Effective November 1,2019, Rwanda has five hospitality facilities(Hotel-lodges) that are ranked “Five Star’ and this means, hotels/lodges with unprecedented services, accommodation and, to mean it all, comfort.
Rwanda made this achievement yesterday when forty hospitality facilities were awarded between 1 (one) to 5 (five) stars by Rwanda Development Board(RDB) during the 2019 Hospitality Grading ceremony. Without disappointing, Bisate Lodge in the biggest touristic hub – Volcano National Park joined the list of already ranked 4 Rwanda’s Five Star hotels to bring the list five hotels.
Bisate lodge was launched on September 1,2017 by President Paul Kagame in the sideline of gorilla naming ceremony, and the hotel is right in the habitat of the engendered mountain gorillas, the only place where they can be found.
That said, the six-villa ecolodge owned by Wildness Safaris organizes trekking tours into the quietest corners of Volcanoes National Park, giving visitors the rare opportunity to glimpse endangered gorillas in their natural habitat.
Wildness Safaris Conservation which manages this lodge describes the hotel thus: “it is located in the natural amphitheater of an eroded volcanic cone and this gives dramatic views of the peaks of the volcanoes of Bisoke, Karisimbi and Mikeno rearing up through the Afro-alpine forests of nearby Volcanoes National Park.”
The beauty of this lodge lies in the best ever combination of local and ecological construction materials, inspired by the Rwanda’ s traditional building which is more like a dome.
The existing four hotels with five star rank include One and Only Nyungwe House, another lodge in Nyamasheke – Western province also located in the Nyungwe National park which is a natural forest, the Internationals Serena, Marriott and Radisson Blue Hotels.
The last three are located in city of Kigali.
As the list of Rwanda’s five star hotels suggests, one has got a list to choose from either luxury in wildness, or an urban comfort.
In other categories, Residence Prima 2000 located in Kacyiru – city of Kigali and The Retreat Boutique Hotel
The 11 establishments that got a three-star rating are; Landmark Suites, Executive Suites Kigali, Highlands Apartment Gacuriro, Villa Asimba, Park View Courts Ltd, Gorilla Solutions Lodge Ltd, Light House Hotel, Heaven Boutique Hotel, Emeraude Kivu Resort(Kamembe)and Quiet Haven Hotel(Kigali).
The 11 establishments that got a three-star rating are; Landmark Suites, Executive Suites Kigali, Highlands Apartment Gacuriro, Villa Asimba, Park View Courts Ltd, Gorilla Solutions Lodge Ltd, Light House Hotel, Heaven Boutique Hotel, Emeraude Kivu Resort and Quiet Haven Hotel.
16 hospitality establishments got a two-star rating while 11 got one-star.
Speaking while presiding over the ceremony, the Guest of Honour, Pudence Rubingisa, the City of Kigali Mayor said:
“The establishment and compliance with these standards is very important for our country as a tourist destination in order to sustain a competitive advantage and attract more tourists. Quality service delivery is a key driver of economic growth as stated in the National Strategy for Transformation which aims to increase tourism revenues to over US$ 800 million by 2024.”
Zephanie Niyonkuru, the RDB Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer said:
“The grading and classification of hotels helps to inform customers on how to recognize quality, differentiate all levels of facilities and services and offers greater transparency. The accommodation classification practice enhances the EAC’s competitive edge as a single tourism destination and helps to have a developed industry.”
Niyonkuru added: “And there is a lot to be happy about. For example, in the last five years, a number of renowned hotel brands have started their operations in Rwanda. Looking back, in 2014, Rwanda had only one 5-Star hotel. Today we have 5 and we are expecting more. This has led to revenue from MICE to increase from US$33 million in 2014 to US$ 55 million in 2018. Therefore, the Government is committed to providing support that leads to the improvements in quality standards.”
The 1-5 star grading system helps to differentiate the quality of services that establishments render to their clientele.
The criteria used to grade the establishments range from their location, site and environment, architectural design and features, capacity, reception area, information services, hours of service, decor, amenities and accessories and regulation of temperature among others as per the ‘East African Criteria for Standardization of Hotels, Restaurants and other Tourist Accommodation Facilities’.
The criteria stipulates the standards that should be met for any accommodation establishment to be one, two, three, four or five star and are mandatory for any prospective property developer in the accommodation sector in all EAC member states.
The grading of 40 hotels last night brought the total number of ranked hospitality facilities to 146.
There are in Rwanda 775 hotels and accommodation facilities that can host 14,800 visitors per night.