Kigali Hotel - Which one??

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Mar 22nd, 2006, 09:07 AM
  #1
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Kigali Hotel - Which one??

I am down to a choice between the Hotel Des Milles Collines or the Novotel Kigali Umubano for a three night stay in (or near) Kigali in July this year. Has anyone stayed at either of these? Recommendations please?? I know the Novotel is outside of Kigali - is this good or bad (ie will we miss being within the town?? We intend on visiting one of the Genocide museums - where are these located in relation to both hotels??

ANY advice is much appreciated.

Thanks,
Imelda
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 09:39 AM
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I stayed at Novotel in July 2004 and it was very comfortable and safe with a nice pool that I did not use. The breakfast buffet that was included was delicious. I was there only one night and visited the Never Again memorial on my way to the hotel. It was close to the airport for my flight home the next day. Unlike your stay of 3 days, where a central location may be more important, I used it for an overnight only.
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 10:27 AM
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Stayed at the Milles Collines in October. The hotel was nothing special really. However I stayed there a second time after spending a few days in guest houses around Rwanda and then it seemed like Versailles.

The grounds are OK, I didn't use the pool. The breakfast was OK. I think food for other meals was overpriced. I love the area it was in and I enjoyed walking around Kigali.

I guess I would stay there again if I was in Kigali.
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Mar 22nd, 2006, 11:31 AM
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I have only been to Kigali once, and I stayed at the Milles Collines, and I really liked the location, and the rooms are OK. I thought the food at the top floor restaurant was also pretty good (traditional French). I liked best its proximity to the city center, and I was not dependent on taxis to get to markets, Internet cafe, etc. I would have no problem staying there again when I return.
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Mar 24th, 2006, 04:46 AM
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Thanks Guy's for the input. I am edging towards the Milles Collines for its central location BUT... one more question - would it be worth an extra $60 per night to stay at the Intercontinental? It does look really nice but what is the location like and is it worth the difference?? (The Novotel and Milles Collines both cost $125 whereas the Intercontinental costs $186). Any opinions??

Also, any advice on where to eat would be greatly appreciated as I am a pretty strict vegetarian (no meat, chicken, fish or cheese) whereas DH is a fairly serious carnivore - it can make life pretty difficult finding places!

Thanks again,
Imelda
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Mar 24th, 2006, 04:57 AM
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I've stayed at the Intercontinental. It's not far from the Milles Collines also located in the city center
Since I haven't been to the others, I can't comment, but the IC is a nice hotel, probably the newest in Kigali.

The MC and IC are about a ten minute drive to the memorial.

What will you be doing during your three night stay in Kigali? It might help in the decision of which hotel to stay at.
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Mar 24th, 2006, 09:20 AM
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On the day we arrive I am not sure what exactly we will be doing except I'm sure we will want to have a nap after our loooong flight. On the second day (morning) we are being picked up at our hotel (4.30am eek!)and will be travelling to Rugengeri to do a Gorilla treck and then we will be coming back to Kigali that same day. On the third day we plan to do the Genocide museum and I'm not sure what else. We have a VERY early flight back to Nairobi on Day 4 (6.30am). We really haven't nailed down a plan for Kigali yet except for the gorilla trecking. We definately want to do the Genocide museum, and some shopping - any other ideas on what to do?? Does this help with the 'where to stay question'??

Thanks,
Imelda
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Mar 24th, 2006, 09:52 AM
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Imelda-
Have you looked into driving straight to Ruhengeri upon your arrival to be closer to the trekking?

You could stay at the Muhabura hotel in Ruhengeri which would put you about 45 minutes from the park.

Or you could look into the Gorilla's Nest hotel, or Kinigi Guest House both in Kinigi and very close to the park.

All are very reasonable price-wise with Kinigi Guest house being the cheapest of the three.

I'm thinking you could drive up there the day you arrive, do the trek the next day, return to Kigali that afternoon spending the night there, the next day visit the genocide museum which should take no more than 2-2 1/2 hours to walk through, do a city/market tour and then maybe visit the Amani Ladies who also have a lot of hand-crafted items.

Both IC and MC are in the city center which gives you easy access to most areas of Kigali. I don't know where Novetel is in relation to the city center.

There are also a couple of churches outside of Kigali if you're interested in a deeper experience of the genocide. I haven't had a chance to visit them yet because of time constraints, but I very much want to see them as well.

That will give you one night up near the park and two in Kigali.

This way you don't have to leave at 4:30 a.m. to go to Kinigi for the trek. That's going to be a long, rough day having to drive up there, trek, and then drive back to Kigali.

I would also suggest doing one of the treks that are closer in so you can head back to Kigali at a reasonable hour. You can find out which gorilla group is closest upon your arrival at the park that morning.

Hope this helps.
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Mar 24th, 2006, 11:52 AM
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Divewop, We had initially looked at driving up to Ruhengeri on Day one and then staying in Kigali for two nights after, but decided against this option as we really want to minimise changing hotels. We will be staying at two other locations in Kenya after Rwanda and to be honest the unpacking - packing-unpacking-etc. thing drives us a little crazy!
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Mar 24th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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Sorry- hit the post icon by accident!
Anyways, we thought that with having an overnight flight to Rwanda, when we arrive we would have a short nap and then do a little exploring and then we would be tired early and would go to bed early so that the 4.30am start wouldn't be too bad. That's the plan anyways! (Also, we have a car + driver arranged for the drive there and back so that should make things a little easier too).

You must have been reading my mind about which Gorilla group to chose to visit though - we are definately going to go try to get to go to the nearest one - two factors 1. We get back early for the drive back to Kigali and 2. Most importantly, neither myself nor DH are what you would call 'very fit'. We will definately be able to handle the lower group but there is no way we would even attempt visiting the Susa group.

Divewop, what are the Amani Ladies? Sorry if that is a stupid question. Also, are there any web sites which show / give information on the Churches outside Kigali?

Imelda
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Mar 24th, 2006, 02:59 PM
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Imelda-
It will take about two to two and a half hours to get to Kinigi-ORTPN headquarters from Kigali so just be prepared for a very long day.

As far as the closest gorilla groups, they are usually Group 13 or Sabinyio Don't quote me on that as gorillas have the tendency do whatever they'd like whenever they'd like. ;-)

You can have your driver/guide check for you upon arrival to see which one's closest.

The Amani ladies are women who have endured hardships in Africa and have joined together to start a small business of handcrafted items. They have some really nice items for gifts or for yourself.
Their website is:

www.amaniafrica.org

As far as the churches go, they are within approx. 10 miles of each other in the villages of Nyamata and Ntarama.

Not to be graphic but both churches still have the bones and skulls of thousands who were massacred during the genocide while seeking refuge.

Here is a link to a very good article written several years ago when a reporter and photographer visited them.

http://www.post-gazette.com/headline...rwandaone9.asp

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Mar 26th, 2006, 08:35 AM
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Thank you very much for the links. We will definately visit the Amani Ladies. Are they easy to get to?
I'm not so sure about the churches though - I don't think I would be able for something so graphic I'm afraid.

Imelda
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