Planning a business trip can be hectic and accommodation and transport are usually key considerations, especially when you have to plan several meetings, and you also need a quiet place where you can relax at the end of the day and still get some work done. Well if you are going to Ethiopia, then you should definitely check out the Jupiter International Hotels, with two convenient locations, one right next to the Bole airport and the other which is in town, and which is near the UN.
I stayed at the Jupiter International Hotel Cazanchise for 5 days and I was definitely impressed. They have very warm and friendly staff ready to serve you. The guest rooms are spacious with complimentary tea and coffee making facilities, a mini bar, a TV, safe deposit box and most important fast Wi-Fi and also a high-speed internet desk with built-in power and data connections. They serve a good breakfast as well so you can get powered up for all your important meetings for the day. If you don’t have time to take in the sights and do some shopping, you can at least get something to take home. Check out the Store 251 which has ethically made goods and you can find some great leather bags, jewellery, awesome t-shirts and Ethiopian clothing.
If you havent carried your laptop not to worry there is a business centre where you can use the computers for free. If you are a fitness person there is a gym and for people like me who like to relax there is a Steam and Sauna facility. Both the gym and sauna are complimentary and you can also get a massage at very reasonable rates.
If you are a jazz fan then you must make a point of checking out the cool live jazz music playing at the bar on Thursdays. Trust me it is a treat for the ears. Also if you are a coffee lover, make sure you go downstairs and have some coffee and popcorn or a cookie at the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony area.
You don’t even have to worry about spending money on a cab to the hotel. Just tell them what time you are arriving or what time you need to leave and they will arrange for you a free shuttle to the airport. How awesome is that?
While I was at the hotel I had the chance to catch up with Maedot Assefa, the Sales and Marketing to find out more about the hotels and what makes them special.
How would you describe Jupiter International Hotel and what is the thing that makes you special?
Jupiter Hotels have existed for around twenty years together with our sister company which deals with information and technology. Eleven years ago, we opened two hotels that have been really special in terms of their location. We have Jupiter Bole just next to the airport and the one we are in (Cazanchise) that is just near the government offices, UN headquarters and major cooperate offices. These locations make our hotels quite unique because our clients can make bookings and run errands without having to travel too far. Besides our good locations, we also take a lot of pride giving exceptional services to our clients, whom we hold in high regard. Our efforts in good service have been noticed nationally seeing that we have received a couple of accolades as a local hotel.
What sort of accolades have you received?
We got the award for best company to work for which was a good way for us to measure the satisfaction of not only our clients but also our staff who work tirelessly to ensure that only the best service is offered.
Was the award for the best company to work for or the best hotel?
It was based collectively on different companies since we were in competition with companies that weren’t in the hotel business such as banks.
Was the competition within just Addis Ababa or the entire country?
The awards were countrywide, therefore, we faced competition from lots of other companies. Three hundred team members voted us as the best company to work for and we attribute that feat to our teamwork as a hotel. Teamwork makes it easier to provide quality service; a fact our cooperate clients can confirm as true. Our guests contribute so much to our growth as we give them a platform where they can comment or leave a suggestion about details of their stay such as; the quality of the bed they slept in, the services….most of our renovations are based on the feedback we get from our guests.
How often do you do your renovations?
I’ve lost count because we try to make changes when we feel we could do better. For instance, the lobby we are sitting in was renovated just last September. Sometimes we do lots of changes that our guests barely recognize some parts of the hotel.
What experience do your guests take from Jupiter? What are you best known for?
Our guests are most drawn to the way Jupiter feels like a home away from home. We are very responsive in the way that we deal with a guest’s enquiry, requirements or suggestion. We value feedback, therefore, we always try to accommodate our guests as much as we can.
The two hotels are different in terms of facilities mainly because of space and size. In the hotel we are in Cazanchise, we have conference halls, a spa, a massage area and a gym.
Is the gym complimentary during a guest’s stay?
Our gyms run for 24hrs and are all complimentary to our guests so no extra charge is incurred to our client. Guests only have to pay for the massage and the Spa services which rate at around 20 dollars.
What other complimentary services are offered in the hotel?
We offer breakfast to our guests and cater for transport from airport to the hotel. There is a 24hr booth in the airport where guests can book a shuttle to the hotel although we advise our clients to book early. Once the guests are settled in their rooms, we offer free wi-fi which is also rated the best in the city because we are always working to improve it. This also means that clients can book rooms with ease on our website.
What activities do you have during the week for clients who are within the hotel for most of their stay?
Most of our clients are looking for rest and quiet, therefore, we try to be as professional as possible by not including activities that might be a distraction to our guests. Though there isn’t a lot of events happening, we do have the longest running Jazz festival on Addis Ababa which has been running for eleven years every Thursday. Besides our Jazz nights, we have piano nights on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Another activity worth mentioning is our book club that we founded around five years ago.
What can your guests expect in terms of restaurants?
We have two restaurants in both our hotels from Monday to Friday, we have the business class option which is very affordable at around 13 dollars. We offer breakfast lunch and dinner at the restaurant which is mainly buffet because our customers prefer having their meals that way. Because we mainly do a buffet, we cannot serve more than 250 people to prevent overcrowding. That being said, we a really good outside catering department that is capable of making plenty of orders.
Does Jupiter hotel have a signature meal, one that you are known for?
Our menu is constantly changing depending on the seasons, so we don’t have a particular dish that we are known for; rather, we want to excel in all the meals we serve.
Do you host weddings or honeymoons at the hotel?
We don’t host weddings, but we offer honeymoon services in our wedding and weekend package. Though Jupiter is mainly a business hotel, we still have spacious, luxurious rooms that can be made to fit into the honeymoon requirements of the guests. We also have provisions for flowers, gift baskets and wine to make the experience memorable.
You have a magazine and in it, you offer recommendations to other places for your guests to visit…. why? Wouldn’t it better for you if they stayed in?
This came about because our guests are from different parts of the world; some of them are interested in learning and experiencing things that we as Jupiter don’t have so in the spirit of service, we recommend the best places for shopping, learning about local history and culture. In addition, our magazine is available at a nearby public library where potential clients can read about our hotels and what services we offer.
How easy is it for an international guest to access the library and get the magazine amongst other literature they might be interested in?
It’s quite easy, all you need is a day/month pass which you can easily get on your way in. Such information is published in our magazine which we publish after two months and we also include a map in order for our guests to be aware of the beauty of Addis Ababa and to experience it. Inside the magazine, we also publish travel information for our guests to stay informed.
What are your recommendations for guests who want to learn more about Ethiopian history?
The National Museum is the best location for clients who wish to indulge in our history. Again, location favours us as it’s a short drive from the hotel to the museum. There is an entry fee but it’s quite reasonable. There you can see “Lucy” the remains of the first humankind.
There is also the cultural museum which has a rich history about the rural communities and their traditions. If you go further, you will also find a traditional market where there is traditional Ethiopian handmade garments and ornaments for sale. Between the traditional market and the end of Addis Ababa are the mountains which are also an interesting place to visit.
Tell me more about your coffee concept
We started the concept some years ago but in 2017 it was officially launched, and we intend to branch out to a coffee chain retail and build a processing plant by the end of 2019. The completion of a coffee processing plant is underway. The plant is located in a small town in rural Ethiopia where locals also depend on coffee as their source of income. In addition to the coffee plant, there will also be a pastry shop for the locals to enjoy cakes and desserts once the plant is completed. As the year ends, we hope to have opened two more plants; one near the airport and another in the city.
Why do you put emphasis on being a business hotel?
We do so because business travellers are not often considered in most hotels. Here at Jupiter, we want to ensure that our guests have the best internet, facilitate meetings and do so in a way that upholds professionalism from a business point of view. Unlike most hotels, we are keen on not mixing business and leisure.
How often do you receive international business travellers looking for a place to get some work done?
We are located next to the biggest conference Centre in Addis Ababa, therefore, we receive many business and women from all over the world coming from conferences and looking for a place to finish up some meetings and have a good rest. Convenience in terms of location also plays a role. For instance, the US embassy is a few minutes walk from here.
Any plans to build a leisure-based hotel for vacations?
There have been some discussions here and there but nothing definitive. I don’t think that is a path we will follow anytime soon. For now, we are focused on building our strength which is accommodating the guests who are looking for a place to carry out business.