The Retreat by Heaven
What We Love
- All 11 rooms feature celebrate Rwanda with locally made art, photography, and furniture
- Easy access to Heaven, one of Kigali's best restaurants
What To Know
- The hotel operates entirely on solar power
- The on-site team can arrange immersive activities and excursions, such as urban bush dinners and cooking classes
- Free WiFi
Eco-chic luxury boutique in a leafy, residential area of Kigali
A wave of stylish new safari lodges continue to up the luxury quotient of one of Africa’s most prized safari experiences—a gorilla trek through the rainforests of Rwanda. Guests must fly into the capital of Kigali first, however, where the only sensible lodging option for decades was the four-star Hôtel des Mille Collines. Finally, jet-setters have a place to stay: The Retreat at Heaven, the city’s first-ever luxury boutique hotel, built by American expats Alissa and Josh Ruxin (who also happen to run acclaimed international restaurant Heaven right next door). Each of the 11 rooms has been stylishly designed with stacked stone walls, peaked roofs, teak furniture, indoor and outdoor showers, and private decks. There’s also an open-air gym and saltwater pool along with a spa, a small farm-to-table restaurant, and a team dedicated to arranging whatever cultural immersion you desire, be it a craft workshop or on-site dance performance.
In the Area
The Retreat is located on a leafy residential street in Kiyovu, close to Kigali’s business district, and is right next door to Heaven Boutique Hotel and Heaven Restaurant—two of the couple’s other businesses. The setting is perfect for anyone wanting a quiet escape while still being close to the city’s major sights. The main town is just a short walk up the hill (where you’ll find banks, restaurants, and grocers), but taxis are plentiful and the hotel is happy to arrange pick-up.
How to Get There
We booked the Heaven Boutique Hotel, which is owned by the same people, and were upgraded to The Retreat on our arrival. What a great gift! Our room was lovely (and had great snacks), the buffet breakfast was excellent, the pool was warm, and the service was great. Both hotels are arranged along the same block; we ate dinner in the restaurant attached to the Heaven hotel one night and it was delicious too.
We stayed here after flying in from Nairobi. We were on our way to see the beautiful gorillas. This hotel is stunning! The rooms are so clean and well-maintained. Check-in and check-out were VERY swift. Ask for one of the top floor rooms with views of the city and the pool. There is even an outside shower for you! The staff is friendly and helpful.
We shall definitely stay here, again!
Full disclosure, I did not sleep at the Retreat, but had a tour of the villas and a wondeful treatment at the spa. The villas and the common areas are one of the most beautiful hospitality spaces I have ever encountered. Anywhere. My spa treatment was great and well priced.
If you are looking for high-end luxry in Kigali, this is the place.