace breakfast/lunch area is a nice addition.
Fikir and Ray Lodge
There is so much to experience in Ethiopia, from the early morning service to a joyful night in a tej bar, that sometimes all you want from your accommodation is a warm welcome and a clean and comfortable room in which to spend the night. Luxury is not important, you’d rather spend the money on maximising your experience. In this case, the charming Fikir & Ray Lodge is perfect.
Ghion Roha Hotel
A former government hotel, with all the limitations that implies, The Ghion Roha Hotel is now commercially run and has 4 suites, 60 twin bedrooms, a restaurant and a bar. It is close to the town centre and has a beautiful garden and swimming pool that seems to be rarely used. The furnishing is basic compared to other hotels nearby. Food is filling, but unsophisticatedDon’t expect the friendly staff to be lightning quick, but they are always helpful.