Compensation Clinic: Case Hilton Hotel Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Sunday is compensation day and the Compensation Clinic will make a stop at the Hilton Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where one of our readers had a rather antique stay paired with some service issues.

CC Hilton ADD

From pictures the reader sent us and what can be seen online the hotel has a standard of at least three centuries behind paired with astronomic rates. 

This case today was brought to our attention by Daniel from Germany who stayed in Ethiopia last month where he booked the Addis Ababa Hilton as a HHonors Diamond Member.

His stay already started on the wrong foot as the airport representative who coordinates the transfer was nowhere to be found, disturbance at night and overall condition of the room.

Here is what the reader wrote when he contacted hotel management:

… As I have mentioned in my review, I had several points to complain.

It started when my pre-booked transfer did not show up when I arrived at the airport. I especially emailed you that I was going to arrive in terminal 1. When I went out, I saw several people holding signs but nobody from the Hilton. So eventually I decided to walk to Terminal 2 in the middle of the night. When I arrived there, your hotel booth was unstaffed. So I had to call your hotel and ask about clarification. Minutes later your representative came to me and explained that somebody was waiting at the other terminal. As I already explained, I saw nobody.

After arriving in my room at 2 in the morning, the phone rang several times in the night. Every time I picked it up I only heard the music like somebody was putting me on hold. After the 5th call I decided to unplug the phones. This was very annoying and a very unpleasant experience.

I reported this issue to the reception in the next morning and they promised to send somebody in the afternoon to fix this. I left my room at 10 and came back at 2 where I found a letter that they tried to fix it but stated that a do not disturb sign had been placed on my door. But I put the “please clean the room” sign out.  As I did not require the telephone at all I decided to leave them unplugged as it is.

But the most shocking experience was the state of the room itself. It desperately requires renovation. The room looks like it has been placed there in the 70s without renovation yet. Dirty curtains with big holes in it and bathrooms with inconsistent water stream is not what I expect at all from a Hilton, especially for such a price tag. I stayed in a cheap Holiday Inn Express after that and the room did cost only 1/3 of the price but it looked totally new, clean and not shabby at all!

Due to these incidents which provided a very unpleasant stay for myself I kindly request you to provide at least 50.000 Hhonors points as compensation. …

When a guest encounters such issues with the hotel I always encourage to try and resolve the matter at the property with local management during the stay. In most cases issues can be rectified and appropriate compensation can be offered.

The hotel replied to our reader:

First of all I would like to thank you for your candid feedback.

Please accept my sincere apology for the inconvenience you encountered about your recent stay. This shouldn’t have been the case as it’s our top priority to meet the most valued guest satisfaction like you.

I regret that we have fallen short of that goal.

Your comment regarding private pick up was arranged as per your request, however, due to communications gap you couldn’t meet the driver in the Terminal 1 (domestic exit) side & the room related issues you mentioned has been taken very seriously & the necessary corrective actions taken accordingly.

Once again I do apologized for all the inconvenience caused to you. I have added 50,000 HHonors point as service recovery which reflect on your account automatically.

The Hilton Addis Ababa has quite high rates both in monetary terms and also if you book with HHonors points (50,000 per night).

Hilton ADD Rate.jpgYou often find such cases in Africa where very old hotels charge high rates due to the close proximity to Embassies or United Nations offices where officials stay due to lack of alternative options.


I think the compensation of one night in points was adequate for the issues involved. Often hotels offer to either waive one nights charge or alternatively offer points. You always have to consider what you can do with the amount of points vs the savings of a one night charge. Keep in mind that if a hotel waives the charges you will also miss out on stay/points credit so that is something to consider. I usually opt for the points as well just like our reader in this case.