Serena Hotels have established themselves as one of the world’s leading hospitality brands offering quality accommodation, unique holiday and conference solutions, cultural heritage and adventure tourism. Its collection of 35 unique hotels, resorts, safari lodges and camps, palaces and forts located in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Rwanda and Uganda), Mozambique and South Asia (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan) are in some of the world’s most interesting, enchanting, historic and exotic settings.
The hotel has 148 sophisticated rooms that includes an impressive 300 square metres presidential suite with a king size bed, Jacuzzi and space for meetings and entertaining. Check out their accommodation here
Kigali Farmers’ And Artisans’ Market – KFAAM, has had the privilege of working with Kigali Serena Hotel by having its markets at their venue for the past few months. Both the market and the hotel share numerous goals and visions when it comes to supporting, building and working with local businesses in Rwanda.
So what makes Kigali Serena Hotel the ideal place to host your events?
Having first hand experience of being hosted at the Kigali Serena, here are the reasons (in no particular order) why the hotel is the perfect and ideal spot for all your event needs in Kigali.
The conference areas are located on separate, quiet floors. This means you are able to comfortably host your guests without interruption from other events/ guests within the hotel. The market is usually held at the auditorium and, we are able to have music playing in the background, kids running around and the general hustle and bustle of a market without any worry that we are bothering other guests or the surrounding businesses and homes in the area
2. Ready-to-Use Equipment
In addition to tables and chairs, they have conference phones, Wi-Fi accessibility, writing charts and protector screens. This means you don’t have to stress over extra costs of set-up and transportation of equipment and focus more on layout and event preparation. This is a huge plus for the market and definitely cuts on costs and ensures better time management which is a big thing for any event manager
3. Fresh Food and Beverage Option
They offer banquet services with customizable menus. Their food is fresh and most of it is made using ingredients from local farmers. They have customized a menu for the market which is a great value add for the consumers that visit us each month.
Having been a fresh farm produce distributor in Kigali (before starting the market), Kigali Serena was one of my clients. I can attest to the fact that the delivery of fresh food was done every day and it was always amazing to see the number of local farmers and producers lined up waiting to have their produce vetted and received. There are standards of hygiene to be up held and corners are not cut thanks to the astute eye of Executive Chef Fred Nakweya and his team.
4. Experienced Staff
Your meeting or event will not be Kigali Serena hotel’s first event (and hopefully won’t be its last!). You can tell that the staff is trained to quickly resolve issues like food concerns, technical difficulties, etc. The GM, who serves as the Country manager as well, Dan Sambai, is extremely helpful, has an eye for detail, quick to respond to queries and generally made the organisation of each market easier with each passing month. The deputy James Nzavawala, is just as good and talented in his work and together with their entire staff, you’ll have fewer grey hairs managing and coordinating your event at this hotel.
5. Easy Access
Kigali Serena Hotel has done a great job of trying to accommodate every guests’ needs when it comes to accessibility of its facilities. To access the auditorium, there’s a ramp for PLWD, plenty of parking – which is a walking distance from the auditorium, clean and well stocked wash rooms and a green lash garden to enjoy your snacks and drinks as you catch up with your friends. Kids are also able to run around freely without the worry that there’s danger lurking around the corner
6. Powerful Networking
What makes Kigali Serena Hotel stand out in my eyes, is how vested they are in networking. Each market has had visits from several department heads from the hotel. They listen and learn about what the vendors are selling and even go above and beyond by introducing vendors to their relevant colleagues in the hotel to create and cultivate relationships that go beyond market day. We had the great pleasure of showing the country sales and marketing manager, Evelyne Karamangi-Kamau, around in the last market and, she had fantastic ideas on how the market could further impact the community. She went ahead and supported some of the local businesses by purchasing products/produce to try out and had very encouraging words for every vendor she met. If this doesn’t show responsible attitude and sensitivity towards supporting local businesses, I don’t know what does.
Next time you are looking for a 5 star venue with a central location coupled with experienced staff and world class facilities, Kigali Serena hotel should definitely be top of mind.
Having learnt and known that Kigali Serena Hotels’ procurement strategy thrives through local sourcing, it was a no brainer to partner with them as at all costs, they encourage and promote local community based suppliers and eco-friendly products that support small scale producers and dis-advantaged groups.
Our next market shall be on 2nd March at the auditorium from 1200-1800hrs. Click here if you are interested in joining us as a vendor.
To learn more about Kigali Serena hotel and their facilities, click here
You can also directly contact the following staff members on email with the subject head ‘Kigali Farmers’ And Artisans’ Market referral-Request for customized event’ to get your customized event package with possible discounts
GM/Country Manager: Dan Sambai – firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy GM :James Nzavwala – email@example.com
Executive Chef: Fred Nakweya – firstname.lastname@example.org
Country Sales and Marketing Manager: Evelyne Karamangi-Kamau -email@example.com
Disclaimer: The opinions stated here are of the author and it’s imperative that one does their own extensive research before booking any site for an event.
Flo Mwashimba is the founder of KFAAM and is strongly passionate about supporting SMEs, micro and home industries run by women, youth and PLWD in the community