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“Spot on” 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 71 Hotels in Kampala
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Spot on”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

Stayed here for a few nights whilst on a business trip. Although a tad pricey everything was pretty much perfect. Good location, all very tidy and clean, staff and service excellent. Great to have the pool (which is lovely) after a day in the city

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
SerenaHotels, General Manager at Kampala Serena Hotel, responded to this review, July 22, 2014
Dear BrazeSW1

Thank you very much for choosing Kampala Serena Hotel as your preferred place of residence during your resent visit to Kampala and for taking the time to rate our services and product. We are very delighted and honored to hear that we exceed your expectations. Thank you very much for sharing your most wonderful and detailed experience with us.

Management has taken note of you recommendation of the team and we will ensure to share the same with them as we believe they will be very motivated by your positive recognition.

We express regret for the way you felt about our pricing but I would like to assure you that as compared to the other hotels in the same segment, our prices are indeed very competitive. Nonetheless, Management always ensures to guarantees value for your money through offering a superior product and the very best of the Serena Hospitality.

We thank you very much for your patronage of our hotel and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.

It will be our pleasure to host you once again.

Kind regards

Anthony Chege
Kampala Serena Hotel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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396 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (87)
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Hoofddorp
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

Arriving in the middle of the night and wake up the next morning with a wonderful leveled garden view. Rooms are great, service is very good and food/breakfast excellent. It was a pity I had to work quite a bit so that I could not enjoy all Hotel amenities such as the Spa or Gym.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 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.
SerenaHotels, General Manager at Kampala Serena Hotel, responded to this review, July 11, 2014
Dear Travelbart,

Thank you very much for choosing Kampala Serena Hotel as your preferred place of residence during your resent visit to Kampala and for taking the time to write a rave review of our property and service!

We truly are very delighted and honored to hear that we exceed all of your expectations. Thank you very much for sharing your memorable experience with us.

We thank you very much for your patronage of our hotel and we look forward to welcoming you back. It’s always a pleasure hosting you.

Kind regards

Anthony Chege
Kampala Serena Hotel
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2014

This is probably the best hotel I've ever stayed in in sub-Saharan Africa. The staff is consistently friendly and helpful. The food in the restaurants is fresh and delicious. The rooms are large and there is a nice big desk to work from as well. The bathrooms are large with separate walk-in shower and tub, and two sinks. My only complaint would be the bed...I thought it was a little stiff but to each their own, i guess! The balcony is also nice, although i never really sat out there.

They also have a very nice gym facility with new equipment (both free-weights and cardio) and an equally impressive pool area.

The hotel is a little expensive, but its certainly worth it.

Room Tip: If you can, stay in a room that faces the garden.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SerenaHotels, General Manager at Kampala Serena Hotel, responded to this review, June 19, 2014
Dear Eric D,

Thank you very much for choosing Kampala Serena Hotel as your preferred place of residence during your resent visit to Kampala and for taking the time to write such a thorough rave review of our property and service!

We are truly honored and delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and that you find our property that exceptional in all ways. Thank you very much for sharing your experience.

Kindly accept our apologies for the discomfort the mattress may have caused you. At your convenience, kindly send me a private message inbox with your full name so that we can update your profile and provide you with a softer option or your preferred choice during your next visit.

Thank you very much once again for your amazing review/recommendation and for your patronage of our hotel and look forward to welcoming you back again soon. It will be a pleasure hosting you.

Kind regards

Anthony Chege
Kampala Serena Hotel.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2014

I had a 5 star stay last week. Glorious views and busy nights. The street right outside the hotel is busied by sex workers so it is wise not to move with your cash in the pocket. Hahaha lol
But please keep your prices low! Reasonably.

Room Tip: All views are spectacular. Doesn't matter where!
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SerenaHotels, General Manager at Kampala Serena Hotel, responded to this review, June 16, 2014
Dear Rach2626

Allow me to take this opportunity to thank you very much for choosing Kampala Serena Hotel as your preferred place of residence during your recent visit to Kampala and for sparing time to send us your invaluable comments and rave review of our property and service!

We express regret for the way you felt about our pricing; we however have very competitive pricing as compared to the other hotels in the same segment. Nonetheless, Management always ensures to guarantees value for your money through offering a superior product and the very best of the Serena Hospitality.

With regard to your comment about the “Ladies of the night”, we apologize for the inconvenience their presence may have caused you. We have tried to work with the City Council Authorities to manage the challenge but we generally don’t have much control over their operations. We however have tried to control their Hotel entry and access to the guest.

We thank you very much for your patronage of our hotel and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.

It will be a pleasure hosting you.

Kind regards

Anthony Chege
Kampala Serena Hotel
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
47 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2014

We stayed there only for a night. It is a great place. A blend of old world charm and contemporary facilities. The breakfast was splendid. The grounds and kandscaping was very very pleasant and relaxing. The tariff though is through thd roof. Don't know why. ...

Stayed May 2014, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SerenaHotels, General Manager at Kampala Serena Hotel, responded to this review, June 16, 2014
Dear Dayanidhi

Allow me to take this opportunity to thank you very much for choosing Kampala Serena Hotel as your preferred place of residence during your recent visit to Kampala and for sparing time to send us your invaluable comments and rave review of our property and service!

We express regret for the way you felt about our pricing; we however have very competitive pricing as compared to the other hotels in the same segment. Being a five star brand, member of the Leading Hotels of the world and a devout member of a number of local labor/employee unions, there are certain standards we are required to conform to which affect our operational cost in turn heavily determining our cost of sales. Nonetheless, Management always ensures to guarantees value for your money through offering a superior product and the very best of the Serena Hospitality.

We thank you very much for your patronage of our hotel and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.

It will be a pleasure hosting you.

Kind regards

Anthony Chege
Kampala Serena Hotel.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Odawara, Japan
Level Contributor
160 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2014

Serena is my favourite hotel in Kampala and I have now been to essentially all the higher-end options.

This was my first actual stay at Serena although I had previously visited their Explorers Italian restaurant, which I thoroughly enjoyed (so much so that I decided to actually stay here this time for part of our stay).

The grounds are very pleasant and well maintained and I loved the huge pool. Drinks by the pond were enjoyable (although often crowded).

Rooms are nice although not exceptional by world standards, but certainly more pleasant than other Kampala hotels. The public areas of the hotel are well-decorated and well-maintained, even with interesting art work in the hallways that I enjoyed.

Like all the top Kampala hotels, security is in evidence when you come into the grounds. The difference at Serena is security seems a little more friendly, but more importantly they seem to actually be doing their job to keep the place secure - paying proper attention to vehicle checks, X-rays and metal detectors where other hotels this sometimes seems to be more for show (e.g. if a metal detector goes off there is often no follow-up action). While I don't really like seeing guys wandering around with large guns, Serena does end up feeling like a safe haven within Kampala.

We had an airport pickup arranged by the hotel and the driver (Dennis I think?) was probably the best I have had in Kampala (out of perhaps 50 taxi/hotel car rides): confident and assertive but a safe driver who checked in with us a few times to make sure were comfortable.

One downside on arrival was that although checkin time was 3 pm, and the hotel clearly knew our arrival time since they met us at the airport, our room was not ready when we arrived. We did at least get some complimentary soft drink at the outdoor bar, but after long flights we would have preferred to just get straight into the room and shower and rest.

I enjoyed dinner at the Explorers restaurant again - service not at the same level as I had on my 2013 trip to Uganda (which was truly exceptional) but still very good. And great Italian food, always a tough choice between pizza, mezze plates, good pastas and solid main courses. As usual we ended up with a bit of everything and enjoyed it all.

By comparison, the Lakes restaurant is usually buffet and is a bit mediocre for both food and service, but we ate there when we couldn't get into Explorers because it was full.

Serena is one of my favourite places in Uganda and feels like home - safe, good meals (at Explorers) and things just work - Internet is reliable (by Ugandan standards), copious free bottled drinking water in the room, and generally good staff. Serena also can be relied on to go the extra mile - the concierge was very helpful before and upon my arrival in helping me to get a new business suit at short notice after I manage to leave some of my luggage behind in Singapore.

I definitely hope to return to Serena and would in fact make it our default company hotel to use in Kampala once we can afford it. For now we will probably enjoy an occasional indulgence again here but keep staying at Sheraton for reasonably predictable service at a lower rate.

At least you can see what you are paying for at Serena and I thoroughly recommend it if you can afford the room rates, whether for business or pleasure. At the very least, enjoy a good Italian meal at Explorers (just don't take the last table on a night I am looking for a booking there!)

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 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.
SerenaHotels, General Manager at Kampala Serena Hotel, responded to this review, June 19, 2014
Dear MisterPugz,

Thank you very much for choosing Kampala Serena Hotel as your preferred place of residence during your resent visit to Kampala and for sparing precious time to send us your detailed invaluable commentary /rating of our service and product. We are truly honored and delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us particularly the Explorer Restaurant, the warmth of the staff and the general property outlay as reflected in your uploaded pictures.

I would also like to extend my appreciation to you for your recommendation of our entire team but most especially Mr. David Buyinza the driver. I shall ensure to share this with him and the team as I believe they will be very motivated by your positive recognition.

Kindly accept my sincere apologies for the lapse in service as noted in your comment about the delayed check in and the varied service at the Explorer Restaurant from what you expected. Your valued feedback surely goes a long way in ensuring that the quality of the service is constantly checked so I have shared the same with the team responsible to take corrective action so as to minimize the re-occurrence of similar service glitches.

Thank you very much once again for your amazing review/recommendation and for your patronage of our hotel. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon for it will be a pleasure hosting you.

Kind regards

Anthony Chege
Kampala Serena Hotel.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
Level Contributor
123 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2014

I lived in Kampala when this hotel had a different name, and what a surprising transformation. Serena did a marvelous job rehabilitating a once lonely structure. The expansion includes a huge swimming pool with a beautiful landscaping. Indeed this is the place where people in business and politics meet. The size of the room is decent and appropriately furnished. Ugandans are always polite and accommodating, the hotel staff will make you feel welcome and at home. I am not certain if there is a hotel in Kampala that can match what you will experience in this hotel.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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.
SerenaHotels, General Manager at Kampala Serena Hotel, responded to this review, June 16, 2014
Dear Egim,

Thank you very much for choosing Kampala Serena Hotel as your preferred place of residence during your short return trip back to Kampala and for taking the time to write such a thorough rave review of our property and service! Thank you very much for sharing your experience.

Initially a government owned hotel under the name Nile Hotel International, Kampala Serena Hotel was acquired and refurbished in 2004 but officially started operations under the Serena brand name in 2007. Serena Hotels is a hotel chain that operates in Eastern and Southern Africa and southern Asia.
When you next visit Uganda, I would highly recommend to you another one of our sister properties – Lake Victoria Serena Resort which is located right on the shores of Lake Victoria; I am certain that you will love it.

I would also like to extend my appreciation for your recommendation of our team, I shall ensure to share this with them as I believe they will be very motivated by your positive recognition

Thank you very much once again for your amazing review/recommendation and for your patronage of our hotel and look forward to welcoming you back again soon. It will be a pleasure hosting you.

Kind regards

Anthony Chege
Kampala Serena Hotel.
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 Kampala Serena Hotel

Address: P. O. Box 7814, Kintu Road, Kampala 256, Uganda
Location: Uganda > Central Region > Kampala
Amenities:
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 71 Hotels in Kampala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Kampala Serena Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 152
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.Drawing its architectural inspiration from the abundance of Uganda's lakes and rivers, the hotel has been created around a central water theme, which manifests itself both in the extensive water gardens and in the hand-carved panels and shimmering mosaics with which it is decorated. The hotel has free wireless internet as well as international cuisine spiced up with an African cuisine served up at the stunning gourmet fine-dining restaurant, The Pearl of Africa ... more   less 
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