The Kigali Serena Hotel is a centrally situated, five-star hotel in Rwanda’s capital.
This 148-room hotel has plush, quiet rooms that meet international standards of comfort. In fact, after a day of travel, waking here on a king size bed opposite a flat screen television in a room decorated with dark wooden fittings and air-conditioning had me struggling to recall, for a fleeting and disorientated moment, my location in the world.
Rooms in the Kigali Serena Hotel
In total, the Kigali Serena Hotel has 148 rooms. Of these, 54 rated as standard, 37 as superior, 25 as deluxe and seven as prime rooms. You can also choose to stay in one of the 18 studio suites, six executive suites or the presidential suite.
If you’re looking to maximise on your relaxation, choose a room overlooking the pool and gardens, whose tropical greenery might tempt lazier writers to fall back on cliché and describe the area as an oasis of relaxation in a rapidly urbanising city.
A swimming pool and spa
The hotel’s freeform pool is large enough to enjoy a decent swim and, as you might expect of this top-end hotel, is surrounded by sun-loungers on which guests can relax, with or without drinks.
If you choose to use the pool you’ll find lockers in the Maisha Health Club and Spa. Following a half-hour in the pool I popped into the spa, which is decorated in the style of a hammam. Men and women have separate steam rooms, sauna and Jacuzzi.
The gym and cardio room are stocked with workout equipment but, instead, I chose the heat of the steam room to passively break into a sweat and wind-down. A range of beauty treatments and massages are also offered in Maisha.
Dining in central Kigali
The hotel’s buffet breakfast – served in the Milima Restaurant, overlooking the pool – caters for a spectrum of tastes. For the health-conscious, the freshly cut tropical fruits may appeal. The freshly pressed juices include the usual suspects, such as orange and passion fruit, and also tangy jungle tomato. Pastries, cakes, freshly baked breads, cold meats and cheeses, plus a selection of cereals and yoghurts stand ready. The warm buffet includes bacon, sausage, skewered brouchettes of goat meat – a local delicacy – plus Indian and vegetarian dishes. Rwandan coffee and tea are both served at the table.
After a long day of sightseeing I popped into the Sokoni Restaurant for a late bite to eat, choosing stew of goat meat and banana – one of the few regional dishes on the menu – and a bottle of the locally brewed Primus beer. Ordering is straightforward, as most of the staff within the hotel speak good English. I arrived expecting more French to be spoken, yet English is frequently heard in Rwanda’s urban areas.
Five-star accommodation in Kigali
All told, the Kigali Serena Hotel offers everything that you’d expect in an international five-star hotel within a capital city. A travel desk in the foyer can arrange trips to local and national attractions, the hotel has a business centre and rooms have Wi-Fi connectivity. The staff members are attentive and professional. This is a good base for visitors seeking comfort.
Entering the hotel means passing through an airport style metal detector, which can be mildly frustrating after a long day on the road. On the other hand, it offers the reassurance that security is taken seriously.
This hotel is located on the Boulevard de la Revolution, a quiet street approximately 10km from Kigali International Airport, a journey that will take 15 minutes during most of the day but double that during the morning and evening rush hours.
Find out more on the Kigali Serena Hotel website.
For more information about travel and tourism in the country, see the Rwanda Tourism website.
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