I believe the only reason Pineapple Bay isn’t in the Kampala top 5 is because of the small volume of visitors. We LOVED our 2-night stay at Pineapple Bay in late June 2013 and would make this a regular weekend getaway with fellow ex-pat friends if money allowed. The boat ride took about 45 minutes from Speke Munyoyo marina in a 8-9 seat motor boat, of which the resort seems to own 4 or 5. Much more enjoyable than battling Kampala traffic to/from Jinja or elsewhere! Travel plans depend on weather though, as it did not appear any of the boats had cabins or tarps to block potential rain. Once at the island, we were met at the dock with fresh juice and lots of help to carry luggage.
The rooms were fabulously clean, with good quality white bed linens and the largest soft bath towels I’ve ever used (bath “sheets” is the term, I believe.) The walk-in shower was divine, the water hot, and taking a bath with the lake just outside the large window was a real treat. The huge bathroom was ensuite but did not have a door (only a curtain) which could be awkward if not travelling with close friends/family.
The food was fantastic, and meals were selected from a menu offering a couple dozen different entrees between lunch & dinner choices. Lots of delicious fresh fruit and veggies from the on-site garden were served, including sweet corn on the cob. Heinz ketchup was available. There weren’t really any local/traditional options on the menu (aside from tilapia) so if you must have posho or matooke daily, you’re looking at the wrong place. Although I’m pretty sure they’d meet a special request, given some advance notice.
There is nightly turn-down service when the staff let down the mosquito netting around the beds, which is necessary because the lake flies (tiny gnats) completely swarm the property nightly at all times of the year. The gnats can’t be helped because of the proximity to the lake, so if you’d be terribly bothered, you’d be smart to avoid ANY lakeside resort. We kept our room lights off in the evening which helped, and while we ate breakfast each morning, the staff was quick to clean up the dead gnats littering the bathtub, sink counter, etc. in our room. A little gross but manageable. Mosquitoes (or any other pests) were not plentiful.
We were asked nightly what time we’d like coffee or tea (with muffins) brought to our bungalow, and we took our time sipping coffee on the porch overlooking the lake before a made-to-order breakfast. Both the African ginger milk tea and French-pressed coffee were top notch. Wine options were pricey, but the corkage fee was less than $10USD, so bring your own bottle for the best deal.
The common areas had good quality, upholstered furniture including clean, soft pillows on the outdoor sofas (not dirty at all or musty smelling like most other places visited in Uganda.) Large coffee tables allow for good board-game space, so bring your favorite, or borrow from the small collection on hand. The chaise lounges at the pool were a little sun-faded and dingy, but that’s understandable considering the sun exposure. A detail easily forgotten when being offered very attentive pool-side beverage service. Pool was clean & refreshing. There is no fitness equipment, but plenty of walking trails and lawn area for recreation.
Pineapple Bay is a great option for families, couples, groups of friends, and singles looking to get some fresh air away from Kampala. We had a lovely time relaxing in paradise and hope to go back soon!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Pineapple Bay, our island retreat. Pineapple Bay. Where you can lounge on a Lamu bed, looking out to the sparkling waters of Lake Victoria. Where you can charter a fishing-boat and head off with rod and tackle to fish for the legendary Nile Perch. No cars. No town. No roads. No need to put your shoes on :) This is Paradise! ... more less