I’ve been curious about Onomo Hotel ever since I saw it spring up on the side of the fairly central hill coming down the long road from town. It’s nothing new to see a new building pop up quickly in Kigali, but what caught my interest was the cool Imigongo patterns painted on the outside and the view from what looked like a super well-located swimming pool. Once they started posting awesome photos of their view and patio, I knew I had to visit. Luckily, the folks at Onomo offered me a free stay so I could really explore what they have on offer.
Onomo Hotel originated in Dakar and they currently have five hotels in South Africa, three in Morocco, and single properties in Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Mail, Guinea, Togo, Mozambique, and soon in Uganda and Tanzania. It’s a pan-African business and I love the idea of supporting homegrown hotels like this one. Their focus is on chic, 3-star hotels equipped with modern amenities and they pride themselves on their friendly service.
I was very impressed with all of the staff I met there and I even bumped into someone I knew from when he worked at Serena Hotel. He’d been given a promotion from waiter at Serena up to a manager of the serving staff at Onomo and it was awesome to see him given an opportunity to advance his career. Meeting him there was also evidence that Onomo Hotel have done a good job in finding some excellent people to staff their hotel.
The front desk people were also all very friendly and professional and I had a lovely greeting from everyone. After filling in a form I was led up to a standard suite on the fourth floor. The room was large with a fantastic view and the space was divided into two rooms plus a shower room, bathroom, and a nook for a sink. The second room came equipped with a small kitchenette with a microwave, fridge, and kettle and if you’re on a business trip and want to hold a meeting at the hotel, this little side room would do the trick.
Rooms range in price from between $89 to $169 depending on the type of room and time of year. They offer standard rooms, suites, twin rooms, and adjoining rooms that are great for families or groups of friends. The interior decorating in the entire place is all very slick and professional and it feels like a lot of time and effort has been taken to really create a nice experience for guests.
One area where Onomo Hotel Kigali really stands out is with their awesome outdoor patio and swimming pool setup. Their location part-way up a steep hill gives them excellent views and they’ve taken advantage of this by having doors on the entire front wall that open all the way to connect their bar and restaurant area with an awesome patio outside. This alone is beautiful but the addition of a pool perched right on the edge has created a truly wonderful space. The view from here and the way they light the whole area up at night is really quite magical.
The pool is open to non-guests for a reasonable price of Rwf 5,000 per day. The restaurant is also open to everyone and the patio regularly hosts events, BBQs, and live music which is especially fun on a beautiful, clear Kigali night. It’s a really fantastic hangout spot, even if you’re just coming for a drink in the evening. My friend and I hung out here for several hours one night sipping very nice mojitos (Rwf 6,000) while enjoying the glorious view. A good mojito is hard to find in this city and I’d say Onomo Hotel have nailed it.
For a 3-star property I really feel like Onomo Hotel goes beyond what you might expect. The breakfast buffet is excellent and the restaurant area is beautiful, especially in the morning with the light streaming in. They have a full menu with lots of tasty options and even if you’re not staying at the hotel it’s worth a trip out for dinner on the patio. Service at the restaurant is also very good and it’s just the sort of place where everything seems to runs smoothly.
If you’re looking for a mid-ranged option for Kigali that goes above and beyond, this is a great choice. It’s the sort of place where you know everything in the room will work well, there will be hot water, and the service will be great. Throw in the awesome view, super comfortable beds, a small gym, and a sweet patio and pool area and you have a winner!
Phone: +250 (0)252 554 700
Onomo Hotel gave me a free, two-night stay in exchange for a review.