HALF A CENTURY TO LOOK BACK AT WHILE PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE
(Posted 10th February 2017)
The Sheraton Kampala Hotel, one of the oldest five star Hotels in Uganda has been operating in in Uganda for the past 30 years. However the Hotel was officially opened on October 08th in 1967 and has gone through various management companies including the current operating company “Constellation Hotels & Resorts” which uses the Sheraton franchise to manage it.
It was built as Apollo Hotel, named after the then Prime Minister Apollo Milton Obote. When Obote was overthrown by Idi Amin in 1971, the hotel was renamed the Kampala International Hotel and following the overthrow of Amin by Tanzanian forces and the Uganda National Liberation Army in 1979, the hotel reverted to the original name Apollo Hotel.
Speaking at a media breakfast held at the Hotel “Seven Hills” Rooftop, to launch the 50 years’ celebrations, the Hotel’s General Manager Jean-Phillippe Bittencourt said that ‘Sheraton Kampala Hotel is undoubtedly one of Uganda’s proudest hospitality resource and today it still stands tall on the slopes of Nakasero Hill proudly marching towards its Golden Jubilee and still recognized as the most respected Hotel in Uganda due to its services and heritage. ‘Fifty years is a major milestone for an institution, as it is for an individual. Our celebration is not only a festivity, but also a sincere occasion to pause and look back at this fifty-year journey and a moment to look towards the future of this hotel.The National Resistance Movement, which ascended into power in 1986, liberalized the economy and Middle Eastern investors won the rights to lease the hotel from the government of Uganda and manage it for the next 25 years, starting in 1999. The investors won a franchise from Sheraton Hotels and Resorts to use the Sheraton name. The hotel then underwent extensive renovations and thus the magnificent building that stands before us which is now part of the Marriott Group of Hotels after the acquisition of Starwood. Guests who have been with Sheraton for a long time have told us, they love the Hotel and it has been part of their lives and this is because there is no place like the Sheraton Kampala. With so many new Hotels coming on the market, it is important that as industry leaders, we pioneer innovations through our products and services that will keep us ahead of the market‘ Jean-Phillipe concluded.
To celebrate this milestone, Sheraton Kampala Hotel has lined up different activities to engage with the public. These activities are to not only participation of the customers but also give a chance to clients to share their memories of Sheraton Kampala and the General Manager of Sheraton Kampala Hotel confirmed that the best participants will win various prizes as he encouraged everyone to participate in the campaign of the 50th anniversary year.
It was also learned that since it is a year of celebrations, a couple of events have been lined up to mark this milestone in the hotel’s history and these include: Art exhibitions, Food & Cultural festivals, the Vintage Car Show as well as special days of the calendar like Orthodox Christmas which was recently celebrated, Valentine’s day that is coming up next week, Easter Sunday, Eid Al Fitr, Mothers’, Women’s and Fathers’ days, the Cuban Night and the Oktoberfest among others.
The climax of the celebrations will be held in October, when H.E The President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is to be the chief guest at the half century gala night.