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“Definitely a mixed bag” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort

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Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort
P.O.Box 3673, Kampala, Uganda   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 64 Hotels in Kampala
Baltimore, Maryland
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Definitely a mixed bag”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2011

If you're staying here, you probably don't have a choice in hotels, since you're likely to be attending a meeting or a conference. This is NOT a good place to stay if you need to be in Kampala, since a trip to town can take up to 2 hours during rush hour ("the jam.") The resort is situated on Lake Victoria, and although the hotel doesn't take full advantage of the views, it's a lovely setting. Gardens and landscaping are beautiful, and the public spaces are nice, with an enormous pool and a good gym.

The experience of staying here is not as pleasant however. Although most people at Speke are there for work-related reasons, internet access was highly sporadic, and our meeting room was windowless and dark. My room was small and blandly decorated (I'm sure there are nicer ones to be had), with water that was sometimes hot and other times just lukewarm. Service was friendly but inefficient. Because there were two of us in a room that had originally been booked as a single, I was told that I had to pay the extra amount in cash on the day of arrival rather than at check-out, which I ignored. Expenses were automatically converted to dollars at check-out, at an unfavorable rate, and when I said I wanted to pay in Ugandan shillings, they converted dollars back to shillings, at another unfavorable rate, until I insistend on paying the ioriginal amount charged.

Food quality was mixed, but the Indian menu at the restaurant near the lobby is quite good.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Ashvinder_Singh, Manager at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, responded to this review, October 9, 2012
Dear Guest ,

Greetings of the day!!!

We appreciate your effort to highlight our points where we do need to work on in order to ensure that our guests have a memorable stay.

In reference to your mentioned concern kindly be rest assured we will be looking into the said points in a most optimistic way and considering them as the moments of truth and a point of improvisation.

Due to unforeseen circumstances we were not able to provide you with the level of service to which we pride ourselves upon, for which we certainly look forward to another opportunity to further our intent of giving you an astounding experience.

Please feel free to contact us for any further assistance

Warm Regards
Ashvinder Singh Saini
Asst. General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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148 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    71
    37
    24
    11
    5
See reviews for
21
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (40)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Corinth, Maine
Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2011

Four years ago we twice stayed at Speke Resort while the adjacent Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort was under construction (both properties are owned and managed by Speke, and share the same facilities and lakeside location). At that time we were disappointed, particularly, in the only full-service restaurant, Stables. Wow, have things changed since then! The improvements made to the landscaping (including a new marina, new pool, fantastic gardens, waterfalls, and walking paths) are incredible. Then there is the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort building itself, which is beautiful. The lobby, large terrace restaurant, and other public spaces are world-class. Food and service are excellent (particularly the Indian menu). The wine list, however, is VERY limited. I booked a room through the Speke website and requested a cottage because we’d stayed in one before and found it very pleasant, albeit quite expensive. But when we arrived, we learned that we’d been assigned a “deluxe-double” room on the ground floor of one of the old Speke Resort buildings. Although initially disappointed, we found the room to be very quiet (a consideration since there is almost always multiple big events such as weddings taking place on the grounds, especially on the weekends) with its own small terrace. It was spotlessly clean, even if a bit “faded”. The mosquito net was in perfect condition (unlike some earlier reviews), and it was definitely needed because there were a lot of mosquitoes around. Surprisingly and unexpectedly, the very reasonable rate for this room was on a full-board (breakfast, lunch, and dinner included) basis. As an aside, we lived at Kabira Country Club in Kampala (also owned by Speke) during 2007, and are now living in an apartment complex owned by Speke. Reinvestment in their properties does not seem to be Speke’s strong point, however, as it seems most interiors are in need of refurbishment and/or outright replacement of worn furniture and appliances. I can only hope that Speke will maintain Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort to the highest standards. We will definitely return, if only for a nice lunch on the terrace surrounded by beautiful landscaping along Lake Victoria’s shore. Be aware that, depending on the day and time, getting to Munyonyo from Kampala can be very difficult because of traffic congestion.

Room Tip: Rooms in the new Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort building (as opposed to Speke Resort) are world-class...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Ashvinder Singh S, Manager at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, responded to this review, September 10, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for a heart-warming compliment. We are delighted that you enjoyed our rooms, as well as our array of services. We look forward to the pleasure of serving you in your next visit.

Warm Regards

Ashvinder Singh Saini
Asst. General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stavanger, Norway
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2011

Good facillities that include modern gym with good instructor, stables, huge pool. Very large apartments with big sleeping rooms. Very friendly and service minded staff. Too many security checkpoints that only anoid you in the end.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashvinder Singh S, Manager at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, responded to this review, September 10, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for a heart-warming compliment. We are delighted that you enjoyed our rooms, as well as our array of services. We look forward to the pleasure of serving you in your next visit.

Warm Regards

Ashvinder Singh Saini
Asst. General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Red Deer, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2011

I stayed in Speke in May 2011, for the second time, with a group of Rotarians from Canada. The front desk demanded a $500 cash deposit up front (which was not asked of any other members of the travelling group, and is obviously the test to see whether you are carrying much cash) and the safe had no batteries. We asked for batteries but of course they never arrived. On the last evening when we were at dinner, the room was entered and my locked luggage was slit open with a knife, and all my cash was stolen. The administration paid lip service but was not interested in doing anything about it. BE VERY CAREFUL - DO NOT LEAVE ANY VALUABLES IN THE ROOM FOR EVEN A FEW MINUTES, AND KNOW THAT YOU ARE MOST AT RISK THE NIGHT BEFORE YOU LEAVE AS THERE IS LITTLE TIME TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT A THEFT. Never leave your key with the front desk because then they know when you are not in the room, and will take advantage of that. There are not a lot of options in Kampala, but Dolphin Suites (also run by Speke) is in town and was cheaper, much friendlier and more honest.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashvinder Singh S, Manager at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, responded to this review, September 10, 2012
Dear Guest ,

Greetings of the day!!!

We appreciate your effort to highlight our points where we do need to work on in order to ensure that our guests have a memorable stay.

In reference to your mentioned concern kindly be rest assured we will be looking into the said points in a most optimistic way and considering them as the moments of truth and a point of improvisation.

Due to unforeseen circumstances we were not able to provide you with the level of service to which we pride ourselves upon, for which we certainly look forward to another opportunity to further our intent of giving you an astounding experience.

Please feel free to contact us for any further assistance

Warm Regards
Ashvinder Singh Saini
Asst. General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kampala, Uganda
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2011

First impressions – impressive place, absolutely huge, very high security (very ignorant staff checked our bags 3 times before check-in). Speke Resort definitely looks good but that is where most of the positives end. As with many Ugandan hotels it is run by the growing Indian community. At check-in they were very rude. Be prepared to pay for your stay in full, up front. That was strange. The Ugandan staff were very good. Polite, friendly and helpful.
Our room was far from the reception. We were driven there in a golf buggy. The pool was a 10 minute walk from our room.
The first thing to check in your room is the mozzie net. Ours had 13 holes, many big enough to put hand through. The receptionist actually laughed when I complained. I think/hope he was embarrassed. I always bring a roll of black tape to cover the holes. They changed it on the second day but that one was not much better.
Avoid the rooms near stairways. The AC engine room is above. There’s an intermittent buzz noise all night long. Night time noise was crazy. A party was going on until 3am – no chance of sleeping through that.
Rooms are ok. Shower soaks entire bathroom, and the temperature is all over the place. Not enough towels are supplied. 6 light switches on the wall – only one works. TV is small and not mounted straight on the wall.
If you like Indian food you will be impressed. That menu is very good. The other menu is just ok. As usual, 50% of the food on the menu is ‘not there’.
It’s yet another ‘almost’ hotel. It could be very good but instead it’s just ok. As a British ex-pat in Uganda I would recommend staying at hotels with European or American owners. They are by far the best run and are actually finished.
Note: Beware of the review(s) by people who are obviously the owners or related to the owners.

Room Tip: Avoid stairway rooms. Check everything while bell-boy is still there.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashvinder Singh S, Manager at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, responded to this review, September 10, 2012
Dear Guest ,

Greetings of the day!!!

We appreciate your effort to highlight our points where we do need to work on in order to ensure that our guests have a memorable stay.

In reference to your mentioned concern kindly be rest assured we will be looking into the said points in a most optimistic way and considering them as the moments of truth and a point of improvisation.

Due to unforeseen circumstances we were not able to provide you with the level of service to which we pride ourselves upon, for which we certainly look forward to another opportunity to further our intent of giving you an astounding experience.

Please feel free to contact us for any further assistance

Warm Regards
Ashvinder Singh Saini
Asst. General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bujumbura, Burundi
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2011

I came here because of a conference and wasn't pleased at all. Overpriced, luxury casern, isolated from town and lake walks...other reviews are true. Nice grounds, yes, but the repeated miscommunication between the staff is certainly capable of ruining whatever positive aspects of this place you will find.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
Ashvinder Singh S, Manager at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, responded to this review, September 10, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed our rooms, as well as our array of services. Also we assure that the said feedback will be taken in the most optimistic way and considering them as the moments of truth and a point of improvisation.

We look forward to the pleasure of serving you in your next visit.

Warm Regards

Ashvinder Singh Saini
Asst. General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2011

Speke Resort, known as Munyonyo Resort because of it's location a MUST VISIT destination if you are visiting Uganda.

Right on the beautiful beach of Lake Victoria, Speke Resort is a very unique and superbly crafted property.

Words are not enough……Pictures might speak better….!! Check it out….!!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashvinder Singh S, Manager at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, responded to this review, September 10, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for a heart-warming compliment. We are delighted that you enjoyed our rooms, as well as our array of services. We look forward to the pleasure of serving you in your next visit.

Warm Regards

Ashvinder Singh Saini
Asst. General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort

Address: P.O.Box 3673, Kampala, Uganda
Location: Uganda > Central Region > Kampala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 64 Hotels in Kampala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 114
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on 90 acres in the Speke Resort complex and with a majestic view of Lake Victoria, Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort is Uganda’s leading 5-star resort.Specifically constructed to host the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort has earned worldwide recognition as ‘the Presidents’ resort. It has hosted numerous high profile guests, from Heads of State and foreign dignitaries to international celebrities, who consider it a home away from home.Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort is dedicated to providing unrivalled comfort and unmatched services. The resort has 59 Presidential suites with a unique blend of traditional Ugandan and ultra modern furnishings that merge into the Pearl of Africa theme which is carried throughout the entire décor. The many room features and amenities ensure a seamless transition from pleasure to business and vice-versa.The meeting rooms, suitable for any occasion, are designed around your requirements and are all situated under one roof. We have comprehensive wellness and fitness facilities that assist body and mind to work in harmony. Munyonyo’s strategic location, close to business, shopping, and entertainment areas, make it the ideal choice for leisure and business travellers. ... more   less 
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