Waterfront Resort

This place is now called The Palm Beach Resort.

As most of you know Gisenyi is one of the nicest places to spend time away from the hustle and bustle of Kigali. While Gisenyi town has a few decent hotels to choose from, travel just a few kilometers south and you’ll find the peninsula where the really nice lodging can be found. One of these is the Waterfront Resort. Once called Palm Garden, and after that View Palm, the name was changed to Waterfront Resort a few months ago when its new owner Patricia took over. Patricia invited me and few friends to visit and see what we thought of the resort since she started making improvements.

Waterfront sits on a lovely site overlooking the lake that includes a large grassy area with playground equipment for children, an outdoor bar, a sandy beach that is open to both guests and day-trippers alike, and a small dock with a boat that can be rented for lake tours.

Waterfront Resort
For accommodation Waterfront has two options. There are three bungalows that are big and stylishly decorated with a traditional African look. The rooms are very spacious and the beddings are top quality (Soft mattresses! Soft pillows! Soft blankets! Yes, in Rwanda!). The bathrooms are one of the nicest things about the resort. Open air (no roof) showers let the sunlight and cool Kivu air in while you’re surrounded by lovely volcanic stones and plants creeping out of the walls, and let me tell you, you’ll want to stay in the shower until there’s not a single drop of warm water left. These rooms go for $100 a night for up to two guests, and if you need space for a third guest you’ll pay an additional $30. Lucky for us we were given the best bungalow set right on the shore, with our own loungers set right outside of our door. It was the perfect place to watch the sun set and the fishing boats trawl the lake. This attention to detail, along with the colorful, exotic flowers and plants outside of our windows, made for a very pleasant stay.

Waterfront also has seven additional rooms that aren’t quite as nice as the bungalows, but they are in the process of being renovated. These rooms are a bit cheaper than the bungalows at $80 per night for up to two guests (also $30 for a third guest), but the upstairs rooms do have the advantage of having a beautiful view overlooking Lake Kivu. That being said, I’d recommend you try to book the bungalows for the best experience. Regardless of what lodging you choose, a nice breakfast of fruit, eggs, toast and tea or coffee are included.

Waterfront Resort

The resort’s restaurant is lovely as well. It has a raised view of the lake and the interior design perfectly fits in with the local landscape. The menu is not much different than what you’d find at many other similar hotels – brochettes, steaks, chicken, pasta, etc. – but they have added some Indian dishes to the mix as well. Some of the food came out about 20 minutes before the rest and it wasn’t as hot as it could have been, but overall the food and service were quite good. I brought these issues up to the owner and she said she was working with her kitchen staff to improve the restaurant service and it was nice to have the owner nearby to quickly and efficiently take note of and deal with the issues.

Waterfront Resort offer live entertainment in the form of local traditional dancers who perform on Friday and Saturday evenings, so if you stay on those nights be prepared for a show.

Other than a few issues with the food, the service was exceptional throughout our stay. All of the staff seemed ready and eager to attend to us at any time, but without being intrusive. Overall we had a very good experience and I would say that Waterfront Resort is a great place to waste away a few days swimming, reading and forgetting about the office.

Phone: 0789 528 772 / 0788 382 507
Website: http://www.waterfrontresortlk.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/waterfrontresortlakekivurwanda

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9 thoughts on “Waterfront Resort”

  1. Sounds a really lovely place to spend a few days to rejuvenate. The views seem to die for and I guess the food too would be as good. The price seems quite reasonable and worth a visit as soon as I can. Theo

  2. Stayed once with a group of friends. Would not stay again because once the power went, the owners were very stingy with the generator, so it was pitch dark outside at the tables by the lake. One of our friends eventually fell off a little cliff by the shore, and in response the owners said they may put on the generator ‘soon’ and when asked for a first aid kit revealed there was none (eventually they brought a bottle of Old Spice…). For $80 a night I would hope for the first aid kit and some light at night.

    1. Thank you for your input, we appreciate your feedback. We remember the below occurrence (November 2014), it was unfortunate. It was in the early days of our taking over the resort. We had just purchased a generator which unfortunately kept on tripping, so the lack of electricity was not due to stinginess, but a faulty generator. Subsequently the generator was replaced and we have not experienced any issues since. A first aid kit was purchased and is available from reception.

  3. I’m pretty sure that they finished renovations on the upper rooms, they were really nice during my stay (March). The only thing I wasn’t sure about was the shower, but in the end the water pressure was great and overall I had a very pleasant and relaxing stay. The breakfast by the lake very tasty (with great views) and they gave me a lot of coffee (always a plus for me). I was staying in the area for work so only stayed one night, but I’d go back with friends. I booked online and the owner was really responsive to emails.

  4. I rarely give out reviews but after a weekend we had at Waterfront, it would be a crime not to. This place in itself is beautiful, a gem really. HOWEVER. Their service lives little to desire. We booked 6 rooms ahead of time so they knew it would be at least 12 of us coming. We asked for a round of drinks and they told us they were out of (beers, red wine), snacks. They had to use our payment of the 1st bill to go get more supplies. So that was hiccup no.1. We asked to see our rooms and they were dusty, toilet not working so pretty much no employee went in ahead of us to ensure all was in place. There was not even a bottled water to brush our teeth. When morning came. 3 rooms did not have hot water (they blamed that on the power outrage but this is no excuse, as they said they had a very nice generator). After a cold shower, breakfast took forever to come. If you know you will be booked all weekend, the least you can do is prep better and make sure breakfast doesn’t take 30 min to get to customers. As we were in a hurry, some of us left without having it.

    So please please Waterfront, you have a great place but there is no management on site. We asked to speak to the owners and were told were not even in town. You have a lot to improve. Improve customer service, maintenance, procurement, plan a little better because for your prices, clients should get better than you are offering.

    Thanks
    Christelle

  5. Patricia Palaparti

    Dear Christelle,
    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR REVIEW. We are grateful that you brought home to us all the shortcomings at the Waterfront resort last weekend. We apologise most sincerely for the inconvenience you encountered here. We were very much in town but were totally caught up in trying to restore power to the resort. About midnight a brewery truck tore down the electrical wires outside our resort pulling most of our electrical fittings with it. That accounts for the fact that even our generator was useless. We live in a very small town and often we do not get everything we need, especially some brands of beers and wines. We try. But no excuses are good enough. I promise you this was a once off and should you venture to return to the Waterfront you will see that all the points you brought up will have been addressed. Once again, thank you for your very constructive feed back.
    Patricia

  6. Like I was hoping that Waterfront would reply. Man, what a place that is. Have been there thrice already and found everything perfect. Sorry for your bad experience Mam, but things happen. Not everyday is perfect. My friends and I enjoyed excellent service and superior food. Do try it again Mam and you sure will see what I am talking about.

  7. I have stayed over at the Waterfront resort several times over the last 6 months and each time has been pleasantly surprised at their level of service. The staff is extremely courteous and quick to respond yet discreet. The property is breathtaking and the food is good – especially recommend their fried sambasa and their Indian food!

    Mary

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