Mestil Hotel & Residences announces managerial changes


(Posted 25th February 2020)

(Chris Pollard with his trademark thumbs up gesture and Basil Hamadeh, Mestils’s new General Manager)

After almost a year at the Mestil Hotel, first as hotel consultant and then as General Manager, tasked to turn the fortunes of the hotel around, has Chris Pollard now been elevated to the position as Chief Operating Officer. He has also joined the hotel’s board of directors of the holding company for Mestil.

Basil F. Hamadeh has meanwhile been confirmed at the hotel’s new General Manager and he too is no stranger to Kampala. Basil served with Chris Pollard at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel several years ago and brings a wealth of experience with him to the position and to the hotel, which is today largely seen as Kampala’s number two hospitality business, to which it rose during the term of office of Chris Pollard.

Basil holds a dual degree in hotel administration and business management and during his 20+ year hospitality career, besides Starwood Hotels as already mentioned, also worked for IHG – the InterContinental Hotel Group – LHW Hotels and MAK Holdings, the latter with a portfolio of 21 hotels.

(Chef Bernard Steyn’s Egg Arlington creation and seen receiving South Africa’s Chef of the Year Award in 2007)

Also new at the Mestil is Chef Bernard Steyn. He too has worked in Kampala before and has already given the kitchen brigade new direction and re-energized his staff besides presenting guests with an Egg Benedict in all its flirtatious variations, which puts Mestil, together with the Kampala Serena, on top of the pecking order – with no third place in sight across the city for that matter.

The new team at the Mestil Hotel & Residences is determined to aim for the coveted formal 5 star status when the next round of hotel ranking inspections and audits goes underway and considering the excellent shape the hotel presents itself at the moment, will no doubt accomplish that.

Added information received also suggests that the owners of Mestil, encouraged by the performance of the hotel since it opened in 2018 and the subsequent opening of a dedicated conference centre on the adjoining plot, are now considering adding more rooms on the plot next to the conference facility. Should these plans materialise, it would add further high quality rooms to the inventory in Kampala and allow the country to make yet greater efforts to capture the high value MICE market.