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“great place with great staff!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Iris Guesthouse

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Iris Guesthouse
Ranked #10 of 47 Hotels in Kigali
Kigali
Level Contributor
6 reviews
“great place with great staff!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2011

I always enjoyed my stays at Iris! Yes, it's not the most swanky, updated modern hotel, but it's good value gem in overpriced Kigali, with comfy double beds, immense outdoor balcony spaces, interminable hot water, free breakfast and free WIFI.. It's nicely located in the center, yet on a quiet street. The garden setting is nice, as it the on-site restaurant that boasts a nicely varied menu. If you're not out and about all day, it's a great place to relax, write, browse the net, wait for or hand with friends -- just feel at home! No wonder it's the location most NGOs like to stay! (you meet lots of cool people here, not just gorilla tourists or businessmen) What I like best though is the staff! Christophe, the main guy is very nice, and will help you out of any fix. The reception and restaurant staff are equally sweet, if you are only nice to them...

Room Tip: Book in advance. There are 19 rooms here and they are almost always full -- reflecting the popularit...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mad4Rwanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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95 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    19
    53
    16
    5
    2
See reviews for
7
20
11
34
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
sao paolo
Level Contributor
67 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 May 2011

Africa has a massive shortage of decent mid-range options when it comes to accommodation. When traveling, I either pay $100+ for somewhere nice or pay $10 and camp. There really isn't much to shout about in the middle.

This place is a typical example. It's $75 per night so just about scrapes into mid-range.

On the down side: the rooms are tiny, the food service is horribly slow (typical of Rwanda), the bathroom isn't the nicest, it feels about $25 too much to pay.

On the plus side: the location is very good, it's quiet, clean, secure and they will take a visa card if you're desperate (but I wouldn't trust them to do it properly). It's also the only viable mid-range option in the centre of town.

All in all .... decidedly average!

Room Tip: Ask for something quiet
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank rexlombardo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 May 2011

I want to inform you about the Employee by the Guesthouse, when I have paid my Bill on 04.05.11 at about 8h30 pm, as I had to leave the hotel early in the morning on 05.05.11.
TOTAL to be paid: 254 600 FRW
Cash paid: 23 000 FRW
To be paid per Visa Card: 231 600 FRW x 1.05 = 243 180 FRW (5% more if payment through Visa Card)
Which is 486 US$ (At the exchange rate of 1 US$ = 500 FRW)
You can see in the attached doc that the guy took 846 US$ from the Visa card. As I saw it and asked him about this, he told me “Sorry, all the Numbers are there, only a typo” (846 instead of 486). But I saw him verifying the slip before giving it to me so as to say “don’t check anymore, I have checked for you”. But fortunately, I have checked it. So, he gave me the difference in cash: 360 US$.
I wouldn’t anymore stay in that hotel and I wouldn’t recommend it to other people.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank macca888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cologne, Germany
Level Contributor
62 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2011

I’m not so sure why so many people recommend this place. I visited with a friend who I would have shared a bed with. We arrived a bit exhausted from a long bus ride and where given a room that can only be described as a storage room. There was a double bed, a single bed, a wardrobe, a bedside cabinet that didn’t fit beside either bed, a desk and a chair all crammed in about 12sm which didn’t leave much room for our luggage. I assume what happened was that they realizes we were two girls and therefore they threw another bed in the room to make it somewhat look like a twin room. What was missing was a second mosquito net and a working light. We had a few things to do in Kigali so we didn’t discuss any of this with reception until we returned from the city in the evening. We got a second mosquito net, but as the room was so crammed the guy didn’t really find a way to hang it from the ceiling. I was so tired at that point that I couldn’t watch this for longer and lifted the bed against the wall in order to use the stepladder he was holding. I guess the guy just felt a bit helpless, but I was pretty annoyed. We had a good night sleep and found we didn’t need light for that anyway. The bathroom was ok and warm water as well as water pressure were fine. Breakfast was below normal standard for a guesthouse. There is a self serve buffet, with a few bananas, hard boiled eggs, a few white rolls and a rubbery cheese. Overall in my opinion the price doesn’t match the standard, but it’s a place where you can stay for a night or two.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank aroundtheworld57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
China
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 February 2011

Stayed several days, and enjoyed the convenient location. Staff is slow, not too concerned with making things work on time, despite western hotel prices. That said, it's not bad considering the options. The Internet did not work, so be aware.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ChinaFieldmouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2011

If you are in Kigali either for business or for a stopover on the way to see the gorillas or the game parks, the Iris is a great alternative to the Mille Colines or the Sirena, which charge $250 to $350 for American style luxury. At $75 per night it is a definite bargain and that includes a simple breakfast and WI-FI. I was there a week and we had power, good water pressure and hot water the whole time. (Sometimes any one of these basics can be lacking in Africa.) If you want to rub shoulders with the elite the Mille Colines (read Hotel Rwanda) is right up the hill with its poolside bar and grill. The Iris is also just around the corner from "Heaven" a very popular new restaurant in the Kigali. For good basic meals the Iris has a small bar and restaurant with a lovely patio surrounded by its lush gardens. If you are traveling with a family or a work team they also have some apartments each with a sitting room, a kitchen and either 2 or 3 bedrooms, each with its own bathroom.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sangreene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stafford, VA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 September 2010

This was my first trip to Rwanda and their was some culture shock at first. The hotel staff was very attentive and even helped us plan several of our excursions. The grounds were beautiful and well manicured. The room was small and not as clean as I was used to in the US. Everything seemed worn. One night I saw several uninvited cockroaches in the bathroom . Our room was directly in front of the early morning wall building crew and of course with no air conditioning I slept with the windows open and was awakened very early to the sounds of hammering and rock breaking. The breakfast (included in the room rate) was great filled with authentic African friuts, bread, cheese and coffee.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LJFGAF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Iris Guesthouse

Property: Iris Guesthouse
Address: Avenue Kamuzinzi | no. 8, Kigali, Rwanda
Region: Rwanda > Kigali Province > Kigali
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Kigali
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 239
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
hotel with some apartments available, includes breakfast, operated by presbyterian church ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iris Guesthouse Hotel Kigali

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