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Top 10 best hotels & lodges in Rwanda

Today (February 18, 2019): Top10 best hotels & lodges in Rwanda.

Twenty five years after the devastating genocide, Rwanda has risen from the ashes and has managed to rebuild itself into one of Africa’s safest and most peaceful nations. Breathtakingly beautiful and largely untouched, Rwanda offers towering volcanoes, emerald green rain forests, privileged access to the endangered mountain gorilla, and so much more. Rwanda has long been an off the beaten track destination, far from the ordinary traveler’s itinerary, but things are about to change in a big way with the installation of Ellen DeGeneres’ new gorilla conservation center with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, and the opening of a new string of ultra-luxurious hotels. Emerging as Africa’s newest luxury travel hotspot, here’s my pick of the 10 best hotels & lodges in Rwanda.

There is more information (with reviews & Youtube clips) below the slide show. Think I missed one? Share your favorite hotel in Rwanda in the comments.

RUZIZI TENTED LODGE, AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK

 7. RUZIZI TENTED LODGE, AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK

*** Get the most out of your (luxury) trip to Rwanda with my Rwanda travel guide ***


10. RADISON BLUE HOTEL & CONVENTION CENTER

Ideally located 5 km (3 mi) from the city center and Kigali International Airport, the stylish Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Center is a 5-star hotel in Rwanda’s capital Kigali. The hotel offers 292 modern and spacious rooms along with an all-day dining, an exquisite Italian restaurant, a bar, lobby lounge and an outdoor swimming pool designed to provide a memorable experience to business and leisure travelers alike. With the capacity to accommodate up to 5000 delegates in its 18 meeting rooms including an auditorium, meeting and events planners can take advantage of the Convention Centers’ versatile event space and state-of-the-art facilities. The on-site spa is designed to offer a relaxing experience for couples, friends and individuals looking for rejuvenation.

RADISON BLUE HOTEL CONVENTION CENTER KIGALI

9. VIRUNGA LODGE, VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

Set on a stunning hillside, the magnificent Virunga Lodge boasts panoramic vistas of the Virunga Volcanoes and the beautiful lakes of Ruhondo and Bulera. Each of ten luxurious bandas named after the Rwandan lakes features a spacious bedroom with a cosy fireplace, as well as private terrace with sweeping views of the breathtaking surrounds. Those in need of relaxation can revel in the comfort of the main lodge or spend some time in the Dian Fossey Map Room. Each guest will enjoy the opportunity for a relaxing complementary massage. Adventures include tracking gorillas and golden monkeys, hikes to the top of the volcanoes, scenic walks through the picturesque villages surrounding the lodge, or day trips to the lively towns of Kigali or Kampala.

VIRUNGA LODGE, VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

8. KIGALI SERENA HOTEL, KIGALI

The elegant Kigali Serena Hotel is perfectly situated within one of the city’s most vibrant boulevards, and is the best hotel in town for a business stay or to start or end a gorilla safari. Here, guests are welcomed into a gleaming granite atrium, adorned with lovely Rwandan artworks. The property features 148 sophisticated rooms, including 25 lavish suites, that come with air conditioning, Wi-Fi connectivity, a satellite television, and a lovely ensuite bathroom. The hotel offers a wonderful selection of dining options, from the Milima Restaurant that overlooks the sparkling swimming pool to the Sokoni Restaurant that has become a popular meeting place for both locals and travelers alike. In the evenings, you can retreat to the hotel’s convivial lounge where two bar areas await.


7. RUZIZI TENTED LODGE, AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK

With a maximum of 20 guests, Ruzizi Tented Lodge is a charming, mid-range camp, overlooking Lake Ihema in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park. The camp’s nine tents are spaced widely apart on either side of a thatched reception and dining area, set back from the lake shore and hidden among swaying palms and fruiting fig trees. Each tent has an en-suite bathroom, a dressing area and either comfortable queen or twin beds, with a small patio at the front and accessible by wooden boardwalks. The lodge was designed to blend in with the surrounding environment in order to create a feel of being connected to nature.  Where possible, trees and vegetation were left undisturbed during the construction, and even incorporated into the structure. The lodge is powered by solar energy and prides itself on being environmentally conscious.


6. SABYINYO SILVERBACK LODGE, VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is Rwanda’s first ever community owned lodge. The lodge was built and is operated by Governors’ Camp Collection, but the ownership rests with a Community Trust, which uses rentals and community fees from the lodge to drive socio-economic and conservation initiatives in the communities adjacent to the National Park. The lodge, situated in the foothills of the mighty Virungas, the chain of 15,000 ft volcanoes stretching through Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, affords wonderful views of the volcanoes and the surrounding countryside. Accommodation at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge comprises six cottages, two suites, one family cottage. All are stone buildings with Rwandese terracotta tile roofs, and feature large sitting areas, fireplaces, stylish en-suite bathrooms finished with Venetian plaster a dressing room and a sheltered veranda.

SABYINYO SILVERBACK LODGE, VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

5. SINGITA KWITONDA LODGE & KATAZA HOUSE, VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

Singita Kwitonda Lodge & Kataza House (opening summer 2019) will be located on a breathtaking, isolated but contained 178-acre piece of land right on the edge of Volcanoes National Park. The presence of the lodge on the park border will help to improve the function of the buffer area between agricultural plots and the habitat of the estimated 320 mountain gorillas that find sanctuary here. Set within a landscape of wetlands and lush meadows, there will be eight suites and a four-bedroom villa linked by volcanic rock pathways to a central lodge. Singita Kwitonda will be built to embody the spirit of Rwanda and offer a tribute to the lodge’s namesake – Kwitonda – a great silverback gorilla whose legend lives on in Rwanda and was known for his humility and gentleness.

SINGITA KWITONDA LODGE KATAZA HOUSE, VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

4. MAGASHI CAMP BY WILDERNESS SAFARIS, AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK

Magashi Camp (opening spring 2019) is situated in the productive and phenomenally diverse north-eastern corner of Akagera National Park, overlooking scenic Lake Rwanyakazinga. Akagera comprises some of the most scenic savannah in East Africa – open plains, woodlands, lakes, swamp, and grassy low mountains – and is home to one of Africa’s highest hippo densities, some very large crocodiles as well as rare sitatunga and inscrutable shoebill. Six spacious and airy tented guest rooms will offer uninterrupted views over Lake Rwanyakazinga while Magashi’s main area will comprise a luxurious lounge, dining and bar area, wine cellar and pool, as well as an expansive viewing deck with convivial fire pit. The architecture and interiors will pay homage to traditional Rwandan culture.

MAGASHI CAMP BY WILDERNESS SAFARIS, AKAGERA NATIONAL PARK

3. ONE&ONLY GORILLA’S NEST, VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

Nestled amongst a forest of eucalyptus trees, One&Only Gorilla’s Nest (opening later this year) will provide breath-taking views of Rwandan hills and the slopes of the Volcanoes National Park. Guests will be able to discover the magical habitat of critically endangered mountain gorillas, a rare adventure. Bespoke accommodation will honor the location and natural elements will be woven throughout the resort, to inform the design of both the public and private spaces of the resort. Local African cuisine will surround a traditional Boma, providing the perfect location to share adventures from the day and enjoy fruit and vegetables from the resort’s garden. The resort will also offer an indulgent One&Only spa. One&Only also has a second lodge in Rwanda (more on that below), offering guest a journey to the country’s two most spectacular national parks.

ONE&ONLY GORILLA'S NEST, VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

2. ONE&ONLY NYUNGWE HOUSE, NYUNGWE NATIONAL PARK

Alongside ancient rainforest, within the lush green expanse of a working tea plantation, Nyungwe House offers an exciting window to Africa’s fascinating wildlife and culture. Exploratory treks and hikes through the forest give guests access to the park’s nearly 250,000 acres, where they can discover black-and-white colobus monkeys, gray-cheeked mangabeys, and more than 275 bird species. After full days out in the park, guests can retire to the resort’s modern suites and villas, each featuring decor accented with traditional African touches and vast private decks equipped with fireplaces. The resort also features an infinity pool and intimate spa house.


1. BISATE LODGE BY WILDERNESS SAFARIS, VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK

Comprising just 6 spacious forest villas, Bisate offers a luxurious base from where to enjoy an extraordinary gorilla conservation experience and life-changing journey to this beautiful region. Situated within the amphitheater of an eroded volcanic cone, Bisate is surrounded by natural splendor, with sweeping views towards the Karisimbi, Bisoke and Mikeno volcanoes. Bisate’s sophisticated architectural and interior design is rooted in Rwandan building tradition as exemplified in the design of the Royal Palace of the traditional monarch. The spherical, thatched structures echo the thousands of hills that dot the Rwandan landscape, while the richly-detailed interiors exhibit surfaces and screens made from a variety of woven materials with strong resonance in Rwandan culture.

Ozone Bar Hong Kong

The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong takes the art of the sundowner to new heights in its Ozone bar and the drinks aren’t necessarily why.

Located on the 118th floor of the International Commerce Centre (ICC) in Kowloon, the Ozone bar is the highest place in the world from which to sip on a well made cocktail (true fact) and offers an otherworldly experience to patrons thanks to its stunning design and… obviously, its dizzying heights.

Tokyo based firm Wonderwall Design were commissioned to draw up this unique bar and their trendy design doesn’t steal the show from the view, but the futuristic 3D honeycomb ceiling and deep blue is an energizing setting that perfectly complements the breathtaking backdrop.

Ozone Bar Ritz Carlton Hong Kong

Light dining in the form of an excellent Asian tapas and seafood menu is available inside the bar, but as this is one of the most coveted watering holes in town, you’re better off booking in advance (or letting us do it).

One of the Ozone bar’s specialties is a Sunday brunch that feels more like an extension of your Saturday night. This weekly event combines Dj’s, a special selection of cocktails, champagnes and excellent food specially adapted for this Sunday favorite.

Ritz Carlton Hong Kong Ozone Bar

The great views and the novelty is what most people probably visit the bar for, but it would be a shame not to give the mixologists the credit they’re due. The cocktails are finely done (special mention for the vanilla sky) with some creative twists added to the classics, and the staff, are happy to offer cocktail making classes if you ask in advance.

The Ozone bar is a unique experience that you owe yourself to experience whether you’re staying at the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong or not. But of course, it’s best enjoyed when you’ve got a room booked at this magnificent hotel so why not have a look at these incredible upgrades that we offer.

5 of Our Favorite All-American Escapes

AMANGIRI

Amangiri - All American Vacation
What you’ll love

1. The minimalist designs of the rooms are a beauty to behold.

2. The views of the Southern Utah desert are second to none.

3. As with all Aman hotels, the spa is one of the best you’ll ever experience.

Aman hotels and beautiful landscapes go hand in hand, and the Amangiri, is no different.

Set within the dramatic sandstone mesas of Southern Utah, this intimate retreat of only 34 rooms and suites is at one with its surroundings… So much so that the Amangiri seems carved from the land instead of built there to welcome travelers on a quest for spiritual R&R.

More like extensions of the desert than mere hotel rooms, the minimalist and open plan designs of the Amangiri’s accommodations are unique to the hotel. From the comfort of their private plunge pools, day beds and outdoor lounges, admiring the majesty of one of America’s most beautiful landscapes is both a humbling and soul-soothing experience in equal measure.Book Now 

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL NEW YORK DOWNTOWN

Four Seasons Hotel Downtown New York - All American vacation
What you’ll love

1. It’s the only place to find a Wolfgang Puck restaurant in New York City.

2. Its 28 gorgeous suites, entirely designed by Yabu Pushelberg.

3.The hotel’s location, right at the crossroads of buzzing Tribeca and the financial district.

Visitors and locals alike will tell you, New York City’s downtown is the heart of Manhattan.

Battery Park, the Hudson River, the One World Trade Center, the financial district… it’s all here, so it’s no surprise that when the Four Seasons group decided to open their second hotel in NYC, downtown was the obvious choice.

One of the few five star luxury hotels in the area, the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown doesn’t have much competition if you’re after the tropes associated with the bigger hotel chains. In this hotel, the Four Seasons’ signature service doesn’t skip a beat. The hotel is also home to the only Wolfgang Puck restaurant in NYC, an indoor pool, and 28 gorgeous suites designed by duo Yabu Pushelberg. In other words, if unadulterated opulence is what you’re after, this is it.Book Now 

FAENA HOTEL MIAMI MIAMI BEACH

Faena Hotel Miami - All American Vacation
What you’ll love

1. Each floor comes with a Faena Butler to attend to your every need during your stay.

2.The 36-seat private screening room and selection of bars and lounges throughout the property.

3. The 100,000 sq. ft. of pristine real estate with private beaches and the Cabana Club.

The spanking new Faena Hotel Miami Beach is the anchor piece of the Faena District- a gigantic retail, residential and cultural complex that’s transforming mid-beach into the hippest tourist area in Miami yet. If you’re into the hotel’s unique “Alice in Wonderland meets the Great Gatsby looks”, you’ve got director Baz Luhrmann and his award-winning designer wife, Catherine Martin to thank.

The creative duo were drafted in to bring their imagination and flair to the project, and it shows with murals by Spanish artist Juan Gatti gracing the cathedral-esque entrance way, a Damien Hirst gold plated mammoth skeleton by the pool, and a golden chandelier perched above a Living Room Lounge that looks like it was pulled straight from a Luhrmann movie. There’s no doubt that the fantastical and contemporary looks are the hotel’s calling card, and you’ve never checked into a hotel that’s quite like it.Book Now 

FAIRMONT GRAND DEL MAR

Fairmont Grand Hotel del Mar
What you’ll love

1. The resort’s golf course, designed by Tom Fazio.

2. Miles of horseback riding, hiking and cycling trails right on the property.

3.The hotel’s afternoon tea, traditionally served in the library.

The Fairmont Grand del Mar is one of the best resorts you’ll ever check into this side of the world. Relatively low key, this award-winning property ticks every box possible for a vacation in America: Southern California’s stunning weather, an incredible 18-hole golf course and a stellar restaurant headed by Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef William Bradley. This is rounded off by the best service available this side of California and spacious hotel rooms that feel more like apartments than temporary accommodation.Book Now 

FOUR SEASONS RESORT HUALALAI

FOUR SEASONS RESORT HUALALAI AT HISTORIC KA'UPULEHU
What you’ll love

1. Choose between 6 swimming pools, including an “Ocean” pool and Snorkel pond.

2. The superb location boasting a dramatic mix of white-sand beaches and black-lava landscapes.

3. Dinner at Ulu, where the chef works with more than 160 farmers and fishermen on the island to offer cuisine that’s 75% all local.

The islands of Hawaii, with their expanses of green, majestic volcanic eruptions and lukewarm waters, are without a doubt, one of most beautiful natural playgrounds in the world. Set on the exclusive Kona-Kohala coast, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu makes the most of all the beauty on offer thanks to an advantageous beachfront position and acres of space.

Every room looks over the ocean, or the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, so incredible views are a given every time you open the window curtains. Spa enthusiasts will love the 28,000-square foot spa and its tropical garden setting. In a unique touch, many of the products used in the massage treatments are created from herbs and plants freshly picked from the garden. For a one of a kind hotel experience on the Hawaiian coast, look no further than this incredible Four Seasons outpost.

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