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“Nice resort, usual regional issues” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort

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Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort
P.O.Box 3673, Kampala, Uganda   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 58 hotels in Kampala
Sydney
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Nice resort, usual regional issues”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013

One of the better places I have stayed in sub-Saharan Africa, lovely gardens and glimpses of Lake Victoria (a short walk takes to the lakefront). The place has a nice feel, the rooms are clean and breakfast on the terrace is a nice way to start the day. huge pool for relaxing and a choice of places to eat.
Downsides: be prepared for sporadic wireless Internet, if the conference facilities are busy, then you probably won't get on. wired Internet in rooms is decent by African standards, but don't expect anything over 10-30kb per second.
Food is good but it's mainly buffet which gets tedious after a couple of days, there is an a la carte menu which is OK (the curries are the best). If you want to be close to Kampala then stay in town, the journey in can be long! Also worth checking where you are going as this is called the Speke resort within the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, it is NOT to be confused with the Speke Hotel which is in Kampala.
Overall, a nice and quiet resort with great pool and decent food and a choice if bars. The lake is accessible from the marina as well as from he lovely gardens.
One thing for any entrepreneurs out there. Organise a water taxi service. From the hotel to the airport by water is, I reckon, 20 minutes. That is much better and prettier than the hour and quarter to two hours it can take by road

Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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, April 29, 2013
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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115 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (36)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
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English first
Kampala, Uganda
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

As previously stated......this place is a paradox.
Beautiful grounds, nice rooms, good feeling to it, but after a day or so you see the holes that are so typical of most hotels in Uganda
The attitude here was we will build it glitzy and shiny so they will come and pay through the nose, nothing wrong with that, if you pull it off correctly, but the downside here is unfortunately despite the glitz and glam, you receive poor service, average food and go away unsatisfied
Service well it moves at a glacial pace..slow.
WTF....why are the local staff treated so badly by the management ????? In-front of customers too...?
The way the local staff are treated is passed onto the customer through their performance, body language, and body odor !
Restaurant's ????? really you call them that ? Please....cant say anymore
Coffee...Cafe Latte. great if you want instant coffee and whipped up milk on top...seriously ?
Gym facilities good
Pool, good, but not sparkling clean
Rooms, good, some were spectacular, other average, overall good to very good, but if your working and a room hobbit the TV channels are bad, load up your computer with movies before you come
Saturdays and holiday's can be a pain with all the weddings there, but then again sometimes they are fun to watch
To cut a long story short, if someone else is paying go here.Then upgrade yourself to an executive room
If you yourself are paying think seriously about about it before committing, yes it is beautiful grounds and overall the rooms are good, but the its the little things that make a hotel spectacular, and this one lacks the little nuances to get it up on the average line

Room Tip: Executive rooms have the better view and internet Rooms on the wings have poor or no internet
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 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, Manager at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, responded to this review, April 29, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback. We assure that the said feedback will be taken in the most optimistic way and considering them as 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.
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013 via mobile

We visited last night to eat and to look around with a view to staying here next year. We have stayed twice before in 2005 and 2007 and have such happy memories. We'll leave it to the memories. The resort has expanded massively. What were beautiful grounds is now a mega hotel building and once inside you could be anywhere in the world. It was the location on the lake that brought us here first but the rural feel has gone and the traffic into central Kampala is a burden. Noting the last review the restuarant has a problem. We had reasonable quality if overly expensive food. Poor choice of local beer, no child's menu for our 5 year old. Menu says add 18% vat and 5% service. Waiter didn't give us a bill. He told us a price, smiled and said he was doing us a favour so that vat would not be added! He was,, and no doubt himself too! What a poor show!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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, Manager at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, responded to this review, April 29, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback. We assure that the said feedback will be taken in the most optimistic way and considering them as 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.
Georgia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

On a recent trip to Uganda to visit friends, we visited this resort for drinks and dinner only. We did not stay at the hotel overnight and I have no opinion of anything other than the restaurant. But I do have an opinion of it, and it isn't good. When we arrived, we were seated for drinks. Service was slow, but acceptable. However, when the bill arrived, the change was incorrect by a small amount. The service charge was already added at 5%, and I would have given higher if left to decide. But, I did the math on the bill and my friend pointed out to the waitress the change was incorrect. The waitress said there was no change available. Hmmmm. Why would she not say that as soon as she brought the bill? And how is it that a very large, expensive resort can't make change for a bill in the currency of the country where it is located? Later, after walking around the grounds and visiting Lake Victoria, we returned for dinner. Keep in mind this is not a cheap hotel by Ugandan standards. We ordered and a young woman in our group got a sandwich. This girl is African and has a good appetite. Her sandwich was inedible. I have never seen her turn away from food like she did that night. She didn't even know how to tell me her food was bad. I got a waiter, who got a manager, who said he would get her another type of sandwich. But, he came back after taking the plate to the kitchen and said the chef said the garnish, next to the sandwich and not in the sandwich, had a sour taste and that is what she thought was bad. What an idiot. She didn't say anything other than the sandwich she had tried very hard to eat was bad. No further offer to substitute something edible was made. No offer was ever made to take the price of the uneaten food off the bill. Finally, when I paid the bill, I used my American Express. I had asked previously when we had drinks if the AmEx was accepted there and I was assured it was. However, when I actually used it for the dinner bill, I was told there would be an additional 5% charge for using it. That information should be posted or, at the very least, given to customers before they commit to a purchase involving an AmEx. All in all, what could have been a quite pleasant evening had a pall cast over it due to inedible food, poor service, and a jacked up credit card charge added. I would not go back again because if they are this obvious with screwing customers over, who knows what is going on behind the scenes.

Room Tip: Ignore anything marked about the rooms. I couldn't make them clear. COUNT your change!!!!! Kno...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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, April 29, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback. We assure that the said feedback will be taken in the most optimistic way and considering them as 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.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013 via mobile

The resort is jaw droppingly beautiful when you first drive in. Lush, well manicured lawns and well appointed structures and rooms. The food is actually quite tasty. That's where it ends. Guest Toilets in the conference area have visible access to staff lockers and I found a member of staff fast asleep on a bench in the ladies room at high noon. The next day, I found the toilet cleaner with buckets made from cut off plastic jerrycans and old margarine tubs cleaning the ladies room and she rudely told me to come back later.
There is no Internet in the rooms (which are quite a walk from the main block) so one has to finish all their Internet related stuff while at the lobby or the conference area. I was carrying some luggage to the conference area this morning and it was raining. I asked the security to get me one of the little golf carts that they use to transport guests to the conference area. I was told the battery was down and I would have to walk. There was no offer to help with the luggage nor was an umbrella proffered. At checkout I was told that there would be a 5% surcharge if I used my credit card to pay. ( who the heck does that....aren't these charges concealed in the overall bill?)

I didn't find toilet paper when I checked into my room and the bathroom didn't look,like it had been cleaned, so I asked to be moved to another room which ended up being nicer. I was on a conference package which didn't include diet coke a an approved soft drink. Turns out that there had been many requests for diet coke by other conference participants and the answer was a uniform NO, with no room for negotiation. When I talked to the manager at the main restaurant as to why they couldn't simply price it into the conference package since it was apparently more expensive than the regular soft drinks, I was met with a stony countenance and a little bit of a defensive attitude.

In summary, the exterior of this hotel belies a very unfriendly, defensive, difficult, and non responsive culture which is primarily perpetuated by the supervisors who infect the staff. There are a few jewels of friendly staff at the front desk, porters and at the restaurant but for the most part, the bad service is a reflection of poor management by pedantic supervisors who manage for numbers and not for customer experience.

CM

Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, April 2, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback. We assure that the said feedback will be taken in the most optimistic way and considering them as 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.
Pasadena, California, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

This hotel sits on the bank of the beautiful Lake Victoria. Having travelled to Africa the past 5 years, I think this is one of the best, if not the best, hotel facility at least in East/Central Africa. Clean, inviting lobby; gorgeous tropical back yard with many tropical birds...overlooking the lake; clean, modern-interior rooms with a touch of earth-friendly decor; clean, modern-looking bathroom with a European bidet (that Americans hardly use...LOL ); running hot water; working AC...but the list to brag stops there. My colleague and I stayed for 2 nights...everything went well until we tried to charge our camera and computer. After checking a couple of the outlets & calling front desk, we found out by ourselves they might have a broken circuit causing a couple of non-working outlets. Second, I had to call the front desk, who refused to help transfer my call to their guest-services for my complaint about the coffee/tea maker that didn't work. I had to at least call in 3 times to exchange our coffee/tea maker before somebody actually came to bring a working one (after about 1 hour). We went to the breakfast buffet area, where none of the waiters greeted or seated us...we had to call one of them to ask for a clean cup and a set of clean utensils. The carpeting also looked dirty, with bits and pieces of egg/bacon...clearly it didn't get vacuumed the night before. These little things really showed the level of customer care they have yet to comprehend to make this premise a great hotel. Don't get me wrong, the facility is great...but, they could do so much better in terms of service.

Room Tip: Ask a room overlooking the lake.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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, Manager at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, responded to this review, March 17, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for a heart-warming compliment. We are delighted that you enjoyed our rooms. We assure that the said feedback will be taken in the most optimistic way and considering them as 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.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

Allow yourself time to stroll thru the gardens while you enjoy your stay at this lovely resort. They offer a weekend package that is full board for a great price. They even have horse riding available. Inclusive in the package is a 30 minute boat ride on Lake Victoria. We had a couple of issues with our room, which effected our sleep. But when asking at the front desk if we would be able to delay our check out time in order to catch up on some lost sleep, they were quick to make amends. Instead of the 10 a.m. check out, we were moved to 3 p.m. The pool is Olympic size (I think) and can be crowded on the weekends. But if you know that in advance it shouldn't come as a surprise. Poolside food is expensive, but the beers are cold!

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a good view of the lake. If booking in advance that would be a good time to req...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, March 6, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback. We are delighted that you enjoyed our array of services. We assure that the said feedback will be taken in the most optimistic way and considering them as 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.

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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 #4 of 58 hotels in Kampala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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