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“Plesently Surprised”

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Hotel Des Mille Collines
Ranked #8 of 48 Hotels in Kigali
Birmingham, UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Plesently Surprised”
Reviewed July 5, 2007

I was a bit appriehensive to visit this hotel after reading everyone elses reviews but was very plesently surprised when I got there!
I was welcomed at the airport by a free shuttle to take me to the hotel. I was greeted by very friendly staff and shown to my room. I was explained that the hotel ws halfway through renovation and that I was in a unrenovated room. The room was clean, had a balcony, television, large bathroom and comfy bed. It was more than adequate. The facilities were excellent and I always found the staff helpful. The food in the restaurant was some of the best I have eaten. I think some people who stopped at the milles colline need to remember that they are not stopping in a four star hotel in europ but in Africa - this hotel was excellent value for money in a developing country - I would visit again.

  • Liked — Staff
  • Disliked — Attached shops were very expensive
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank CAEO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Zanego
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2007

Disappointing. The Hotel has indeed an hystory since it was the refuge for more than 1.000 persons during the genocide in Rwanda back in 1994. Nevertheless, I would pay a visit to it just to have a drink and to see the place made famous by "Hotel Rwanda" movie. Otherwise, forget it. There are better hotels in town at the same rates.
The reception people are especially useless and rude, While some of the junior personnel in the rooms and at the bar make their best. Needs a serious change in management.

  • Stayed May 2007, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Andrea M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Kigali hotels

Oxfordshire
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2007

The hotel was a major disappointment. I arrived there having flown in from Nairobi that morning with a meeting booked for that afternoon with a client. My intention was to have a shower and change of clothes prior to the meeting but unfortunately this wasn't to be.

I checked in as normal and was shown to a room. On the bed was a bag and inside the wardrobe was a man's clothes - obviously the room was already occupied! I was shown to another room and there were empty water bottles and other bits of rubbish that had been thrown on the floor. Worst of all there was no air conditiong - in temperatures of up to 30 degrees I feel this is unacceptable. I told them them that unless they found me another room I would have to check out. I really didn't have a clue as to where I would go but I meant it. I was shown to a 3rd room which was again occupied (fortunately in both cases the occupants were not in the rooms). Finally I got lucky with the 4th room. It was not occupied and it had air-conditioning. They actually upgraded me to one of their suites. It still. however, left a lot to be desired. It was very large but that was about the only thing going for it. The matress on the bed was as bad as sleeping on the floor. It was so hard that even when you sat on it, there was no visible dent on the bed. The bed clothing also had a very bad smell, it was one of those rare times that I wished I had brought my own sheets. Fortunately I only stayed there a night. Needless to say I was late for my meeting and never got a chance to shower beforehand.

On the staff front they were all very nice especially the Client Service Mnager - Claire I think her name was - who was incredibly apologetic about everything. This however does not make up for the bad state of the hotel. They have a lot of work to do to get it up to scratch.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — State of the hotel and how disorganised they were
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank LadyinOxfordshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level 5 Contributor
21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2007

I travelled here in January from the UK and stayed for two nights at this hotel. It was the worst hotel I have ever stayed at to-date for reasons which I would like to outline:

The hotel is exceptionally racist towards non-white western guests, particulary non-white female guests, and during my time here I was continuously hissed and tutted at by the African guests and African male visitors to the hotel who believed that I was a prostitute [as black female visitors are understood not to be able to afford to stay at this hotel unless they are involved in such activities and prostitutes I was told by a member of staff are allowed to ply their trade here]. The staff were very unfriendly despite my attempts to engage them in conversations or even to garner a smile from them, and if I ever had to go to the reception area, I was constantly aware of the disapproving looks that I was receiving from them for no apparent reason. I did not dress inappropriately and it seems that my only fault was to be a black westerner and a lone female traveller. There seemed to be a resentment by the male hotel staff that I as a Black western woman was in a position to be able to stay at the "hallowed" Milles Collines whilst they possibly could not. A white, French friend of mine who had lived in Kigali for over a decade confirmed that this was how the Milles Collines treats it non-white western guests. Furthermore a few white french tourists who I encountered on my travels in Rwanda said that the Milles Collines has a pretty dire reputation in France.

Now it would be quite easy to say that I was being paranoid, but I am a seasoned traveller having travelled around most of the world, yet this had never happened to me before whether I was staying at a five star hotel or a three star hotel.

This aside, the hotel itself has delusions of grandeur capitalising on its reputation or notoriety from the film Hotel Rwanda. I was unaware however, that Hotel Rwanda was never actually filmed at this hotel but in South Africa and that in any event the hotel has changed management on a number of occasions since 1994. The hotel is classed as four star but is at best a three star plus. I recently stayed at a four star hotel in Mauritius [the Indian Hotel] and four star the Milles Collines is most definately not. The reception area is ok if not a little dated, the outside grounds are pleasant enough and so is the pool area and outside restaurant, but really this is all there is to redeem the hotel.

The bedroom which I paid $151 US a night for was in serious need of renovation and redecoration, and I was left wondering what I was paying this amount of money for. The paint on the walls was peeling off and the deocr was fading. The room is simply that a room with nothing particulalry special about it except a balcony with views over Kigali.

I would recommend that people not stay at this hotel but instead stay at the Novotel Hotel [REALISTICALLY a four star hotel] where the hotel staff are wonderful, friendly and welcoming. I dined at this hotel on a number of occasions and wished in retrospect that I had stayed here.

The snobbery of the Milles Collines is not warranted and were it not for the film people would possibly not care to stay here. Take your money and spend it elsewhere. Even if you do not encounter any form of discrimination you will be disappointed by the hotel itself as it believes it is more special than it actually is.

  • Liked — The buffet Breakfast
  • Disliked — The rudeness of the staff and their delusions of grandeur
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank goddesshekate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2006

The rooms are basic, we just used it as a base. But the pool is big and clean. For longer stays you might want to go somewhere more comfortable if you really like more luxurious surroundings, but we stayed for a few nights and it was perfectly fine. The breakfast is pretty good in the morning which you have upstairs with a great view of the hills of Kigali.

  • Liked — Clean and simple and efficient
  • Disliked — basic rooms (but clean)
  • Stayed April 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank G.Evans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ireland
Level 4 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2006

We just returned from our trip where we stayed one night at this hotel. We checked in late in the evening and were told that there was a party on that night. We were given a room at the front - I had booked a pool view room but hadn't the energy to move. Basically the staff at the desk are rude. There is supposed to be a courtesy airport shuttle. When we requested this service for an early morning international flight which meant we had to be at the airport at 4.45am, we were told 'the shuttle leaves at 5am'. We had had some bad flight experiences during our trip and didn't want to take any chances of missing another flight so insisted we needed to leave before 5am. The guy reluctantly compromised with us when we said OK, we will leave at 4.45am and then he said " I will have to NEGOTIATE with the driver"!!!!! Check back in an hour!!! For God's sake - they either operate a shuttle or they don't. Anyways, when we checked back, he told us OK, they would leave at 4.45am.
The room itself was absolutely filthy. The first thing I saw when I went in to the bathroom was a cockroach and no insecticide in sight. The wall tiles around the toilet could have done with a good scrub and when I filled the bath and got in I realised my mistake when I discovered that the bath hadn't been cleaned after the last occupant - there was a thick ring of dirt around the inside of the bath .... eeewww!!! The final straw was when I went to use the complimentary body lotion and discovered the it had been used before me. It looked like two bottles had been put into one as the cap and bottle top were covered in 'gunk'... double eewww!!!!
The ABSOLUTE final straw was when the Jazz band directly below us played until 2.30 am (we had to be up at 4am!).
We paid $120 for thie room. We were sorry we hadn't spent a little more (about $60) and gone for the Intercontinental. We booked the Mille Collines because of recommendations based on its location but frankly I would NEVER stay there again.

  • Liked — NOTHING!
  • Disliked — DIRTY DIRTY DIRTY... and RUDE!
  • Tips/Secrets — Don't stay here
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
14 Thank Mayo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed April 29, 2006

We were scheduled to stay here for three weeks on business, and we left after one night. When we arrived, the very rude desk attendant informed us that we would have to move rooms after a few days. He also informed us that the business center was broken and that there was no internet in the rooms.

When we got to the room, most of the lights were broken, the fan didn't work, the minifridge didn't work, and there was no bottled water available. The room had been doused with insecticide and I couldn't sleep with my head anywhere near the sheets or pillow. There were two hangers in the closet (not much good for a three week stay).

The next morning, I went to the bar to see about a bottle of water, and was charged $6 for it. When I got back to my room, I noticed an empty condom box sitting on the floor just beneath my bed.

Fed up, I complained to the staff. The said they would fix everything immediately. Other than a small bottle of water appearing, nothing changed by the time I returned from work.

This hotel is riding on its reputation from the recent movie, Hotel Rwanda. Do not be fooled - it was the manager who saved all those people, not the hotel.

  • Stayed November 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
21 Thank RedheadAuditor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Des Mille Collines

Property: Hotel Des Mille Collines
Address: 2 KN 6 Ave, Kigali 1322, Rwanda (Formerly Kempinski)
Location: Rwanda > Kigali Province > Kigali
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 48 Hotels in Kigali
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Des Mille Collines 4*
Number of rooms: 112
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, and made famous in the movie "Hotel Rwanda," Hotel Des Mille Collines is the perfect blend of authenticity and remarkable hospitality. ... more   less 
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