Set on a rolling tea plantation on the fringe of Nyungwe National Park, Nyungwe Forest Lodge opened its doors in March as the first true luxury resort in Rwanda.
The 24-room property, which is tucked deep in the mountains a few hours’ drive from the bustling capital of Kigali, underscores its plantation setting with chandeliers made from tea strainers and spa treatments that utilize tea leaves. Managed by South Africa–based Mantis Group, the lodge further reflects its surroundings with design touches such as roof tiles crafted by local artisans. (All of the employees at the resort aside from two South African managers grew up in nearby villages or in Kigali.)
Rooms at Nyungwe Forest Lodge include separate soaking tubs and showers, fireplaces, and even the occasional houseguest: Colobus monkeys, one of 13 primate species living in the area, frequently play in the trees behind the lodge. Guests can seek out the monkeys, as well as chimpanzees and gray-cheeked mangabeys, during guided treks into Nyungwe park. Nyungwe Forest Lodge, +27.41.407.1000, www.nyungweforestlodge.com