Protea Hotels have announced that they will later this year open a 25 bedroom hotel in a suburb of Kigali, their first ever in Rwanda, the Land of a Thousand Hills. Included in the rooms will be up to 8 two bedroom units with the rest being standard Protea rooms as found across their other hotels.
A restaurant, a gym but no fully fledged Spa and a swimmingpool will be on offer for clients, as will two small conference rooms.
Protea will, after regional giant Serena Hotels and the upcoming Marriott International hotel only be the third international hotel group represented in Rwanda, though Dubaiworld’s Istithmar and Kenya’s Governors Camp both own properties on the safari circuit. Istithmar’s Nyungwe Forest Lodge is part of the Shamwari Collection while the Sabinyo Gorilla Camp of Governors is self managed.
The arrival of Protea will add further ‘oomph’ to Rwanda’s marketing efforts as the South African hotel management company will undoubtedly have to hard sell their new property, complementing the efforts of RDB’s generic marketing of the country. The presence of a South African hotel management company will no doubt be hugely beneficial to attract more South African visitors and with South African Airways now operating regular flights between Johannesburg and Kigali, this constellation is bound to be positive for Rwanda. No rates are available as yet nor has a firm opening date been set by Protea.
There is growing speculation that when the Kigali International Conference Centre and the adjoining 5 star hotel, both presently under construction, will open next year, another international hotel group will be given the concession to manage it, and the name Hilton has been dropped more than once in the past, without any authoritative confirmation though at this stage