Business Treaveler logo

Travel news, reviews and intel for high-flyers

Ethiopian Skylight Hotel: The Gateway to Ethiopian Airlines Hospitality

Ethiopian Airlines recently opened the largest hotel in Africa near Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa

by Lark Gould

June 6, 2023

Photo: Courtesy of Ethiopian Skylight Hotel

Ethiopia has consistently lived up to its reputation as the Lion of Africa. It’s one of only two countries in Africa to have resisted colonization (Liberia is the other), it has one of the few international flag-carrying airlines with routes and gateways all over the world (including five gateways in the U.S.), and it recently completed what is now the largest hotel in Africa.

Enter Ethiopian Skylight Hotel, which is getting much play of late as it adds amenities, stars (a five-star rating by the Ethiopian Ministry of Culture and Tourism), and convenience to anyone traveling to or through Addis Ababa.

The full complement of 1,024 modern rooms and suites offers different room types, including fully-furnished apartments ideal for long and medium-stay guests. Find it within an easy walk to Bole International Airport as one of a few new luxury properties to rise in the Ethiopian capital in the last five years.

The new hotel—which opened with 373 rooms in 2019 as part of a larger $363 million airport upgrade—allows Ethiopian Airlines to offer its own hospitality brand.

The shining structure joins a sister property—the Ethiopian Skylight In-Terminal Hotel—which opened in 2022 in T2 of Bole as the airport continued its massive modernization mandate with the help of Beijing backing and facilitation.

The in-Terminal property has 97 rooms and other welcoming amenities. It is available to book by the hour or the day ($100 per day, with hourly rates also available) for those who need rest before connecting onward at the airport.

The newly expanded Skylight property just across from the airport offers, among other things, the largest Chinese restaurant in Ethiopia, an equally sprawling traditional foods restaurant, and a grand ballroom for 5,000 (2,000 sit-down guests)—making it possibly the largest hotel ballroom in Africa—as well as five function rooms, spa and fitness center, an expansive outdoor heated swimming pool, and a mini golf driving range.

In all, the hotel has a whopping 19 restaurants and bars with cuisine to suit a variety of nationalities and bars where guests can enjoy handcrafted cocktails and panoramic views of the airport and city.

Accommodation is available starting at USD 190 per day.

Ethiopia is the headquarters of the African Union and a significant hub in the region for diplomatic dealings and massive infrastructure projects. The new Skylight Hotel joins four other upscale and luxury hotels in Addis Ababa: a 293-room Sheraton, a Marriott, Hyatt Regency, and Hilton, which has been the go-to property for business travelers since it was opened in 1969 by Emperor Haile Selassie and served as a set for the film production of Shaft in Africa.

Photo: Courtesy of Airbus SAS

Ethiopian Airlines runs non-stop flights to Addis Ababa from Atlanta (launched May 15, 2023), Washington-Dulles, Chicago O’Hare, New York JFK, and Houston.