Centre d'Accueil de I'Eglise Presbyterienne
Ave du Marche, Gisenyi, Rwanda
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Centre d'Accueil de I'Eglise Presbyterienne Gisenyi Reviews
Not a bad place, really. Aug 03, 2008
I was impressed with our room. We had a table, two chairs, a double bed, bedside table, and a bathroom complete with shower *sometimes hot water*
We were in a block of rooms for couples and shared a water heater with the neighbors. If we planned our showers correctly (made sure no one else was showering/flushing) we had good hot water and reasonable water pressure. If we timed it badly, we had no hot water and / or no water pressure. The water pressure usually dropped when we were in full lather from head to toe. Because of the water issues, I showered later than I'd have liked to most nights. One morning when I woke up really early I was able to take a shower with full pressure and plenty of hot water.
Our daughter was in a suite of three two-bed units that shared a common living room and bathroom. Several people gathered there in the evenings for games and cards. She shared her room with another teenage girl and the other rooms each had a single woman from our group in them.
One room I saw had around 4 bunkbeds in it. I'm assuming that was for groups of singles.
The room keys were on large wooden disks and the only way to insure your room got cleaned was to drop it off at the desk in the morning. Several of us kept our keys for days because we weren't too sure about the cleaning staff. My daughter was there sick one day and someone tried to open her bedroom door. Since she had the 'master' key to the suite, I'm not sure who was trying to get into her room but it probably wasn't the manager. Also, security and cleaning personnel were frequently found using her suite to take breaks, charge phones, and peek in on sleeping mzungus who didn't lock their individual bedroom doors. Management insisted no one had a master key except the on-site manager.
Cleaning staff tends to take dirty clothes and wash them. It's a wonderful thing to leave in the morning with a pile of dirty clothes in the corner of your room and come back to a pile of nicely folded clean clothes on your table. Charges for pants and shirts were 250 rf (approx $0.45 US). Socks and underwear were less. The most we paid was around 2500 rf for a huge pile. I tipped an extra 100 to 300, depending on the amount of clothes. Thick cotton socks didn't tend to dry completely.
We found only one pillow on our bed. My husband and I packed pillows for our trip but since our luggage was lost at Kigali (another blog), we didn't have them for one week. I borrowed off one of the ladies in our group who was sleeping single in a double room.
Large towels were provided but no hand or wash towels. I recommend taking your own and a pillow.
Be prepared to host ghekos and misc. insects in your room. The mosquito nets on the beds are necessary. I'm not afraid of ghekos or most of the bugs that crawl around in Gisenyi but I did remove one 5" millipede from my daughter's room.
According to Lonely Planet's 'East Africa' book, there is a restaurant on site. I don't know about that because all of our meals were taken care of by the church that was hosting our visit.
Note: Turn your toilet valve to the 'off' position if you're leaving your room. Three of the toilets in our group had issues of overflowing from the tank for no reason. Thankfully ours did it when we were in the room so no damage was done. The other two flooded when no one was around and the water came to within inches of luggage.
A shop across the parking lot offers locally made crafts by Rwandan women. It is sponsored by the church. Prices are fantastic and bartering is not cool. You'll pay very little for wonderful work. Our entire group shopped there and we got great bargains.
Some who bought fabric in the market (one block away) were able to have it sewn into garments by some of the women at the shop. Prices were very reasonable. Less than $8.00 US for an authentic blouse and skirt for one of the women in our group. The fabric cost her around $18.00 so for less than $22.00 she has a beautiful outfit.
On the topic of noise: Some things are very loud; Ibis, drums, singing and chanting church goers, Muslim mosques, car horns, avocados hitting metal roofs, portable radios, loud conversations. All of these things will be heard at and around the Guesthouse. Some go all night while others start up early in the mornings. The ibis that hang out in the trees are one of the top 5 loudest animals in Africa....believe it! They announce themselves at 5 am religiously. My husband packed earplugs. I wish I'd done the same.
Part of the My Time in Rwanda travel blog
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