The Serena is Kigali's most luxurious hotel...
Kigali Serena Hotel: Our full report
Serena Hotels took over the operation of Kigali InterContinental Hotel on 1st February 2007, renaming it the Kigali Serena Hotel. They extensively renovated it into a large up-market hotel with plenty of modern facilities.
Located just 10 kilometers from Kigali airport, the Kigali Serena enjoys a brilliant location in this busy city – and is a great option for travellers who need to overnight at either the beginning or end of their trip. Serena have brought up the standard of this hotel, so it’s now of a very good, and certainly comparable to any good city hotel in the western world.
The main areas of the Kigali Serena give a very impressive first impression. The atrium extends right up to the very top floor, with a huge skylight flooding the room with light. The large main reception desk overlook the polished stone floor, whist a few sofas provide an area to wait. There are a number of smart communal areas for guests to enjoy – the Milima Restaurant overlooks the large swimming pool and tropical gardens and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Sokoni Restaurant has a little more of a buzz to it – offering themed dinners, cocktails and live music. Food is served here throughout the day. The Lounge is centrally located, and is the perfect place to enjoy a pre or post dinner drink while listing to the resident pianist on the grand piano.
The swimming pool is right in the middle of the hotel, with the rooms towering up in a V-shape around it. It’s a great size, and the ambient lighting at night, gives the entire hotel a very relaxed and tropical atmosphere. There’s plenty of seating both inside and outside. The Maisha Health Club is very well equipped – with spa, steam room and Jacuzzi, gym with TVs, exercise classes such as yoga, salsa and spinning, and a Moroccan style spa using Elemis products. (On our last visit in September 2012, a half hour massage cost U$45).
The Kigali Serena has 148 rooms in total, broken down into several room categories. All rooms are well equipped with 24-hour room service, air con, WiFi, phones, mini bars, safes, tea and coffee making facilities and hair dryers.
The Standard, Deluxe and Superior Rooms have a king size bed and as well as a large shower, they also have an extra bath. They vary slightly in size, and location. The Prime Rooms all face the pool and have an extra seating area as well as a flatscreen TV. The Suites are much larger and have extra seating and working areas .
Our ViewOverall, on our last visit to the Kigali Serena in September 2012, we were really impressed. The hotel was clean and comfortable; the service was friendly and relatively efficient (compared to Rwandan standards) and the food was good. For a night or two – this is certainly your best option in Kigali.
Ideal length of stay: Stay here for 1-2 nights as an overnight stop or to explore Kigali.
Directions: The hotel is about 10 km from Kigali airport.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: On our last visit here in September 2012 we thought the food was very good - particularly when you compare it to the standard generally across Rwanda!
Breakfast was a buffet with a large cereal bar, cheese and meat platters, frest fruit and juices, and a hot breakfast cooked in front of you.
Lunch can be taken in any one of the restaurants, with the Milima having a particularly good value buffet lunch.
Dinner is generally a la carte, unless you eat in the Sokoni where you can enjoy a slightly more relaxed menu of burgers and pizzas.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £10-15
Drinks included: There are no drinks included.
Attitude towards children: The hotel welcomes children.
Property’s age restrictions: None.
Equipment: The hotel can provide cots, high chairs and babysitting services.
Generally recommended for children: Yes.
Notes: This is a good option for families as it has plenty of facilities.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: There is free WiFi, and internet terminals with an extra charge.
TV & radio: There are TVs in all the rooms.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: There is a nurse based at the hotel for minor illness or injuries. For more serious issues the hotel has contacts with a doctor who will come and visit.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: There are safes in all the rooms.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in the corridors.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: There is a laundry service.
Money: The hotel accepts all major credit cards. They also have the ability to exchange money.