President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame on Thursday attended the launch of one of the most luxurious hotels Rwanda has ever had. The facility, Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House, opened in Kinigi sector, Musanze district in Northern Province, right at the habitat of the rare mountain gorillas.
Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House is set within a landscape of wetlands and lush meadows with magnificent views of the Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes.
It is a dream coming true from Luke Bailes, Chairman of Singita Founder and Executive Chairman, Luke Bailes who, in 2011 was in the volcano national park for gorilla trekking.
Designed around local materials, the buildings have been crafted using volcanic rock, river stone, handmade ceramic tiles and oven-red clay bricks made by surrounding communities.
Mountain bamboo, ferns, giant lobelias and forest trees form the backdrop of the facility and dramatic stone walls rise out of volcanic boulders. From these, the lodge’s unique architecture is revealed: a combination of green-roofed, stonewalled, organic cabin-like structures set alongside light verandahs.
The interiors have been carefully curated with a focus on handcrafted details, including woven panels, tiles and clay feature pots.
Beautiful indoor and outdoor living spaces serves as the heart of Singita Kwitonda Lodge. This space forms an experiential enclave with lounges, dining areas, an outdoor fire pit, an interactive kitchen and a self-service ‘bar deli’ for guests to enjoy.
The private and self-contained bedroom suites and amenities lead off of the main lodge via a network of volcanic rock pathways.
Catering for the unique climate and conditions in Rwanda’s northwest, all the suites feature indoor and outdoor fireplaces and outdoor heated plunge pools.
Singita Kataza House is part of the Singita Private Villa Collection and offers 4 spacious self-contained bedrooms (1 master suite, 1junior master suite, and 2 suites) accommodating a maximum of 8 guests.
It’s a contemporary and luxurious African home designed for private use, offering guests the freedom to spend quality time together in a secluded sanctuary, and direct the pace of their days according to their whim.
It’s the ultimate in modern exclusivity and intimacy, and features include a central cluster of convivial living spaces, an interactive kitchen and an outside fire pit.
There is also a heated pool off the main lounge, a massage room and gym, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, various dining areas, a cinema room, wine room, gear room and a 2-bedroom staff residence. The master bedroom boasts its own private heated pool.
All the suites offer an intimate engagement with the surrounding landscapes, ensuring a sense of solitude within nature.
Just like the other six villas in Singita’s Private Villa Collection, Kataza House includes its own house staff, chef and house manager.
While completely private, the villa is set alongside Singita Kwitonda Lodge, and villa guests have the freedom to enjoy all the facilities and amenities of the lodge too, if they want to make use of this additional gathering place to relax, entertain and dine.
The cost of a stay ranges from $ 1750 per night to $ 8000 according to the choice of the visitor.
I Normally set expectations high and this is High – Kagame
At the inauguration, President Kagame said, that he normally set expectations very high, but the facility went beyong what he thought, was possible.
“As said earlier, we were talking about high-end. For a property like this to be built in Rwanda, the conversation was about that being possible. Now I discover that this is higher-end than the end I was talking about. So it has exceeded my expectation,” Kagame said during the inauguration.
“I have a tendency to keep my expectation very high, and this one has gone beyond that.”
The president also recognised Mikael Andren who was representing the owner, Paul Tudor Jones. He said that he is a very special investor “who is equally committed to African conservation and the development of the hospitality sector on our continent.Thank you all for being with us.”
“Singita is one of the world’s top hotel brands and Rwanda is happy to be associated with the company. And I think you have raised Rwanda’s brand as well. So we thank you,” Kagame said.
He thanked the developers for using the made local construction materials and construction methods; the reduced energy footprint; and the ongoing efforts to preserve and enhance the surrounding landscape.
“We look forward to working together with Singita and other partners in the years ahead to deliver an unforgettable product built on Rwanda’s unique attractions,” Kagame said.
Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House is one in a series of Singita Lodges from Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa.