Kampala hotel & restaurant feedback

My first hotel was Hotel Ruch, which I had found via the internet. It is situated close to the Sheraton, but the standard is not impressive. The rooms are very basic – and the bath rooms are simply too basic – for example no shampoo, looboard defective. There was only one mosquito net in the two-bed room (one bed for me – and one for my daughters). The room was with breakfast, but the staff in the restaurant insisted on having me to pay, so we had breakfast in town instead (all the way through). Actually, the hotel had promised (in writing) to pick us up at the airport (in the middle of the night). They never did so, so we had to find a cab (which was easy – but not a good start when you arrive in the middle of the night). Price of going from the airport to Kampala was 35 USD (special hire). The only really good things to say are that the room was clean, that the reception was kind and helpful and that wireless internet was included. However at a price of 130 USD/night for a single (150 USD/night for a double) this was a really bad deal.

We later stayed at Fairway Hotel. We were offered a junior suite (two rooms, two bathrooms) for 100 USD/night. Fairway is somewhat run-down, but it was still pleasant. The staff was nice and helpful. The location was good – right opposite the golf course. There is a free pool (with only few users). The breakfast (included) was very good. It is possible to pay for internet access which I did. However the net was down during the period I had purchased and the reception therefore deducted the price from my bill. The hotel somehow also managed to draw the total sum (315 USD – including Visa-fee) twice from my account. I sent an email pointing this out to them. They did not react directly on the mail, but after some time the money was repaid. I guess that I will go for Fairway Hotel when I return to Kampala next time.

In Kampala we had dinner/lunch at various places. We particularly liked the Café Javas at the new Mall right next to the Garden City Mall. Pizzas at the Speke Hotel are also good value for lunch (half price). In contrast, we did not appreciate the 1000Cups. I like good coffee – but that was not what I got, and the food was really bad. On top of it, the waiting time was very very very long. We also tried places like “Pizza Hot” and the Garden City food court (Persian). Both were fine though also a bit like going to MacDonalds. Back in 1998 the big thing was to have dinner at the Crocodile, so we went all the way up there to try it. It was slightly disappointing. We later tried the restaurant at the Fairway Hotel – which was good.

(Correspondent requested anonymity)

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