In the heart of Rwanda, nestled in the foothills of the renowned Volcanoes National Park, lies the One&Only Gorilla’s Nest. The location is an epitome of natural splendor, with its setting amidst a vast 35-hectare Eucalyptus forest. It offers not only a retreat for those seeking luxury but also an encounter with nature, where colorful birds, butterflies, and even the endangered Mountain Gorilla find their home.
The Main Lodge itself is a testament to Rwandan aesthetics with its hues of burnt orange, browns, woods, and burgundies. Add to this the unmistakable aroma of local coffee, freshly ground daily at the resort. The resort has a total of 21 guest lodges and suites, meticulously positioned amidst the towering Eucalyptus trees. Constructed primarily of wood and set on stilts, these lodges give an elevated perspective, almost as if floating amidst the greenery.
Of these, ten are Forest King Lodges. Each spans 77m², comprising both indoor and outdoor living spaces. The terraces, handcrafted from Larchwood, provide a serene spot for birdwatching or simply sipping on Rwandan coffee. Within, the lodges boast a king-sized bed, en-suite bathroom, outdoor shower, and deck. The room’s design incorporates geometric patterns inspired by traditional Rwandan imigongo artwork.
For those traveling with family, the resort offers four Two-Bedroom Forest Lodges, each of 87m². They are equipped with separate bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. These rooms feature bathtubs, rain showers, and twin vanities. Expansive doors provide a panoramic view of the forest. The main bedroom is adorned with contemporary African patterns, local artwork, and a fireplace. Just like the Forest King Lodges, these too have a vast Larchwood terrace overlooking the forest.
The Virunga Suites, five in total and spanning 147m² each, offer more than just accommodation. They encapsulate the spirit of Rwanda in their design. Each suite has a separate bedroom, a spacious en-suite bathroom with glass doors offering an unobstructed view of nature. The living area is furnished with a sofa bed suitable for two children. The suite also features a dining area that can accommodate six guests and a lounge with a fireplace.
The two most expansive suites at One&Only Gorilla’s Nest are aptly named the Ingagi and the Silverback Suite, drawing inspiration from the gorillas that are emblematic of this region. The Ingagi Suite, with an area of 251m², and the Silverback Suite, at 409m², offer a master bedroom, a vast en-suite bathroom, and a private deck. The Silverback Suite comes with an added luxury of a private pool and boma, providing a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.
One&Only Gorilla’s Nest boasts a remarkable dining venue, Nest. This main restaurant provides both indoor and outdoor seating options and features a distinct private dining section that can accommodate 22 guests. Under the leadership of Executive Chef Bryan English, the culinary team places a significant emphasis on the incorporation of local and organic produce. They maintain a practice of sourcing fresh ingredients from neighboring farmers and the dedicated Chef’s Garden within the resort premises.
Keeping in line with the practices at One&Only Nyungwe House, daily menus are crafted bearing Rwandan and African influences. The culinary team also prioritizes customizing dishes to cater to guests’ specific tastes and dietary restrictions. For those looking for unique dining experiences, the resort offers private outdoor meals, barbeques, and picnic arrangements. Additionally, the Pool Bar serves guests throughout the day.
Shifting from the culinary to the holistic, the One&Only Spa has forged a partnership with the South African brand, Terres d’Afrique. This collaboration has birthed a series of treatments that are grounded in the use of plant-based African ingredients. Within the spa, two treatment suites stand in a dedicated private building. These treatments draw inspiration from the resort’s geographical and cultural environment.
Club One is another vital feature of the resort, providing guests with a tranquil haven. This space houses several facilities, among which are a relaxation room, an open-air heated pool, and a plunge pool. For those who prioritize physical wellness, the Fitness Centre is equipped with a steam room, sauna, and is adjacent to the Pool Bar. The latter is known for serving wholesome options like fruit juices during the day, and as dusk settles, it transitions into offering a range of evening cocktails.
Beyond the confines of the resort, the hotel’s Experience Team is primed to facilitate a variety of activities. These activities span the breadth of the Volcanoes National Park and the resort’s Experience Centre. Guests can immerse themselves in Coffee Tasting sessions, conducted in collaboration with the resort’s barista and coffee specialists. Yoga enthusiasts can practice their poses on the outdoor decks. The Studio offers photography lessons for budding photographers, while art enthusiasts can acquaint themselves with the intricate art of basket weaving. There are also provisions for guests to interact with local communities, which serves as a gateway to a deeper understanding of Rwandan culture and history.
For further information, visit oneandonlyresorts.com