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“Wonderful!”
Review of Home Saint Jean

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Home Saint Jean
Certificate of Excellence
Amherst, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Wonderful!”
Reviewed 19 February 2013

I could have stayed here for a month, reading, writing, and swimming! But I only had two nights at this idyllic hotel in this idyllic spot with its sparkling-clean restaurant, which served one of the best meals (local fish) of my three-week stay in Rwanda. For less than $20 a night, I had a corner room perched on a promontory on Lake Kivu, with different views of the lake, with its scattered islands. I had the privilege of making friends with a local history- and nature-buff whose English is very good, Fidele; Fidele showed me places of interest and answered my many questions with information but even more importantly, with insight. So ask around for him! Meanwhile, the staff at was so nice that one of them, Pierre, on his day off came back check on a guest who'd had recent medical problems (which were capably handled at the local hospital in the middle of the night). My biggest regret is not having time to swim in the gorgeous lake, which is distinguished by having zero cases of Bilharzia (Schistosomiasis) (worms) in over a year,

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kitty A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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83 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
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English first
Milan, Italy
Level Contributor
52 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2013

Home Saint Jean is located in a beautiful place close to Kivu lake. Landscape is great. The place is fair and pretty cheap. You can have a double room with bathroom for around 20 euros per night per room. The solution is basic: we stayed there 2 nights and during the first day we had no water at all. The place has a small restaurant where you can find a good variety of acceptable dishes.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Em_Poros_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kigali, Rwanda
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed 21 October 2012

Home Saint Jean is located high on a cliff with the lake on three sides, offering both sunrise and sunset over the water. Great place to relax. Very friendly and helpful staff. Rooms are simple but many come with great views. We shared a triple with bathroom for 15 000. Beds are equipped with mosquito nets. We didn't turn the water heater on, but there was one. Restaurant offers okay food at low prices, but very slow for main courses. We took them up on their offer of a boatcruise to some of the islands (Napoleon/Bat Island and Peace Island) about 6 hours, 8000 Rwf per person when 5 people going, though there was space for twice as many. Great day excursion with hiking on bat island and swimming/relaxing/volleyball playing at Peace Island.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Kajsa K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
61 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2012 via mobile

Kibuye is a small town with a great position next to Lake Kivu. Home Saint Jean has several options for places to sleep. Almost all rooms in the church-run guesthouse have great view on the lake (only the twin rooms at Centre Bethanie top the view but hasn't got better rooms).

There are different types of rooms available ranging from dorms, simple twin (8000 RWF), simple double (10000 RWF) and the 'suites' (15000 RWF).
The simple doubles have really small beds and a thin matresses. The suites don't offer much extra luxury except for a larger and better matress and a slightly better view. The rooms are clean but simple. There is warm water and showers are clean. Expect no towel (simple rooms) or just one towel (suites).

The food at the restaurant is affordable but nothing really special. We had mch better lunch and diner at Centre Bethanie, which has a well-maintained restaurant with a perfect view. The breakfast here is unfortunately disappointing.

The best way to get at Home Saint Jean is by motor taxi. The prices seem to be fixed and most motordrivers know to find the way.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank EazyK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zanzibar
Level Contributor
41 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2012

I liked this place enormously. A little bit away from the town, about 5-10 minute walk up-hill, on a promontory, commanding views out across the beautiful Lake Kivu below on 3 sides and surrounding hills beyond.

If you can, go for the self contained, lake view rooms. I paid approx $25 a night. It was simple but clean. with a cupboard for clothes, power sockets and even a light switch by the bed! The ensuite shower/toilet was slightly smelly... but there was lots of hot water morning and evening.

Alternatively there are segregated dormitory rooms in the main block (but hot water harder to find).

The restaurant offers an impressive list of dishes and drinks. Severed throughout the day on the terrace or in the dining room. In July the terrace was warm by day – but chilly at night. The dining room was comfortable enough although the large flat screen TV was allowed to dominate (power permitting) regardless of what guests may prefer. American club music charts anyone? (Well, maybe if you are a Peace Corps volunteer from an unlit village and this is your monthly night out.)

If you are interested to swim there is a private path through the nicely kept gardens down the hill to the lake shore. There isn't really a beach here and the water gets deep very quickly - so probably enjoyed more by competent swimmers. There was no notice/advice about dangers from gas or bilharzias so best to check for the latest information if you are at all concerned.

Really, truly – a great place for a few days of peace and rest.

Room Tip: the self contained rooms are on two floors. Downstairs had good water supply but the toilet was slig...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank pwezapweza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
82 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2012

Mum and I stayed here for two nights. Mum comes here regularly to stay, as she visits a village close by and also comes out for some R&R. Its a perfect place to relax. It has basic facilities - the menu is often limited, but the food is good and there is a small bar. The best bits are the views though and the walks to the lake and swimming areas. The cost of a room is very reasonable and its a short walk into Kibuye.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank happylittleexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ashford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
180 reviews
104 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 May 2012

I was brought to this hotel by some locals that I was working with. No booking, we just turned up and it was not a problem. Home Saint Jean appears to be run by the church. It is a basic and quite cheap location. Rooms are either 10,000RWF or 15,000RWF per night. I would recommend the more expensive rooms for a better view. The rooms are small, with basic facilities, no television or air conditioning. it is not too hot in Kibuye, so the lack of AC is not a problem. The beds have mosquito nets. The rooms were clean and comfortable. Food in the restaurant was perfectly acceptable, although it did take some time to prepare. A cold beer was not a problem either.

What really makes this hotel worth a visit is the stunning location. It is on a hill overlooking Lake Kivu. The view from outside the rooms and the restaurant area is amazing. You are a little distance from the town here, which is no bad thing if you like some peace and quiet.

Room Tip: Take the more expensive rooms.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank davestly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Home Saint Jean

Property: Home Saint Jean
Address: Kibuye Road | B.P 20 Karongi, Kibuye, Rwanda
Region: Rwanda > Western Province > Kibuye
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Speciality Lodging in Kibuye
Number of rooms: 25
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