The Retreat, Rwanda
A refreshing change from the large chain hotels which dominate Kigali’s hotel offering, The Retreat is a luxury boutique bolthole with a distinctly local feel. Set on a hillside within the leafy neighbourhood of Kiyovu, it’s Italian in design but with a Rwandan soul, making it the perfect introduction to the country. Even though it’s owned by American husband-and-wife team Josh and Alissa Ruxin, most of the staff are young Rwandan locals, expertly trained in hospitality and with a friendly, warm nature that makes a stay at The Retreat a homely one. The Retreat’s focus is firmly as an eco-friendly escape, being Kigali’s first entirely solar-powered hotel and its rooms and communal spaces filled with locally sourced teak furniture and artwork. It’s also conveniently located, with the city centre only a short walk away.
There’s only 11 rooms at The Retreat, making your stay highly personalised and private. The rooms are stylish, Italianate and mainly white in colour, but vibrant handwoven textiles (such as the cushions, runners and bolster pillows) are delightful flashes of traditional Rwandan handicrafts. All rooms contain sustainable teak furniture, air conditioning and complimentary purified water. The Deluxe King Rooms come with private patios, the tranquil neighbourhood making it the perfect place to relax, while the more spacious Superior King Suites come with an extra patio at the front, double sinks and indoor and outdoor rain showers.
The Retreat’s Fusion Restaurant serves exactly what you’d expect, combining different culinary influences from the likes of Italy, Mauritius and Morocco with Rwandan ingredients to create delicious organic dishes. Looking out onto the hotel’s saltwater pool and rock garden, there are few better views from which to dine at The Retreat. Guests of The Retreat can also eat at Heaven Restaurant, which is shared with its sister hotel Heaven Boutique, located next door. Heaven is consistently ranked as one of the best restaurants in Kigali, with its menus focusing on Rwandan and wider African flavours, working closely with nearby farmers and cultivating the onsite garden so you know that ingredients will be both local and fresh. Dishes such as Swahili spiced chicken stew and Rwandan beef fillet with Virunga beer brown butter sauce give you a flavour of what tasty meals you can expect! Heaven is also a great place for winding down after a thrilling day exploring the city and, reinforcing the local theme, its cocktail menu features ingredients like Rwandan honey, local banana wine and Ugandan gin.
Being close to the city centre, The Retreat is the ideal base from which to wander Kigali’s food and craft markets and visit the city’s Genocide Memorial. However, the hotel also have an array of activities that your own personal butler can help arrange for you. City tours help you get under the skin of Kigali, a traditional dance lesson mean you can hot-step closer to Rwandan culture and a day with a local farmer is a great way to give back to the community.
Nestled in a tranquil spot on a hillside away from the busy city centre, The Retreat is made for wellness and relaxation. The large solar-heated saltwater pool and hot tub is lovely to laze in or beside, while the beautiful rock garden adds to the charming atmosphere. Guests can share the Heaven Fitness Center with Heaven Boutique Hotel, a gym fitted with state-of-the-art equipment looking out on fine garden views, while there’s weekly yoga classes and a spa with an extensive range of massages and treatments to soothe your body after a busy day exploring the city.
Where is The Retreat?
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Every Turquoise holiday to Rwanda is tailor-made and expertly crafted. Please contact our team of travel specialists on 01494 678 400 or via our online enquiry form for a bespoke quotation and we’ll happily source the best available offers for your travel dates.
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