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“Four star hotel, three star service”

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Kigali Serena Hotel
Ranked #1 of 48 Hotels in Kigali
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Four star hotel, three star service”
Reviewed December 5, 2013

The hotel looked very appealing from the initial look. However, standards of hotel in Africa are just very different from those of Asia. The room was okay, with a very comfortable bed. But it's everything you would expect from a decent hotel. The satelite tv didn't work very well. The lighting of the bathroom was not very good. The water pressure comes and goes.

But let's get to the staff. Food took forever, pretty much like the rest of the country. I tried to change some Rwanda francs into some smaller bills, and was told by the hotel reception that they did not have smaller than 5000 francs. Checking out took forever. And while I was being checked out, the guy at the hotel reception started helping another person. That's pretty much a no-no in any other civilized, decent hotels. I stayed there for 5 days for work, and one of the days the room was not even cleaned.

Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank WilAndGabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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725 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (152)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cleveland, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
Reviewed December 4, 2013

We stayed one night at the Kigali Serena Hotel. We were immediately upgraded to a very elegant and comfortable room. Breakfast the next morning was plentiful and overall I would say we enjoyed our visit.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank debbierich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Lansing, Michigan
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2013

This hotel may be considered fine by Rwandan standards but, I did not like it. I upgraded to a suite. The TV didn't work in the living room and was unable to be fixed after over an hour of trying. When I flushed the toilet or drained the bath tub, it came up through the shower. The bathroom door handle pulled off from inside bathroom. Had my husband not been on the other side, I would have been locked in.
Totally disappointed, glad we only spent 1 night.
The breakfast was very good.

Room Tip: Check out your room before you commit upon arrival.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sambo2359
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hermosa Beach, California
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2013

Tempting to call this a 5star,because of the Elegant foyer upon arriving. Super friendly staff,
& Yes, the pool area made me want to stay for a few more days! Our first time in Rwanda & we
were off to see the gorillas in the Volcanoes national park. (a must while in Rwanda!) The restaurant was the best surprise; A wonderful blend of Asian and European influences . Loved the Indian spices, and upscale presentation. They even have afternoon tea! Our room was adequate , plenty of room & very nicely styled. Wifi worked great. After seeing the gorillas , a week later ; we needed a room for only a half day to rest up & shower for the long journey back to Los Angeles. The manager made x-tra effort to accommodate us , thanks!.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the street have a nice view on upper levels Don't miss the breakfast!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gina D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
windhoek namibia
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2013

the Kigali Serena is a re-branding of the former Intercontinental hotel and the opulence of the foyer and pool area is very reminiscent of this. Everything front of house is beautiful with extremely attentive staff - the breakfasts are to die for, but other meal menus are surprisingly limited and expensive. The rooms, at least the one we stayed in, with the bathroom fittings, are 1980's vintage with some peeling wallpaper, and the aircon unit was floor mounted of about the same size and the same noise output as a washing machine,

Room Tip: take a pool facing room on the south side (I think) where the balcony windows can be opened.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bill1942
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SerenaHotels, General Manager at Kigali Serena Hotel, responded to this review, November 15, 2013
Dear Bill,

Thank you for taking your time to review your recent stay at the Kigali Serena Hotel. Please accept our belated apologies for any inconvience we may have caused you on the state of some hotel facilities. Rest assured that we are working on several Hotel facilities upgrade, including restaurants menu offer, airconditioning in the rooms and room amenities to ensure your comfort and that of other guests who stay with us is at best. We trust you will give us another opportunity to host you in the future and we remain committed to exceeding your expectations all the time.

Once again, thank you for choosing to stay with us during your visit in Rwanda and we can't wait to welcome you back.

Sincerely,

Charles Muia
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Level 6 Contributor
122 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2013

I stayed here for a week for a conference. Rooms were comfortable, internet was fast, and the breakfast was good. Staff were also generally friendly and helpful, particularly the reservations manager Sammy who lent me his plug adapter that he uses in his office when the front desk ran out.

The one thing that I did not like was the water in the shower. Water would go from scalding hot to freezing cold. They need to install heat regulators in their showers, because at times it would let out water that was dangerously close to burning. Towards the end of my stay, the water pressure died almost entirely on a couple of mornings, making it very difficult to shower.

Overall though, it is a nice hotel and I would likely stay there again next time I am in Kigali.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MrTravelsAround
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 10, 2013

Very nice and safe hotel in Kigali. Excellent breakfast good service.can not be better location. I was coming from nairobi Serena but I must say this place is if not better then as good as nairobi serena

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank shrenik74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kigali Serena Hotel

Property: Kigali Serena Hotel
Address: KN 3 Ave | P.O. Box 7469, Kigali, Rwanda
Location: Rwanda > Kigali Province > Kigali
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 48 Hotels in Kigali
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Kigali Serena Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 104
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in Central Kigali, the ambassadorial and commercial heart of Rwanda, and the city's pre-eminent meeting place for diplomats and businessmen. Relaxed yet elegant, the hotel features an executive lounge and Bar and one of the city's most popular venues, the Milimani Restaurant styled to offer a classically elegant interior and a light filled atrium overlooking the verdant tropical gardens. ... more   less 
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