The three upgraded to five stars are among 31 hospitality establishments awarded between 1 (one) to 5 (five) stars by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) during the Hospitality Grading ceremony held on Friday 21st May at Kigali Serena Hotel.
The 1-5 star grading system helps to differentiate the quality of services that establishments render to their clientele.
The criteria used to grade the establishments range from their location, site, and environment, architectural design and features, capacity, reception area, information services, hours of service, decor, amenities and accessories and regulation of temperature among others as per the ‘East African Criteria for Standardization of Hotels, Restaurants and other Tourist Accommodation Facilities’.
The criteria stipulates the standards that should be met for any accommodation establishment to be one, two, three, four or five stars and are mandatory for any prospective property developer in the accommodation sector in all EAC member states.
It is the first time the ceremony is held during COVID-19 pandemic following the previous one held in November 2019.
The facilities awarded a five-star rating this year include One & Only Gorilla’s Nest, Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House and The Retreat & Heaven Boutique Hotel while Phoenix Plaza and Kivu Marina Bay in Rusizi were upgraded to four-star.
Seven hotels including Mythos Boutique Hotel (Kiyovu) and Ste Famille Hotel also received three star grading while 18 were awarded two-star rating. These are Vive Hotel and Apartments (Rusizi), Okapi Hotel (Kigali) and 5 Swiss Hotel (Kiyovu) among others. Munini Hill Motel located in Rusizi received one-star rating.
Four-star facilities are The Retreat Boutique Hotel and Residence Prima 2000, all located in the City of Kigali.
One & Only Gorilla’s Nest, Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House were inaugurated in 2019.
RDB Chief Tourism Officer, Belise Kariza said that the grading of one to five stars should be well interpreted and no level of star should be undermined.
He highlighted that the ranking typically helps both the client and the investor to understand what is expected for a service.
As she delivered her remarks, the CEO of RDB Clare Akamanzi stressed that the classification of hotels is a tool that defines quality standards of facilities and services to the consumer and the industry in general.
"Consequently, the classification of accommodation establishments continues to be a tool we use to raise the quality of services and facilities offered to tourists. It is in part how we will continue being an attractive destination,” she said.
"In order to recover and rebuild our industry’s capabilities, I want to call upon our private sector to continue improving on standards as that is one of the ways of building confidence among consumers of your services. The number of opportunities in this sector is immense, the Government is committed to provide support that is needed to ensure quality standards are achieved and maintained," added Akamanzi.
Beata Habyarimana, the Minister of Trade and Industry who was the guest of honor congratulated graded establishments and urged them to maintain good services.
"As the country strives to become a knowledge-based economy, the hospitality industry should be at the forefront of providing quality services. The receiving establishments should embrace the grading as a service delivery contract. It’s not just an award but an obligation, which you should be accountable for,” she stated.