Monday, November 22, 2010

Best Guesthouse in Addis (IMHO)

On this past trip to Ethiopia, Dessi and I moved three times before we finally found the best guesthouse in all of Addis. (In fact, we didn't keep moving because we were searching for the best. We were simply looking for acceptable. But we found the best one, I am pretty sure.)

The guesthouse is called BJoe's, it is located downtown across from Makoush (the italian restaurant with the fun art gallery in front), down the street from the Edna Mall and a 2-minute walk from (all these places are on Bole Road). So, the location is great but they're 500 feet down a dirt road so it's very quiet.

Nannies are available, and there are at any given time 2-4 exceptionally cool women in the house. It is run by Genet, who returned to Ethiopia last year after working in the US as an accountant for the past 20 years. She is awesome. A great resource, a kind spirit, and just the type of person who after one week you feel like you want to know her for the rest of your life.

Residents each receive a cellphone to use, and there is reliable internet.

The guesthouse has room for three families. I think there might be room for two more (they were building two new rooms while I was there) by early December, though. All the rooms are $85 per family. There are two one-bedroom rooms, and there are two two-bedroom adjoining rooms. Whether you want the single room or the two adjoining rooms, the price is the same -- $85 (total). You pay in USD when you check out.

The house is spread out on just one level and a downstairs, we were downstairs, it was a little bit cold but fine. It has wood / parquet floors and that makes it quiet, unlike the guesthouses that are highrises with tiled floors.

Laundry is free and breakfast is free. A tip for the whole staff of $50 to $100 per week is appropriate (according to the gladney literature -- this is traditionally a gladney house, but people from other agencies are welcome). You would want to tip anyway because those women rock -- anything I ever asked them about, they basically started climbing over each other to see how they could help me. They loved Dessi, but they really loved ALL the kids that were there.

Her email is Their phone in Ethiopia is 011 251 11 55 19 250.

I don't get kickbacks, btw! I just thought I would share.

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