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“Red Chilli” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Red Chilli Hideaway

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Red Chilli Hideaway
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13-23 Bukasa Hill View Road | Butabika, Kampala, Uganda   |  
Hotel amenities
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Red Chilli”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

Great location in Kampala, safe, cheap enough for backpackers, from there you could organise much of your trip, the guys will help out and there is lots of information to use. Great bar, pool table and eating area, the rooms were clean, and the food was good. The showers were almost always hot (shower when it is quiet!). The place was full of many backpackers, all with recommendations of where to go, you could easily get a motorbike or walk into town, and it was near a few great places to party. I would stay there again!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Debbie W, Owner at Red Chilli Hideaway, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
Dear Crawley7

Many thanks for all the positive feedback - we're really glad you enjoyed your stay!

Best regards
Debbie
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269 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
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Mid-West
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2012

I stayed at Red Chilli in Kampala a few weeks ago while doing some work in Uganda. This was my second time staying at Red Chilli. I stayed in a double ensuite room for $30/night.

The room itself was fine. Comparable to the first double ensuite I had but in a different part of the building. The rooms are dates with cracks in the walls and spider webs, roaches and dead bugs in the corners but I don't expect much so wasn't bothered by them. The bed was comfy and the net had no holes. The shower was hot and water pressure adequate. There was no shower curtain so the whole bathroom is soaked when you're done. Don't take your clothes in there before your shower! The food at the restaurant was good, decently priced and came quickly. The staff was friendly and everyone I talked to was lovely. They have wifi internet (not in the rooms, reception/bar area only) but it was down the whole time I was there unfortunately. Can't fault the hostel for that, it happens.

The bad: I would never want to stay in the room I was in again simply because it was directly across from the reception/bar and it is very noisy. The windows had screens but the actual window part didn't close. So I couldnt block out the noise. The music played loudly until midnight or so and even after that there were at times loud people talking (and singing) outside my window sitting on the picnic bench. The grounds people (guards? housekeepers?) also started talking/singing/yelling/banging early in the morning and it was quite loud. For someone who is going to be out partying with the rest of the folks this may not affect you. But I had to be up and at meetings at 7am some morning so those loud late nights were a bit rough.

I do plan to stay again in the future simply because I usually enjoy the atmosphere (except at 1130pm when I need to be up early!), the people are friendly, the prices cheap, the food good and the location convenient. Next time I'll be sure to ask for a room further away from reception. I may even try one of the little cottages which are cute and I hear nice inside.

Room Tip: Away from reception/the bar!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Debbie W, Owner at Red Chilli Hideaway, responded to this review, August 29, 2012
Dear Haiti Travels

Thank you for your review of Red Chilli. I was glad to hear you have enjoyed your 2 stays with us although I was very concerned to hear about the spider webs and dead bugs in your room. Please let reception know if you find the room in this state again! We will also look into the shower curtain issue.

I’m sorry you had no internet during your stay with us. We have just upgraded to a better internet provider (fingers crossed!) so your stay most probably coincided with the interim period between contracts. I’m also sorry you found your room in the building opposite the bar to be too noisy. We do have a policy of trying to turn down the music later in the evening and then turn it off altogether at a sensible hour, but I guess it’s difficult to make other people be quiet outside your room when it is in a more public area. I really suggest you give the cottages a try next time – they are more expensive but more spacious and much further away from the bar and definitely quieter. You’d also have the option then of cooking for yourself.

Many thanks again and best regards – we hope to see you again soon!
Debbie
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Coffs Harbour, Australia
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

We stayed on 2 different occassions at Red Chilli, our first stay was pre tour and our second stay was post tour. Our first stay was in an ensuite room which was really great. We had consistent hot water and the room was quite sizable.
Our second stay was upgraded to a cottage, which was way overkill for what we needed but looked forward to it. While the facilities in the cottage were very good, like small fridge and fully equiped kitchen there was NO water pressure in the bathroom which made bathing very difficult. The rooms were huge with plenty of room to put our baggage and there was a pleasant sitting room at the front. We were concerned about being really close to the factory but did not find noise a problem.
We were disappointed by the food at Red Chilli and while it is not unreasonably priced we found the quality a little lacking, and on some occassions they didn't have the full ingredients to complete the meals. E.G. no potatoes for mash potato, or no eggs for breakfast. Also the service is a little slow be sure to order on 'Africa Time', do not order when you are already hungry.
Most of the drivers and boda boda riders that hang out at Red Chilli are very good and had great experiences with Moses and Sadie.

Room Tip: Chillaca double room with ensuite was very good with plenty of hot water.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Debbie W, Owner at Red Chilli Hideaway, responded to this review, August 29, 2012
Dear CestLeVie

Thank you for taking the time to review Red Chilli. I’m so glad you enjoyed the double room ensuite and the cottage although I’m sorry the water pressure in the cottage let you down. I’m also really disappointed that you didn’t enjoy the food – we try really hard to get it right and thought that it was extremely rare that we didn’t had all the ingredients in stock…especially eggs! You say you found the “quality lacking” – we’d love it if you could drop us a line, telling us what you ate and how we could improve?

Many thanks and best regards
Debbie
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Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012

We stayed in the cottage as a large group of young adults and found it was perfect for us. The staff were lovely and happy to help with any problem, even going so far as arranging for my shoes to get fixed when they snapped! LOTS of opportunities to meet new people, just about every overland truck stops here which was a great experience as freelance travellers. The food was delicious [if a bit pricey] - I would highly recommend the mozzarella and mixed veg baguette! The wi-fi was a nice bonus, it was understandably slow as it was quite busy, although the staff didn't enforce their "No Skype" policy at ALL. The only other problem we had was that not a single plug socket in our cottage worked [although the lights did so it wasn't an electricity problem], and when we told this to the staff we were met with a shrug. Slightly awkward location for Kampala city itself but Bugolobi town was nice enough in its own right. Heard great things about their own tours, too!

Room Tip: The cottages are definitely a bit of a walk from the main building - but in exchange for that, they...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Debbie W, Owner at Red Chilli Hideaway, responded to this review, August 29, 2012
Dear Internationalista

Many thanks for your review of Red Chilli - we're really glad you enjoyed your stay and that you found the staff and other guests friendly. We're so pleased you enjoyed the food too!

I'm sorry about the power problem in your cottage during your stay. In fact we suffered a huge electrical storm during the time you were with us and lost the power to the cottages for several days. We have inverter (battery) back up for the lights however to ensure you are never in the dark. I'm so disappointed the staff didn't manage to explain this to you!

The wi-fi is extremely popular, hence the no-skype policy, as connectivity in Uganda is not exactly the best! However, in reality it's really difficult for our staff to spend the time going round policing what people are up to on their lap tops in order to increase the speed for everyone else! We've just upgraded to another internet provider and seen some immediate improvement in internet speed - fingers crossed!

Best regards
Debbie
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2012

I stayed at Red Chilli for 5 days, having read online recommendations.

My first night at the hideaway was free (dormitory bed) This is included in the price of the safari trips. The food varies from 9000 - 15000 shillings and the hideaway is situated nearby some local cafes and a supermarket.
There are plenty of places for charging electrical items and you get to choose from lots of condiments with your meal.

The dining area is always buzzing with a large television, pool table and music playing in the background. There is one computer available for free internet access and Wi-Fi throughout the premises.

I went on the "Safari and Waterfalls" package for 3 days. Our guide was a brilliant driver (especially compared to speedy Ugandan standards), friendly and very informative. The water is a little expensive at the Murchison Red Chilli, so I recommend bringing a good supply with you.

Overall, a great all rounder. I'm a female solo traveller and the dormitories and the premises (which is gated off) felt very safe.
My only issue was that I paid for the $270 trip fully, however there was a remaining $14 to pay from bank charges which I definitely paid for already. This was a additional expense for me and it seems to happen to people often who pay through bank transfers.

Also bring a padlock with you so you can utilize the free lockers they have on premises :).

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Debbie W, Owner at Red Chilli Hideaway, responded to this review, August 3, 2012
Dear Gerbil10

Many thanks for your feedback on your trip and stay with us at Red Chilli. We're so glad you enjoyed the trip and appreciated the driver. If you could let us know your driver's name via email or our website, this would be particularly helpful.

I am sorry you ended up incurring some extra charges for the cost of your trip - unfortunately even if you select to pay transfer charges yourself, the transfer sometimes goes through a intermediary bank who then slap on extra charges. I have been at the receiving end of this before in Uganda and I understand how frustrating it can be!

Best regards
Debbie
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Berkeley,CA
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2012

We stayed at the Red Chilli Hideaway at the beginning and end of our 2-wk trip around Uganda. We also booked a 4WD car and driver through Red Chilli. We weren't sure what to expect, and the car/driver so exceeded our expectations. They had the best prices for this service and we got a van with a pop-up top for the three of us. Perfect for game drives. Our driver - Nasser - was superb and so much more than just a driver. He knew all the flora and fauna, helped us book specific adventures we didn't know about, drove cautiously, and took care of us so well. It was a joy having him be our guide/driver while we were in country. We are a family with a 15 year old. The first night we didn't book a cottage and it was a little loud, but then we got a cottage on our return and it was perfect. Also, Red Chilli has a yummy restaurant and free Wifi with a nice communal area. Although we are in our 50s we felt totally comfortable there. The age group is skewed younger, but there are people of all ages. They also were extremely helpful our first day helping us map out all the errands we needed to do in Kampala from picking up gorilla permits to paying for various safari lodges. Thanks Red Chilli!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Debbie W, Owner at Red Chilli Hideaway, responded to this review, August 3, 2012
Dear Monika

Many thanks for taking the time to review Red Chilli - we are so pleased you had a great tour and stay with us! It's particularly great to get feed back on our drivers and your compliments have been passed onto Nasser - he does indeed do a great job!

Best regards
Debbie
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Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

We'd heard a lot about Red Chilli and were looking forward to staying there. We booked the morning of and asked for an ensuite double room. The staff member on the phone said they had a cottage available for $33/night ....perfect...we booked it immediately. When we arrived that evening we were extremely disappointed to find that the "cottage" we had booked ("Savina" I believe it was called) was a shared cottage. So instead of having our own ensuite room, we had one of two bedrooms in the cottage and would have to share the bathroom with the occupants of the other room. In our case, the occupants of the other room were an older male European backpacker and a young African lady who mysteriously had no luggage of her own except a big gaudy purse. She was not dressed like a backpacker, so we assumed her clothes etc. were not in her "boyfriend's" backpack.

The room left for my fiancee and I had two single beds and the front desk could not provide a key to the bedroom. As we had quite a bit electronics and cash with us, we were not willing to stay in a room that was accessible by strangers.

We were extremely disappointed and felt like we were misled by Red Chilli staff when we made the reservation over the phone.

We strongly recommend getting detailed information over the phone before booking.

Room Tip: Verify exactly what you are booking!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Debbie W, Owner at Red Chilli Hideaway, responded to this review, August 3, 2012
Dear Karuma

Thank you for bringing to our attention the problem you had with your booking at Red Chilli. Unfortunately in busy season we are heavily over booked and so sometimes offer people "half" a cottage if they are on a budget and there is nothing else available. The full price for the cottage is US$65 so you were quoted US$33 for half a cottage as there was nothing else available for that evening. Unfortunately for some reason this arrangement was not made clear enough to you over the phone and I can of course understand your disappointment in your wasted journey. We have passed on your issues to our reception staff to try to prevent this confusion from happening again.

I really hope that one day you will give us another chance!

Best regards
Debbie
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Additional Information about Red Chilli Hideaway

Address: 13-23 Bukasa Hill View Road | Butabika, Kampala, Uganda
Location: Uganda > Central Region > Kampala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 49 Specialty Lodging in Kampala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Red Chilli Hideaway, Kampala Facilities: Great value accommodation: set in 5 leafy acres, in one of Kampala's quieter and safer suburbs (Butabika). We cater for self-campers and also provide dorm beds & private rooms (with or without en-suite facilities) Check-in from 2pm onwards and check-out by 10 am. Swimming Pool: 16m salt-water swimming pool with baby pool. Free of charge for our residents! Complimentary shuttle bus: operating between Red Chilli and the centre of town. We have a 10-seater minibus that departs Butabika at 9am, 12pm and 4pm daily and terminates at the Nakumatt Oasis Shopping Mall (next to Garden City Mall) on Kitante Road. Departs town at 10.30Am, 1.30Pm and 5.30Pm, also from Nakumatt Oasis. Please book ahead at reception or by email/phone to avoid disappointment as we can only take 10 passengers on each shuttle. Please note - the driver may not deviate from the set route! Special hire taxis can be arranged on request at any time and are available on site at Butabika. Fully stocked bar: open daily from 7am until midnight, with booze for sale from 10am. Lots of communal areas to kick back and relax - including a beer terrace and a separate pool-side bar. A la carte restaurant: serving excellent breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks from 6:45am until 9.30Pm. Sunday from 6:00pm -9:00pm, is a pool-side BBQ night. Mouth-watering pizzas are baked in our wood-burning pizza oven outside Mon - Sat, from 6:00pm- 9:00pm. We can offer special rates and incentives for group meals - please contact us for further details. Our inside bar, restaurant and all accommodation areas are non-smoking, however smoking is permitted on the beer terrace and at the pool bar. FREE wireless internet access (with connections available for laptops) in our reception/internet lounge area only. Available between the hours of 7am and 11pm and subject to connection. Our systems are on a timer and will shut down automatically at approx 11pm. We also have one public internet stations and a cable connection. Please understand that the internet connection in Uganda is far from perfect, and at times is very slow and erratic! Satellite TV: Offering sports and news updates in the bar area, and a choice of viewing in the residential TV room. Look out for special movie nights! Pool table, dart board and table tennis: available in return for a small (or large!) Donation to our chosen charity: The Steve Willis Memorial Fund & a security deposit of 20,000/= for the darts, balls, cues, paddles etc. The deposit is refundable, providing the items are returned in one piece and not damaged! Self-Catering Kitchen & laundry block: located in our campsite for those who would prefer to self-cater. We have a basic camp kitchen, equipped with sink, cooker, fridge & external barbecues and picnic tables - but please note, we do not provide cutlery and crockery. You must provide your own cooking utensils. Separate laundry room available next door. Library: We have a small library and welcome book swaps in return for a small donation to the Steve Willis Memorial Fund. Please ask at reception/bar. Board games: we have a small selection for use, free of charge, from behind the bar. Laundry: A hand-wash laundry service is available for residents for a small charge or there is a designated self-catering laundry block. Please ask at reception/bar for more details. No underwear, shoes or totally filthy clothing to be handed in to be washed! We cannot guarantee that the laundry will be dry on the same day, due to weather conditions. Please note that if you hand in white clothing, it will definitely be returned to you cleaner, but we cannot guarantee it will be whiter! Office Facility: we offer printing, scanning & photocopying facilities in the administration office for a donation to our charity- the Steve Willis Memorial Fund. Please note the office may not always be open - either outside of office hours or when we are out receiving deliveries etc. Just ask at the bar if the door's closed! Consumables: for sale at the bar, including cigarettes, snacks and drinks. We also sell shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste and brushes, mozzie spray, postcards, stamps and other useful items at reception. For more choice, you will find several shops, markets & restaurants located within a short walking distance from Red Chilli Hideaway. Back-up generator and inverter: these keep things ticking over when the power fails, as it so often does in Uganda! When we are running on inverter or generator, please note only the lights are connected to the back-up power supply; plug sockets and fans in the rooms and bar area are not. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Red Chilli Hideaway Hotel Kampala

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