Launched in 2001, Hôtel Saint-André located on Kabgayi Hill in Muhanga town in the Southern Province is 3-Star hotel named after Apostle Saint Andrew by the owner the Kabgayi Diocese.
Hôtel Saint-André is strategically positioned in the heart of Muhanga District on the beautiful hills next to the Cathedral and the Minor Basilica of Kabgayi, a few metres branch off on Kigali – Huye highway.
The beauty of the Hotel is visible to any visitor and because of its serenity the neighbouring community and areas also enjoy a good atmosphere due to the greenery and scenery that is hard to find elsewhere.
Fr Joseph Nzasingizimana, the Managing Director says that they changed the name to Hôtel Saint-André in October 2017 after acquiring the 3-Star Hotel status from Centre Saint-André Kabgayi.
The Hotel has an open reception, superb restaurant, bar and conference facilities placed in an impeccable design and concept combined to offer the Kabgayi urban village, a place to relax, meet and enjoy a cocktail as well as a choice from menus offering pan African ingredients prepared in a modern and tempting style.
The hotel features modern and comfortable rooms, including separate lounge areas and kitchens as well as attractive views of the surrounding hills. The hotel offers different services to a range of customers in different levels with affordable rates.
The rooms offer a comfortable work space, complimentary broadband Wi-Fi access, separate shower and toilet, flat screen TV and a wide choice of DSTV and Canal+ channels to choose from.
There is a spectacular view from the hotel with amazing landscape and a relaxing atmosphere from the spacious and delightful terrace for different activities guests can enjoy like at the swimming pool, at the restaurant or bar and perfect smell of the fresh air from surrounding natural trees and gardens.
Fr Nzasingizimana notes that they also operate a separate facility in the centre of Muhanga town known as Lumina Kabgayi that also offers excellent services like those at the hotel.
Other services include meals that can be offered in the hotel restaurant as well as provide catering service anywhere at any time on order.
The serenity and comfort of Hôtel Saint-André make it an ideal place for vacations, training, retreats among others. The hotel has a modern conference facility for events, cocktail receptions and informal or formal dinner occasions with tailor made menu and beverage options to choose from.
The hotel has a discreet and efficient business corner with all modern equipment on hand for effective communication and business services.
Fr Nzasingizimana observes that for those who wish to stay fit, healthy and in shape the hotels offer these services too. An outdoor swimming pool has been completed that is one of the best in the district where one can go to keep themselves in the right shape and healthy.
The hotel was established to provide services and host a range of people visiting this region and could not find such a facility yet the doctrines of the Catholic Church are to welcome visitors. Another important factor was to provide hotel services to people coming to seek medical services from Kabgayi hospital located within a few metres to the hotel that also has much sought after speciality services in ophthalmology.
Muhanga area has a unique history that can attract tourism and yet the area lacked hotel facilities which Kabgayi Diocese tapped-in to boost local tourism. This was also in connection with the development of the district.
The hotel is uniquely positioned in the development of the district on different fronts from creating employment to a large local workforce, contribution of taxes, boosting local tourism and provide market for local produce.
Although Muhanga’s tourism uptake has remained relatively low some policies have not been fair to such developing towns. This can be indicative in the government provision of staff missions while visiting places like Muhanga which is lower as compared to some other places discouraging people to visit these towns.
Fr Nzasingizimana calls for revision of unfair policies which can lead to uneven distribution of resources and encourages investors into the hospitality sector to turn to Muhanga as a fast growing city for tomorrow that will also give them good returns.
For Hôtel Saint-André, investing in Muhanga’s hospitality is ongoing where every year there is some facility added to an array of services which will continue with a target to achieve a 5-Star certified hotel.