Nestled among the quiet, green cobbled streets of Kiyovu, Park Inn by Radisson offers travelers a break from the hustle and bustle of downtown Kigali.
Stepping into the lobby of Park Inn, one is struck by the vibrance of color accented by minimalist decor that lends the hotel a youthful, modern and cosmopolitan appeal.
A refreshment station of cool water with fresh limes, a smart station with weather updates and news headlines to re-orient waiting guests, add practical and thoughtful touches of any arrival.
At the front desk, my check-in was swift and smooth, with the receptionist providing an easy-to-remember preview of the hotel and its general amenities: meals, cafe, pool, gym, sauna, salon, laundry. In addition, room floors could only be accessed via a room key, she explained, providing an added layer of security any businessperson, parent or lone traveler could appreciate.
My superior room was a cozy affair, with a writing desk, spacious closets, refreshment station and minibar, flat-screen TV, king-sized bed and a reading nook. It overlooked the swimming pool and the lush green hills of the city.
Being extremely picky with my bathroom accomodations, I was pleased to find a spotless walk-in shower, plenty of soft white towels (a mark of all great hotels) and quality Dove products. I found a a dry-cleaning bag in the closet, with clear instructions for reaching laundry services. Any other questions I could think of asking was summarized in the informational cards displayed at the corner of my working desk. Lastly, the hotel proved eco-conscious: all lights and air are paused when one leaves the room. This not only helps in conservation of energy but also helped to regulate the room - as many a hotel guest can attest - it is unpleasant to walk into a frigid room after air has been running all day when one has been away.
Being mid-afternoon, the front desk had thoughtfully advised I could order a lunch late to enjoy by the swimming pool. In addition to the pool, the second floor boasts a beauty salon that offer full spa packages as well as hair and nail care, as well as a gym with state-of-the-art equipment.
Park Inn swimming pool area, dotted by comfortable lounge chairs, is popular among all age groups depending on day and time, local and foreign. A staff member recommended the most popular dish on the menu: a golden, crispy fish and chips, and a mojito that arrived ice cold - a welcome in the late afternoon heat. As a pleasant afternoon turned into an early dinner with a friend, I tried the chicken satay with a sweet chili sauce, paired with an excellent house white wine.
At 8 pm, notes of music danced down the hallway from a live acoustic band playing classic tunes for diners in the hotel’s main dining room. A gentle evening that left me contented and relaxed.
As often happens during any travel, I met with one hitch: upon returning to my room I discovered my television was not working. A quick call to the front desk and 5 minutes later, a two-man crew appeared at the door ready to fix the problem, while with the special attention of the manager on duty, I was assigned another room. When I called front desk because I had forgotten my toiletries in the first one, the same staff member I spoke to on the phone graciously fetched it for me. The rest of the night unfolded smoothly: a hot shower in the walk-in shower, room service served until 10:30 pm and a movie on my new big screen TV.
In the morning, noticing I had forgotten my toothbrush, a young lady room service arrived promptly at my door and delivered, with a gentle knock, both toothbrush and toothpaste. Being a time-conscious traveler, this show of efficiency and rapidity was highly appreciated. Breakfast was held in a tastefully decorated cafe, with Continental and African bites: african teas, fresh-brewed Rwandan coffee, hot omelettes, roasted tomatoes, breakfast potatoes, meats, sausages and salamis, pastries, cereals, fruits, cheeses and other condiments to make a breakfast lover’s day. I was grateful for the soft music and helpful staff, as my business days need to start calmly. Easy checkout at 10:30 AM and front-door taxi service rounded out an ultimately smooth and pleasant stay at the Park Inn. I will be back.