Major additions to the Kampala Serena after exactly 10 years of operations


(Posted 13th May 2016)

As the Kampala Serena Hotel comes up to commemorate 10 years of operations under the Serena name – Africa’s leading hotel brand once again as singled out by the World Travel Awards 2016 – are major changes on the drawing board. The hotel in the heart of Kampala was previously known as Nile Hotel International, had in a clearly misguided move been given to a totally unsuitable Tunisian three star resort management company under a highly questionable deal, before their managers on site absconded one fine night, leaving the Government of Uganda in a lurch. Following prolonged legal cases was it only in 2004 that the property came back on the market and Serena’s vigorous effort bidding for the management and reconstruction under an initial 30 year concession was so successful that none of the other approved bidders in the end submitted their documents to the Privatization Unit of the Ministry of Finance.
The hotel will, apart from a number of additional rooms, also get a second major Presidential Suite, reportedly aiming to rival the one of sister property Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa which has persistently been recognized as Uganda’s leading Presidential Suite.
Also planned are extensions to the existing banqueting and conferencing facilities as clearly demand for those has for some time now outpaced supply, a situation every hotelier can only be proud of.
Notably though will premium guests and those holding Serena loyalty cards be able to enjoy a new Executive Lounge on the 6th floor of the hotel, which will be added to provide the level of hospitality now en vogue among top ranked 5 star properties of this kind.
The Kampala Serena has scooped awards after awards, for accommodation as well as for the quality of its restaurants, held State Banquets and conferences with the guest list reading like the global who is who in politics and business. During the 2007 Commonwealth Summit did the hotel host Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and since then a large number of other Heads of State and Government who would settle for nothing less but Kampala’s best.
The planned expansion will be financed by French development agency PROPARCO, which is reportedly also a shareholder in the hotel and was among the erstwhile financiers when the project took off. Pen will be put to paper on May 18th between the financiers and Serena Hotels top management to seal the deal and construction will commence in due course with minimum disruption of ongoing hotel business.