In 2008, Alissa & Josh Ruxin built Heaven – Kigali’s first international restaurant and hospitality training facility. Since then they have trained over 3000 Rwandans and expanded to two hotels and restaurants.  At the heart of our approach is an authentic and tailored Rwandan experience delivered by an inspired team.  Everything we offer was custom-built by local craftspeople and showcases Rwandan arts, photography, experiences, and agriculture.  Our book, written by Josh, “A Thousand Hills to Heaven: Love, Hope and a Restaurant in Rwanda”, is available on Amazon.

Alissa & Josh Ruxin, Owners

Alissa Ruxin moved to Rwanda 17 years ago on her honeymoon and never left. Raised in San Francisco, she’s a natural foodie, and educated in public health with a focus on wellness, Alissa landed in Kigali ready to work with the community on improving health for all.

While volunteering with orphans, Alissa saw a great need for vocational training and job creation, so she shifted gears, and built Heaven-Rwanda’s leading restaurant and hospitality training facility. Since opening in 2008, Heaven has trained over 2,500 Rwandans in customer service, culinary and hospitality management skills.

Over the years, she expanded the business to include the top-ranked 28-room Heaven Boutique Hotel. In 2014, she was the feature of A Thousand Hills to Heaven: Love, Hope and a Restaurant in Rwanda – a book penned by her husband and co-owner, Josh. Keen to develop a new luxury property for discerning travelers to Kigali, Alissa began construction of The Retreat – Kigali’s most luxurious, eco-friendly and intimate high-end property. Alissa worked with a team of Italian architects and Rwandan builders and technicians to bring The Retreat to life. Since opening The Retreat in 2018 and her second restaurant, Fusion, Alissa has continued to expand its footprint and offerings. Today, The Retreat, which includes 8 new luxury pool villas, has a total of 20 rooms. 

Josh’s interest in great food and service have long been a passion, and he spends summers cooking massive multi-course dinners for his extended family and friends. During Heaven’s first years he was at various times a bartender, rear waiter, busboy, front waiter, maitre de, and executive chef.


a playground for the senses

With its enviable location in the heart of the city, two restaurants and facilities galore, Heaven Rwanda offers up endless things to do.

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limited time indulgences

The perfect reason to embark on your African adventure, or experience our culinary delights.

Our Community
Heaven is helping Rwanda develop its most important resource: its people.
Ethical sourcing
Supporting hundreds of farmers, suppliers, artisans, and technicians.
service excellence
Investing in future hospitality leaders since 2008.

The Government of Rwanda has removed all requirements for guests to present negative RT-PCR COVID-19 and Rapid Antigen COVID-19 tests when visiting the country’s National Parks, with immediate effect.

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