I stayed at this hotel for seven nights in the last week of August, during a business trip to Uganda. The Rivonia came with mixed reviews (including on TripAdvisor) and this served to confuse rather than anything else. Still, I chose it because of price and location with the words of the "good reviews" still ringing in my memory.
The Rivonia is not really a hotel at all; it is a apartment complex with semi-permanent residents and a few rooms/suites rented out to travellers like me. For all that, in a country where comfort, value and security are not always what you expect, Rivonia offers all three.
The suite was large and came with a good layout, quite comfortable bed with the mandatory mosquitos nets, great bathroom - even though one reviewer seemed to dislike it because it wasn't "modern" enough. I found it fine and it had a great rain-shower head and excellent hot water supply. Everything worked, and that's not to be taken for granted in central Africa, so Rivonia excelled in this regard.
I often find TV service really quite lacking around the world, especially in my own country, but here I had dozens and dozens of channels to watch at night after work. Since there was nothing else to do in this property, and walking around the crazy, unmarked, unlit, potholed streets in the dark is definitely NOT to be countenanced, then TV seemed the ideal escape !
So on price and comfort, Rivonia wins out. On food ... it is basic beyond all my expectations and, indeed, hopes. A fixed meal every night for about $15 provides one with soup, choice of two meat dishes, some veggies, and the usual assortment of African starch concoctions. Quite disappointing after a long hard day, and especially after a much better breakfast line-up thrown in with the daily rate. So, no choices except to eat up ... or not !
Kampala abounds with cafes and quite a few supermarkets though, and so buying take-away food during the day to consume at night struck me as a much better option after the first two nights trying to cope with the fixed menu. Try the various outlets of Cafe Java or even Brood (Dutch/Belgian inspiration) for lovely snacks and sandwiches, pastries, sausage rolls and so on.
Staff at Rivonia were always helpful, even when the telephone system totally failed while trying to debit my credit card, causing it eventually to be "frozen." No real problem and we eventually sorted it out with nice staff help and great smiling attitude to life's little misfortunes.
I like this property and do recommend it, with the proviso that in food terms, what you get is not quite what you expect. And for goodness' sake, buy your own beer outside ! Would I stay there again? Yes, if I couldn't find something better and yet affordable, since Rivonia is very affordable indeed. And free wifi was EXCELLENT !
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