The pain of the 1994 genocide has helped unite the people of Rwanda, eliminating all tribal sentiments and forming a new community centered on shared responsibility with less tolerance for corruption. Tourism and business in particular have grown steadily over the last decade with countless international and local conferences held in the capital Kigali. This has necessitated the need to build high quality hotels to meet the ever increasing demand. The larger and more known brands like Radisson, Marriot, Park Inn and Serena have established base in Kigali along with the lesser known but great brands. These facilities are built with the business person and tourist in mind and offer quality rooms and food from all continents. If you are interested in the best luxury hotel in Rwanda (outside Kigali), you need to read this article. For now, let us discuss some of Kigali’s best hotels in more detail and leave the final choice to you.
Five to Five Hotel: Five to five caters for all kinds of guests offering great services, food and drinks. The hotel has both affordable and luxury rooms with free and fast internet that can be accessed from every area. Five to Five Hotel arranges for airport pickup and can also provide cheerful guides to take you for a tour of the city.
Kigali Serena Hotel: The Serena group of hotels is one of the most reliable brands in East Africa. Owned by the Aga Khan Foundation, the Serena group has over 22 hotels, lodges, safari camps and resorts offering world class services with an African touch – The Kigali Serena hotel is no exception. It offers the same high standards, reliability and rooms that are very spacious and designed to give ultimate comfort knowing that their customers are often business travelers. The rooms at the Kigali Serena Hotel all have a desk, a table, bathtubs and balconies. There is a beautiful waterfall, a lounge area, a large swimming pool and a gym. Expect well prepared international and local dishes accompanies by sweet and fresh African fruits/juices and salads. Guest can be served from their rooms or opt for buffet at the main restaurant.
Heaven Boutique Hotel and Heaven Retreat: These are two separate eco-friendly accommodation facilities built in one compound away from the city centre. The facilities are owned by an American family though offering different services. The facilities have a shared central salt-water swimming pool, sauna, a hot tub and gym. Heaven retreat is cheaper and more affordable for the general public. It was designed to train Rwandans about the hotel industry but has its own 11 luxury rooms for those seeking more affordable but high quality luxury accommodation. It is a favorite for Rwandans who wish to come and enjoy tasty local and international dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Boutique Hotel on the other hand takes quality to another level. It is more private and offers 22 luxury rooms. The rooms are very clean and decorated with high quality fabrics and local art. Each room has a sofa, shower and mosquito net. Double rooms go for about $146 at Boutique Hotel while rooms from the luxurious starts from $676.
The Hotel des Milles Collines: Built on top of one of Kigali’s hills, Hotel des Milles Collines is the most famous hotel in Rwanda. It was founded in 1973 and was first owned by the former Sabena airlines before it was sold off to the current local owners giving it a touch of Rwanda. With 115 rooms, it was the first true high end luxury hotel in Rwanda. Hotel des Milles Collines has for decades been associated with glamour and class among the residents of Kigali. The hotel became so popular after the film “Hotel Rwanda” depicting the admirable role it played during the 1994 genocide. The hotel acted as shelter for over 1,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus hiding from militiamen. The hotel Manager would fend off attackers by giving them fine wine and whisky every time they attempted to search the hotel premises. The hotel rooms offer amazing views of the city from the balconies. Other facilities in the hotel include panoramic gardens, conference facilities, a swimming pool, a bar and 3 restaurants (including one near the pool).
Radisson Blu Hotel: This is among the several new hotels in Kigali. It is connected to one of the most prominent buildings in Kigali – the Kigali Convention Center. During the night, the lights seen at the hotel and convention Center are very spectacular. Radission Blue Hotel has over 290 rooms, restaurants, shops and a mall. The staffs are very friendly and helpful. The large convention centre helps attract large numbers of guests to the hotel ensuring that the rooms are booked on most days. Unfortunately security at the hotel is too tight because of the number of dignitaries residing in the hotel. This can give a bad feeling of being beyond reach to the general public. Double rooms at Radisson Blu cost $250.
Marriott Hotel Kigali: This is another new hotel offering luxury facilities in Kigali. The hotel was opened in 2018 and is close to Hotel des Milles Collines and the Kigali Sheraton. The rooms offer great views of the city and surrounding areas. The hotel has a gym, a swimming pool and massage/spa services. Guests can order for tasty continental dishes from the restaurant or drink at the bar by the pool. This hotel targets business travelers and is quiet expensive but offers modern facilities.
Chez Lando: Chez Lando has been in existence in Rwanda since the 1980s. It is found in the busy Remera area. Te rooms are neat and self-contained with showers, toilets and bathrooms. The hotel has tasty food like brochettes (chips and meat on a stick). The hotel hosts local meetings and conferences where the important government and business people congregate.
The Manor Hotel: The Manor is found in a serene residential area in Nyarutarama. The hotel has beautifully decorated rooms and a large swimming pool where guest can relax after a long day of workshops or meetings. The Manor Hotel prepares tasty local, European and Indian meals from its restaurants. Other services in the hotel include Sauna, Spa and a standard gym.
Golf Hills Residence: This accommodation facility is built near a large supermarket and some of the best restaurants in Kigali. The hotel is known for excellent customer care and well furnished interiors. The staffs are trained to go an extra mile when serving guests. Golf Hills Residence arranges for airport pickups and packed lunch for guests visiting one of Rwanda’s national parks for the day.
Ubumwe Grande Hotel: Ubumwe Grande Hotel stands out because of its strategic location within the city, enabling guests to visit the best city spots and pubs. The hotel offers wonderful views of Kigali and the suburbs. The rooms are spacious and self-contained with bathtubs, chairs and desks among other facilities. The hotel also has a large central swimming pool, a bar and restaurant serving tasty food, cocktails and fresh fruit.
Hotel Villa Portofino: This hotel is also built in the Nyarutarama area with picturesque views of the city. The hotel offers spacious rooms with large comfortable beds and free internet. Other services include a well-stocked gym and large swimming pool. Their tasty food can be served in the room or at the main restaurant as buffet. Hotel Villa Portofino is not only ideal for workshops and seminars but also tourists who have come to see some of the best tourist attractions in Rwanda.
5 Swiss Hotel: This hotel is located very close to the Kiyovu area and has successfully established itself as one of the leading hotels in Kigali. The rooms are neat and furnished with chairs, desks and large comfortable beds. 5 Swiss Hotel is close to some of the best restaurants on Kigali. This hotel is worth booking if you value convenience above everything else.