CHEZ LANDO: The Miracle of Reconstruction and Ambition to Deliver Excellent Service

Located at the heart of the bustling Remera business suburb in Kigali,
Chez Lando Hotel represents the essence of a homely, green,
family-friendly and hospitable hotel with one of the most exquisite
menus in the city.

Chez Lando’s environment carries a character that spews of freshness, vibrancy, hope, ambition and confidence resonating from a past of pain and loss.

In the mid-eighties,
Lando and Hélène Ndasingwa built the first hotel in Remera; Chez Lando
with the dream of creating an all-inclusive meeting space for customers.
Unfortunately, the founders were both killed in the 1994 Genocide
against the Tutsi and the hotel was partly destroyed.

Today, the
legacy that was set by Lando over two decades ago has lived on and is
carried high by his surviving siblings, one of whom is Mrs. Anne Marie
Kantengwa, who runs Chez Lando Hotel as the Chief Executive Officer

She says Chez Lando works hard to maintain the demeanor of a family hotel.

of our signature attributes is that we value families and that is why
our facilities cater for both men and women and children,” Kantengwa

A vast range of greenery with beautifully arranged and
manicured flora greets you and with close observation, one can note that
the building structures are a rich red mixture of both old and new
bricks, topped off with baked roof tiles.

This is something
that Mrs. Kantengwa explains as a style that strives to maintain the
history of Chez Lando Hotel as a place that has ‘transitioned from the
old to the new Rwanda after the genocide.’

Mrs. Kantengwa said she
returned to Rwanda in August 1994 after spending two months in exile in
Uganda. This was a very tough period for her as she had to take up the
responsibility to manage the hotel that was riddled with bullet holes
with so much destroyed—a constant reminder of her brother’s absence.

Reconstruction is a Process
not all was gone, some of the foundations were intact and this enabled
renovation and construction of new facilities to take place. This
explains some of the uniquely themed building structures that have newer
bricks constructed atop the older ones.

“I dedicated my life to
rebuild and reconstruct what was left, step-by-step. While doing this, I
was at the same time re-building and reconstructing myself towards
healing,” Mrs. Kantengwa says. 

“Reconstruction is a process,”
Kantengwa says. She explains that some parts of the hotel are not yet
renovated due to logistics issues.

With a diversity of trees and
the beautiful gardens, visitors have a choice of either staying in the
bungalows or in the main storied buildings overlooking the undulating hilly Kigali

The rooms’ décor is African themed with beautiful
Rwandan paintings hanging on the walls. Chez Lando’s reputation attracts
80% to 85% lodging during the peak tourist season or when Kigali hosts
international conferences.

High Culinary Reputation
Guests have a choice of
two restaurants to dine at; with a choice of crispy fish-fingers and
French-fries that (appeals to lower end spenders) to a finer cuisine at their French restaurant,
La Fringale.

are known for the great food we serve and I always challenge the chef
to keep improving the menu,” Mrs.Kantengwa said. 

Visitors dinning at the
restaurants balcony can enjoy the buzzing sounds of the nearby Remera
traffic, which is well buffered by the canopy of trees fencing the

Exclusive and Exquisite Service
most people who enjoy eating out, service accounts for at least half of
the reasons as to why they return as loyal customers. Chez Lando
employs 140 people who work in day or night shifts. 

By encouraging them to give their best, they have imprinted the culture of excellence.

staff is not made up of just workers here for a good pay-day; they are
part of a wider family. Our longest serving employee worked for 19
years, some for more than a decade, gotten married and stayed on while
others are newly employed,” Kantengwa said.

By investing in
customer care training, Chez Lando’s management equips workers to give
their best. Moreover, some youth employees are sponsored to study
Hospitality related courses at university while others are encouraged to
intern and acquire workplace experience.

Corporate Social Responsibility
the years, Chez Lando has incorporated gender equity within its values
in a bid to demystify the mindset that women cannot spend time in bars,
restaurants and hotels without necessarily being labeled as

In this regard, Chez Lando works closely with
women cooperatives that make handicrafts. The proceeds enable rural
women at the grassroots to become economically independent. This
Corporate Social Responsibility provides Chez Lando Hotel with the
opportunity to mentor women within small businesses.

“I believe
that great government policies are always those that influence the
growth of businesses in the Private Sector and encourages them to
participate in the development of Rwanda,” Kantengwa explained.

What makes Chez Lando Hotel stand out from other hotels is the culture of excellence and ownership of Lando’s vision.

encourage our staff to embrace ownership of the vision while carrying a
reconciliation mindset that doesn’t habour discrimination or exclusion.
This will propel Chez Lando Hotel toward becoming an international


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