Heaven Retreat: Our full report
The Retreat is a luxury, boutique hotel in the Kiyovu district of Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city.Located in the same street as its sister hotel, both properties share access to the well-loved Heaven Restaurant.
The Retreat is one of the newer hotel options in Kigali, offering boutique luxury accommodation in the city centre.
Owned and run by Alissa and Josh Ruxin, (proprietors of the nearby Heaven Restaurant, as well as the Retreat’s sister property Heaven Boutique Hotel), the Retreat is a luxurious spot, and also proudly the first entirely solar-powered hotel in Kigali.
12 rooms are divided into the more spacious ‘superior’ rooms, along with three wheelchair accessible ‘deluxe’, slightly smaller but still very comfortable. Two of the superior rooms are designed for families with children, with interconnecting doors.
With a combination of Rwandan and Italian design, the rooms, although on the small side, are tastefully decorated with locally crafted Tanzanian teak furniture, and crisp white linens with colourful Rwandan fabrics.
The rooms all have incredibly comfortable king or twin size beds under a walk-in mosquito net, and all have plenty of amenities, including a mini bar, tea/coffee machine and filtered drinking water. There is a huge flat screen DSTV, as well as air conditioning and ceiling fans. The stylish en-suite bathrooms have an indoor and outdoor shower, flush toilet and twin basins, with complimentary eco-friendly toiletries, bathrobes and slippers. Each of the rooms have a small outdoor patio area.
As at its sister hotel, many of the Retreat’s staff are young Rwandans training up in different aspects of hospitality – the owners put a huge amount of time and effort into training programmes, and it shows.
The main area is roomy, with a welcoming reception, lounge area with comfortable sofas to sink into after a long day walking round the city, and a large indoor dining area that leads out to a balcony with views out across downtown Kigali. Friendly staff are on hand to serve drinks from the bar – there are a range of teas and coffees on offer, as well as cocktails, and various health smoothies.
The Fusion Restaurant serves delicious meals from a varied a la carte menu - there are tables inside or out. or you can choose to eat at the ever-popular Heaven Restaurant, located just next door.
The Retreat has a strong focus on wellness and relaxation. There is a large pool where guests can cool off from the city heat, a hot tub, as well as a spa (offering massages and treatments, at extra cost) and a gym, with yoga and meditation classes.
Most travellers use Kigali as a quick stop before or after a trip to see the gorillas, but it’s well worth a full day just to explore the city, and especially to take time to visit the Genocide Museum, nearby memorials and the Millennium Village. If you have longer, there is a whole host of cultural activities on offer, from traditional cooking classes and visits to a local school, to textile workshops, basket weaving lessons and trips to experience daily life on the coffee farm.
Luxurious and stylish, the Retreat is a welcome addition to the accommodation options in Kigali. With a focus on wellness, comfort, relaxation and great food, it’s a perfect spot for a stopover in Kigali – though if you only stay for a night you’ll wish you’d stayed longer!
- Kigali, Rwanda
- Ideal length of stay
- Though most guests will just stay for a night before or after their time in one of Rwanda’s national parks, if you do have more time to spend, we’d recommend a couple of nights here, to experience a few of the different activities on offer, as well as allowing you to take the time to enjoy the hotel itself.
- The Retreat is 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
- Half Board
- Attitude towards children
- The owners have young children themselves, and children are welcomed at the Retreat.
- Property’s age restrictions
- The Retreat has no age restrictions.
- Special activities & services
- The hotel has a children’s playground, and play corner inside, as well as a children’s menu. Staff are able to provide childminding services, though they do not have childcare qualifications.
- High chairs and baby cots are available.
- Generally recommended for children
- We do think the Retreat has a slightly more mature atmosphere, and so would recommend that families with younger children choose the Garden Villa rooms at the Retreat’s sister property, Heaven Boutique Hotel.
- The pool is unfenced and, while there is security on the gate, it does open to a fairly busy main road. Children should be supervised by a parent of guardian at all times.
- Power supply notes
- The Retreat has a back-up generator in case of power-failure.
- Complimentary (and fast) WiFi is available throughout, and there is good cell reception across the hotel site. Each room has an intercom phone.
- TV & radio
- There is a satellite TV in each room, as well as in the main lounge area.
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- Bathrooms are plumbed in, with flush toilets, and hot showers – though the water is solar heated, and so you may need to leave the tap to run for a minute or so for the water to heat up.
Health & safety
- Medical care
- At least two staff trained in first aid are available on each shift. The closest clinic and hospital are both just a short drive away in central Kigali.
- Dangerous animals
- Low Risk
- Security measures
- The property is gated, and there is 24 hour security on site.
- Fire safety
- Each room has a fire extinguisher, and there are extinguishers and fire hoses throughout the hotel.
- Disabled access
- In Place
- Laundry facilities
- The hotel has a daily laundry service – guests will find a laundry bag and list in their room. This service is an extra cost, each item is US $2, and clothes are machine washed and line or machine dried.
- There is a digital safe in each room. The hotel is able to offer a limited currency exchange, but they can also assist with a transfer into town to a bureau d’exchange.
- Accepted payment on location
- Payment can be made in US dollars or Rwandan francs, as well as by credit card – Visa and Mastercard are accepted.
Other lodges in Kigali
Alternative places to stay in this same area.