Heaven Boutique Hotel: Our full report
Heaven Boutique Hotel is located in the heart of downtown Kigali, though as it’s perched on one of Rwanda's ...... many hills or collines it has some great views out across the city. Often used for a stopover before or after heading to the airport, it’s simple and great-value, with an emphasis on community involvement. In 2020 it underwent some changes and was renamed the Heaven Boutique Hotel Residence, with improved rooms.
Although we’ve enjoyed delicious meals at Heaven’s adjoining restaurant, and stayed at Heaven Boutique in 2019 (when the details below applied), Expert Africa has not yet visited the new incarnation: Heaven Boutique Hotel Residence. Some of the details below therefore need updating.
The family-owned and run business started with the Heaven Restaurant in 2008, a favourite of locals and ex-pats alike, and has since expanded to include accommodation options with 22 rooms across three separate properties, all along the same street in downtown Kigali, just a 20-minute drive from the international airport, with expansive views out across the city.
The original Heaven building houses three rooms, two with extra beds and so suitable for families. Renovated in 2017, all rooms have twin or queen beds surrounded by mosquito nets, with colourful linens and wooden furniture. All with air-conditioning, they all come furnished with TV, mini fridge and coffee/tea facilities.
The Villa is just a couple of doors downhill from the main Heaven Hotel reception and restaurant, with 12 rooms. All of the rooms at the Villa have the same amenities as the Heaven rooms, and each also have a private terrace. Eight standard rooms are their budget rooms, and the smallest of the Heaven options, while the deluxe king rooms are more spacious.
The Garden Chalet, a little way up the hill, is the most recent addition to the hotel. Five rooms and two more spacious suites are set in lush gardens, around a salt-water, solar-heated pool.
Guests to the hotel can make use of the Heaven Restaurant - when we visited in 2017 and loved the character of the building, friendliness of the staff and great menu choices.
On request, Heaven Hotel guests can also use the gym, spa services or yoga courses at Heaven’s sister property, The Retreat.
The Heaven team pride themselves on their involvement with local communities, providing their local staff with thorough training in all aspects of hospitality. The on-site curio shop sells beautiful souvenirs, all locally made, in conjunction with Azizi Life FairTrade and the local Niyo Arts Gallery.
Most guests to Heaven Hotel are on an overnight stop on their way to or from one of Rwanda’s national parks, and so generally stay only a night or two. If you have the time in Kigali, we’d recommend taking some time to go on a tour of the city – a visit to the Genocide Memorial and museum is a fascinating, if sobering, insight into the country’s history.
Heaven Boutique Hotel is one of the more simple options in the city, but comfortable, with far more character than some of the other more corporate offerings. In a central location, with the added bonus of being next door to arguably one of the best options for eating out in Kigali, the hotel is well suited to the more budget-conscious travellers looking for a good-value property for an overnight stop.
- Kigali, Rwanda
- Ideal length of stay
- We’d usually recommend a stay for one or two nights to explore Kigali.
- Heaven is located a 20- to 30 minute drive from Kigali Airport, though this can vary depending on the traffic conditions.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Bed & Breakfast
- Attitude towards children
- Water supply
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Dangerous animals
- Low Risk
- Fire safety
- Disabled access
- On Request
Other lodges in Kigali
Alternative places to stay in this same area.