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The Hôtel des Mille Collines, Kigali, Rwanda

September 3rd, 2008 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

The Hôtel des Mille Collines is a large hotel in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. It became famous as the building in which more than a thousand people took refuge during the Rwandan Genocide of 1994. The story of the hotel and its manager at that time, Paul Rusesabagina, was used as the basis of the film Hotel Rwanda. The French 'des Mille Collines' ('of a thousand hills') is another (poetic) name for Rwanda. The real hotel does not actually appear in the film which was largely shot in South Africa. The hotel does however appear as itself in the 2005 HBO film Sometimes in April which was shot on location in Rwanda.

The Belgian airline Sabena owned the hotel at the time of the genocide. The European managers were flown out and Rusesabagina, manager of the smaller Hôtel des Diplomates at that time, was made manager. With the help of his wife he bribed the Hutu Interahamwe militia with money and alcohol to keep them from killing the refugees in the hotel. He also managed to provide the refugees with food and water.

The four star hotel continues to operate. It has 112 rooms, a bar/café, three conference rooms, a restaurant, and the now famous swimming pool.

According to the official website 'on September 15th, 2005, the Hôtel des Mille Collines was handed over from Sabena Hotels Belgium [its owner during the Genocide] to Mikcor Hotels holding Rwanda'.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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