Forget the "upmarket" category while in Axum and try this. You are likely to meet lots of interesting travelers as you enjoy the sidewalk cafe/restaurant. One night at the upmarket establishment buys you 5 at the Africa! And the hot water worked perfectly in my room. Otherwise the rough edges might bother some but the value is there.
Africa hotel could be a pleasant place with a better maintenance and a speacking english staff.
The veranda,the courtyard , the enough clean rooms could make a great place to stay,but:
In the rooms everything is broken or doesn't work ,the staff never understand what you are asking for.
The restaurant is quite decent,but here again you can be served...