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“Lovely place to stay lake view with great breakfast and dinner buffets!!”

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Lake Kivu Serena Hotel
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Gisenyi
Certificate of Excellence
Surin, Thailand
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Lovely place to stay lake view with great breakfast and dinner buffets!!”
Reviewed October 31, 2012

I was a Peace Corps volunteer that spent 2 years in Rwanda/ I stayed here one night as a treat. It is expensive but very nice. There evening buffets are amazing, each night is a theme I recommend finding out which day they do the Mongolian bbq! Also there Sunday morning brunch is amazing and comes with complimentary champagne. The pool is nice. The beach is great also. The lake is beautiful and great for a swim. There are chairs along the beach and towels provided. If you just want to hang out for the day you can pay 3,000 francs (about $6) to get the private beach space with chair and towel. The beds are comfortable. The showers are hot. The rooms have nice robes. And every room has a balcony with a lake view. If going during the off season (non summer months) they usually have a discount so be sure to ask about that. Keep in mind this is a newly developing country and all hotels have bad service. This is something across Rwanda.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank Sonya A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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227 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
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netherlands
Level Contributor
58 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2012

We stay here for only one night but the receptionpeople are very friendly and also the people in the restaurant are friendly.
The room and bed are good with a old sign of interior.
But everything is working very well. The restaurant is serving good food.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank miephansnetherlands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queens, NY
Level Contributor
42 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2012

We previously stayed atSerena Kigali which was beautiful and great...so we had some idea of the standard of Serena.

Im very sorry to say that the hotel did not live up to its name.
We onlystayed there one night while travelling.

The grounds outside are absolutely beautiful...private beach, gardens,and the room had a really nice little balcony overlooking the gardens where you can see lotsof birds and the water.

Unfortunately, there were big problems with the room and the food. First, we each ordered a pasta dish...which tasted good, but there was a big roach in the food! :( We mentioned it to the waiter and they offered us a new meal but of course we lost our appetite. They seemed genuinely apologetic and said its not something that happend...ok if that was te only issue we could have gotten over it. But....

Our room had roaches!! UGH..babies, adults, walking around the carpet, underneath the things in the bathroom....really gross. Again the general manager said he willlook into it and apoloized. HE offered us a meal ina different serena,etc.We didnt want/need anything...we jus wanted them to know the conditions. Room did not feel clean at all. We were very disappointed. We rarely have complaints about places we stay but this was just not good :(

They did serve me a birthday cake at breakfast which was nice and delicious

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank grubyrun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2012

Great location, on the lake with a beautiful private beach, with lovely white beach sand and sun lounges to enjoy the afternoon sunset from. We had a huge storm over the lake the one night, so it was amazing to watch the lightning strikes over the water, very magical.

The hotel is very comfortable, nicely laid out, with all rooms having a lake view (just check). We stayed on the first floor and had a small balcony from where you could sit and enjoy the beautiful views. The rooms are nice, but are just starting to age a little, but a nice size which is great. Bed not the most comfortable. We spent 3 nights here. The food in the restaurant (in the evening - we never had breakfast) was very good and most enjoyable. However do get there early if you want to eat quickly, especially if you have an early start in the morning, as it can take a while.

Staff where all very friendly and helpful.

Room Tip: Double check that it has a lake view, nice to be on the 1st or second floor.
See more room tips
Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Mollytravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2012 via mobile

The rooms are small and the food was cold, overpriced and not acceptable for a hotel of this standard. The receptionist was rude and dismissive when we complained that we had been forced to eat in the bar and suffer the very poor buffet. For the price this is appalling. I would not recommend this hotel.

Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Mollycat37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
149 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2012

Excellent hotel - service is quick and efficient, the rooms are large, comfortable and clean. The room I was in had a balcony that overlooked the garden and the lake. The private beach is clean and quiet, with lounge chairs and service from the restaurant. At night, they have traditional dancers put on a show by the pool, absolutely incredible.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank anya_at_large
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2012

Very nice place very nice to see such a good hotel at this border town,service was excellent food was average,room was also ok but i think best in this area. I recommend travelers to stay here while visiting Goma or lake kivu

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank US K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lake Kivu Serena Hotel

Property: Lake Kivu Serena Hotel
Address: P.O. Box 7469, Gisenyi 00100, Rwanda
Location: Rwanda > Western Province > Gisenyi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Gisenyi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Lake Kivu Serena Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lake Kivu Serena Hotel is located in the resort Rwandan town of Gisenyi, on the shores of Lake Kivu, the sixth largest lake in Africa. The hotel is ideally situated on a sandy palm lined beach, with the nearby Virunga Volcanoes providing a spectacular backdrop on one side and a panoramic view of the lake on the other. ... more   less 
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