29 March 2014

Rwanda: Pork, Fresh Fruits At Musanze's Ste Anne

This is not a Church-owned facility like the name will most probably lead you to think. Rather, the "Ste" at the beginning of the name has got something to do with the owner's grandmother, not Church.

That said, it is still the kind of place you will find a bible neatly placed on your bedside table should you opt for the rooms.

They have sixteen guest rooms in all, with the cheapest going for Rwf 30,000, although from the look of things, one can get a bargain on off-peak days. I took out one of the cheaper rooms, which was just fine for a night's stay. However, it did not come fitted with a bath tub, so naturally the shower heads just splashed water in all directions.

The en suite TV did not fare any better, as my efforts at channel-hopping only yielded a few sports channels relaying foreign football matches.

Still, live-in guests form the bulk of the hotel's clientele. Usually, it is Kigalians on short business visits, those attending conferences and seminars in Musanze, and honeymooners.

The locals, on the other hand come here for the food, with the main draw being the pork, and brochette. Four years ago when the hotel opened, it introduced Oriental cuisine onto the Musanze food scene, in a bid to woo its own clientele.

However it did not pick well, or perhaps the owners should have waited longer to interest Musanze residents in Oriental culinary delights.

Today, the hotel serves local Rwandan food, a few European dishes, but most importantly, pork and brochette, which are by far the most popular with those who frequent the restaurant. A platter of pork goes for Rwf 7,000 while a brochette costs Rwf 1,000.

Away from the food and rooms, one can hardly think of anything else to do while at Ste Anne, unless one has a conference or group meeting.

The Saturday evening when I checked in, this posed a bit of a problem, but with a little nagging on my side, John, the manager agreed to take me on a short tour of Musanze town in the hotel shuttle. The only problem is that a tour of Musanze town can be complete in at most ten minutes!

I had to wait a little longer for the crowning moment of my night's stay, and this came in the morning, at breakfast. After the standard bread/coffee/jam/eggs combination had been served, in came a generous serving of fresh fruits that made me wish I had not touched the bread earlier served.

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