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“Perfection”

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Kampala Serena Hotel
Ranked #2 of 103 Hotels in Kampala
Certificate of Excellence
Brussels, Belgium
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Perfection”
Reviewed February 13, 2008

This was my 2nd stay at the Serena and I will try to stay there every time I am in Kampala on business. The other reviews say it all, I'll just add that you should book early as it was full when I wanted to stay overnight. I ended up at the Sheraton across the way, which was great, but nothing in Uganda compares to the Serena. I ended up booking a day room on my way back from the north before heading out to the airport. Tastefully appointed, spacious rooms; great service; delicious food; ideal location. Yes, it's expensive, but its worth it. The spa is impressive as well.

  • Liked — Great service, beautiful rooms, relaxing spa
  • Disliked — Expensive
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank travelbee28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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649 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Lynchburg, VA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 25, 2008

This was one of the nicest hotel I have stayed at. It is first class. The health club and amenities are phenomenal. The staff very helpful. I was was very impressed.

  • Liked — the luxurious room
  • Disliked — the price
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank misook9966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2008

Having read all the reviews on trip advisor decided that Serena appeared to have the best reviews amongst Kampala’s large hotels - and so chose to book it

I have just spent 10 days there and I can’t fault it

The Service - I haven’t a single complaint
The Staff - excellent, friendly, lovely people
The Hotel itself - couldn't have been more pleased. Modern western style hotel
The Grounds - perfect
The Food - excellent
Gym - a huge, upto date gym
Spa - great spa treatments and facilities

I don’t mean this in a bad way - but it really is amazing to find a hotel like this in Uganda. And in fact is a testament to the progress and modernisation Kampala has gone through in recent years

I rarely fill these types of online reviews - but given how useful the
comments from previous guests were when I was searching, i thought i should. Also i was so pleased with the Serena that its only right to compliment

During my time in Kamala visited several other hotels for a drink (Speke, Shereton, Grand Imperial & The Royal Imperial)

Whilst all very nice, they don't come close to the Serena

If you talk to the locals in Kampala - they all tell you that the Serena is the best place in town. (in fact most people told us it's the best hotel in East Africa)

I have stayed in 5 star hotels I the UK and North America - and this place is as good as anywhere i have stayed

And in fact the difference being it's probably not a stuffy and formal as most 5 star hotels. Very relaxed and informal

Granted – it is expensive, but if you are looking to stay at one of the better hotels in Kampala – or indeed spoil yourself then Serena is a great choice

If it is out of your budget then it’s certainly a place you may want to visit for a drink one evening or even for a buffet lunch or dinner as its a lovely place to hang out

Highly recommended

  • Liked — overall standards of facilities (rooms, gym, lobby etc)
  • Disliked — very little
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank sittty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2008

After working in the outskirts of Kampala for two weeks with Habitat for Humanity I decided to treat myself and spend the last two days of my Uganda Experience in Kampala at The Serena.

An outstanding facility and staff. Having spent two weeks in the jungle, I could not have been more pleased with a Hotel of 5 Stars quality. The first thing I noticed was the air conditioned main lobby and atrium and how pleasant the clean filtered air smelled and felt after being in the amazing but congested and smoke filled air that is all part of the Ugandan experience. I made my reservations via the hotel's website and was pleased that upon my arrival all was well and my room was ready.

The room itself was very well maintained, king size bed (still a little uncomfortable to my western standards but more than exceptable) large main room with working desk and comfortable lounge chairs. Bathroom was clean and gave the option of shower or bath with private water closet and double basin sink.
Safe located in the room and a great balcony looking over the grounds - pond, lawns, well landscaped grounds and a terrific pool design. Staff was well trained and and did not experience any problems with reception, bell hops, or housekeeping.

Facilties have a great pool, beautifully maintained landscaped grounds, three choices for dining, and a very comfortable bar and scene to enjoy a glass of wine.

A touch on the pricy side at $350US but well worth it in the end.

  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank TrooperSanFrancisco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala LUmpur
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed December 10, 2007

This must be one of the nicest hotels in East Africa. The service is good and so is the food. Even room service is excellent. The spa is of international standards. Most of all, the rooms are spacious and the bathrooms amazing. All the amenities are well placed and thoroughly thought out. Lighting is perfect. I especially appreciate the night light for the toilet.

  • Liked — The rooms, the spa, the pool area, the food and the coffee.
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Marigo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo, Japan
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2007

My first time to Kampala -- to Africa, for that matter -- and had no idea where to stay. Checked TripAdvisor and Serena was #1. So called up the Serena in Kampala -- which turned out to be not very easy from either my VoIP phone or mobile in Japan -- and waited to see what I would get.

The Serena did not disappoint. In fact, it ranks as a world class 5-star hotel. Room was great: modern, clean, plenty of space, firm bed, plenty of outlets, in-room safe, and excellent bathroom with a rain shower. I understand that Queen Elizabeth will stay here in November.

Service was very good, which is hard to come by in Uganda.

The hotel is smartly designed with a nice lobby. The bar across from the bell desk is very nice. Only complaint there is they don't serve food of any kind, including snacks.

The buffet restaurant on the first floor is top notch. Had breakfast, brunch, and dinner there and all were excellent with a wide variety of cold and hot dishes, cheese, pastries, fruit, juices, and desserts. Ordered a Pina Colada even though it wasn't on the drink menu and was brought one of the most potent I've ever had.

The metal detector at the front door was a bit annoying, but y the extra sense of security much than made up for it.

Location is also a plus. Walking distance to both downtown and Garden City -- the biggest mall in Kampala. Taxis and Bodaboda (motorcycle taxis) right outside the front gate.

Some minor issues:
- Tried to reserve online but never got a reply
- room did not have digital clock next to the bed
- concierge was not particularly helpful when it came to suggesting tours/safaris

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank RoppongiGaijin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2007

Stayed here for 2 nights on a business trip to Kampala in March. The hotel is very nice and spacious in all respects. Its less than a year old and was revamped by the Serena Group.
The hotel is very modern but with a distinctly African feel.
The rooms are surprisingly big and well finished. The beds are very comfortabe.
Intenet Access was free although you need to call the reception to set it up.
The food is very good although I ate out at restaurants close to the hotel most of the time.
I did not get to use much of the facilities although the pool area and gym looked great.
If you are a business traveller or tourist to Kampala I would highly reccomend this hotel.

  • Liked — 5 star quality
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Rakman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kampala Serena Hotel

Property: Kampala Serena Hotel
Address: P. O. Box 7814, Kintu Road, Kampala 256, 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 Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 103 Hotels in Kampala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Kampala Serena Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 152
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An inspirational blend of 5-star polish and pan-African panache, this world-class hotel will showcase the cream of Ugandan culture while delivering the ultimate in personalized service, international cuisine, social style and business reliability.Drawing its architectural inspiration from the abundance of Uganda's lakes and rivers, the hotel has been created around a central water theme, which manifests itself both in the extensive water gardens and in the hand-carved panels and shimmering mosaics with which it is decorated. The hotel has free wireless internet as well as international cuisine spiced up with an African cuisine served up at the stunning gourmet fine-dining restaurant, The Pearl of Africa ... more   less 
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