Open for business in the bustling Rwandan capital of Kigali is the Hotel Des Milles Collines. The four-star property houses five variations of rooms, a refreshing pool, lounge, restaurant and views of the city. Priced at around $130 a night, the hotel is one of many properties in the mid-tier range. But Hotel Des Milles Collines has a story competitors like the Radisson Blu Hotel do not. And that story is why TravelCoterie is designating this location a #ForTheCulture stop.
In 2004, the film Hotel Rwanda introduced many Americans to the atrocities of the Rwandan genocide. Actor Don Cheadle plays Paul Rusesabagina, house manager of the Hotel Des Milles Collines during the start of 1994 crisis. Paul is Hutu, but his wife Tatiana is Tutsi. These militarily assigned “classifications” become a source of contention with local Hutu militia who take exception to Paul’s Tutsi wife. When a conflict breaks out, brutal Hutu militias throughout the region begin murdering innocent Tutsi citizens forcing Paul to use his hotel as a hideaway for victims.
Rwanda has changed a lot in the 24 years since the genocide. It’s become an increasingly popular tourist destination fueled by booming development, gorilla treks, and amazing coffee. But if you need a place to sleep on your nights in Kigali, Hotel Des Milles Collines is an option to consider … just don’t be surprised if the building doesn’t mirror the films.
While Hotel Rwanda was based on the incidents that happened at Hotel Des Milles Collines, the film was shot in South Africa at a stand-in location.