We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Western Hotel, Western Price”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Lake Kivu Serena Hotel
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Gisenyi
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
219 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Western Hotel, Western Price”
Reviewed 9 January 2008

The Serena Hotel had very nice gardens, pool, and rooms. Mainly ex-pats stay here with the occasional tourist. We arrived in Gisenyi later one night, jumped on a Boda-Boda and inquired about a room that night. We stayed in a double occupancy room. The room was very comfortable, with air conditioning, a TV with plenty of channels, and a very nice washroom. The BEST part is that they took credit cards, MasterCard only and there was a 5% charge added to your bill.

We did have to ask for more toilet paper, they seem to have forgotten to replenish it, and did have to ask for an extra towel. The grounds were great, private beach with plenty of lounge chairs, and you can order drinks and food. The best thing is the lake is safe to swim in. They do have a pool, and a gym, but we did not use them.

The second night the lights went out. The generator kicked in, but the A/C unit did not. It was really surprising that they did not have mosquito netting, it was warm and we wanted to sleep with the windows open because there was no A/C, but when we asked for mosquito netting they gave us bug spray. For what we paid, 180USD/night, this was unacceptable. Yes I know it is Eastern Africa, but for that price? We did have to move rooms one night, one side of the bed seemed to have had perfume spilled. It is a very westernized hotel, but they still need to work on things here and there.

The hotel has a restaurant. Breakfast is great. Lunches and dinners all seem to be buffets, they do have a menu, but you might as well go for the buffet. Drinks, including water, are pricier than you would find outside the hotel. The food was good, plenty of variety. The waiters were really nice, especially when you acknowledge them and smile, seems that most people do not.

And finally, not that this bothered us, but the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) border is down the street, about 1 mile. We were surprised when we were told how close it was, but I did not worry one bit during our stay. There was not much to see of the town, so we stayed at our hotel the whole time and had a great time.

  • Liked — The washroom, good running water.
  • Disliked — Maybe the price.
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Quique02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

227 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    86
    97
    25
    16
    3
See reviews for
36
70
27
39
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2006

After spending a couple of nights at the Gorillas Nest whilst trekking the gorillas we then moved onto Lake Kivu and stayed at the Kivu Sun Hotel.

The hotel from what we got told is managed by the Intercontinental Group and was better than what we expected. It certainly isn't as nice as the Intercontinental in Kigali but we don't have a bad word to say about it.

The room was clean and tidy and had great views over the lake. The positioning is great, right on the lake with sandy beach. The staff were all friendly and the food we had there was excellent. We admittedly didn't eat there lots as our guides took us to other restaurants in the area which were very good as well.

In all a great place to relax by the pool or on the beach whilst having all the comforts of a five star hotel.

  • Liked — Location
  • Stayed October 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank HallTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, UK
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2006

Excellent - luxury place to relax after gorilla treck. Has it's own section of beach, good restaurant clean pool and great rooms. Would get bored after a few days but for overnight or two nights is perfect to unwind.

  • Liked — luxurious relaxation
  • Disliked — feeling guilty
  • Stayed April 2006, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank G.Evans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Gisenyi hotels
2.2 mi away
Hotel Paradis Malahide
Hotel Paradis Malahide
#1 of 4 in Gisenyi
4.5 of 5 bubbles 310 reviews
0.0 mi away
Hotel Ubumwe
Hotel Ubumwe
#4 of 4 in Gisenyi
3.5 of 5 bubbles 15 reviews
0.2 mi away
Discover Rwanda Gisenyi Beach
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.8 mi away
INZU Lodge
INZU Lodge
#1 of 20 in Gisenyi
4.5 of 5 bubbles 117 reviews
0.0 mi away
Palm Garden Resort
Palm Garden Resort
#5 of 18 in Gisenyi
4.5 of 5 bubbles 54 reviews
0.0 mi away
Gorillas Lake Kivu Hotel
Gorillas Lake Kivu Hotel
#6 of 20 in Gisenyi
3.5 of 5 bubbles 34 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Lake Kivu Serena Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Lake Kivu Serena Hotel

Property: Lake Kivu Serena Hotel
Address: P.O. Box 7469, Gisenyi 00100, Rwanda
Region: Rwanda > Western Province > Gisenyi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Gisenyi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Lake Kivu Serena Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lake Kivu Serena Hotel is located in the resort Rwandan town of Gisenyi, on the shores of Lake Kivu, the sixth largest lake in Africa. The hotel is ideally situated on a sandy palm lined beach, with the nearby Virunga Volcanoes providing a spectacular backdrop on one side and a panoramic view of the lake on the other. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Odigeo, Priceline, Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your Lake Kivu Serena Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing