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“Not the best value for money - and beware of thieves”
Review of Hotel Okapi

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Hotel Okapi
Ranked #30 of 51 Hotels in Kigali
Reviewed 24 August 2013

I stayed at the Okapi for one night only having arrived without prior reservation on a weeknight and was quoted 59 USD bed & breakfast for the 'Category 1' room for one night. I eventually bartered it down to 50 USD without breakfast (it took a while to shave just 9 dollars off) and including tax having seen the terrible Category 2 & 3 rooms in the lower parts of this sprawling complex (those Cats 2 & 3 really do look horrible: flies, filthy toilets, no toilet seats, broken furniture and disgusting linen though they are only 10/20USD a night).

Much cleaner in the Cat 1 rooms up the stairs from reception but the decor looks dated. There's free wifi (not sure what the VIP one stands for but my normal one worked perfectly fine in Room 106 on the first floor which faced the city landscape with a balcony. The view may be nice, but the noise from the late-night bar below is quite bad as it goes into the wee-small hours of the night (it was a weeknight!). If you take the rooms facing the other way (the front entrance side) - the side street - then you risk getting woken up by cars and hooters. Either way, it can be quite annoying.

Otherwise, there's cable TV, 24-hour-ish hot water (water was a bit lukewarm in the morning though the shower was pretty decent). The mosquito net was quite dusty though that seems to be the case in most hotels.

To put things into perspective: Hotel Insimbi charges 35 USD a night for one person though at the time of enquiry, the hotel had no water supply. Saint Paul Church down the road at the roundabout does a twin-room for 10-15USD though with shared bathroom facilities, whilst Dream Apple down the slope from the Okapi is only 40 USD and is better value than the Okapi. No air-con at Dream Apple, Okapi or Saint Paul.

A final word of warning, someone I know stayed at the Okapi for one night and had 300 USD stolen from his hotel room. He suspects the work of the chambermaids so be careful with your valuables.

Room Tip: You must look at all the rooms before choosing - don't go with price without first taking a look...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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4  Thank sachahuista
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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18 - 24 of 58 reviews

Reviewed 12 August 2013

This lower budget hotel is good value for money in the centre of town. Our room was clean and the staff very helpful, good hot water as well. The only issue was the noise from the street at night whihc made it difficult to sleep.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank DLH90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2013

I stayed by choice, in one of the downstairs 2nd category rooms (same comments as per the others here, in terms of quality of accommodation at this level). In addition, the room was HOT and stuffy. There were 2 windows; but neither has any flywire to stop mosquito's at all. There was one fan in my room, but only blowing-around hot air. My sheets also had bedbugs.

At this price range I think there is better value-for-money accommodation nearby.

The main issue, of which I wish to alert people: the hotel had a staff member (...and may still?) stealing from the guests rooms when I was staying there. I only found this out when I had USD300 stolen from my room. I do not know whether this staff member still works there.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank kcf101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2013

My 3-week stay at the Okapi (January 2013) was good, especially during the time I stayed on the "non-street (cobblestone)" side, with its panoramic view of the hills, and took full advantage of its balcony. Bed, bathroom, storage space are good, as is the restaurant--especially the spaghetti bolognaise; cabbage, carrot, avocado salad; and local beer. Okapi's free breakfasts always included omelets, fresh fruits (.g. mango, papaya, or passion fruit) and an array of samosas, rolled-up crepe, or other goodies. The staff was very helpful, with special thanks to Victor at the front desk and Christian at the restaurant. The location is great, a short walk to buy bottled water or get to the central business district.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Kitty A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2013

i spend almost each weekend in kigali. okapi turned to be fairly priced option. am usually having $35 single room but have to say that even within that range, rooms can be very different. i have tried about 7-8 rooms by now and while some of them are basic and very ok, others are quite below same standard.
hotel is centrally located and yes, there is noise from outside.
staff might not seem very friendly and helpful in the beginning, but for me as a returning guest, they are all okay.
restaurant has decent food, spicy chicken wings are actually great.
there is great massage salon in hotel and Moses knows many different types of massages - perfect after a crazy kigali night out :-)
i would say, all in all, decent stay for that money. i do guess if you have better budget available, go for something upmarket. otherwise, for $35, this is very good

Room Tip: 604 and 605
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled solo
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Thank ljubica1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2013

The Okapi hotel is moderately priced, very nicely furnished, and is in an excellent location within easy walking distance of downtown. It serves a very nice breakfast in a room with a view of the surrounding area. The relaxed atmosphere at breakfast facilitated some interesting conversations; one in particular with a fellow American who collected gold nuggets from all over the world. The hotel staff were friendly and helpful, recommending a great Indian restaurant for dinner. The only downside was that many of the rooms overlook a busy uphill street; early morning truck traffic was a real pain until I got switched to a different room.

Room Tip: Choose an interior room to avoid truck noise
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2012

I arrived at Okapi, planning to stay for only 1 night, due to bad reviews. It was a rainstorm at 5 pm when I arrived on the bus from Burundi. It seemed the most decent, closest place. I ended up staying for 2 weeks! They have 3 classes of rooms, for singles shared bathroom (never saw), continued rooms in a lower level on a rickety iron staircase and then a nice rooms with balcony and sat. t.v. in the main building in the hotel. First night did the rickety room stairs thing for $45, won't do again, but I spent the other 2 weeks on the third floor with hot water, sat. t.v. and a big nice bed and clean room. Since then there has been manager change and rooms are even cheaper. I am a back packer at heart and have worked in development for years and I don't really think you'll get a better, decent,central deal in Kigali. Walking distance from dowtown and stores, supermarkets..Staff, mgmt, very attentive. I also bought artwork off of the walls from an asiring, creative art. Buffet breakfast included at hotel. Real mix of NGO workers, business people and tourists. Oh Ps. Note the club across the street broadcasts music until 2am fri and Sat.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled solo
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4  Thank Peacock8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Okapi

Address: 87 St Kn | PO Box 1775, Kigali, Rwanda
Region: Rwanda > Kigali Province > Kigali
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 51 Hotels in Kigali
Price Range: £22 - £36 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Okapi Hotel is the ideal base to explore the natural beauty of the City of Thousand Hills. Located in the heart of the central business district at just a 20-minutes drive from Kigali International Airport, Okapi Hotel offers the best panoramic views in town and is renowned for being “the place to be”. The hotel is 850 meters from the Kigali City Tower and 15 minutes’ walk from the Union Trade Center. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Okapi Hotel Kigali

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