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“Smiling Faces” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

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Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
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Volcanoes National Park | Kinigi, Ruhengeri, Rwanda   |  
Hotel amenities
myrtle beach, sc
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Smiling Faces”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2011

Gorilla View was a great choice for our gorilla trekking base. The staff was so friendly and always met us with a smile. Food was good not glamorous but good hearty food. The cottages are not 5 star but certainly not "roughing it" Plenty of hot water, nice linens, fireplace. Staff came and built a fire every day in our room, hot water bottles at night and cleaned our muddy boots so that they looked like new! Please remember to tip, they make little money and are sooo appreciative of a couple dollars. Do beware prices of alcoholic drinks. Beer is cheap but a bottle of cheap South African white wine was $62. Rwanda is a beautiful country with the hardest working people I have ever see.!
Of course the gorillas are the highlight. We spent 2 days with 2 different groups and both days were incredible!!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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330 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Tucson, Arizona
Top Contributor
740 reviews 740 reviews
131 hotel reviews
Reviews in 184 cities Reviews in 184 cities
837 helpful votes 837 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2011

I spent two nights at this lodge in room #3, one of six rooms (actually small stand-alone cottages) that are on a level with the main building. The other rooms sit below the lodge. My huge room offered everything that I could want, except hot water. Taking cold showers did not bother me. The huge, comfortable bed with excellent linens led immediately to a deep sleep. One side of the room holds a sitting area, the perfect place to be when the fireplace has been lit. The enormous bathroom offers two sinks, a big mirror and a bathtub with sprayer that I used for my showers. A safe offers good storage for valuables. An information book gives the hours that the generator operates so guests can plan accordingly.

The lodge's location is stunning with volcano views and grounds with plants, trees and flowers that attract extensive bird life. It was sheer pleasure to stroll around.

I thought the service here was truly exceptional. Staff stands ready to assist in any way. A man came to light the fireplace in early evening and returned later to build another fire. On this second visit, he presented me with a hot water bottle for the bed. When I returned from my gorilla trek, a chair awaited me in the lobby so I could sit to remove my boots to be beautifully cleaned. When a rain shower hit as I got ready to leave the reception area, a man walked with me back to the room, holding an umbrella over my head.

Based on comments here, I took warm clothes, expecting the area to be frigid at night. Perhaps the place gets colder at other times of the year. I certainly found it to be chilly compared to other parts of Rwanda, but I was fine with a sweater and fleece jacket and never used the hat and gloves that I also had with me. During meals, a charcoal burner was set up next to my table to provide warmth. I had to request that it be moved further away as I became too hot.

Waiters provided impeccable service in the dining room and I liked the high-quality meals. At dinner, there was always a choice of appetizers, main courses and desserts on the menu.

I couldn't have been happier with my stay at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
99 hotel reviews
Reviews in 78 cities Reviews in 78 cities
173 helpful votes 173 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2011

My wife & I spent 3 nights here over New Year last. We had just come from Gorilla tracking in Uganda and weren’t expecting much because of the property we had stayed in there & the whole Gorilla tourism experience in Uganda. Rwanda is definitely the pick of the two countries for Gorilla tourism in every respect. This property was no exception. This is a large property where cottages are laid out in singles or duplexes. We had a self contained singular cottage & it was both large & comfortable. There were certain hours during the day when the electricity was on but the water in the bathroom was wonderful & hot the whole time. It was also a reasonably high pressure & just heaven after not being able to have a hot shower for 2 days because the property where we were staying in Uganda had no hot water!!

The grounds are lovely here which is hardly surprising as you see staff manicuring them the whole time. It really is very pretty with the Volcan Sabinyo as your view. It was amazing to sit in the restaurant and watch the clouds come down over the Volcano and then lift again all in 40 minutes or so. The food & service in the Restaurant here is exemplary as is the service in the bar. Nothing is too much trouble and all meals are so tasty and varied. Most meals during our visit here were buffet but because of the time of year they had a number of special New Year meals. I can guarantee you will put on weight here even considering the exercise you will be doing tracking those gorillas!!

At an altitude of approx 3200m you can expect it to get cold & it does. You have to have the fire going in your cottage as soon as the heat from the sun starts to dissipate. On our last afternoon here they came and lit the fire earlier for us. Whether this was because they knew we were in the house during the afternoon or because it was absolutely freezing I do not know. Unfortunately the fire design and the eucalyptus they burn means a lot of smoke in the room but this is preferable to the cold. We always opened a window near the bed wide to let the smoke out & ensured the fire had stopped smoking before we got into bed for the night.

Negatives, only two. They take your shoes & clean them after the Gorilla tracking and this is great at the time as they return them to you clean & dry within a couple of hours. However, whatever method they use to clean/dry them set the red dirt into my cross trainers and it hasn’t come out even after successive washes in the washing machine. On the last night there was a knock at the door after we were both asleep. I awoke & answered it and a maid was standing there with two hot water bottles in her hand. I said no thanks as my wife was fast asleep but she brushed past me & went & lifted up the sheet on my side of the bed & placed the two hot water bottles in the bed next to my wife who did not wake during this. I was absolutely astonished & could only stand there gob smacked!! We were meant to get hot water bottles each evening, hadn’t & didn’t care. Clearly, someone had told her to deliver them to us & that is what she did!!!

If you can; request from your guide to visit the Kwitonda Gorilla group. It is only a short drive to them & the day we found them we had only an easy 20 minute walk and there they were. This was one of the most amazing experiences we have ever had. Enjoy Rwanda; we loved every bit of it.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Kenya
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2011

MASSIVE room and bathroom - both very clean, fireplace, VERY friendly and helpful staff, stunning views, good food, great location (20 minute car ride to the gorilla trekking base) - really couldn't ask for more from a mountain lodge.

Something to bear in mind - it was freezing, don't forget WARM clothes, beanie hats, gloves, layers, fleece, etc etc.

If you're going gorilla trekking, these items are ESSENTIAL: Gum boots (forget trainers or hiking shoes), rain coat - next time i would take 2, one normal length and one full length rain poncho, water proof trousers to wear over your regular trousers/jeans, farming gloves - for the cold and stinging nettles, which are all over the place. Take the guide's advice and use a walking stick (they give you these at no charge) and take a porter along not only to carry your bag (which may seem light at the beginning) but to help drag you up the mountain when your body/legs are screaming for you to stop. Take water/juice, sweets and a light snack.

Room Tip: Ask for Rooms 1 - 6
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canada
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2011

We adored this hotel. The room was cozy (the fireplace was great!). The food was excellent. The staff, very good.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Vancouver
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2011

We stayed 3 nights at the Mountain View lodge, and loved it there. It was extremely relaxing and restful (aside from when we were gorilla trekking). The staff were all very eager to help and the service in the restaurant was great. Food was also very good, and very plentiful. We loved the ginger tea, which was available almost whenever we wanted it. Cabin/room was also very nice (very big!), although a bit cold (when the fire hadn't been going for a while). Electricity came on for certain time periods, which wasn't a problem for us. We thought it was great! 3 days was probably enough, as any more might get a bit boring (if you're not out sightseeing or trekking etc.).

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2011

We had a wonderful holiday here - clean accommodation, (a little basic but there was electricity and hot water which is more than so many in Rwanda have), a good restaurant (with a choice of 2/3 starters, mains and desserts every night, a breakfast buffet with choice of continental and traditional English breakfast, porridge, toast, fry-up, cereal etc and a packed lunch for trekking), attentive, friendly staff who lit fires, cleaned boots (we're not the sort of people to ask to have our boots cleaned - they kind of insisted!), and willing to help in any possible way. The staff were, without exception, friendly and tried their best - please remember that this is a country that is still developing its tourist industry, and that the education of many will have been affected by the attrocities of 1994, so their English is not always perfect - just by being kind and patient as a guest you will find the staff will go out of their way for you in return. As long as you don't go with expectations of 5* resorts and service that you may find in more developed tourist areas like Kenya, then you will have the most amazing experience of your life. The children of the area next to the hotel put on a daily singing/traditional dancing show in the large green area in the middle of the chalets- please do go and see it as they raise money for their village like this (the village communities are very poor) - there is a tip box available at the end (they also love having conversations to try and work on their English!).
On a seperate note - when you go gorilla trekking please pay to have a porter carry your bag, not that you probably need someone to do this, but because these guys are ex-poachers and being paid to do this is gainful employment rather than gorilla poaching (and they help you get down the mountain, which when it is slippery is not easy even for a seasoned walker!).

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mountain Gorilla View Lodge

Address: Volcanoes National Park | Kinigi, Ruhengeri, Rwanda
Location: Rwanda > Northern Province > Ruhengeri
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Ruhengeri
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge stands amidst real wilderness with panoramic views of Rwanda’s volcano mountains and located just 1km away from the Volcano National Park, making it the desired location for Gorilla Trekking enthusiastic guests. Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is surrounded by an exciting and rich biodiversity of shrubs, trees and various bird species among them the Grey Crowned Cranes or Balearica regulorum. The Hotel has an eco-tourist approach whereas Natural Conservation is a priority and the local community is empowered. The Intore (local Cultural dancers) will spice your stay and your days at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge will always be memorable. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mountain Gorilla View Hotel Ruhengeri
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge Rwanda/Ruhengeri

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