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“Good but not perfect” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika

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Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Chaussee d'Uvira | Route Gatumba, Bujumbura 6573, Burundi   |  
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Ranked #8 of 20 Hotels in Bujumbura
UK
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Good but not perfect”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

I have stayed here several times, the staff are very helpful and try really hard to run a professional international standard hotel. We hosted a regional conference here and their events team were great in helping us before and after the event.

The rooms are clean but actually a bit basic - theres not much luxury or extras here. The cleaning staff are fantastic and do a great job. Bathrooms a bit creaky and plumbing sometimes interesting but hot water and good water pressure. I am not sure the rooms are good value for money now the prices have gone up, but at least you know to expect a good clean spacious room.

The main draw is the fabulous pool and good food in the restaurant. Its clear that many external visitors come here at the weekends with their families to spend time by the pool and in the spacious grounds which means at times it can get very busy and the wait staff are run off their feet. Good buffet breakfast with lots of choice. We had a special area set aside for our conference meals - unfortunately we all (nearly 40 people!) came down with terrible food poisoning, due to poor hygiene practices in the kitchen and dodgy chicken. Shame.

When I stay in Bujumbura for work i now usually stay in a different hotel closer to the office but this is where I like to come for a good meal and a beer watching the sun set over DRC. As other posters have pointed out, for Bujumbura this is an excellent hotel - its one of the few (the only?) hotels even beginning to reach any kind of "international standard" which is to be applauded given the circumstances. Its now become a bit pricy for me which is a shame so ill stick to visiting not staying over.

Room Tip: try and get a room facing the lake, avoid the 500 rooms which are internal, small and facing the kit...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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116 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Nairobi
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

fabulous fantastic gem hidden on the shores of lake tanganyika...absolutely loved it.
food was very good, they also have a band on thursdays that will blow your mind away. there is some mosquitoes though so ensure that you are prepared with the correct medication and the repellants, though the fabulous and ever friendly staff will always provide a mosquito net in the very clean rooms. Language for the non-french speaking may be a barrier but most of the staff understand a little english and enough kiswahili to get by, i would recommend this to anyone headed to burundi...did i mention complementary pick up and drop off from the airport???

Room Tip: know your french, mosquitoes in plenty so carry some repellant
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Asaph, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012

I have stayed at several hotels in Bujumbura in the course of the 18 months that I have been working in Burundi and the Club du Lac is by far the best. It has to be reviewed in the context of where it is and Burundi is a very poor country with a challenging environment.

It has pros and cons but has the advantage of being long established and for a long time had little or no competition. The owner (Alfredo) is aware and is constantly investing in improving the facilities, the latest venture is a block of apartment style rooms for long stayers due to open later in 2012. Security is good with discrete armed guards constantly on patrol in the grounds and on the beach.

The hotel is located on the edge of the lake a little way out of town but this is one of its strengths as it provides a respite from the trials and tribulations of a central location and the hotel provides a regular shuttle to and from the city centre and the airport. If you get an upstairs room with a lake view the location could hardly be more pleasant as you can watch the fishing boats in the morning and the recreational users of the lake for the rest of the day which include water skiers and a seaplane.

The rooms are fairly basic but kept very clean and the old external A/Cs have been replaced with very efficient in room A/Cs that operate much more quietly and the free WiFi is not bad by Burundi standards but can be slow at peak times. The beds are quite hard and will not suit all, the light switches are hard to access from the bed but all rooms have mosquito nets. For some rooms the water is heated by solar power and if the day has been cold or overcast hot water can be hard to get but the pressure is generally good. The standard of the staff is very high and they are all very well trained, many (but not all) speak good English, they are very polite and helpful, and definitely one of the hotel's strengths.

The facilities are good with a gym, massage, and a very good pool that is kept very clean surrounded by loungers and tables with sunshades about 30% of which have a power connection for using laptops. The food is not the best in Bujumbura but is not bad, generally well prepared with attention to hygiene and is a mix of African and Italian cuisine available in several locations from the restaurant, poolside bars, beach bars and room service including pizzas prepared in a proper pizza oven. The service is generally excellent and attentive. The quality of the meat is very hit and miss and you can find the steak or lamb very tough one day and excellent the next, however fish, chicken or pork are safe options. There is better food available in Bujumbura, notably at Botanika which is possibly the best in town, and Bora Bora (next door) has good fish and meat but watch out for hippos if walking along the beach to it. One of the food highlights of the hotel is the Sunday Brunch which is an expensive buffet style meal with a wider choice of generally good food than is usually available but this is popular with expats and locals not staying at the hotel and both the restaurant and pool can be very busy at weekends. Breakfast is not too bad with a wide choice of fruits, cold meats, cheese, croissants and other pastries made in the hotel plus hot dishes and eggs or pancakes cooked to order but the bacon is almost always horribly overcooked.

The hotel is not quite the most expensive in Bujumbura, although right up there, but a deal can be done on rooms (with a demi pension option) for long or regular stayers with laundry included if required (the laundry service is excellent). One major advantage is that the hotel takes credit/debit cards which is far from normal in Burundi and I have checked out about eight times now with only one problem that was not of the hotel's making.

TV choice is not great and several hotels in Bujumbura offer a wider range of channels, for English speakers there is only currently South African "Sky" Sports, BBC World, CNN, and Nat Geo Wild but if you particularly want to watch a sporting event not on the selected sports channel the reception will retune the channel to the desired setting for you.... provided there's not too many protests from other guests when African football disappears in favour of Formula 1.

On the downside there is a certain amount of noise from neighbouring locations at the weekends but they don't normally finish too late and the hotel's regular live music also finishes at a decent time but any event with the Burundi drummers performing will have your windows shaking!. The hotel is right at the bottom of the airport runway and flights leaving pass directly overhead at low altitude but the airport is not that busy. It is a little bit "tired" in places but there is a programme of refurbishment that is ongoing. Also the pool area is sometimes frequented by "ladies of ill repute" in the evenings and particularly at weekends but they are not agressively in your face.

The best thing I can say in summary is that I would need a good reason to change my hotel when in Burundi.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a lake view and on the upper deck
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2012

To say that there are challenges for Burundi would be an understatement . This review is in the context of conditions here and available options. First, the staff are extremely helpful and friendly. They respond well to smiles and acknowledgement of them and their efforts even when language remains a barrier. Most front line staff I encountered speak English. Other willingly try. The property does show some age but the A/C works well, the WiFi is reliable (iam writing this from the hotel) and it is very clean. I was in my room when it was cleaned this morning and it was quite thorough. Lights are dim by American standards but adequate. My bed was comfortable and my shower was hot. The hotel is well secured and there are ALWAYS staff watching. I have eaten breakfast and lunch in the restaurant and both were quite good with bottled water readily available.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hofn, Iceland
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2012

I was only there for the day, for meetings but was extremely impressed. This hotel has survived and flourished despite all the odds among the very serious troubles of Burundi.
The rooms are extremely large, airy and cool, with each room's door opening onto an external walkway. The bedroom furniture is a little heavy and dark, but it all feels very African.
Wonderful pool with an astonishing variety of birdlife in among the bushes, flowers and trees around the grounds.
Note there is no shop in the hotel, so bring everything you need as the hotel is some distance from Bujumbura (although only 10 minutes from the airport, and the hotel provides a minibus shuttle)

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2012 via mobile

I only stayed here three nights, and wish I could have stayed longer.

The room was spacious, spotlessly clean, and very comfortable, with a lovely view over the beach. The air conditioning unit worked very well.

I did not get to swim, but the pool was lovely, especially at night.

There are plenty of places to sit and work, or just relax with a drink - tables and chairs are scattered around, all with parasols, and there are small huts for get-togethers.

The quality of the food was high, and the service excellent.

Highly recommended.

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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USA
Top Contributor
267 reviews 267 reviews
205 hotel reviews
Reviews in 218 cities Reviews in 218 cities
1,196 helpful votes 1,196 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2012

This hotel is close to the airport and right on the water on the huge lake that Bujumbura sits on. But the hotel is like many other that line the water. They are a bit far from the town (3-4 miles) and you will need a taxi to get to and from the city. Not expensive, but you have to wait for one. They are not that plentiful.
The hotel is pretty decent but dated and older. Rooms are clean and they come with mosquito screens on the beds just in case. Mosquito's are a huge problem in all of Africa, especially near water such as this hotel. Good and clean food at the restaurant. Small and older gym but it has all the items needed for a good workout. Good value for the area.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika

Address: Chaussee d'Uvira | Route Gatumba, Bujumbura 6573, Burundi
Phone Number:
Location: Burundi > Bujumbura Mairie Province > Bujumbura
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Bujumbura
#7 Business Hotel in Bujumbura
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika 4*
Number of rooms: 110
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika **** is located in the heart of Africa. The hotel actively contributes to social, cultural and tourist activities in Burundi. With it's 110 rooms, the Hotel offers to it's guests a relaxing accommodation in an intimate environment on the shore of Lake Tanganyika. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Du Lac Tanganyika

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