Sitting of the incredible white sandy shores of the 6th largest lake in Africa Lake Kivu, Lake Kivu Serena Hotel offers the best escape in Rwanda with its large tropical gardens. It also has over 66 luxurious spacious rooms, plus executive suites as well as family accommodation. There are a variety of beach games to choose from as well as relaxing on the shores while enjoying the gorgeous scenery and also bird watching. It’s a large, international-style hotel with a range of facilities and activities, and fronted by a long beach.
Outlook aside, all the rooms in Lake Kivu Serena Hotel have broadly the same features: neutral décor, air conditioning, 24-hour power, tea- and coffee-making facilities, safes, DSTV and WiFi access, and a private balcony. That said, six of the rooms are slightly larger ‘suites’ with a small lounge area with sofa, minibar and flat-screen TV, and a larger bathroom with a double shower.
Downstairs, the open, breezy bar has lovely view over the lake – though it does lack a little in atmosphere. Adjacent to the bar is the Kiyaga Restaurant which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is served as a buffet, with lunch and dinner being served either as a buffet or from an al a carte menu depending on the hotels occupancy. Guests can choose to eat on the veranda next to the pool, or in the inside dining room during cooler evenings. The Ziwini Cafe is located beneath the pool, and is open during the day, serving a selection of snacks and drinks.
The facilities at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel are excellent. There’s a large swimming pool overlooking the lake, with plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas dotted around. A shallow children’s swimming pool adjoins the main pool, although parental supervision is recommended. Loungers and umbrellas are set out, too, along the beach that runs in front of the hotel. There are tennis courts that guests can use as well as a watersports centre with catamaran, jet skis and more. A spa provides Elemis treatments, with prices from US$65 for a 90-minute massage. And a little shop sells trinkets and souvenirs from Rwanda, Kenya and the Congo, as well as useful items such as toothpaste and sun cream.
The 66 en-suite rooms at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel are set in two diagonal lines, one overlooking the gardens and the other facing the communal areas below and with views over the lake; we would definitely recommend the lake-view rooms. As you would expect from a Serena property, the rooms are finished to a good standard, but lack the character or individuality that you might find at a smaller or independent property.
The Lake Kivu Serena Hotel is the most comfortable option along the shores of the lake. What it lacks in character and individuality, it makes up for in facilities. For a few days relaxation before or after gorilla trekking, this is a lovely option.