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“Conference Services Need Improvement”

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Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 104 Hotels in Kampala
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 28, 2011

I stayed here for eight nights for a conference that I helped organize and run so my experience is a bit more specific than most people. If you are considering organizing an event here, you may want to wait until they resolve their service issues.

That being said, the rooms are lovely, well appointed and very clean (at least at first). After a few days I did notice a decline in the level of cleanliness in the bathroom. I was sharing a room and by the middle of my stay I noticed a lot of hair on the floor. I ran into housekeeping outside the room one day and asked if they could please make sure to mop the bathroom floor to get rid of the hair but this was never done. By day 8, the bathroom floor was pretty disgusting.

The view is lovely and expansive (once you get past the construction still taking place).

Mosquitoes are plentiful and will be buzzing around your head at dinner (windows and doors are left open which is nice except for the mosquitoes). The mosquito net inside the room is very large but not practical. We woke up more than once at night to kill mosquitoes that had gotten in the net (kind of defeats the purpose). No other bugs in the rooms.

Food is good to very good, very varied and fresh, the buffet changes daily. If you order from the menu, service is very slow. Took 45 minutes to get a sandwich and this is quite typical. We eventually gave up ordering from the menu and got the buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The buffet desserts looked very good but were not as good as the rest of the food.

The location is way out of town. It's an expensive ride into town and they overcharge you for it. We were staying in town for the first part of our stay and paid $30 to get from the airport to downtown Kampala. The Serena, which is halfway to the airport, asks for $50 to drive you to town. Make sure to negotiate this before getting in the cab. Also, it's a 20 minute ride to town when there is no traffic but this is almost never the case and it can take an hour or more with traffic. There is nothing do to around the hotel. If you are looking for rest and relaxation (or are working all day) this is fine but if you want to do anything else, you'll have to take a cab to town (and deal with traffic).

We experienced problems with service which made running the conference much more difficult than it should have been. Most of the staff is lovely but they don't know how to handle problems when they arise. Our conference was quite large and even though we provided the hotel with a list of guests with dates of arrival, the person in charge of the reservations kept entering them wrongly in the reservation system. It took several meetings in the course of the day to work with the hotel to get all the guest inputted properly in the system. It does not look good when one of your guest checks-in and is not in the reservation system!

We provided instructions for how we needed the meeting rooms set-up but this was not communicated properly to the people setting up, so again, lots of time wasted repeating instructions and managing staff.

One of our guests had a defective phone. That person needed the phone to make business calls and asked reception several times for a new phone which was never provided.

Power goes out several times a day. They have a back-up generator but the projector turns off in the conference room every time the power goes off. So you then have to go run around to ask someone to turn it back on (they wouldn't show us how to do this ourselves which would have been easier).

The list goes. Some of these things were details which would not have mattered had I been on vacation but in this situation it all added up and created much more work for the organizer than is needed.

Wifi was spotty and didn't work past 7:00pm on most days. You have to go up to the lobby area to get good connection.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled on business
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2  Thank shoplocal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 19, 2010

I stayed at the Lake Victoria Serena resort in November for a total of 2 nights. I have mixed feelings about this property since i am a Serena lover. The hotel is still under construction and therefore you can imagine what a sight it is. It should be complete by the end of 2011! First of all the drive to the hotel is rather disturbing, you drive about 6 KM's on a dirt road which is actually a village...it is heartbreaking to see the poor children all over and then all of a sudden you end up at the Lake Victoria Serena! The hotel itself is beautiful, food is lovely, gym is excellent too staff are very helpful although the service is slow. I realised most of the front office staff are trainees therefore they are not as confident as they should be but it is allowed. We were put up in the new wing (which still had final finishes that needed to be added) my room was clean and spacious with a four poster bed however, it had no phone but the staff was in and out of my room just to ensure all was ok. There was no hot running water out of the shower and beleive me the staff got this fixed in a jiffy! Due to the lake, they even brought us insecticide to ensure we don't get bitten by the mosquitoes (despite there being a bed net) That is why i would really recommend this hotel because it is the people who make it worth a visit! The food was lovely too - Serena standard so no complaints!
However, the location is what was a problem for me as it is hidden far away and getting to mainland is a drive! I would rather recommend the Kampala Serena which is to die for...the interior is better the service is excellent and it is in town where everything is easily accessible. Also, the lake at Lake Victoria Serena, is quite far away from the hotel so if your expecting a "lake view" be prepared...it's not that you get to open your room window and voila you see the lake............lol you first see the gardens, stairs etc and then the lake at a distance!
I don't think i would ever pay to stay at the Lake Victoria Serena atleast not until it is completely constructed because it is not cheap. But let this not put you off to stay there. A day or two would be fine especially if you just need a break from the world and ofcourse if someone is paying for it on your behalf!
Yolanda

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled on business
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Thank yolanda01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2010

I'd visited the hotel (without staying) a few times and was excited to finally stay, expecting the usual fantastic Serena service.

Sadly, it appears the hotel is a training ground for Serena Group staff. Everything, from the initial booking to check out was far more complex and time consuming exercise. I normally leave a substantial tip at check out and tip all through my stay. This time, my wallet stayed in my jeans.

Has a lot of potential but the rooms need carpets and the manpower needs an overhaul.

  • Stayed: December 2010
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Thank GhostWrita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2010

If you want to relax, unwind and enjoy absolute tranquility, then this simply is the place to be. However, if you're an absolute 'urbanite' like I lam, then staying here for more than 3 days may get to you if you're not a fan of complete peace and quiet.
However, it truly is the ideal holiday spot.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled on business
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Thank Aodenyo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2010

A gorgeous location overlooking Lake Victoria, the rooms are beautiful, tranquil, the gardens lush and full of flowers, the pool idyllic, the food varied and healthy, and fitness center very comprehensive. However the hotel is still in start-up mode and the service can be somewhat slow and chaotic. Also, if you are using the hotel as a transit to or from the airport at Entebbe, be sure to arrange your own taxi as the hotel drop off/pick up is a totally outrageous price and downright highway robbery; a big downer to an otherwise wonderful stay.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled solo
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1  Thank JoannaWashingtonDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2010

We just stayed at the Lake Victoria Serena Resort for a week-long conference. The price was far below other Serena hotels and my guess is that this is because the resort is still in construction. Every morning, bulldozers were humming outside my window.

Aside from the construction, the hotel itself was fabulous. The rooms were lovely and the food was delicious. The spa and gym were also well appointed - we really enjoyed the steam room and sauna. My only complaint was that there were only three little open windows that were meant to cool the entire gym. The attendant said that they were intending to buy some fans.

There were abundant staff and they always tried their hardest, however there were still kinks to be worked out.... For instance, I left my room service breakfast card on my door overnight. When I woke-up, I noted it had been taken, but the breakfast never showed. When I called room service, they stated they had never received the card, but they rectified the situation quickly.

The conference facilities were nice and the staff were friendly and eager to please. Our only real problem was the speed of the internet.

Overall, we were very happy with the resort and found it to be much nicer, friendlier and more accommodating than the Speke Resort where we had previous functions.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled on business
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Thank dollyphin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2010

After a long day of traveling I was really looking forward to a night’s stay at the Lake Victoria Serena. I had stayed at the Nairobi Serena and was anticipating the same wonderful service. The new hotel is beautiful. It is built to model an Italian villa and the rooms are in several different blocks separated from the main lobby and restaurant building. The pool was beautiful and the hotel has a very nice fitness facility. But it is obvious that this is a new facility and needs work to reach the highest levels of service. To reach the hotel one has to travel 5 kilometers of dirt road. Though the hotel was virtually empty, I was given a room with no view of the lake. There was no guide of hotel services available in the room so to determine the hours the health club and restaurant were open I had to call the front desk. Though there was a room service menu, it did not list what beverages were available. The included breakfast buffet was wonderful but the made to order eggs took three attempts and more than 20 minutes. I would love to return the Serena Lake Victoria as I think it has great potential but I do not want to pay my money for the development of the expected levels of Serena customer service.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled solo
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1  Thank GoG8ors
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa

Address: Lweza Kigo Road | Off Entebbe Road, Kampala 01000, 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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Kampala
#5 Spa Hotel in Kampala
#6 Luxury Hotel in Kampala
#7 Business Hotel in Kampala
Price Range: $179 - $307 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 124
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Lake Victoria Serena Hotel Kampala

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