I don't know how I found this wonderful mid-town retreat, but around 90% of these reviews give it 5 stars, and I'm about to do the same. This is just the perfect place to stay in Kampala, quite handy to most of the places you will want to go to. But there is somewhat of a temptation to go absolutely nowhere and to enjoy Mamba Point itself!
The overall impression here is that you are a house guest in someone's private -- and very well appointed -- home. And that's exactly what it was until quite recently; Guido and Fiona, mentioned in earlier reviews, have apparently sold the business and the associated restaurant and pizza joint. However, it doesn't seem to have changed the personality of the property.
There are only nine rooms here. Six in a lovely detached building at the back of the beautiful pool, and another three which are converted bedrooms of what was indeed Guido's own house. (Wisdom from guests who have stayed here regularly is that it's best to stay in the separate building.) The rooms are not large, but very comfortable. The bathrooms are spacious and well appointed. The attention to detail is what you'd find in the guest room of a nice private home. Each room has a nice balcony/porch, a nice place to relax in the very comfortable weather of Kampala (it's about 3,900 ft above sea level, never too hot or cold).
I guess that's it's really the ambiance of the property that makes is so compelling though. Your fellow guests (a much higher proportion than normal have returned more than once) are generally a well-travelled and interesting lot, the people I met during my short stay all had some kind of business in Africa, and all that I met had stayed at Mamba Point before. The breakfast table is communal, your breakfast is cooked to order by the friendly staff. You'll pick up some very useful tips around the table for your stay in Kampala, and I picked up a traveling companion for a day trip down to some of the more remote villages and beaches on Lake Victoria.
The pool is just beautiful, and there's a small gym and a proper sauna in an adjacent building. There's a pleasant indoor lounge room and a formal dining setting, but it's pretty unlikely that you'll want to move indoors. The well-appointed outdoor bar area by the pool can spontaneously become a fun evening if your fellow guests are so inclined. Everything about this place is just as you would do it if you were building yourself the ultimate private courtyard playground -- not flashy like commercial bars and hotels, just well designed and built, with quality fittings.
Likewise the staff have all been trained to provide friendly, competent and discrete service. They are all very welcoming and nothing is too much trouble, but they don't have the fake airline-stewardess smiles and over-the-top gestures that you'd find in a big hotel. Just genuine, warm people trying to do their best for their small number of guests. The only downside I can see of this approach is that the service tends to end pretty early, there's no staff apart from the security guards past about 11:00 pm. After that, if you're staying in for the night, it's up to you and the other guests to create your own fun. Or kick back and watch the big flat screen TV in your room. (Mind you, there's plenty to do in Kampala in the evenings.)
The Italian restaurant on the other side of the car park (and totally separate from the guesthouse, you won't even notice it's there unless you're in it) provides similar excellent service with very tasty food. In addition there is a Mamba Point pizza place away from the property -- I didn't have a chance to try it, but you can order pizza to be delivered to the guest house.
Most reviewers have noted the tranquility of this property ... yes, it's a cliche, but it really is an oasis not far from the centre of a busy and bustling town. I should add that's it's not outrageously expensive for what it is, something like US$120 per night in August, well worth it. Try it, if you want somewhere different and personal you won't be disappointed.
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- Also Known As:
- Mamba Point Guesthouse Hotel Kampala