Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

Reviews of Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

Good(75%) From 8 travellers
Excellent
4
Good
1
Average
1
Poor
1
Terrible
1
Below are independent comments from 8 of our travellers who have visited Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mrs G. from Fareham
Arrived on: 15-Aug-2017 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel review

The staff were very welcoming and the waiting staff at mealtimes were very friendly and accommodating.

The room was fine. It was clean and tidy, but a bit tired looking. The bath was cracked and the lounge windows let in water when it rained, but neither things bothered us. We liked the fact that there was a separate seating area in the room. We didn't use the balcony as the view was just of overgrown bushes and there were only 2 dining room chairs there, so not too comfy. Loungers would have been useful here as they would have been on the terrace of the main hotel building. Lots of beautiful views but nowhere comfortable to sit to enjoy them.

The food was buffet style and there was always plenty of choice and plenty of it.

Wifi was available in the lobby and main building and was fairly reliable.

This wasn't the hotel that we originally booked, but as they were renovating the other one, this was the best available.

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Mr V from Texas
Arrived on: 9-Jul-2017 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Average
Average
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Poor
Poor
Facilities:
Average
Average

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel review

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel is a place I would love to hate. The main lodge is a rather pretentious hulk of stone with second story balconies spanning a turret, most of which are completely useless. We did have lunch on on the western balcony, but only because management had obtained some large Heineken Beer umbrellas to provide a bit of shade from the heat that radiated all around us. The formal layout of the grounds was contrived and unnatural, and completely at odds with the beauty of the surrounding mountains and forest.

The cabins are arranged on a strict linear grid, two rows facing what was intended to be a formal garden, which is elevated by a stone retaining wall as tall as a human being and basically inaccessible. Inside each cabin is a useless large entry way and a sitting room with a single lamp and a large fireplace surrounded by shelves filled with West African (not Rwandan) wooden figurines. There is a wood-burning fireplace, which we did not use, not in small part due to the fire screen that was framed in.....wood.

The beds are okay, and we were grateful for hot-running water and a flush toilet. Each room has a safe, but they are not wired and so you can't use them as intended (combination code). You have to have a key from the front office. How many keys do they have? One. So only one cabin out of 12 can utilize the safe -- hope you are the lucky one when you stay there. We demurred and just left our valuables at the front desk whenever we left the premises.

Food was just okay. The staff is skeletal. I honestly don't know how this place manages to stay afloat. Well, yes, actually I do. It's because of Tito the manager and David the head waiter/bartender/whatever else is required. Those two worked their fingers to the bones. Tito worked such long hours that he sometimes had to sleep on a mattress on the floor of the office instead of being able to go home for the night. Without the two of them, I think the whole operation would have just fallen apart.

Part of my disappointment may be due to the fact that originally we were supposed to stay at the very well-reputed Nyungwe Forest Lodge. Unfortunately, it was closed for renovations at the time of our trip, and so we had to be rebooked at Top View (and the view from the western balacony is nice).

In spite of all of my seeming negativity, we never really went without. There aren't many accommodations at Nyungwe, so I think this lodge has to be measured, at least in part, on that basis. That said, if you have flexibility in the timing of your trip, I might consider waiting until Forest Lodge is (hopefully) back up and running. Without that benefit, we nevertheless had a serviceable enough time at Top View (4 nights) and we're glad to have the opportunity to visit Nyungwe National Park.

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Carter Caravan from USA
Arrived on: 7-Aug-2016 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Poor
Poor
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Poor
Poor
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Poor
Poor
Activities:
Average
Average
Facilities:
Poor
Poor

Nyungwe Top View Hotel

Very nice staff. The rooms are very private with a sitting area and fireplace. They are very willing to start a fire in the fireplace. The bathrooms need remodeling. They are old, black mold in some areas and the towels are shredding. There is a large outdoor balcony and the views from the room and property in general are gorgeous. The food is very average. The main lodge needs a thorough cleaning as there are spider webs, etc. Some of the furniture is falling apart. We were shocked at the price they command considering the condition of the property. We would not stay here again and would have spent more money to stay at the more expensive exclusive lodge in the area. We stayed here trying to cut the budget and were disappointed in the poor quality and food.

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Mr & Mrs F from Ealing
Arrived on: 6-Jan-2016 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel review

Nyungwe Top View as the name suggests is spectacularly located on a high hill top with distant views of Lake Kivu.

There is a central lodge building with the restaurant and reception area and two rows of individual thatched houses in an attractive landscaped garden area each accommodating one room plus ensuite facilities. WiFi is available near the reception.

Food was generally from a self-service buffet and qualified as good rather than excellent.

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Mr C & Ms Y from Edinburgh
Arrived on: 19-Jun-2014 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Up in the clouds!

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel: the rooms - which are all separate mini-cottages with balconies - were generous and quite well lit, and the location was superb, with panoramic views on all sides.

The electricity went out a few times (there is a backup generator) and occasionally the service was a little slow, but the staff were unfailingly helpful and friendly. In fact, it often felt like a family-run establishment, and we would gladly have lingered longer on the sunny terrace to take in the clouds, lake and forests stretching away to the distance. We'd definitely stay here again.

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Mr and Mrs D from Cambridge
Arrived on: 12-Oct-2013 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Terrible
Terrible
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Poor
Poor
Service:
Terrible
Terrible
Food:
Poor
Poor
Facilities:
Poor
Poor

Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel review

We did however have major problem/disappointment with Nyungye Top View Hotel
1. The hotel was truly awful. We arrived on Saturday and during the night the power went off at first intermittently and then for good so we were without power (and therefore water which needed to be pumped) for 36 hours. (Restored on Monday afternoon) . The mains had failed and so did their generator. There were no torches or kerosene lamps in the whole place as far as we could tell. When the (kind) staff tried to serve us dinner by the weak light of their mobile phones, we insisted on lending them our head torch. After no electricity (and no fridge) they were still offering us meat or fish to eat although on my enquiry, they agreed it was not a good idea as they had no way to keep it cool during the outage.(We became vegetarian) The manager was nowhere to be found ; the staff tried very hard to be helpful and eg arrived with a jerry can of cold water on Monday morning so we could wash.
We understand that power can be a problem in Africa but to be so totally unprepared was astounding.

Beyond the water/ power problem, the hotel was unfinished; and totally lacking in aesthetic appeal. Eg large pieces of furniture were placed in the bedrooms to block out the natural light and views from the potentially nice bedrooms_ (although there were beautiful objects on the shelves of the sitting room). Altogether there was no sign of real management or care in the delivery of the service ; the staff wanted to help but were powerless to do anything except apologise.

2. We spent each day's 'chimp' experience in the chimp sanctuary ( the Cyamudongo Forest) which is just 4 sq kms and not part of the Nyungye National Park. This was fine for one day but we would have loved to walk in the Nyungye National park and have the opportunity of looking for/at birds. Apart from our initial drive through the park we never saw it or experienced it at all. This was not what your itinerary lead us to expect.



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Mr G & Mrs T from Durham
Arrived on: 7-Jan-2013 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent

Really pleasant staff in a great location.

At first this place seemed lacking in atmosphere but that was because we were virtually the only guests there (and on one night it was just us). We were there in January. Having said that, this is a Rwandan owned enterprise that has been recently built on a hilltop with fantastic views in all directions. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful - particularly in the restaurant.

It was a personalised service from the waiter and chef. We saw them cope admirably when the governor and a group of ministers and their entourage arrived for lunch. The food was very good (if not always exactly what an English person would expect from the description on the menu). The rooms have a very pleasant sitting area (with fire) and a balcony.

The bedrooms could have done with a few hooks/hanging space to hang things up. It is very well located for chimp and colubus monkey treks. In inclement weather there is little to do in the hotel itself. We hope this hotel (and Nyungwe) get more visitors - they deserve them.

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Mr & Mrs W from Wokingham
Arrived on: 2-Jul-2012 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent

Charming but idiosyncratic

This was a charming hotel. The staff were very attentive and service was excellent. The food was excellent and there was plenty of it. The menu is a limited set menu but the main course offered a meat dish, a fish dish or a vegetarian dish.

The view was great.

It does get cold so we appreciated the fire being lit and the 3 hot water bottles in our bed.

The rooms do look a bit in need of repair - for example there were chipped tiles in the bathroom, but this certainly didn't spoil our stay.

Strangely the things that could be improved are very simple - put an extra chair on the balcony, at present there is only one even though two people are sharing the room. Similarly, two bottles of water are provided but only one glass.

The dressing table with the mirror is nowhere near a socket so using a hair dryer / straighteners isn't easy. (There are actually lots of sockets in the room, I think we counted 6)

A torch is definately needed because there aren't any light switches by the bed so trying to negotiate crossing the room and battling with the mosquito net could be a challenge.

It would be nice if there was a little shop on site where local handicrafts, postcards, etc were sold.

Everywhere was really clean and the bed was very comfortable

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