Often spoken of – along with Hotel Mille Collines – as Kigali’s top stay, and located in the heart of city’s economic and political centre, Kigali Serena is a large and beautifully run 5 star hotel whose client base is almost exclusively business orientated.
A huge and standard 5 storey hotel, Serena Hotel’s reputation has little to do with its architectural charm. Part of an enormous chain, it resembles hotels worldwide, and as such does not possess the romantic pull of Hotel Milles Collines, its main competitor. However, feedback regarding service, standard of rooms and the hotel’s facilities has by and large been excellent.
Kigali Serena consists of a reception / lobby, lounge, bar(s), 2 restaurants, swimming pool, health club, 148 sleeping rooms and a whole host of business facilities, including two 500 capacity plus conference rooms, press rooms, an interactive business centre, a translation service and press room. Built around its swimming pool and front garden, open sided walkways look down on the reception area, which is vast, white tiled and possesses marble fronted pillars. Trademark non-slip carpeting – attractive red swirls – extends throughout the hotel’s public walkways, and shared rooms are styled with a mixture of old and new furniture.
Dining takes place in either the Milima or Sokoni restaurants. The first offers an international type breakfast (buffet), country and culture cuisine themed lunches and a la carte suppers. The second is more cafe like, and possibly not as good, but worth stopping off at for a cocktail and Mongolian curry.
The sleeping rooms are divided into standard (60), superior (37), deluxe (19), junior (18), prime (7), executive (6), and a presidential suite. While it is impossible here to do each class justice, the rooms come with double beds, a writing table, space enough to sit, read or change, and a separate bathroom. The standard bathroom includes a tub, shower, flush toilet and sink. As a rule of thumb, as you go up through the different classes, the rooms get bigger, contain more furniture, but are not necessarily a whole heap more comfortable – not at least until you get up to studio, when extra work spaces and separate lounges work their way into the equation. As with the Kigali Serena itself, the rooms are smart, super-clean and ultra modern. Facilities include 24 hour service, wi-fi, concierge, air-con, mini-bar and flat screen TV.
In-house activities are legion, and include swimming, gym, spa and massage, while shopping and sightseeing excursions into Kigali are available.