As Rwanda ranks higher and higher on the tourist maps, large hotel and travel companies are flocking to the country. The Marriott, Raddison, Volcanoes Safari, Wilderness, and more have been opening up beautiful hotels across Rwanda over the past several years. However, in spite of this foreign investment, there are still many wonderful and unique boutique hotels across the country. Read on for a selection of Rwanda’s ten top boutique hotels.
Cormoran Lodge, Kibuye
With a perfect view of a lakeside sunset and wooden bungalows perched on stilts, Cormoran Lodge is the place to go to get away from it all. Kayak trips, boat rides, tea tasting, and general relaxation is all available from this small boutique hotel, and the expansive hotel porch is perfect for sundowner drinks and evening card games.
Heaven Restaurant & Boutique Hotel, Kigali
Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, African, Fusion, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
Heaven Boutique Hotel, situated in the same complex as the famed Heaven Restaurant, is one of Kigali’s most reasonable and relaxing places to the stay. Step inside the lobby, and enjoy the tasteful Rwandan decorations, and marvel at properties stunning view. Their newly opened gym and pool facilities, coupled with their excellent weekend brunch, provides some of the best service this city has to offer.
Paradis Malahide, Western Province
Situated on the calm shores of Lake Kivu in Gisenyi, Paradis Malahide is a paradise unto itself. Spend time lounging on their beachfront property with a book in hand, or hit the water with boat rides and kayak trips. The hotel interior decorations are decidedly lakeside rustic, but with certain amenities (like an included gourmet breakfast offering). The hotel is one of the best Lake Kivu has to offer.
Bed and Breakfast, Guesthouse
La Locanda is situated just outside of the center of Musanze, and a well located quiet hideaway. The Italian owner is as kind as can be, and very willing to help guests plan volcano hikes, gorilla visits, canoe trips, and general activities. The guesthouse’s restaurant serves Musanze’s best pizza, and their included breakfast is filling and colorful. With comfortable beds, clean bathrooms, and a cute garden, this guesthouse is the perfect budget boutique stay in Musanze.
Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel
Conveniently located just minutes away from the Volcanoes National Park Headquarters in Kinigi, Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel is the perfect place to stay after a long and rewarding day of mountain gorilla tracking. The hotel is very comfortable, and guaranteed hot showers, included meals, and even hiking boot-washing services (those hikes get muddy!) all add to the lodge’s cozy ambiance. After gorilla tracking, take a dip in their sparkling pool or relax with a massage before hanging out by the communal fireplace in the evening.
Ubumwe Grande Hotel, Kigali
This stylish hotel has a view that can’t be beat. Journey up to Ubumwe Grande’s bar and pool to enjoy a true view of the land of a thousand hills. Their food, cocktails, and amenities are enjoyable, and their location in the middle of the city makes it easy to get around and explore Kigali. With cozy bedrooms, glimmering bathrooms, and excellent service, this boutique hotel shouldn’t be missed.
Chez Lando, KG 201 Street
Hotel Chez Lando is a Kigali institution. Known for their location in bustling Remera as well as their excellent onsite restaurant, Chez Lando has been in operation since the 1980s. Hang out on their porch for some brochettes (meat or fish grilled on a stick) and chips while people watching all the important Rwandans that have meetings at the hotel. The hotel rooms, while in need of a bit of an upgrade, are perfect for a quick visit to Rwanda’s capital.
Rwiza Village is a romantic and lakeside property in Kibuye. Thatched roof self-contained rooms are held up on raised platforms, with porches that look out onto Lake Kivu. The rooms are connected by lush garden paths, and the hotel restaurant and bar area cooks convenient and well-priced offerings.
Gisakura Guesthouse is the place to stay for midrange travelers looking to visit Nyungwe National Forest. The forest, one of Rwanda’s most beautiful places, is home to many chimpanzee families that tourists can track and see in the wild. Gisakura Guesthouse, with their excellent customer service and cozy offerings, are very helpful at procuring chimpanzee permits and directing visitors towards everything else the park has to offer.
Ruzizi Tented Lodge, Intara y'Iburasirazuba
Ruzizi Tented Lodge is a family friendly and all-inclusive lodge is located in the southern corner of Akagera National Park on Lake Ihema. Offering small glamping tents that are eco-friendly and comfortable, Ruzizi is the perfect place from which to see many of the animals Akagera is famous for. Head to their beautiful wooden porch for delicious meals, star gazing, and hippopotamus watching.