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And Rwanda’s Best Hotel Is…

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
5:41 pm

Mariott Hotel – Kigali

Tourists looking for the best hotel in Rwanda this festive season, organizers of conferences that have Kigali as an option for 2019 and regular visitors to Rwanda know the hotel that fits their taste today.

The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has organised the 2018 Rwanda Hospitality Grading Ceremony scheduled on December 19, 2018.

More than 50 hotels will be graded from one to five stars.

Currently, three hotels that are at the level of five star hotels include; Serena Hotel, Radisson Blu Kigali and Kigali Marriott Hotel according to the previous ranking – October 2017.

The same ranking indicated that Sabyinyo Silver Back, Gorilla Golf Hotel, La Palisse Nyamata, Ubumwe Grand Hotel, Lemigo Hotel and one of Rwanda’s oldest hotel- Hotel des Mille Collines among others are 4-star hotels.

Hoteliers told KT Press, that they are having a greater understanding of the logic behind grading, unlike in the past.

Francine Uwera, the owner of the 2-star Impala Hotel in Nyarugenge – Kigali told KT Press; “In the past, ranking would cause controversies because hoteliers used to set their own standards.”

For example, said Uwera, one would not understand why the jury ranked their hotel 3-star instead of 4-star.

Currently, the ranking follow very clear criterion.

According to Uwera, in the process of ranking, the jury first examines if a facility qualifies to be called a hotel.

The building, the parking, access to the rooms, access to the kitchen, hygiene and sanitation, staff and their qualification, security and safety, insurance coverage and size of rooms are among the preliminary requirements to be on the list of hotels.

After passing the test of major requirements, the hotel will be evaluated on several details.

Radisson Blu – Kigali

For example, you may not qualify for 3-star if you don’t have suite rooms and conference rooms.

The examiners will also calculate the quantity of water compared to the number of visitors at the hotel.

Meanwhile, internet is also becoming another indispensable requirement and a hotelier cannot afford to ignore it.

“The country has internet in all public places and in buses. This has set precedent for us; if you have poor internet, you literally tell visitors that they are in a wrong place,”Uwera said.

Serena Hotel

The ranking comes at a time when the Rwandan hospitality industry is recovering. Uwera remembers that increase in gorilla visa permits to $ 1500 from Rwf30,000 for Rwandans and $ 750 for foreigners in 2017 decreased the number of visitors.

This was coupled with insecurity in the region.

The hospitality industry, she said is now picking up with the waiving of visa fee and the visit Rwanda campaign.

President Paul Kagame launched Bisate Lodge in September last year

The Kigali city cleanliness and security are also other things that lure tourists into Rwanda.

The ranking comes to inform organizers of international conferences.

Rwanda will host Commonwealth summit in 2020 among other important summits.

Hoteliers believe that when big conferences organizers choose Rwanda, it inspires the rest of the other organizers.