The Best Boutique Hotels in Rwanda

Lake Kivu sits at the heart of Rwanda's booming tourism trade
Lake Kivu sits at the heart of Rwanda's booming tourism trade | © Jagefotostock / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Amy Blyth
2 June 2021

Welcome to Rwanda, home of endangered mountain gorillas, volcano-speckled national parks and peaceful lakes studded with islands. It’s known as the Land of a Thousand Hills for its rolling mountains and has a collection of unique hotels just waiting to host you. Whether you’ve come for wildlife treks in Volcanoes National Park, some relaxation by Lake Kivu or city stays in the capital Kigali, check into one of these top boutique hotels in Rwanda – all bookable with Culture Trip.

Pili Pili Boutique Hotel

Boutique Hotel, $$$
4/5 (4 Reviews)
Pili Pili Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of Pili Pili Boutique Hotel / Expedia
Stay in your very own apartment, complete with a communal pool, in the tree-shaded suburbs of Kigali. Each of the modern flats has its own kitchenette and a terrace overlooking tranquil gardens where you can chill out on poolside loungers. Pili Pili is best-known for its restaurant, which showcases views over the glittering city skyline, paired with a BBQ-heavy menu. Staff will bring a substantial complimentary breakfast to your apartment each morning including huge omelettes and colourful fruit platters.
More info

One&Only Gorilla’s Nest

Boutique Hotel
Map View
One&Only Gorilla’s Nest
Courtesy of One&Only Gorilla’s Nest / Expedia | Courtesy of One&Only Gorilla’s Nest / Expedia
After magical gorilla treks through the jungle, retreat to your own forested haven near Volcanoes National Park. Stay in one of 21 secluded lodges scattered around gardens filled with roses and eucalyptus trees, each with its own terrace and mountain views. Expect roaring fireplaces, African rugs, floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor showers. Within the grounds, you’ll also find an oasis-like infinity pool and spa. Dine at the resort’s restaurant for Rwandan cuisine with a European twist, featuring produce grown in the resort’s garden.

Heaven Restaurant & Boutique Hotel

Hotel Restaurant, Restaurant, African, Fusion, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
Map View
Heaven Restaurant & Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of Heaven Restaurant & Boutique Hotel / Expedia | Courtesy of Heaven Restaurant & Boutique Hotel / Expedia
The Heaven brand began life as an open-air restaurant and hospitality training facility for young Rwandans. Today, the American founders employ over 100 locals to work in its famous restaurant and hotel, which is planted in the capital’s up-market Kiyovu suburb. Their four-star boutique hotel is eco-friendly, solar-powered and kitted out with sustainably sourced teak furniture and local artwork. When you’re not exploring the city, have a swim in the saltwater pool, enjoy some yoga on the deck or simply relax in the gardens.

The Retreat

Boutique Hotel
Map View
The Retreat
Courtesy of The Retreat / Expedia
Also owned by Heaven and set in the same complex, The Retreat offers a more lavish, five-star experience. Designed by Italian architects, swanky villas feature saltwater, solar-heated plunge pools and outdoor showers, four-poster beds and peaked ceilings. Each suite or villa sits in a private garden with its own patio but guests also have access to a hand-carved stone pool terrace finished with a bubbling hot tub. Don’t miss a work-out in the cutting-edge fitness centre and massage at the Heaven spa.

Cormoran Lodge

Hotel
Map View
Cormoran Lodge
Courtesy of Leah Feiger
Cormoran Lodge lies on the shores of Kivu, one of the majestic African Great Lakes. There are just seven rooms in this intimate hotel, set in wooden stilt cabins that overlook Kivu’s sparkling emerald waters. Opt for a room in the VIP cabin for views of smoking Nyiragongo volcano in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo. Afternoons at Cormoran Lodge are made for gentle kayaking trips followed by waterside dining on the panoramic terrace. There’s even a games room with billiards and darts for evening entertainment.

Paradis Malahide

Hotel
Map View
Paradis Malahide
Courtesy of Paradis Malahide / Expedia
Circular bungalows built from volcanic rock and local wood blend into the pristine landscape at Paradis Malahide. Most are set in flower-filled gardens on the shores of Lake Kivu, while two lie further up the hillside. This boutique hotel is the perfect place to soak up views of the lake and surrounding green hills, have a massage or indulge in a traditional Rwandan feast at the waterfront restaurant. Ask staff about arranging boat rides, kayaking trips and even dining on a nearby private island, Akeza.

Why Book With Culture Trip?

  • Free cancellation

    In these uncertain times, cancel or change for free on select properties.

  • Price-match guarantee

    Find a better price on your booking and we’ll match it. Simple.

  • Unbiased & trustworthy

    Book from recommendations handpicked by travel experts.

  • La Locanda

    Bed and Breakfast, Guesthouse
    Map View
    La Locanda
    Courtesy of La Locanda / Booking.com
    Discover a slice of Italy at La Locanda, an eco-wellness hotel just outside of Musanze, which is a gateway for mountain gorilla treks. Thanks to the Italian owner, half-board stays include authentic pizza and pasta dinners, as well as a hearty breakfast. The rural hotel accommodates just 18 people across seven rooms with private balconies, each individually furnished with antiques. Soothe worn-out hiking muscles with a massage at the spa and sit back on the porch for some afternoon tea.

    Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel

    Boutique Hotel
    4.8/5 (5 Reviews)
    Swimming pool at Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel
    Swimming pool at Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel | Courtesy of Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel / Expedia
    Escape to this chic boutique hotel, located minutes from Volcanoes National Park, for wildlife treks and a dose of nature. There are just eight deluxe rooms on offer, including the three-bed Volcano Manor and a two-bed family suite. After hikes, canoeing sessions and cycling trips, cool-off in the hotel pool and as evening sets in, gather around the lounge to share stories with your fellow guests accompanied by volcano views. All meals are included in your stay, including three-course lunches and dinners.
    More info

    Ubumwe Grande Hotel

    Hotel
    4.5/5 (78 Reviews)
    Rooftop pool at Ubumwe Grande Hotel
    Courtesy of Ubumwe Grande Hotel / Expedia
    Take a dip in Rwanda’s highest rooftop pool at this contemporary hotel in Kigali, which provides sweeping views of the city. The glassy skyscraper is crowned with tented peaks designed to resemble the country’s undulating mountains. Ubumwe Grande lies in the central business district and draws a trendy crowd to its rooftop bar and Fiesta Restaurant, where you can sip skyline sundowners. Other guest perks include a sleek gym and free tea and biscuits on arrival.
    More info

    Hotel Chez Lando

    Hotel
    4.2/5 (52 Reviews)
    Hotel Chez Lando
    Courtesy of Hotel Chez Lando / Expedia
    Despite being partially destroyed during the 90s genocide, this family-run hotel stands strong, offering a pocket of peace in the frenetic capital. Although the building lies just a five-minute drive from the airport (guests can enjoy a free shuttle service) you’d never know it. Suburban-style brick buildings sit among quiet gardens and there’s a playground for kids. Hotel Chez Lando is most famous for its restaurant and locals flock here for Rwandan specialities, BBQ feasts and evening music.
    More info

    This is an update of an article originally written by Leah Feiger.

    These recommendations were updated on June 2, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

    Cookies Policy

    We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK"