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“Hotel staffs need customer service training”

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Kigali Serena Hotel
Ranked #3 of 49 Hotels in Kigali
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 6, 2014

This is my first time visiting Serena Kigali and I must say I was dissapointed with the service rendered. Note: if you are White or non-black African, you might have a better time.

I stayed in one of the Executive suites, which is what I prefer and recommend for all travels inside Africa. When you stay in such rooms, you come to expect a level of treatment which I did not get. From the check-in, to the room services and so on, the hotel staff kept falling short of my expectations.

The only reason I am considering a repeat visit is because the manager has promised to make the changes, so lookout for my next review of this hotel.

This was supposed to have been a relaxing time for me but I was stressed and pissed off half the time at the hotel staff.

This is supposedly a 5 star hotel... Train up your staff!!! or you would my lose business forever

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled on business
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4  Thank Adegorusi A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SerenaHotels, Manager at Kigali Serena Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 7, 2014

Dear Mr. Ademuyiwa,

Reference to our earlier telephone conversation concerning your experience in our Hotel services in your recent stay with us. Kindly accept our belated sinceremost apologies with regret that our team
failed to meet your expectations. Please note that we have reviewed the various highlighted areas where we had shortcomings and adequate effort will be deployed to ensure we keep the Serena promise of providing services that exceed guests’ expectations. We have also shared your compliments with Godfrey for his exceptional services to you.

Thank you once again for accepting our offer for a return visit on 2 nights complimentary stay at your convenient time and we will be more than glad to meet with you. We do trust that you will give us the opportunity to make up to you in your return visit.

Do not hesitate to write directly to us for any further discussion in the future and hope to hear from
you on when you will be coming our way.

With sincere regards,

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462 - 468 of 768 reviews

Reviewed January 1, 2014

One of the top-three hotels in rising Kigali/Rwanda.
Good ambience and reception.
Nice pool with restaurants/bars surrounding.
Spa is also used by locals/expats (non-hotel guests) as usual in such countries.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled on business
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Thank worldtraveller_ger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2013

I stayed at the Serena on several occasions during a six-week trip to Rwanda. In total, I spent about 10 nights there and stayed in four different rooms. I greatly enjoyed each of my stays - the Serena is the best hotel in Kigali.

Rooms were clean, comfortable and well-appointed. The staff is extremely friendly and eager to help. Check-in was a little slow but that's not unusual in Rwanda. The breakfast buffet was outstanding and the hotel restaurant is good (although there are many excellent restaurants that are easy walking distance from the hotel that I think were better for dinner). The gym is very good - it has new equipment and a full cardio room with classes. I didn't use the pool but I did spent some time reading outside by the pool, which was pleasant.

Some guests were put-off by the fact that you have to go through a security metal detector every time you enter the hotel - it was mildly annoying but it honestly takes about 10 seconds and the staff are very friendly and good-natured about it. Also, when I was there, the rooms that faced the pool had problems with the central air-conditioning system so they were quite warm. I asked to change rooms and, afterwards, always requested a room that didn't face the pool, which worked out fine. All of the rooms I stayed in had working AC and were extremely comfortable.

Room Tip: Rooms that don't face the pool have better A/C
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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Thank CEB247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2013

I have stayed for 3 nights in November 2013 in the Serena. The Hotel is alright. Unfortunately the Hotel charged my credit card twice and any trial from my side to get my money back, is being ignored. For a 5 star hotel, that shouldn't be the case being involved in such criminal act. Mr. Jean Omar Masudi is not replying to my emails. It is the last time that I have been to that fraudulent hotel. Next time will be the Hotel des Milles Collines! Thanks for nothing Serena!

Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
2  Thank Dav C
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 reviewResponded January 7, 2014

Dear Mr. David Kneschke,

Thank you for taking your valuable time to provide feedback on your recent visit to the Kigali Serena Hotel. I was made aware of the unfortunate incidence of double charge on your credit card which we managed to trace to our bank and confirmed that it was an erroneous double charge from the card processing system. This notwithstanding, we have discussed with the bank and the bank has already initiated a reversal process of the equivalent amount which should reflect to your credit card within 4 working days.

Thank you again for taking the time to post a review of your experience with us and we trust that you will give us another opportunity to be of service in the future.

With sincere regards,

Charles Muia
General Manager

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Reviewed December 17, 2013

The rooms here are grossly overpriced but the scenery inside is second to none in Kigali. I had the pleasure of enjoying some poolside drinks here before my tour of the city. The pool is extremely impressive and the restaurant looks beautiful. If your stay in Kigali is short, I recommend a quick visit here.

Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
Thank Miket87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2013

Very impressed with this property, exactly what I have come to expect from Serena. Rooms very comfortable, with all amenities. Great pool and spa with good quality treatments. Food and service was good. WiFi connection good in the lounge area, but not that great in the rooms. Rates, food and drinks a bit more expensive than I expected, but probably because it is the best option available in Kigali.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled on business
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Thank AliWSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2013

Went here for the ICT4Ag conference last November - the property is very well kept, clean and the rooms are well appointed. Amenities are generous as with all Serena properties. Restaurant is fine - but slow service at dinner(order and wait 45min for food). Laundry service was prompt and Wifi was not an issue.

The hotel was clearly overwhelmed by the conference - and sadly, it showed in some of the customer service issues, notably, that an entire wing of hotel rooms had no air conditioning. Instead of clearly stating that the room would not have it, I was told on checkin that I was upgraded. Then I was told that the AC would work later. Then when they changed my room, they changed it to another room with no AC either. At this point I was ready to change hotels.

They upgraded me to a junior suite which was kind, given that I hadn't slept for 2 nights, and guaranteed that I would have a 2 night reduction on the bill.

The reduction never occurred on my bill and upon check out they acted like this was never promised to me, even though it was in writing. Its been a month and I have still not been refunded the promised 500$ USD. Poor show for a first class brand. This stay was truly a disappointment and a poor reflection on the Serena brand of hotels that usually bring high quality and service.

Room Tip: The new wing is great - but if the AC is out, that means none of rooms on that side will be working.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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Thank DC-IMF-FAOtraveler
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 reviewResponded December 14, 2013

I wish to begin with our utmost apologies for not only failing to meet your expectations in your last stay with us but also the delay in crediting your card.

Indeed the refund authorization was done and forwarded to our merchant providers but sadly was not effected in time.

That notwithstanding, they have confirmed that the credit of USD 500 should reach you atleast by Tuesday 17th December


Additionally, we humbly request that you would give us another opportunity in future to serve you better and turn around the regrettable experience you had with us.


Warm Regards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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 #3 of 49 Hotels in Kigali
Price Range: $226 - $496 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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