I had arranged a one month business trip to Rwanda from the middle of June 2010 to the middle of July 2010. I was expecting to stay in Kigali, with days to go the venue was changed to Ruhengeri. A quick search on this site showed the Virunga to appear to be the best. My contact in Kigali made the booking for me and due to the length of stay - and the fact I needed two rooms, one for colleagues who joined me for shorter periods - negotiated a favourable price.
Here goes I thought, provincial Rwanda for a month, how would I cope.
Was I surprised. The hotel is exceptional value. The room was clean and more than adequate. One thing that really surprised me, the bedding was changed every day, what does that say about a hotel's standards. Talking about the bed, it was really comfortable, every night was a good nights sleep, however, be prepared to be woken at 5am. The town comes to life at 5am, I did get use to it but because the hotel is in the town centre it can't escape the noise. Please remember, it's not the hotels fault.
The shower was always hot and powerful, no shortage of water.
Breakfast every day was fine, it's only laid out when there are enough guests to justify it, otherwise it is prepared fresh just for you. Lunch and dinner is the same menu which is OK and contains more than just goat and beef. All meals a freshly prepared but as previous reviewers have said, be prepared to wait but I never waited an hour. Having spnt a month in town I used a few places for dinner but kept coming back to the Virunga. I believe this hotel has the best restaurant in town.
The staff are excellent, nothing is to much trouble, they are all really friendly. When you are away for a month you need friendly staff to make the stay more bearable. The staff here were really great.
The bar is well stocked with a large selection of beers from across the region, not just Rwanda.
The laundry service was great, the place is secure with 24/7 security and the gate to the complex is shut overnight.
The main street is a 10 second walk away through the back gate.
The views to the volcanoes can be stunning but they are often obscured by mist and cloud.
The only downside is the internet connection. The free internet access is not adequate for the amount of usage. I know internet in Africa needs improving but the main problem rests with the hotel. I don't think the wireless networks provides enough bandwidth for those who want to use it, because the internet is free the locals come into the bar with their laptops and log on. Frustrating for the guests, particularly for those on business who need access to the internet.
If it wasn't for the poor internet access I would have given this hotel a top rating. Apart from the internet it is excellent.
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- Also Known As:
- Virunga Hotel Rwanda/Ruhengeri