- Reviews: 358
Milles Collines: Hotel with a history
when I was visiting in May 2009, some renovation was going on, but it should be finished now. The hotel has a distinct 70´s feeling about it, but the location is quite central and offers nice views to the hillsides and into the neighborhoods down in the valley. Rooms have wireless internet which is charged extra, and there is a nice garden where you can have a beer in the evening or enjoy your lunch or dinner. The pool was closed by the time I was there but again, that might have changed by now.
The architecture might not be overwhelming, and some of the interiors look rather outdated, but then, this place has a history, depicted in the movie "Hotel Rwanda" or in the book "A sunday at the pool in Kigali". Not that the hotel makes many reference to its history during the genocide these days - which may also be due to the fact that the hotel manager is now persona non grata in Rwanda and many people claim he only safes affluent people who could pay for it, while thousands others were butchered. Still, it is a dramatic history the hotel has been through and there are still one or two of the staff who were there during 1994 .
- Reviews: 3975
ONE LOVE CLUB: CAMPING FOR A GOOD CAUSE - KIGALI
One Love Club is the only place you can camp in Kigali. They have showers and toilets - but you must have your own tent. They also offer basic rooms with en-suit bathrooms, balconies and some cooking facilities. One Love Club is set in some very nice gardens and they have a bar and Rwandan/European restaurant as well. You stay supports an NGO called the Mulindi Japan One Love Project helping disabled people in Rwanda. So it’s for a good cause. They offer 24-hour security, car parking and you can even stay for a month at a time.
(The big signs outside say One Love Heritage Gallery & Library)
You can make donations on their website!
EVERY PENNY YOU SPEND WITH THEM GOES TO CHARITY! YOU CAN:
* Eat in the restaurant
* Camp or stay in the guesthouse
* Book a tour (including Gorilla Trekking) or rent a car
* Book flight in the region/worldwide
* Book other hotels
* Donate at the facility
* Donate on line
* Buy souvenirs
- Reviews: 3975
LAKE KIVU SERENA HOTEL: THE BEST HOTEL IN RWANDA
Why the best in Rwanda? Well this is a luxury 4-5 star hotel with its own white sand beach on the massive Lake Kivu. On a clear day or hour you can see the rolling green Rwandan Hills, the colossal mountains across the water in DRC and the Virunga Volcano National Park on the same side of the lake just a few kilometres a way. They have a large swimming pool, lush green gardens, the great looking Kivu Sands Restaurant and first rate rooms. In fact all meals are served in the partially open-air dinning room that overlooks the lake. In the evening you can have a few sundowners at the Lake View Bar & Terrace. You pay the price for what you get and I could not afford to stay here. I did heave a leisurely stroll around and did relax for a bit in their beach front gardens.
The hotel sometimes hosts the Kwita Izna- Gorilla naming ceremony when the president of Rwanda invites famous people to name gorillas and make donations to the preservation of these rare animals. .
So if you want the only beach in Rwanda and the best hotel on the beach – this is the hotel for you. Its not only UN types around the pool. You can also meet some of the Rwandan rich and famous at play.
All rooms are air-conditioned and they have several luxury suites and family rooms.
* New water sports facility with canoeing and excursion boat rides to Umucyo Island
* Full Spa services and packages
* Outdoor swimming pool, 2 tennis courts and indoor gym
* Full conference facilities and a boardroom
* All rooms with full amenities including satellite TV, A/C, Mini-bar, nice bathrooms
* Organised tours of the local area and over the border into DRC
* Less than 3 kilometres from the famous Primus Brewery
- Reviews: 3975
Hôtel des Milles Collines: REFUGE FROM THE GENOCIDE - HOTEL RWANDA
This hotel is famous because the manager of the hotel in 1994, Paul Rusesabagina, gave shelter to 1000 Tutsis during the Genocide across Rwanda. Built in 1973, it is a world class 4 star hotel renowned for its pool bar and hang-out spot of many ex-pats. When I arrived in Kigali it was closed for complete renovations. When I returned it was partially opened and chaotic. It will be, no doubt, a completely modern wonder when completed. The rest of the narrative of this tip relies upon their website. Please enquire by email or telephone to make sure all is in readiness.
There are 112 rooms and suites in the hotel and conference facilities for any business event. Below I have highlighted some of their key facilities.
Pool side rooms: 50
City side rooms: 54
Senior Suites: 3
* Every room has a mini bar. Satellite TV, small safe, and laptop cables for internet access. There is wifi in parts of the hotel.
On the 4th floor with view over the city. You get a pianist and saxophonist whether you like it or not. French and international cuisine with a smart casual dress code. It is open for breakfast from 06:00 - 10:30 for breakfast and 19:00 - 23:00 for dinner.
The star of the show. A decidedly casual affair with live music (type varies) on Tues. & Thurs. They have a daily lunch buffet then just snack and of course – drinks. Open from 10:00 - 24:00.
This 4th floor establishment requires smart casual dress and offers live music. They are only open from 19:00 - 02:00 on Fridays and Saturdays.
* Swimming pool * Gym * Tennis court with lighting * Golf course nearby
* Business centre * Tours (including Gorilla Tracking) * Gift shop
You can also pick up a free copy of ‘The Eye’ Magazine with listing of local events and restaurants.
- Reviews: 3975
PRESBYTERIAN GUEST HOUSE: SUPER BUDGET IN GISENYI
If you are arriving by bus in Gisenyi, the Presbyterian Guest House virtually in front of you. They offer some nice gardens and budget accommodation. They have dorms with individual mosquito nets for $4. If you want a room in the lower gardens with shared bathroom then its about $7. They actually have a nice little restaurant in the grounds with a cheap buffet at night and a reasonable breakfast at a low price. Just don’t expect any alcohol and you will hear choir singing in the late morning in the near distance. The receptionist, Innocent, was a cracking guy who let me charge up my batteries and cell phone in his office. Security is on the gate 24 hours a day.
My room has a comfy enough bed(s), mosquito nets and screens on the windows. It is set under lots of trees and the rooms stay cool during the day. Hot water is not an issue. The lower rooms are actually near the main road, but traffic virtually stops at nightfall and the town is quiet at night.
I stayed here twice and was made to feel very welcome. My room was inside a locked building and I only shared the bathroom with 3 other rooms – mostly unoccupied. If its clean, cheap and well located accommodation you want – this is it. If you need a drink, the bars are 50 meters away. The beach area is a healthy 15 minute walk or cheap moto-taxi ride away. The market is 75 meters and the bus station on your doorstep.
Please note - it is called the Centre d'Accueil de l'Église Presbytérienne - in French
- Reviews: 3975
HOTEL ISIMBI: JUST RIGHT
This is my home in Kigali. I stayed with them 3 times and enjoyed a good night’s sleep every time. They are centrally located, have good rooms, a nice restaurant, a bar with sports on the TV, good security and plenty of hot water. The staff are very polite, the food good and the beer cold. It’s not stylish at all, but clean and efficient. I stayed in Room 32 which is on the back side of the hotel in the upper corner. It overlooks a residential area with a small balcony and it’s absolutely quiet at night. I also stayed in a strange double room, number 45, which had the best bed I have slept on in East Africa. It’s an internal room that actually has 2 large bedrooms. It is also quiet, but costs a few dollars more and needs better curtains.
Rooms are about $29 a night, but it is slightly cheaper to pay in Rwandan Francs. I only had a reservation on my last stay, but would recommend you telephone them just to make sure. They speak English.
The staff are very professional and friendly. The night reception and security guard are excellent. The one time someone actually tried to hassle me in Kigali they made the mistake of doing so in front of the hotel. The security guard made them disappear instantly.
You are walking distance to the 24-hour Nakumatt shopping center, busses to all across Rwanda and Burundi, Restaurants, grocery stores plenty of Forex Bureaus. This is also a short walk over to the real Hotel Rwanda (Hôtel des Mille Collines).
They do accept Visa and Mastercard.
- Reviews: 3975
Hôtel Palm Beach - Gisenyi: Closed Forever
The Hôtel Palm Beach was once a very nice hotel on the shores of Lake Kivu. It is not just closed, it has been demolished. Quite a few guidebooks still list this hotel. I asked some local people what happened to it as it looks like it was blown-up. They said the government had ordered it’s demolition in 2008. They did not know the exact reason. When I went back to Kigali I read a newspaper article about a fugitive member of the Interahamwe, the organisation which organised the mass genocide in Rwanda in 1994. Apparently the key meeting of the Interahamwe that finalised the organisation of the genocide occurred at this hotel. I don’t know for sure the exact reason, but you don’t often obliterate a relatively modern hotel and leave the ruins.
- Reviews: 69
Novotel umumbano: First class hotel
Novotel Umubano, Kigali, is a firstclass hotel of international standard comparable to any Novotel anywhere in the world. There is good food, a few other tourists, and lot's of diplomats, NGO's etc. The hotel has a lovely pool and tennis courts.
- Reviews: 69
ASOFERWA Guesthouse,: Smile and basic
This is located in a lovely, very green rural location right next to the Volcanoes National Park HQ at Kinigi, The rooms are VERY SIMLE AND BASIC, but clean - hot & cold water, flush loo, electricity etc.. ASOFERWA is the Rwandan Women's Association dedicated to assisting the widows and orphans of the 1992-94 Civil War & Genocide, and all proceeds from visitors staying at the guesthouse go to these good causes. The buildings were formerly the ORTPN Guesthouse in Kinigi that was donated to the women by the National Parks after the civil war.
Hot water is only available after 6 pm
- Reviews: 12
Le Garni du Centre: Homely, peaceful,cosy...very cosy
I stayed at Le Garni du Centre for two weeks and I was not disappointed. The service is good...the place is very private and actually not many Rwandese know about it. It`s a stone`s throw from town. Very secure.
Lovely rooms very clean and neat! If you want to come down to Rwanda to relax look no further my friend..this is the place for you. If you`re looking for noise, excitement,thrill etc dont bother!!
I particularly loved the homeliness of the place. The pool is small but usable! Great garden!
- Reviews: 231
Seeds of Peace Centre: Lake Muhazi @ GAHINI
On the bank of calm Lake Muhazi in eastern rwanda this lodging is a welcome stop if you have made a northern circuit of Akagera Park and are headed back to Kigali. Here you can safely reach before dusk if the latter was your route earlier in the day.
The location and views are stunning. Lots of water activities including boating, swimming and birdwatching are on offer. The lake is disease and croc free. Just across the water is the Presidents Holiday Home so the company is grand.
The place along with the Gahini guest House is run by the episcopal church.
Accomodation is by camping or in 2-bedroom well equipped rondavels....definitely worth a stop after ANP
view and location
- Reviews: 231
Hotel IBIS, Butare: Main street pizzaz!
Located on the main street in Butare's centre this hotel is quite luxurious for tis location. belgian owned since colonial times standards are high.
the rooms are double bed apartments very homely rather than hotel style. Large double beds, bathrooms with showers (hot water!) and a seperate sitting day bed area back to a private enclosed patio makes this place good value for money. Its all in african colonial style with heavy wood and color motifs
Location ,location and the terrace restaurant open to main street provides a fantastic theatre of the street. However it initially is restricting as street kids approach the edges and beg but are not allowed to enter the compound so you are safe, but they are not intimidating or pushy. Then once that passes you become the theatre for them! the ambience is nice and locals as well as expats fill the terrrace for dinner and lunch....get there early if you want a table outside
- Reviews: 231
Amahoro (Peace Island), near Kibuye: Peace Island near Kibuye...your own iles!
Located near Kibuye, only 10minutes by the owners boat transfer from kibuye town or Gisenyi, these iles are wondefully placed just off the mainland in the isle studded bay of Kibuye.
They are two tear drop shaped isles ,nord and sur joined by a stone causeway. Nord is where the manger/staff reside with the pier, restaurant and volleyball facilities. sur isle is all yours with a spacious camp, bedding pillow, tables and chairs and nightly campfire at dinner time. Towels,toilet paper and water are provided and a proper clean modern flush-sitdown commode is provide in stalls. Electricty is personally provided by a car battery and hung lite...really cool
No need for showers as the clean health hazrd free warm waters of lake Kive are lapping at your camping site.
I am not an outdoorsy type and being my first at 'camping' this was a real luxury tent experience.
Off the beaten track and definitely worth it....
Service, sunset and sunrise, views and location, location, location
- Reviews: 231
Hotel Regina: On the lake at Gisenyi
Well located on the northern shores of Lkae Kivu and close the Congo frontier, hotel Regina is run by a local Rwandaise Known as Madame.
The room are large and clean with en-suite or shared facilities both at affordable rates.
The lounge downstairs has fast internet access and a high ceiling restaurant. The terrace and garden tables however are ambiently colonial and serene for diesting all the great tasty food....try the fillet fish dishes...yummy. The Parc du Lac across the road is well manicured and offers vistas acroos the lake to Goma,Congo and provides a safe cove for swimming on the rocky shores. Great Sunsets. The town is just 10 minutes walk uphill. The frontier is alos only 15 mins up the road.
Food, Frontier feel and Fantastic sunset views
- Reviews: 231
Centre Pastoral Notre Dame du Fatima, Ruhengeri: No need to stay at the expensive 'gorilla' lodges.
A catholic run guesthouse in Ruhengeri, the room and bathrooms are great value, clean, spacious with hot water ensuite tiled showers.
It is only a five minute walk to town and on clear days all the Volcanoes can be seen from the terrace balcony & your room windows!
The gorilla ORTPN at Kinigi is One hour away ( but only 13km on poor roads but picturesquely adventurous) by private transport which you can arrange from kigali or the day before in ruhengeri.
The staff are great and food at the restaurant is affordable and scrumptuous..
Volcano views, great price
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