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“Pleasant stay” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Red Chilli Hideaway

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Red Chilli Hideaway
Ranked #3 of 113 Specialty Lodging in Kampala
Certificate of Excellence
Cologne, Germany
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“Pleasant stay”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2013

We stayed at Chilli's over Christmas and New Years and we enjoyed it very much. The place is not too far from the city center but is still rather quiet. It is a huge compound with outside bar/restaurant and barbeque place for self service.
The rooms are simple and OK. Sure you can't compare to western standards. You get what you pay for.
We booked rooms for the whole trip in advance but were able to check-out for a few days in times we made trips outside of Kampala and we didn't had to pay for those days which I found very uncomplicated and fair.
What made the stay pleasant for us was the helpful staff and the bar/restaurant area where you can meet other travelers. The food is OK, but try the Pizza which is prepared nearly every evening! If you need help/info you can always ask the guys from the staff and we even made friends with them and got company for a club night in Kampala :-)

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank zack0r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Debbie W, Owner at Red Chilli Hideaway, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Dear Zack0r

Thanks very much for the positive feedback... we all really pride ourselves on our friendly atmosphere and I will make sure I pass on your comments to the staff, who will be delighted!

Best regards
Debbie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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390 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
Date | Rating
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English first
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
71 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2013

In this hostel I have experience both with sleeping in the dorm and in the private triple room. I'll discuss both.

The dorm is simply a dorm, just what you might expect for a budget backpacker's option: various bunkbeds and a shared bathroom with shower. What's nice is that the beds have sheets and netting, and the dorm is not cramped but fairly spacious. Downside is the fact that it is much used by safari-goers who get up really early in the morning for their trip. For this reason you might not want to stay in the dorm if you are just planning to stay in Kampala for a couple of days. Also, bring a torch because it's very dark at night.

The private triple room was a major upgrade from the dorm for us, and only a fraction more costly. I would really recommend staying in one of the private rooms if you can. The triple room was well furnished and pleasant. The showers are shared with a couple of other rooms but it was never busy and there are 2 toilets and 2 showers in the block where we stayed. One some days the showers were very good, on other days little water or only really steaming hot water would come out. But that's Africa for you. The only negative thing I could think of concerning this room was the fact that it was close to the garden / outdoor restaurant area which makes it rather noisy in the evening (but up to an acceptable level: you'll just hear people talking. There is no loud music). But the bar closes around midnight so it was always quiet after that hour. Of course only until the next early morning, when the tropical birds would start making their calls! But I thought that was just a wonderful sound to wake up to.

The staff is really what made me enjoy this hostel a lot: they are very friendly and really take their time to talk to you and help you out. They inquire about your day and enjoy having a chat. This is what really made our stay a pleasure. The food from the restaurant was fine. What's also nice about this place is that it has a lot of useful facilities like a place to charge your electronic items, computers with internet for free use, and a small stock of supplies that you can buy like washing powder or torches.

Location was not a big issue for us. You can have a fun adventure getting to / from the hostel by matatu. One time we simply arranged a "private hire" (taxi) through the hostel reception. This of course costs you tenfold the price of a matatu or more but it brings you exactly where you need to be in Kampala. A suggestion for the hostel might be to put some directions or instructions in the common area on how to get to various landmarks / attractions in Kampala by public transport, and of course how to get back. Might make things a lot easier for many.

Further services we used:
- Airport pickup (was not cheap but very useful to us because we arrived late at night. The driver was waiting for us at the airport and was cheerful, a warm welcome at our first arrival in Uganda! Recommended if you come in late at night)

- Laundry service (we had specifically asked in the morning if it was possible to have our laundry back dry in the evening, since we were leaving early the next day. We were told this would be no problem. However after inquiring that evening for our laundry, we were told to look for it at the laundry location where we found most of our items still wet together with other people's items. Not really a big deal but if we would have known, we would have brought our laundry to our next location to have it done there)

- Big 6 Safari (this was absolutely excellent, great value for money and it brought us some of the most special memories of our entire trip to Africa. I will discuss the Red Chilli campsite used during their safaris in a separate review)

All in all a very good hostel, backpackers will find this great value for money and a wonderful, relaxed and friendly place to call your temporary home in Kampala.

Room Tip: Don't sleep in the dorm if you don't want to be woken up very early in the morning by people...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank due_passi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Debbie W, Owner at Red Chilli Hideaway, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Dear Due-passi

Thanks so much for the really detailed review - very much appreciated. I'm so glad you had a fun safari and that the staff were friendly.

Sorry about the laundry - sometimes, if we have a really rainy day it doesn't get dry by the evening but we should definitely make sure staff advise that dry laundry by the day's end is not a given.

Hope to see you again sometime soon!

Best regards
Debbie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lusaka
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2013

The goods are:
Staff are 100s - very helpful, entertaining and interesting. Ablutions are regularly cleaned and hot water was nearly guaranteed. Nice communal area for chilling and plenty of activities to choose from. Chilli was infinitely more quiet than Kampala BP.

The gripes are:
net is mediocre at best (would rather pay something and have service), food is marginal but dirt cheap; there is only one narrow strip reserved for plug-ins.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Christopher R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Debbie W, Owner at Red Chilli Hideaway, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Dear Lusakabeerman

Many thanks for your helpful feedback on Red Chilli. I'm so glad you found the place clean and friendly.

As I have just responded in an earlier review, the net is a constant battle here in Uganda. We have tried several different providers and believe it or not pay a small fortune monthly to get a package that might work with the type of place we run. The problem is that at any one time we can have numerous guests downloading, skyping etc. We have tried to restrict webcams to improve the speed for everyone but as you can imagine that is just impossible to police. We will keep on striving to be the best that we can...but of course guests are welcome to try their luck paying in town...where it might or might not be better!

I hope all the same that you will pay us another visit before too long -

Best regards
Debbie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
54 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2013

I stayed here before heading off on the red chili safari, and had a double room with private bathroom. The room was noisy, being located right next to the garden area, so earplugs are recommended even if not staying in a dorm. The bed was super comfortable, mosquito net without holes, and the shower was the best I've had in 6 months of Africa! Location wise it's not great, you need a boda or matatu to go anywhere, but I don't think there's anywhere in this big of a city that's 'ideally' located close to everything. Lots of rules (3 pages worth I think) about many things, from no putting feet on the furniture to no charging of cell phones except for the designated charging station in the main lounge; but I guess they keep the place running like clockwork. All in all, good value for money.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MazzaSantiago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Debbie W, Owner at Red Chilli Hideaway, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Dear MazzaSantiago

I am so glad you enjoyed your stay at Red Chilli...although I was sorry to hear you needed ear plugs in your room by the outside bar. We do make it a rule (ah yes, sorry, another one!) that we turn the music down at 11 and shut the bar at 12 to protect people in those rooms. I really hope you'll come back and stay with us again some time and we can book you into one of the rooms further away from this area.

Best regards
Debbie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2013

I really enjoyed my stay here. What made a difference was the friendly nature of the staff. They remember your name, ask you how your day was, and are eager to respond to any enquiries you may have. The staff really went the extra mile for me, which I really appreciated.

The food was pretty good. Some meals are excellent like their pizzas, but other meals were average (just meat and chips with no other veges). I highly recommend the pizzas, they are a standout!

The rooms are what you would expect for a backpackers. Don't have too high expectations and you will be fine. I had my own room for the first few nights and it was small but comfortable. Staying in the dorm was okay, but don't expect a long sleep, with other travelers rising early in the morning for their safaris.

They need to get their wifi working better. The location is a bit isolated from the rest of Kampala, but this is both good and bad. Good in the sense that it is quite peaceful, but bad in the sense that you will have to travel through the Kampala gridlock in order to do any sightseeing in Kampala itself. I highly recommend Red Chilli. It is an awesome place to stay, the staff are great, and they organize great safari trips as well.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nigel J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Debbie W, Owner at Red Chilli Hideaway, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Dear Nigel J

Many thanks for all your feedback on Red Chilli - we're so glad you enjoyed the place - and the friendly staff in particular.

Sadly the wi-fi is a constant battle for us - we have now tried 3 different providers and spend a fortune monthly on getting a REALLY unlimited package (as they call it here!) but we are still disappointed. At times we have countless backpackers on skype, webcam calls and downloading and I guess African technology just has it's limitations. We will keep on trying though to make it the best we can!

Hope to see you again soon,
Best regards
Debbie
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 30, 2013

This place was great for the price. The Pizza was delicious and the beer was cold. Internet and cozy chairs were great. The shower didn't fully work and I think someone tried to smoke in the bathroom, haha. But I would stay here again.

Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
Helpful?
Thank Mermaidyogi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Debbie W, Owner at Red Chilli Hideaway, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Dear Mermaidyogi

Thanks very much for the feedback...if you could let us know which shower block you had problems with, that'd be really helpful.

Thanks again and best regards
Debbie
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
114 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2013

Stayed here one night before the Murchison Falls safari. It's a place for travelers on a budget, rooms are very cheap and the food is cheap. This attracts the predictable crowd of backpackers and hitchhikers and truck drivers. I stayed in a single room with shared toilets/showers. The room is basic, but clean and nice, facilities could be cleaner, but they are OK for a short stay. It was not very loud, as I was fairly far away from the main compound. Food there is actually pretty good, but I also would not recommend the packed lunch as some people below mentioned.
One huge negative is that roosters there started going crazy around 3-4 in the morning and were screaming till about 6, at which point muezzins picked up the torch. Not for light sleepers.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank shvarz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Debbie W, Owner at Red Chilli Hideaway, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Dear Shvarz

Thanks very much for your thoughts on Red Chilli - we are currently looking into what we can do to improve packed lunches. Suggestions would always be welcome.

Sorry about the roosters too...they don't belong to us but when you're not used to the noise, it's definitely not one of Kampala's finest moments!

Best regards
Debbie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Red Chilli Hideaway

Property: Red Chilli Hideaway
Address: 13-23 Bukasa Hill View Road | Butabika, Kampala, Uganda
Location: Uganda > Central Region > Kampala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 113 Specialty Lodging in Kampala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Red Chilli Hideaway, Kampala Facilities: Great value accommodation: set in 5 leafy acres, in one of Kampala's quieter and safer suburbs (Butabika). We cater for self-campers and also provide dorm beds & private rooms (with or without en-suite facilities) Check-in from 2pm onwards and check-out by 10 am. Swimming Pool: 16m salt-water swimming pool with baby pool. Free of charge for our residents! Complimentary shuttle bus: operating between Red Chilli and the centre of town. We have a 10-seater minibus that departs Butabika at 9am, 12pm and 4pm daily and terminates at the Nakumatt Oasis Shopping Mall (next to Garden City Mall) on Kitante Road. Departs town at 10.30Am, 1.30Pm and 5.30Pm, also from Nakumatt Oasis. Please book ahead at reception or by email/phone to avoid disappointment as we can only take 10 passengers on each shuttle. Please note - the driver may not deviate from the set route! Special hire taxis can be arranged on request at any time and are available on site at Butabika. Fully stocked bar: open daily from 7am until midnight, with booze for sale from 10am. Lots of communal areas to kick back and relax - including a beer terrace and a separate pool-side bar. A la carte restaurant: serving excellent breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks from 6:45am until 9.30Pm. Sunday from 6:00pm -9:00pm, is a pool-side BBQ night. Mouth-watering pizzas are baked in our wood-burning pizza oven outside Mon - Sat, from 6:00pm- 9:00pm. We can offer special rates and incentives for group meals - please contact us for further details. Our inside bar, restaurant and all accommodation areas are non-smoking, however smoking is permitted on the beer terrace and at the pool bar. FREE wireless internet access (with connections available for laptops) in our reception/internet lounge area only. Available between the hours of 7am and 11pm and subject to connection. Our systems are on a timer and will shut down automatically at approx 11pm. We also have one public internet stations and a cable connection. Please understand that the internet connection in Uganda is far from perfect, and at times is very slow and erratic! Satellite TV: Offering sports and news updates in the bar area, and a choice of viewing in the residential TV room. Look out for special movie nights! Pool table, dart board and table tennis: available in return for a small (or large!) Donation to our chosen charity: The Steve Willis Memorial Fund & a security deposit of 20,000/= for the darts, balls, cues, paddles etc. The deposit is refundable, providing the items are returned in one piece and not damaged! Self-Catering Kitchen & laundry block: located in our campsite for those who would prefer to self-cater. We have a basic camp kitchen, equipped with sink, cooker, fridge & external barbecues and picnic tables - but please note, we do not provide cutlery and crockery. You must provide your own cooking utensils. Separate laundry room available next door. Library: We have a small library and welcome book swaps in return for a small donation to the Steve Willis Memorial Fund. Please ask at reception/bar. Board games: we have a small selection for use, free of charge, from behind the bar. Laundry: A hand-wash laundry service is available for residents for a small charge or there is a designated self-catering laundry block. Please ask at reception/bar for more details. No underwear, shoes or totally filthy clothing to be handed in to be washed! We cannot guarantee that the laundry will be dry on the same day, due to weather conditions. Please note that if you hand in white clothing, it will definitely be returned to you cleaner, but we cannot guarantee it will be whiter! Office Facility: we offer printing, scanning & photocopying facilities in the administration office for a donation to our charity- the Steve Willis Memorial Fund. Please note the office may not always be open - either outside of office hours or when we are out receiving deliveries etc. Just ask at the bar if the door's closed! Consumables: for sale at the bar, including cigarettes, snacks and drinks. We also sell shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste and brushes, mozzie spray, postcards, stamps and other useful items at reception. For more choice, you will find several shops, markets & restaurants located within a short walking distance from Red Chilli Hideaway. Back-up generator and inverter: these keep things ticking over when the power fails, as it so often does in Uganda! When we are running on inverter or generator, please note only the lights are connected to the back-up power supply; plug sockets and fans in the rooms and bar area are not. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Red Chilli Hideaway Hotel Kampala

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