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“A jewel in the pearl of Arica” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kampala Serena Hotel

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Kampala Serena Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   P. O. Box 7814, Kintu Road, Kampala 256, Uganda   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 58 hotels in Kampala
Nairobi, Kenya
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“A jewel in the pearl of Arica”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

Excellent service, excellent food, excellent infrastructure - gives an excellent experience. A real good stay but a little pricy - good for business or to spend
Excellent service, excellent food, excellent infrastructure - gives an excellent experience. A real good stay but a little pricy - good for business or to spend
Excellent service, excellent food, excellent infrastructure - gives an excellent experience. A real good stay but a little pricy - good for business or to spend
Excellent service, excellent food, excellent infrastructure - gives an excellent experience. A real good stay but a little pricy - good for business or to spend

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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288 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (66)
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Great business Hotel very comfortable rooms and suites. HM The Queen has stayed here during the commonwealth conference and I saw President Bill Clinton there on my previous visit a few weeks ago. The hotel is set a very lush park setting in the center of town with excellent security and great lap pool.. The buffet style main restaurant is excellent and the small Italian Explorer restaurant is cozy. Plenty of space for meetings and lobby is usually full of business people and govt officials....staff a very friendly and very efficient.

Room Tip: Garden view.....
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangalore, India
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

We found a certain level of quality in all Serena Hotels in Africa, but this one was the best. The rooms were large, spotless and grand with balconies with beautiful views .
Breakfast was served at the coffee shop in a gorgeous setting with a gurgling stream running along an outdoor deck. The spread and quality was exceptional.
We also enjoyed a good Italian meal in the restaurant.

Room Tip: Ask for views in front
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

Uganda is a very beaten up and sad country. Walking around Kampala makes you despair of human nature. So the Serena hotel really stands out. It's the only hotel in the city that is up to international standards and once you pass through its gates, you are back in the 21st century. The rooms are starting to get a little tatty in places. They need to invest in a revamp within 6 months or it's going to start getting sub-standard. The prices are unbelievably high. Just go there expecting to be fleeced every time you order a bottle of water (on water, they order their water from Norway and it costs more than wine). Overall though, a true oasis in a dismal country.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Nairobi
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

This is a great hotel. The rooms are huge and luxurious, the restaurants are good and surprisingly not that expensive, the service is generally good (the concierge staff during my stay were outstanding), and the property is well landscaped and maintained. It's expensive even with a corporate rate but represents good value, which is not something you can say for other expensive hotels in many african countries.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Centurion, South Africa
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

The Kampala Serena is a well designed hotel and the staff offer very good service. The food in the restaurants is good and the rooms are large and very comfortable with cleans plush carpeting and large clean bathrooms.

The beds are large and very comfortable, providing a restful sleep.

Room Tip: Higher floors should give a great view across the city at night.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

Serena Kampala is the place to stay in Kampala. It's literally an oasis in the middle of a big, stinky, busy city. It was expensive but excellent. We stayed 6 nights. The pool is great, service is good.

A few things I noticed.

1) Food at the restaurants is actually pretty reasonable. We ate at several other restaurants of varying quality and found the prices to be in line and the standards seemed much higher at Serena.

2) Bug nets are not required. In fact they don't have them. Windows closed and a large bed provided a comfortable sleep every night.

3) Maybe I was expecting something else but so it's clear, the spa contains a plunge pool, sauna, and steam room. These are gender specific so you can't go with your partner. Treatments in the spa are excellent and well priced.

4) Security is top notch, while I never felt unsafe throughout Uganda, I felt extremely safe at Serena.

5) Check your bill carefully. I was overcharged and there didn't seem to be an easy way to fix it so I just paid the bill, it was only a few dollars but this should've been easier to fix than it was.

6) Negotiate your rate. Don't book online, you can email the hotel directly and get a better deal. They are actually very helpful.

All in all a great experience, it's not very African but it's very clean and comfortable. It's somewhat comparable to a North American style hotel so if an authentic experience is important to you I'd keep that in mind. We switched it up between smaller B&Bs, Safari Lodges, and Serena.

Also keep in mind that it's not cheap. But generally accommodation in Uganda is expensive... cheaper food and transport will quickly help offset this cost.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
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Additional Information about Kampala Serena Hotel

Address: P. O. Box 7814, Kintu Road, Kampala 256, Uganda
Location: Uganda > Central Region > Kampala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 58 hotels in Kampala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Kampala Serena Hotel 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An inspirational blend of 5-star polish and pan-African panache, this world-class hotel will showcase the cream of Ugandan culture while delivering the ultimate in personalized service, international cuisine, social style and business reliability. The hotel has free wireless internet as well as international cuisine spiced up with an African cuisine. The best business hotel in Uganda. ... more   less 
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