Ever been in a foreign city with a bunch of other foreigners and no idea of where to go hang? That was me last week in Kigali. Funny, each one of them was asking me where to go for the best margarita or a decent meal. I don’t blame them, you would think that I know my way around given that I have been to Rwanda four times now, but no! For the first time, I wasn’t in the back of a taxi with a tour guide taking me to a Stromae concert or on my way to see golden monkeys. This time it was mainly for work! I never realized the tranquility of this place, for someone coming from Kampala it’s dreamy. This time round, I figured it was in my best interest to discover Kigali and blend it with my style, the whole experience was overwhelming. I rounded up these places for you so you don’t have to be in the same position as I was.
Ps: I love how almost every restaurant and bar has calla lilies. They are my favorite flowers, so big deal!
Kigali Marriott Hotel; Have a margarita at the Marriot hotel bar located in NyarugengeThis was the first place I visited upon arrival since it hosted the welcome cocktails for t
he delegates. A Marriott in Kigali, this got me by surprise! It’s typical Marriott style, sumptuous décor but with an African touch and first class service, just how I like it! [Official opening: sometime in October]
The Larder restaurant; Have a full course African lunch at the Larder restaurant in the Kigali convection center courtesy of Raddison Blu hotel. After a whole four hours of sitting in a conference hall discussing Africa’s bright economic future, this restaurant was the piece de resistance! Well polished with subtle colors, it screams modern day Africa! The food is typical African style, I have never felt so well represented!
Lobby bar and lounge; Try the baked salmon at the Lobby bar and lounge at Radisson blu hotel. As you may know, I probably consume more fish than I should, but then again, there isn’t such a thing as too much fish, especially if the sun is out and a beautiful view of palm trees and an attractive swimming pool is at your disposal! This place suited my style the most, vibrant decor with a touch of subtle yellow, grey and beige, delightful ambiance! Just being there made me feel really good and appreciate life more. [What a time to be alive!]
Chillax lounge; Visit the classy Chillax lounge at Century Park, in Nyarutarama. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” Yes, this bar must have been based on Leonardo da Vinci’s quote. The décor is impeccable and the service is A+. In the future, this place is going to be one of the most highly ranked residences in East Africa. Did I mention it will feature a Sheraton hotel with an indoor pool? Dreamy, I know!
The Manor hotel; Go for Pilates at the Manor in Nyarutarama on Friday and don’t forget to enjoy the lovely city view and beyond. This is the perfect place to view the sunset, it is positioned in a residential area, very peaceful and calm. But, be aware: the pool is quite small and filled with children over the weekend. I love children even when they are rowdy and splashing water in my face, just don’t carry your laptop with hopes of working by the pool on the weekend
Republika lounge; Date night at Republika lounge in Kimihurura. This made me a bit nostalgic, it gives you the Mediterraneo restaurant Kampala vibes only this time with a beautiful view of lit Kigali in the night, such a cozy place, and don’t get me started on the menu, it’s African, steak house cuisine. You should try their Wednesday specials, Beef or fish brochettes totally worth it!
Papyrus;After visiting Republika lounge, walk next door to Papyrus, an asian restaurant with a lovely view and a night club on the other side! #SushiandTequila
Presidential Palace Museum; Before you leave, visit the Presidential Palace museum in Kanombe to learn some of the country’s history, there were stories I didn’t believe about Rwanda but after visiting this place, my doubts were put to shame! Unfortunately, it is forbidden to take pictures inside, so you must go see for yourself. Be specific when telling the local taxi driver where you want to go, my plan was to go the memorial but instead he took me here. Fortunately, I have visited the memorial before.
Other images from The Global African Investment Summit 2016
Hope you enjoy your stay in Kigali like I did. xx