We stayed here last year. You can probably still see my review below when I said I wouldn't stay here again. This year, on our trip to Gulu, we booked the Churchill Courts Hotel. They quoted us a price that was 13,000 UGX more than Acholi Inn but we were keen to try it. On asking about Internet access, we were informed hat the system was currently broken, so there was no Internet. On reflection, we cancelled that reservation and booked the Acholi Inn again. After all, the Churchill Courts has no pool and wanted to charge us more than the Acholi Inn. Churchill Courts also currently has no sauna or spa. We didn't bother with the Bomah Hotel as it doesn't appear to have a pool and its charges at $90 a night are almost double what the Acholi Inn costs. So, it was a no-brainer. Back to the Acholi Inn.
This time, we were given a suite at no extra cost. The room was the same as a standard double but it also had a nice sitting room with armchair and settee, colour TV and access to balcony which was the length of the two rooms. The air conditioning in the bedroom was OK but the unit in the sitting room was broken - but we could live with that. Unfortunately, the TV, which had no remote, only showed one channel (NTV) and, as much as I tried manipulating the buttons, I couldn't get any other channels at all.
The bedroom was fine. There is no safe deposit box but the wardrobe was lockable with a key. I realise that isn't very secure but it's better than nothing. Sadly, once again, the room was let down by the bathroom. There was a big, heavy porcelain sink which had come away from the wall and which seemed in imminent danger of landing on someone's feet. To their credit, when we reported this, the hotel immediately offered to move us to another room but we declined as we'd unpacked everything by then. There was hot water throughout our stay but you had to run the tap full-on for a full ten minutes before it came through. This also had the downside of revealing another problem, which I didn't notice until during the night. The waste pipe to the sink was made of cheap, soft plastic and it had been pushed into place by hand. When the water flowing out of the sink got hot, this pipe expanded and dropped away from the waste outlet leaving the sink to drain directly onto the bathroom floor, which it did more than once. The toilet cistern was also faulty but nothing a good thumping couldn't solve. Don't let me sound too negative. This room was more than adequate for our needs. I've had worse, for more money, in the UK. The bed was nice with a framework around it to hold a full mosquito net, which we used each night and the sitting area was a nice and pleasant place to enjoy a glass of wine after a long day.
Wireless Internet here is now free, which was a pleasant surprise. It's only available in public areas and is not very fast but it's more than adequate for checking emails etc.
We ate one lunch and two dinners and breakfasts here. The staff are very helpful and go out of their way to look after their guests but they don't appear to have had much training. I won't go into detail of the many issues we had, but a common theme was how slow everything was. On the first night, we ordered a simple meal at 10.00pm. Food is available until 11.00pm. Although there was nobody else eating, it still hadn't arrived by 10.40pm so we told hem to deliver it to our room. Good enough, it arrived about five minutes after us and was OK. They even brought some wine glasses, at our request.
The following night, sadly, was not good. It didn't get off to a good start when we had great trouble ordering our food. There was a page in the menu titled "Soups" which listed items like Tomato Soup, Mushroom Soup and so on. So we asked for soup, for starter, and chicken wings and chips for main course. The waitress asked if we we wanted gravy. I explained that, no, we would like soup. She again asked if we wanted gravy. Now, I do happen to know that Ugandans often refer to soups and sauces as gravy, but, on this occasion we were holding open the menu at the soup page and pointing at it. She took the menu and examined it closely like someone who was looking at something for the first time ever. She got the message and went to the kitchen to be informed that only Cream of Onion soup was available (I'd never heard of that one before). So we ordered that. She was now highly confused. "But, what about the chicken wings?" We explained that the soup was for starters and, when we'd finished that, we would eat the chicken wings. The waitress found this difficult to understand and we had to explain it again before she went off looking at us as if we were from another planet.
We ordered at 7.30pm. The soups came at about 8.20pm. They were OK and came with bread. At 8.50pm, one hour and 20 minutes after ordering our food, the waitress came over to tell us that chicken wings were off. They, apparently, didn't know this earlier as they had only just looked in the fridge to start on them now. We summoned the manager but, on seeing us calling him, he disappeared into the kitchen and sent the waitress, instead. We told her to go back and fetch the manager, who eventually came over, apologising profusely. He asked us to order something else and promised it would be quick. Sure enough, replacement dishes came in 5 minutes. So, why couldn't our original order have been dealt with that quickly? We would then have been impressed, even if told there were no chicken wings. As it was, we left hugely disappointed.
Breakfast was OK but you need to be down pretty sharpish. It is advertised as 6.30am to 9.30am. We arrived at 9.00am and they had just begun taking everything away. If you'd turned up at say 9.25am, you'd have had a problem. There was plenty of fruit, bread and hot beans and sausages.
Would we stay here again? Yes, we would. Leaving aside the service in the restaurant, which I'm sure you could live with - as we did - this hotel still remains the best choice if you're staying in Gulu, when taking into account the available facilities, location and price. I now have no doubt about that, at all.
PS. We did take a walk round the corner to physically inspect the Churchill Courts Hotel where the receptionist showed us round. It was pleasant and clean, but the lack of facilities and the higher price proved to us that we made the right choice in going to the Acholi Inn.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC