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Sheraton Kampala Hotel
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Reviews (828)
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Reviewed 29 October 2013

I stayed here for 3 nights as part of a business trip to Kampala and Uganda. As you would expect with a Sheraton everything was clean and comfortable. Not going to set the world alight but exactly what you need in a city hotel.

Plenty of restaurants to choose from, a big swimming pool (although I didn't get to try it) and easy access to the city.

Could perhaps use a bit of an upgrade on the bathroom but otherwise couldn't fault it.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Jeremy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2013

This hotel must be a meeting point for business community and well to do Ugandans. We walked in in the evening, in cargo pants and walking boots and we given strange looks by the front desk. There is an excellent grill bar at the terrace with really good band, great place to have your evening meal.

Since I was waking up early, we called an early night. The room we were given was right above the band and was literally shaking to the beat. Upon complaining to the front desk, we were given another room, but that one was terribly worn out, dirty bathroom and broken tiles. I checked next day and occupancy was under 80%, I can't believe I could not have been given the better room.

We ordered breakfast in bed as we needed it before restaurant opening and this was quite a disappointing experience, inclusive of false advertising. Instead of advertised fresh juice, diluted cordial was given, instant coffees served in espresso cup instead of espresso and sausages instead of bacon. For $30, one would expect more. Compliments to Mr. Samuel from room service for nice service recovery, front desk could learn a lesson or two from him.

Recommendation: probably good for business and service during the regular operating hours. Can't be harsh given the location.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in a wing away from the band.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank FoodEliminator
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2013

I stayed here for a week while conducting a training program for a client. Overall, I found the hotel to be good but not great.

This hotel is one of the grand references in Kampala. It has been here for many years under a variety of different names – depending on who was running the country. (You can see Wikipedia for the history.) The new owners have rebranded it as a Sheraton and are investing a lot of money in it. Certainly the arrival of newer hotels from world class chains has put pressure on the Sheraton to modernize.

My client had booked me into a standard room (6th floor). I found it to be nicely refurbished and comfortable. However, the bathroom was 1965 original and very badly in need of a complete redo. (I asked at the desk and they are redoing the standard room bathrooms progressively.) Although a member of the SPG loyalty program, my level is basic so I did not get any special treatment here.

Since an upgrade was not expensive - $10 per night – and since I could take it as a business expense, I elected to upgrade to a room on the Club Floor.

The Club Floor rooms have been completely redone – including the bathroom – and mine (9th floor) was very comfortable. The only negative, for those who wear makeup, is that the lighting is spots in the ceiling which probably makes it less convenient for doing one’s face. (I don’t.)

A room on the Club Floor gives access to the Club Lounge which is comfortable, relaxed, and has food and drinks available. One can also eat breakfast in the Club Lounge – with a more limited but very adequate selection. I ate breakfast there several mornings and found it to be more relaxing and quicker. There is excellent WiFi in the Club Lounge that can be used for Skype etc.

Since my SPG membership is at a basic level (am at elevated level in others), I did not have an opportunity to try the SPG floor so I have nothing to say about those rooms.

There is a selection of places for eating, drinking, and entertainment.

The Victoria Restaurant is a large hotel dining hall – sterile. It has a fixed price buffet offering with good food. The service however leaves something to be desired. There is lots of staff wandering around but it is never clear who is responsible for your table (no one is). There is a covered outdoor eating area (smoking) which can be more enjoyable. I ate there several evenings and found that although smoking it is open enough and there is enough of a breeze that the smoke was not noticeable. Definitely, I found it to be preferable to be outside with a view and air.

Breakfast is served in the Victoria. It is very good - a buffet with a wide choice including eggs to order.

The Paradise restaurant is their outdoor patio bar and restaurant. One orders off the menu and they offer a wide range of items which I found to be well done. I ate there several evenings and found it more enjoyable. It can be windy in the evening (and maybe that is where I caught my cold). Again, I have the same comment about the service: lots of people running around but apparently nobody responsible for your table – and they do not look to notice. You may need to tackle (or trip) someone to get service. (The downside of a no tip environment.) The Paradise has a smoking and non-smoking side. Again I found that there was enough of a breeze so that the smoke was not objectionable. I was able to have a beer and enjoy my occasional cigarrito.
(This is also were you will find the nice looking women sitting alone with their obligatory drink – that they never touch – and their cell phones waiting for a call. They can also be found in the lobby bar. This is a common sight in such hotels – especially in Africa. They are not aggressive. Certainly do not – HIV is a serious problem here.)

There is a small stage area in the outdoor Paradise with live music – a different group every night. With the sound system, it can be quite noisy but some of the groups are rather good. This certainly provides for a very enjoyable environment for a relaxing evening – eating, drinking, or both.

Adjacent to Paradise, there is also a new fish restaurant that is opening. I saw that there has already been a review on TripAdvisor but I don’t know how that can be since when I tried to eat there I was told that it was open only to those with special invitations by the management and would not be open to the public until the 1st of November. Anyway, it looks like it will be a nice restaurant.

The Equator Lounge on the ground floor is THE place to be in the evening – music (not live), lively, and packed. It is popular with both hotel guests and local residents and is open late on the weekends.

There is also the lobby bar for a drink and conversation in a quiet and very comfortable environment. In the evening, there is a piano player.

Given the entertainment and noise from Paradise and the Equator Lounge, both on the same side of the hotel, you may want to ask for a room on the quiet side.

There is WiFi in the lobby and on all the floors. However, in my room I found that the performance was not super. The signal is not strong enough and does not really penetrate the full depth of the room with reliability. To make a Skype or FactTime call, I had to roll the desk chair over to the entrance of the room to be close to the hall. Also, the speed is not great. So, if connectivity is important to you, this may be a concern.

There is a nice swimming pool – in sort of a round shape but I was able to enjoy doing some lengths across it. Depending on skin tone, one should be very careful about the sun. The sun is very strong here.

I found the staff to be both cheerful and helpful – eager to help. This was a positive point in my experience.

Security is tight – as it was for all the hotels in Kampala. Cars are inspected at the entry from the road and you need to go through a security screening. Then, you will need to go through security again at the entry to the hotel building.

Overall, I found the hotel to be comfortable and a good place to be. Maybe not the best in town but a lot better than some others I saw while here. You can stay here with confidence.

Room Tip: Because of the entertainment, ask for a room on the quiet side. Also, if reserved in a standard room, upgrading to the Club Floor could be a good idea. It is not much more.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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Thank MarkUhrich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2013

Liked the location for the business destinations I was visiting. Traffic can be tough so it was good to be close. My room was very update and modern. Wifi through out the hotel. Liked the gym too. An open space with all the machines I use at my gym back home. The beer and food was very affordable and great quality. The hotel sits on a park like lot and is right downtown so when I'm at the hotel I didn't feel like I was in the middle of Kampala. The breakfast buffet was very nice and they had great coffee.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
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Thank TCWASHDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2013

Nice hotel with good facilities. The rooms are clean and pleasant but the outdated decoration and the really old bathrooms does not live up to what you would expect from a Sheraton Hotel elsewhere however beds are good. Customer service was very good and professional everywhere but in the gym and pool area where the staff were not very welcoming and totally ignored me, they just looked that they didn't want to be there.
I can really recommend having dinner in the new fish and seafood restaurant that they have just opened. The quality and the presentation of the food was excellent, with a very impressive menu with lots of choice. The service was fantastic too, nice professional staff that made the dinner experience very enjoyable.

Stayed: October 2013, travelled on business
Thank JL24601
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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