With the visit of family members two weeks ago, we decided to try the small hotels on the shores of Lake Kivu in Gisenyi. For this family reunion, Gisenyi was the perfect destination because of its beauty and tranquility.
What an unforgettable experience this stay turned out to be! We experienced exceptional customer service at the Paradis Malahide Hotel. We therefore cancelled the rest of our program in touring that region to prolong our stay in this “paradise”.
We also discovered two other magnificent hotels located in the same village as Paradis Malahide. This area of Gisenyi called Rubona is best suited to those who want to get away and enjoy the quiet atmosphere by the lake. Even though it is a bit difficult to get there, it’s worth the journey.
I was extremely happy and proud to hear that these three beautiful hotels were managed by exceptional women struggling each day to maintain quality of their products and services.
As we talk a lot these days about customer service in Rwanda, seeing the level of service in these three resorts far from Kigali was a real motivation for the trainer I am.
I wish to dedicate this article to these brave woman I describe as “the Hospitality Queens of Gisenyi”. As a woman myself with a hospitality background, I know how difficult it is to maintain the standards of such places.
I really wish many will recognize the efforts of these women and their team members in lifting up high service delivery in Rwanda.
This hotel is owned and managed by Odette, a very dynamic and friendly woman who has worked hard to build up this little hidden piece of Paradise. All the materials used to build the hotel are local. Even the plates and service utensils are made in wood by local artisans.
Out of the six Gisenyi hotels rated on Trip Advisor Paradis Malahide comes out as the First in 2009.
On February 24, 2009 for instance, UBetty from Belfast, United Kingdom wrote this on trip advisor:
“I don’t often feel motivated to write hotel reviews but after staying at Paradis Malahide, I felt that I really had to, such was the wonderful experience that I had there.
I’ve traveled in different countries and stayed in more expensive places but this was without doubt one of the nicest places I’ve ever stayed in, made all the more special by the friendly, attentive staff.
The staff, in particular the manager Fidel, could not have been more helpful and carried out their job as if it wasn’t just a job but as if they enjoyed having you as a guest.
The accommodation and food were excellent and the scenery around the lake was so beautiful and relaxing. Although I was only due to stay 2 nights, I changed my flights to extend my stay, I loved this place so much! I really can’t recommend Paradis Malahide highly enough - the staff is truly the best I’ve ever met!”
La Bella Resort
This resort is owned and managed by Jamila Hamud, an outstanding brave woman.
The place is ideal for relaxing, for conferences and exclusive parties. Just sitting there watching the birds makes it a perfect location for honeymoons.
“This place was a small piece of paradise. Situated approx 5km on the coast road out of Gisenyi this secluded resort was just what I needed.
The Private Bungalows all have uninterrupted views of Lake Kivu. Each is decorated to a very high standard with fantastic bathrooms with running hot water.
The owner Jamila was such the perfect host I actually changed my plans and stayed longer than planned to chill out on the Private Beach”.
Yvke Beach Resort
This beautiful hotel belongs to a certain woman called Annie but managed by Mama Micheline.
This is an amazing beautiful guesthouse with exotic garden rooms with private terrace with beautiful views. It is surrounded by wonderful vegetation.
The lovely restaurant offers superb breakfast served with such a helpful staff.
This hotel is arguably among the best hotels in Gisenyi in terms of value for money, quality of service, food and activities.
Customer Service evokes different interpretations and connotations to different people. But as customers, most of us base our first judgment on the attitudes and behaviors of the service people we meet.
Then secondly, on the quality of the product itself.
The above “Hospitality Queens of Gisenyi” have all proven that with their daily effort, determination, hard work, good taste, perseverance etc good customer service can be achieved in Rwanda.
Decide today to offer good products and inculcate the “right” attitude in your front-line staff for your own benefit and for the good reputation of Rwanda.
The author is a customer service consultant working in Rwanda.