A member of the prestigious The Leading Hotels of the World group
Serena's Uganda flagship, the Kampala Serena Hotel is an inspirational blend of 5-star polish, pan-African panache, social style and business reliability. Ideally located at the very heart of Kampala, the hotel stands amidst 72 acres of landscaped grounds and water gardens. An oasis of cool and green, encircled by the seven hills of Kampala, this 152-room world-class hotel is the focal point of national, regional, business, political and social life. 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. Inspirationally styled as a showcase for Ugandan art, this unique 5-star hotel offers; an international conference centre, a garden auditorium, a roof-top terrace, a rock-sculptured pool terrace, three restaurants, two bars and the Moorish palace of the ‘Maisha Mind Body and Spirit Spa'.
Facilities • Wide selection of rooms and suites: all with AC, satellite TV, WiFi and voice-mail • Bambara Residents' Lounge with Bedouin Terrace • The Lakes, all-day brasserie • The Mists, cocktail bar • The Explorer, Italian bistro • The Pearl of Africa, fine-dining experience • The Sesse Pool Terrace bar and café • Panoramic roof terrace for private cocktails and social events • Garden auditorium • Extensive swimming pool area with rock-built waterfall • The Maisha Mind Body and Spirit Spa • Running track in the grounds and golf course (nearby) • Hair and beauty salon • International Conference Centre to seat 1,500 • VIP entrance, helipad, dedicated car park, full security • Wide range of incentives options • Business Centre, travel desk, taxi and limousine service • Wedding planning service • Gift Shop, news-stand and travel requisites kiosk.
Highlights A green oasis in the centre of Kampala Kampala's finest a la carte restaurant Rock-sculptured pool deck and waterfall Within walking distance of all central Kampala has to offer
Location The Kampala Serena Hotel is located in the centre of Kampala, 40 kms (approximately 20 minutes' by car dependant on traffic volume) from Entebbe International Airport. By air: The international airport is served by a wide range of carriers and linked to the international hub of Nairobi. By road: Landlocked Uganda can be reached on all sides by road, but visitors are advised to check conditions in Rwanda, Sudan and the DRC. By bus: Shuttle bus services also link Kampala with Nairobi, Arusha and Dar es Salaam. By boat: There are no passenger boat connections between Uganda and Kenya but it is possible to travel across Lake Victoria from Tanzania using the Port Bell ferry, which connects Mwanza to Port bell (Kampala) on its regular once weekly service. By rail: Rail services link Kampala to Nairobi.
Accommodation We offer a wide range of rooms and suites, all of which are elegantly presented in a fusion of international and Ugandan style, and all of which have private balconies or terraces. All our rooms and suites offer: 24-hour room service, air-conditioning, WIFI and in-room modem hook-up, direct-dial phone, voice-mail, complimentary newspaper, in-room satellite TV, mini bar, private safe, 240V/3 pin (square)sockets and shaver sockets, tea and coffee-making facilities, hair driers, bathrobe and slippers, porter/concierge, airport shuttle and limousine service. Our exclusive Bambara Lounge is solely for the use of our residents and offers a stylish lounge with newspapers, periodicals and café service as well as a Bedouin-tented outdoor terrace and meeting area. Additionally, our residents are invited to use the extensive services of our Business Centre, which offers a complete range of technological support and a series of private board rooms. While most of our rooms are designated non-smoking, a number of rooms are available for smokers, but these should be booked in advance.
The Deluxe and Executive rooms We offer 108 generously proportioned Deluxe Rooms, all of which feature a large ensuite bathroom, dressing table, work station, seating area and terrace or balcony. Styled in deep claret or royal blue, they feature luxuriant queen or twin beds and glorious views of the seven hills of Kampala. Our 32 Executive Rooms, which are appreciably larger than the Deluxe Rooms, offer a spacious lounge/meeting area. The Executive Suites We offer eight generously proportioned Executive Suites all of which feature a large ensuite bedroom with dressing table, work station, seating area and terrace or balcony. Additionally, they offer a seating and dining area where private meetings can be held. Styled in deep claret or royal blue, they feature luxuriant queen or twin beds and glorious views of the seven hills of Kampala.
The Business Suites Our three Business Suites offer both an elegant bedroom and a separate lounge.
The Royal Suite Named in honour of Queen Elizabeth II, who occupied this suite with her retinue during the 2008 Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference, this sumptuous suite offers a marble reception area with private wash rooms, an imposing drawing room, private kitchen and dining room; a large ensuite bedroom with integrated office suite, and a range of rooms for the accommodation the members of royal or presidential parties.
The Bambara Residents' Lounge Reserved for residents only, the sumptuously hand-carved Bambara Residents' Lounge, offers a haven of calm, newspapers and all-day café choices. There's also an opulently Bedouin-tented terrace, which lends itself ideally to private meetings or social relaxation.
Dining and bars A triumph of light space and cascading water, the Kampala Serena Hotel offers a world of dining and entertaining options. Choose from our stunning gourmet restaurant, The Pearl of Africa (open 6pm to 10pm), The Explorers Italian Bistro (open 10am to 12 midnight), The Lakes, All-day international restaurant (open 6.30 am to 10pm) and the sparkling Pool Terrace (open 11am to 7pm).
The Cuisine The Kampala Serena Hotel's menus have been planned by the Group's leading chef, John Macharia, and reflect both the best of Ugandan produce and the most enduring of her cultural traditions. They also reflect the international influences that have been brought to bear on the country, with plenty of references to Swahili, Asian and British cuisine. Most important of all, however, the cuisine will reflect the truly global nature of the hotel's clientele.
The Explorers Italian Bistro On the ground floor, the relaxed Italian ‘Explorer' restaurant offers a uniquely off-beat tribute to Africa's early explorers. Replicating a jungle-engulfed ruined city, it is reminiscent of a scene from ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark'. Dotted with safari antiques and sepia images, this warmly-welcoming bistro features an exterior water garden with ponds and bridges. Inside, the long bar offers a wide range of wines beers and spirits while the cuisine features the very best of Italy.
The Lakes Brasserie The internationally-styled The Lakes 24-hour restaurant looks out over the hotel's extensive water gardens and offers both an outside terrace and an interior dining space. Here, massive mosaic pillars suggest the watery depths of a lake, where fishes dart, weeds shimmer, and faint rays of sunlight filter down from above. Breakfast and lunch take the form of a lavish hot and cold buffet, while dinner is typically a la carte. The Lakes also features its own Ice Cream Bar , while The Sesse Patisserie specializes in authentic Italian coffee, local and herb teas and an array of home-made tarts, pastries and gateaux.
The Pearl of Africa For magnificence, for variety of form and colour, for profusion of brilliant life - plant, bird, insect, reptile, beast - for vast scale ... Uganda is truly the pearl of Africa
Sir Winston Churchill, My African Journey
Scenically located on the first floor of the hotel, with magnificent views over the water gardens, the lustrous ‘Pearl of Africa' restaurant blends stark black granite with opalescent marble to create a timeless ‘silver screen' backdrop for its world-class cuisine. A fine-dining experience like no other, The Pearl of Africa offers an intuitive fusion of menu choices, featuring international, national and regional cuisine alike. Varied in style, this unique restaurant offers elegant niche seating, a more relaxed outdoor terrace where fountains play, its own exclusive private dining room (to seat 12), and an intimate yet relaxed central dining room, which centres on a raised piano dais, where our resident pianist plays nightly.
The choice of bars A triumph of light space and cascading water, the Kampala Serena Hotel offers a world of relaxation and entertainment options. Choose from:
The Mists Bar Kampala's most fashionable gathering place, the atmospheric ‘The Mists' bar evokes the misty montane habitat of Uganda's famous gorillas and is named after the famous 1988 film ‘Gorillas in the Mist'. The film, which was directed by Michael Apted, followed the life and work of American zoologist, Dian Fossey (played in the film by Sigourney Weaver), who spent 23 years studying the behavior of the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Almost solely responsible for drawing the attention of the world to the plight of the threatened gorillas, and saving them from certain extinction, Dian was tragically murdered in 1985 at her gorilla camp in Rwanda. As a result of Dian's work, the Mountain Gorillas now enjoy protected status in all the national parks of the region; and the chance of seeing them is one of the most sought-after tourist events in the world.
The Sesse Pool Terrace Located amid the sculptured rock gardens, cascading waterfalls and shimmering blue water of the pool complex, the Sesse Pool Terrace is the ultimate in al fresco luxury and the ideal venue for café dining, family snacks, cocktails and more. Multi-facetted, it also adapts well to the presentation of a wide variety of poolside events and cocktail parties. Fully equipped with its own catering station, PA system and atmospheric lighting system; it even boasts its own ornate bandstand and mosaic dance floor.
Conferences meetings and events The Kampala Serena Hotel is Uganda's leading social and corporate-events venue. It offers a broad range of facilities to include:
The Kampala Serena International Conference Centre Immediately adjacent to the hotel and just 40 kms from Entebbe International Airport, the modernist, two-storey, hexagonal complex of the prestigious Kampala Serena International Conference Centre is Africa's premier conference venue. Superbly presented and spaciously interactive, it comprises: The Victoria Auditorium , whose state-of-the-art facilities can host 1, 500 delegates, The Nile Gallery , which also functions as an exhibition area; and a range of interconnecting conference facilities, executive suites and workshop areas.
The Crane and Turaco Rooms Interconnecting rooms on the first floor of the main hotel, the Crane and Turaco Rooms are situated immediately adjacent to the Business Centre and offer a range of presentation capabilities.
The garden auditorium A landscaped space with its own catering facilities and private access, the garden auditorium lends itself to any sparkling social gathering or uniquely different business presentation.
The ‘Maisha' roof terrace Offering panoramic views across the city, enjoying its own access and catering, the stunning ‘Maisha' roof terrace offers the ideal venue for cocktail parties, receptions and business events with a difference.
World-class business support The superbly appointed business centre offers all the business support services that you would expect of a 5-star, world-class hotel; and then more. Included are; a range of private boardrooms and office spaces, multi-lingual staff and 24-hour global connectivity Among the services offered are: • PA system, table microphones, cordless microphones, TV/Video/DVD, LCD projector/screen, podium, white boards/flip charts and markers • WiFi connectivity • Delegate pads, pens/pencils and 1-litre mineral water • Modern, modular events furniture, which can be tailored to your specifications. • Business support (secretarial services, photo-copying, WiFi and a full range of global communications) • Registration staff and conference organization support • Floral services • 24-hour generator back-up • Travel desk for onward bookings or local safaris • Concierge services • Limousine and taxi services • ‘Meet and greet' services • A wide range of CEO suites • Extensive secure parking • Health Club and Spa for your delegates • Team-building programmes • VIP helipad.
Weddings and honeymoons Kampala's social venue of choice, the Kampala Serena Hotel is Uganda's most prestigious wedding venue. Offering extensive grounds, a private garden arena, a stand-alone social events centre capable of hosting 1,500 guests, an elegant ballroom, a roof-top reception terrace and a poolside reception area with dedicated events pavillion, this unique 5-star hotel is as capable of hosting an intimate event for just family and friends, is it is a full-scale ceremony in true Ugandan style, with over 1,500 guests. The hotel also offers a complete wedding planning service, an unrivalled banqueting service, some unique family and friends accommodation packages and easily the most romantic selection of honeymoon suites available in Uganda.
Child-friendly The hotel offers family rooms, children's menus, baby-sitting, shallow pool area, extensive grounds.
Maisha Mind Body and Spirit Spa A two-storey terracotta edifice traced by delicate white pillars that blossom into bud on its sun-terraced roof, ‘Maisha' echoes the trademark Moorish theme of its sister facility in Nairobi. Kampala's first and only world-class spa, ‘Maisha' offers an unrivalled range of regimes complemented by luxuriant steam rooms, saunas, iced plunge pools and fountains brimming with pure mineral water. Facilities include: • 25-metre pool • State-of-the-art gymnasium and cardio studio Aerobic studio offering workouts to include; cardiovascular, kick boxing, dance, yoga, Tai chi and ‘stretch and sculpture' • Steam, sauna, plunge pool, sun-deck and juice bar • Full range of holistic massage, de-tox and aromatherapy treatments • Hair and beauty salon • Running track around the grounds • Golf course nearby
What to see and do The hotel is ideally placed in the centre of Kampala, within walking distance of the main shopping and business districts and a short taxi ride away from such attractions as the Kasubi Tombs, the National Museum and the craft markets. Just 20 minute's drive from Entebbe and Lake Victoria, the hotel is also ideally placed for access to the many beach and sporting opportunities on offer there. Of particular note is the Lake Victoria Serena Resort, our 4-star leisure resort, which has been designed to compliment the 5-star facilities of our flagship Kampala Serena Hotel by offering a delightful and relaxing lakeside retreat. Shuttle services run between the two hotels and complimentary packages can be arranged. Other ideas include:
The Kampala City Tour, a comprehensive tour of this bustling city that also takes in the African Craft Village and the National Museum.
The Kasubi Tombs, 5 kms outside the city centre standing high on Kasubi Hill are the royal tombs of the ancient Buganda kingdom, the Kabaka's or Kasubi Tombs. Housed within a magnificent domed traditional structure made from thatch, poles and reeds are the remains of four Buganda kings. Visitors can also see a display of cultural artefacts, weapons and musical instruments.
The Uganda Wildlife Centre, a small collection of buffalo, zebra, chimpanzees, monkeys, lion antelopes, crocodiles and hyenas plus numerous birds, the centre is also in Entebbe.
The Namugongo Martyrs' Shrine, the site where in 1886 twenty newly converted Christians were burnt alive by Kabaka Mwanga II whose order to ‘renounce the white man's religion' they had disobeyed.
Entebbe Visits to Entebbe, which offers a range of hotels, a popular beach and numerous boating excursions. The Entebbe Botanical Gardens, these 2.6 sq km gardens were founded in 1898 and offer a wide selection of exotic flora, small mammals, monkeys and excellent bird-spotting.
Jinja Visits to Jinja, the source of the Nile. Uganda's second largest city, Jinja lies 80km from Kampala and offers numerous leisure options (to include white-water rafting and bungy jumping on the Nile) a yacht club and the renowned Jinja Golf Course. Visits to the Owen Falls, Sezibwa Falls and Bujagali Falls on the Nile. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary. The Mabira Forest, a virgin tract of indigenous forest, which offers hundreds of butterflies, 300 bird species, guided walks and the chance of seeing both red-tailed and black-and-white colobus monkeys.
What to see and do beyond Kampala The ‘Land of Lakes' 25 per cent of Uganda's entire surface is covered by a glittering skein of lakes and rivers, earning her the title ‘The Land of Lakes'. As to scenery, Uganda has been dubbed ‘The Switzerland of Africa' thanks to its impressive mountain ranges, which include the legendary ‘Mountains of the Moon', the snow-capped Ruwenzoris, and the enormous and immeasurably ancient Mount Elgon which, at 4,324 metres is all that remains of a massive volcano, now extinct, which forms the boundary between Uganda and Kenya.
The national parks and reserves The national parks of Uganda (11, 023 sq km) have been set aside as wildlife and botanical sanctuaries. There are 10 national parks and a number of game reserves. The main national parks are; Bwindi Impenetrable, Kibale, Kidepo Valley, Lake Mburo, Mgahinga Gorilla, Mount Elgon, Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, Ruwenzori, and Semuliki.
Fauna and avifauna Uganda offers 50 large mammal species all members of the ‘Big Five' (elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and rhinoceros) and she is particularly famous for her primates - especially the mountain gorillas (western lowland, eastern lowland and mountain). There are also 1000 species of birds and 300 species of butterfly.
National museums and historical sites The Uganda National Museum, Kampala; Bigo Bya Mugenyi, Kabaka Mwanga's Lake, The Kakoro Rock Paintings, Kamukazi, The Kasubi Tombs, Masaka Hill, The Mparo Tombs, Mubende Hill, he Munsa Earthworks, The Namugongo Shrine, The Nkokonjeru Tomb, Ntusi, Numagabwe Cave, The Nyero Rock Paintings.
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