Travel : The best of Ethiopia

From Lalibela's ancient churches to Gondar's palaces and Tigray's mountain hideaways, magical Ethiopia awaits

By Stanley Stewart
The Telegraph
June 11, 2015 12:11

A Mursi woman from the Omo Valley carrying water / The Telegraph  Picture: Philip Lee Harvey
A Mursi woman from the Omo Valley carrying water / The Telegraph
Picture: Philip Lee Harvey

High-end luxury has yet to make a significant impact in Ethiopia. Don’t let this put you off. This is the most fascinating country in Africa. And you needn’t go without Wi-Fi , room service or a skinny latte. Here are some of the best new options in Africa’s most intriguing destination. Get a tour operator to join up the dots, and should you need further reason to visit read our feature on Divine Ethiopia, a guide to the country’s ancient rituals, biblical landscapes and most incredible experiences.

Addis Ababa

The Sheraton Addis is Ethiopia’s only five-star luxury hotel. This would be an impressive hotel in Paris, let alone in Africa, and is a spoiling retreat after a few days upcountry. The spa will sort out sore muscles, and the French and Indian restaurants make a change if you want a break from Ethiopian fare (00251 11 517 1717; sheratonaddis.com; doubles from £210, b&b ).

Lalibela

Full of chanting priests and ancient churches carved out of the rock, Lalibela oozes atmosphere. The best of its hotels is the Maribela, modest but charming. Rooms are comfortable, the staff helpful, and the restaurant is excellent – be sure to ask for the local honey at breakfast. But the great draw is the view. The hotel is on an escarpment and every room comes with a balcony overlooking a vast swath of Biblical landscape (00251 33 336 0345; hotelmaribela.com;doubles from £46, b&b).

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