Speke Resort Gets World Luxury Hotel Awards Nomination

Speke Resort Munyonyo global appeal continues to surge after yet again being nominated in the prestigious World Luxury Hotel Awards ahead of the Gala Awards Ceremony at The Arctic TreeHouse Hotel, Finland –  Saturday 12th October 2019.

World Luxury Hotel Awards is the pinnacle of achievement by a luxury hotel, offering recognition for earning the respect of guests and industry players alike, and by awarding hotels, as voted for by the public, across 99 different categories.

Winning a World Luxury Hotel Award will not only inspire the confidence of guests and retain a loyal clientele in this highly competitive market, but it will also stimulate continuous growth and development of your hotel.

Speke Resort was last year recognised by World Luxury Hotel Awards for its status, worldwide recognition and celebration of service excellence, global marketing campaigns and promotions and customer growth. This year they have an opportunity to excel further.

The World Luxury Hotel Awards is a recognized global organization providing luxury hotels with recognition for their world class facilities and service excellence provided to guests. Winning a World Luxury Hotel Award is a prestigious accolade, bringing confidence and status to your hotel.

Established in 2006, World Luxury Awards is the pinnacle of achievement in the luxury hotel industry offering international recognition as voted by guests, travelers and industry players alike.

Luxury hotels have the opportunity to participate in the world luxury Hotels Awards by entering hotel categories that showcase their unique selling points and destinations.

The organizers of the award said a Voting Kit will be supplied to the hotels prior to the voting season. This will include the branded voting button, headers, voting support messages and suggested marketing strategies and promotional campaigns to implement.

A guest will be required to enter their email address and select the hotel and category you wish to vote in. Votes are also cast online in the voting season, taking place between 1st and 31st July 2019.

Interim voting results will be released Monday 12th August 2019, but official winners announced and revealed at the Gala Awards Ceremony at The Arctic TreeHouse Hotel, Finland – Saturday 12th October 2019.

Kabira Nominated In World Luxury Hotel Awards

The year 2019 is going right for Kabira Country Club on the social and business side of life. You can say they are having a stellar year. This week, the Bukoto based hotel, which is part of the Speke Group of Hotels, an instalment of the Ruparelia Group, announced it has earned a nomination in the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2019 edition.

“We are head over heels! We officially take this opportunity to announce that we have been nominated for the World Luxury Hotel Awards,” Kabira Country Club announced on their social media pages.

The World Luxury Hotel Awards is a recognized global organization providing luxury hotels with recognition for their world class facilities and service excellence provided to guests.

Established in 2006, World Luxury Awards is the pinnacle of achievement in the luxury hotel industry offering international recognition as voted by guests, travelers and industry players alike.

Over 300,000 international travelers vote each other during a four weeks period to select the winners. Luxury properties of all shapes participate across 100 plus categories.

Luxury hotels have the opportunity to participate in the world luxury Hotels Awards by entering hotel categories that showcase their unique selling points and destinations.

The organisers of the award said a Voting Kit will be supplied to the hotels prior to the voting season. This will include the branded voting button, headers, voting support messages and suggested marketing strategies and promotional campaigns to implement.

A guest will be required to enter their email address and select the hotel and category you wish to vote in. Votes are also cast online in the voting season, taking place between 1st and 31st July 2019.

Interim voting results will be released Monday 12th August 2019 , but official winners announced and revealed at the Gala Awards Ceremony at The Arctic TreeHouse Hotel, Finland –  Saturday 12th October 2019.

Speke Resort: Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions Hub

Revenue streams for hotels and entire hospitality industry is no longer dominated by accommodation and what the kitchen has to offer but rather from a new cash cow – the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) tourism segment.  

The trend has not spared Uganda where, according to industry insiders, hotels are making a lot of money from hosting local and international meetings. And to meet the demand hotels are investing in exquisite and luxury conference halls to make guest as comfortable as possible.

One such hotel that has mastered the art of organizing top notch conferences is Speke Resort & Conference Centre in Munyonyo. The Resort has been hosting conferences since 2001. It boasts of 3 ballrooms, including a 1,000-seat ballroom, 19 indoor and 6 outdoor conference venues.

An extension named Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort was added and it was the place that hosted the 2007 Commonwealth Government Heads of State Meeting (CHOGM), with the Queen of England in attendance. Other high profile meetings have since followed. Speke Resort will yet again host the British royal family in 2020 when the Duke of Edinburgh comes for the International Gold Event.

The Resort has an audio & visual department and can help you record your event with perfection. Guest services are available to provide such amenities as fax, photocopying, Internet and express mail services. The conference rooms are fitted with functional air conditioner, finest furniture, carpets and fittings that are made to deliver utmost comfort and luxury.

The Resort extends this touch of finesse to the accommodation section. From Presidential Suites, Presidential Cottages, Executive Rooms, Superior Rooms, and exquisite villas that are bright, spacious and filled with beautiful views of Lake Victoria, you got it all.

The rooms are charming, dressed in traditional African and modern contemporary designs, furnished with rich natural fabrics and equipped with the latest modern technologies, complimentary high speed Internet for up to four devices and 24-hour services.

The Resort has a modern gym, spa, Olympic size swimming pool, fitness center kid’s center, squash court, boat rides, and horse riding among other amenities. Speke Resort was last year named the best Luxury Lakeside Resort in East Africa at World Luxury Hotel Awards ceremony which took place in Bali, Indonesia.

The Resort routinely wins TripAdvisor and local tourism awards which something that says about the quality of its services and customer care.  In March, the Resort once again, and for the fourth time in a row, won the Service and Luxury Business Hotel category at the annual Ekkula Pearl of Africa Tourism Awards.

Recently during the Africa Now conference, Africa’s 8th richest person - billionaire Strive Masiyiwa awed by the classic beauty of Speke Resort proposed that the luxurious five star hotel resort should be named “the official African Conference Centre.”

Mr. Greg Petzer, the General Manager of the Resort in an interview said they are well aware of the business opportunity that MICE tourism presents to them and the competition at hand and to stay as market leaders, they are constantly upgrading their facilities to stay upto date with world class standards.

Mr. Petzer attributed their success to team work and meeting customer expectations. “We are happy it is paying off in such a manner. We do a lot of training, we invest money, time and effort in the human resource side of our product,” Mr. Petzer stated in an interview.

He said the hotel management works ‘closely with government’ in terms of meeting the guidelines that have been set out for the hotel business throughout East Africa. “We have a lot of repeat guests who stay with us; what I have noticed over the years is that guests rely on our services and the standards when they are traveling.”

Media report indicate that Uganda has seen a steady rise in tourist arrivals from 945,899 in 2010 to 1,322,522 in 2016 translating into a 107% increment in earnings, from $662 million to $1,371 million targets to earn US$2.7bn by 2020.

La Cabana Restaurant Starts Serving Chinese Food

La Cabana Restaurant, situated at Speke Apartments on Wampewo Avenue in Kampala, has spread its menu wings from Brazil to China. Known for its Brazilian Churrasco experience, the premium restaurant is now serving China’s favorite foods.

The restaurant has announced that ‘you can now taste China’ in Kampala by visiting the Wampewo Avenue based classy eating place. While it is largely and famously known for its exotic way of preparing meat, it also caters for vegetarians. La Cabana also has a great salad bar.

Once you set foot into the expansive restaurant, the aura of finesse meat exuded from customer plates welcomes you. You don’t miss customers lip rollicking with sizeable masses of skewers of pork, top sirloin steak, lamb legs, rock salt pork cubes, BBQ chicken and beer marinated chicken.

“In addition, we have an array of home-made sides to accompany our meats and ensure you, our guests, relish your time with us. Keep your playing cards facing upright and let the food flow,” a manager told this news website.

“We entreat you to come delight and indulge in an evening of unlimited meats that have been marinated, cooked with full flavour and to perfection by our most senior grill chef.

While the focus of our menu is meat, vegetarians can also enjoy the all you can eat vegetarian churrasco experience. We offer a range of grilled vegetables, cheeses, bread and salads.

La Cabana is not just about the churrasco experience. We do offer a continental and Indian menu along with a vibrant and snazzy bar where, the perfect blend of cocktails are the barman’s speciality,”

We offer free venues for baby showers, bridal showers, birthdays, baptism parties, Christening parties, engagement parties, luncheons and more. We are open every day from 6:30 AM – 11:00 PM.”

Speke Apartments, where La Cabana Restaurant is located, is the largest and most luxurious apartments in Uganda.  It is a mix of modern contemporary surroundings and a relaxing, laid back environment to ensure that Speke Apartments is the finest choice for both business and pleasure accommodation.

 

Vice Chancellor Releases Book On Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy Book

Victoria University focus on a research driven education continues to pay off after the Vice Chancellor Assoc. Prof. Krishna N. Sharma, released his latest book titled Advanced Techniques in Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy.

Prof. Sharma said that this 246 pages book is for physiotherapy and occupational therapy students and professionals. He adds that the book is designed after considering undergraduate and postgraduate PT/OT curricula of several international Universities.

“It encompasses 32 advance orthopedic/manual therapy, neurological, vestibular and cardiopulmonary physiotherapy and occupational therapy techniques,” he explains.

“The content is in-depth but precise and concise, written in simple English that makes almost all the chapters a 15 minutes read. The book is enhanced with easy-to-comprehend figures, flowcharts, and photographs,” he adds.

This book is published by Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd., New Delhi, India; a 50 years old leading medical publication with 3,500 titles in its list and 350 new products added each year.

Prof. Sharma was recently named the youngest Vice Chancellor in the world. He is a renowned academician and prolific author. He has written several books on medical and health sciences, music and literature and a few of them were listed in the bestsellers list on amazon.com.

Apart from academic management, he is also active in the field of pain management. After years of his experience and supervising more than 60 researches, he developed his own therapeutic manual therapy techniques- Krishna’s Kinetikinetic Manual Therapy (KKMT) which is being taught and practiced in several countries

Crane Management Services Completes Another Housing Projects

Crane Management Services (CMS), a subsidiary of Ruparelia Group, has finalized construction works of yet another scintillating housing project in plush Kitante, a Kampala suburb. The Speke Apartments Kitante are fully furnished, serviced and luxurious.

The apartments are located in a secure, quiet and clean, minutes away from Uganda national museum and close to British high commission. Speke Apartments Kitante specializes in self - catering apartments for family, corporates, leisure and travelers who visit Kampala for short or long term stay.

“Our two and three bedroom apartments balance the style and hospitality of an intimate hotel with space and comfort of a fully appointed luxury rooms,” CMS, the leading Real Estate company in Uganda, said.

The apartments are now available for letting for as long as a customer wishes. Accommodation daily rates for one bedroom apartment is $130 and $2,000 monthly. A two bedroom apartment goes for $160 daily and $2,500 monthly. A two bedroom superior apartment goes for $180 daily and $2,800 monthly.

Room amenities include; 1 & 2 Bedroom Fully Furnished & Serviced Apartments, total of 83 Apartments Built to British Standards, Fully Fitted Kitchen, Double Glazed Sound Proofed Windows, LED Flat Screen TV’s With Customized Set of Channels, Complimentary High Speed Wifi Internet, Air Conditioned, Restaurant & Bar (Upcoming), Ample Parking Space, 24 Hour Security, Health Club access at Kabira Country Club and Speke Apartments Wampewo.

Forest Cottages: A Forest In The Heart Of Kampala City

Domestic tourism has in the past months received much attention from stakeholders. Campaigns have been set up by various promoters of domestic tourism promoters.   

Most times, these campaigns aim at taking people out of the city to go and consume the wildlife. The green natural scenery, clean air, singing birds, unique animals and peace in the wild is soothing.

Yet we all can’t go upcountry to have firsthand wildlife experience, Forest Cottages, located at Plot 17/18, Naguru Hill, Old Kira Road, in Bukoto, Kampala offers a surprisingly similar experience.

Nestled in deliberately planted trees, Forest Cottages is first becoming a hide out for people who love exquisite nature.

A PURELY AFRICAN EXPERIENCE

Forest Cottages are designed luxury cottages set in a serene, African forest environment. At the hotel, you feel the touch of nature in a comfortable and unique environment. The trees, bushes, shrubs and flowers make Forest Cottages an inspiring destination for nature lovers and eco tourists alike.

The artistic hotel provides a small sanctuary for forest wildlife such as colored turacoes, hornbills, and an additional 20 bird species. The secluded hotel offers peace and quietness in a natural green setting. All this beauty is topped up with friendly, courteous and professional staff members.

Mr. Brain Sekacwa, a usual quest at the hotel, in an online review describes it as ‘very quiet and good for relaxation,’ explaining that the cottages are ‘simply amazing’. “The terraces give you a nice feel of nature. If you have not been there, try it. Trust me the experience is breathtaking,”

While another online reviewer, Jeremiah Oweka describes the hotel as ‘a nice place for outing with friends and family because of good services’. These and many more positive reviews are testament to what Forest Cottages stands for.

ACCOMMODATION

Forest Cottages offers a safari lodge style cottage accommodation in the heart of Kampala city. All the cottages are furnished with locally handmade furniture and equipped with self-catering facilities with all essential amenities to ensure your comfort during your stay.

The hotel offers 5 room types from which you can choose. The Standard Single, Standard Double, One Bedroom Cottage, Two Bedroom Cottage and Three Bedroom Cottage which are all ideal for business travelers, tourists, honeymooners and even families on holiday.

CORPORATE MEETINGS

Forest Cottages’ conference and banquet facilities are capable of seating 10 to 200 guests in various sitting styles, and cater to maximum of 150 guests for a reception. The facility offers Wi-Fi, conference calls, fax facilities, recording devices, PA system, wedding venue, airport pickups and drops and tours around Kampala.  

DINNING

At Forest Cottages, one can enjoy unique and posh dining in a setting of your choosing. The Avocado Restaurant has a traditional ambience which leaves you in no doubt that you are dining in Africa.

With an extensive assortment of cosmopolitan dishes ranging from exclusively local and International cuisine, our guests will be spoilt for choice. The Bar is lavishly stocked with all major alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.  

AWARD WINNING HOTEL

In 2016, global travelers who use Jumia Travel, Africa's number one online hotel booking website, said Forest Cottages is the best service provider in Uganda’s hotel industry. The luxurious cottages received the Traveler’s Choice Award.  The hotel was later nominated and won the same category in 2018.

“Forest Cottages is totally unique and it’s truly a forest in the heart of the city. You can’t see a forest cottage in Kampala apart from us. Once you are you are at Forest Cottage, you can’t feel that you are in Kampala.

We have superb accommodation, conferencing facilities, bars, restaurants and a swimming pool. Forest Cottage is like a safari lodge.” Mr. Dhaval Macchar, General Manager of Forest Cottages said in an interview.

ONLINE BOOKING

Hoteliers in Uganda are equally catching up with the trend. Their customers, many of whom come from Europe, United States, Asia have gone digital. Hotels like Forest Cottages have adopted online booking to make it easy and attractive for international travelers. 

“Our online customers do choose us because of positive guest reviews, budget rates, safari style accommodation with comfortable facilities and of course the forest.” Mr, Machhar of Forest Cottage explained.

Music, Art & Good Food Reign At Kabira Easter Carnival

Easter came early for revelers who turned up for this year’s Kabira Easter Carnival at Kabira Country Club on Saturday. Indeed it is was no ordinary Easter weekend at Kabira Country Club in Bukoto.

It is was artistic, magical and engaging. This year, Kabira Country Club is promising and it delivered – from kids to adults, one found something interesting. And the live band was always on the cords entertaining revelers.

Fun activities like egg painting, delicatessen, food and bar, magician, kids playground, egg hunting, artisan market, break dance, jumping castles, swings, comedy among others made the day worthy its billing.

The carnival was colorful with exhibitors showcasing their best – the artisan market was iconic, with artists putting on display great art pieces and fabrics. Fashion, especially the wearables, was on point – the sandals, hats, jewelry, dresses, t-shirt prints all stood out.

The food and drinks all was also on point. The culinary prowess was showcased and yumminess was all over the place. The kids’ area was busy as the young ones made the best of the day.

Celebrate Easter Sunday With This Rich Brunch Menu At Speke Resort Munyonyo

Easter holidays, like Christmas holidays, are meant to be celebrated together with family and friends. This year, Speke Resort Munyonyo and Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort are giving you a deep reason to celebrate.

Every celebration is complete with an assortment of local and exotic food of all types prepared in a manner that glorifies the occasion. Fruits and drinks of all sorts come handy to match with the occasion.

And this Easter, Speke Resort Munyonyo has arranged a special brunch (breakfast & lunch) this Easter Sunday with a rich menu. From drinks, bread, buffet, fruits and a kids corner.

Speke Resort Munyonyo wants your Easter Sunday (21st April, 2019, starting 11:30am to 4pm), at Nyanja Restaurant, to be perfect and memorable.

The brunch menu

 The menu has been categorized into sections – a cold bar, cold beveragesm bread counter, egg station, sandwich and slider station, pasta station, hot Buffet, fresh fruit cuts and a section for the kids.

Cold Bar

The cold bar will have various cold cuts, various cheeses, avocado & tomato lettuce, stuffed eggs canape, roasted beet root & coconut salad, garden fresh mix lettuce, garden peas & sweet corn salad, carious dressings, dips & condiments.

Cold Beverages

This section will have purified water, fresh cocktail juice, packed apple juice and strawberry milkshake.

Bread Counter

The bread counter section will have chocolate croissants, plain muffins, chocolate brownies, cookies, cherry Danish, banana cake, raisin cinnamon bread, black olives bread, vegetables pie and chicken pie.

Egg Station

This will have all types of omelet and condiments.  

Sandwich & Slider Station

This will have the focaccia bread, brown bread, white bread, panini bread, slice beef steak, chicken mixture, fresh lettuce, tomato slice, onion slice, cucumber slice, gherkin, olives, sundried tomato, mayonnaise & tomato sauce.

Pasta Station

The pasta station will have chicken, beef, vegetables, penne pasta, spaghetti pasta, macaroni pasta, cheese sauce, tomato sauce & bolognaise sauce.

Hot Buffet

The hot buffet area will have vegetables pilau rice, farmed fresh, chicken breast, black pepper, crusted beef medallion, fish orly, beans katogo and oven roasted oriented potatoes.

Fresh Fruit Cuts

This will contain mango, water melon, pineapples, papaya, passion and bananas.

Kids Corner

This will have potatoes finger chips, chicken lollipop, mini pizzas.

Pancake, Donuts & Cookie Counter

This will contain pancake stuffed with caramelized banana and caramelized applee, varieties of donuts, red velvet pastry, chocolate mud cake, mango cheese cake, vanilla & strawberry cake, tropical fruit cuts.

The brunch will come at a cost of only Shs95, 000 per person and includes a glass of sparkling wine or house wine with live music.

Protect Natural Forests For Sustainable Development

By Jolly Bategeka

The UN General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests in 2012. The Day is celebrated and raises awareness on the importance of all types of forests. On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns.

Uganda will join the rest of the world on March 21, 2019 to celebrate the International Day of Forests (IDF).  This day will be celebrated under the theme, 'Forests and Education.' It will seek to raise awareness on how sustainably managed forests provide a wide array of contributions in this area.

Uganda’s forests are an important and treasured natural asset contributing about 8.7% to the national economy based on conservative estimates (NEMA, 2011). According to the ministry of Water and Environment (State of Uganda’s forestry 2016), the forestry estate has shrunk from 23% of the total land area in 1990 to 9% in 2015. According to National Forestry Authority report in 2015, Uganda is losing 200,000Ha per year and if no action is taken to protect natural forests Uganda may not have natural forests by 2025.

Forests provide multiple benefits and sustainably managed forests give environmental benefits, sustainable economic development and improve the quality of life of people across the country. Forests provide habitats for many native flora and fauna species, renewable products and energy and contribute to the development of a green economy. Forests also provide a wide range of wood and non-wood products, clean water resources, and play a vital role in the mitigation of climate change.

A key objective of Uganda’s sustainable forest management is to protect and enhance the health and biodiversity of our forest resources, while ensuring they continue to provide a range of environmental, social and economic benefits for Uganda’s present and future generations.

The Albertine Region is blessed with different natural resources like Forests (Bugoma, Budongo, Kangombe central forest reserves etc), Animals, water bodies, Hills, minerals to mention but a few. Bugoma Central Forest Reserve is a tourism hub and is home to about 600 Chimpanzees’ and other endangered bird spices notably Nahan’s Francolin. It lies at the center of the migratory corridor for large mammals such as chimps and Elephants connecting to Budongo and Murchison Falls National Park from Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is a central forest for Bunyoro especially in the formation of rain and the fact that Uganda enjoys rain feed agriculture.

However Uganda’s forests especially in the Albertine region, Central Forest Reserves (Bugoma, Budongo, Kangombe, Rukara, Muziizi etc) are faced with continuously worsening trends through encroachment, deforestation and forest degradation through conversion of forest land to other land uses. These include agriculture, urbanization etc.

There is also rampant felling of trees for timber, firewood and charcoal burning on private and government land, rampant fires and livestock damage on forests. There is high population growth rate that has put a lot of pressure on natural resources especially forests. The increasing population requires more food to be produced which in turn requires opening up more land for agriculture.

This is partly attributed to weak institutions, uncoordinated implementation of policies between different sectors of the economy, insufficient funding, issues relating to governance in the forestry sector, Issues associated with illegal and unregulated trade of forest products and the unsecured forest rights, and limited capacity at all levels which has undermined effectiveness and efficiency in developing and sustainably managing forest resources in the Albertine Region. Lack of sufficient human resources and poor facilitation of the environmental police is another reason cited for the continued lack of effective management of our forests. 

Recommendations

Therefore I recommend that NFA urgently prioritize boundary opening. This is because lack of clear boundaries is the main excuse used by communities adjacent to Central Forest Reserves to encroach upon them and is the same reason that make it hard for NFA to enforce regulations when they themselves don’t know the boundaries.

Corruption and the practice of local officials conniving to a bet illegal activities in forestry reserves, especially illicit logging be firmly dealt with. While encroachers and illegal loggers have been prosecuted, Forestry officials that connive with them need to be prosecuted too so as to set an example

More forest personnel with a robust mandate need to be recruited and the welfare and incentives of the existing ones improved so as to reduce on the temptation to indulge in illegal activity. The numbers of environmental police needs to be increased so as to provide a more robust backing for forestry officials in their work

Land titles held in central forest Reserves need to be deeply investigated, the arrant officials be punished, tittles found to have been issued fraudulently should be scrutinized and recalled.

Forest restoration, Uganda should prioritize forest restoration. The main target should be to restore forest cover that has been lost. This should be done through Agro-forestry, community tree planting programme, corporate tree planting in forest reserves, tree talk foundations and green charcoal (addressing barriers to adoption of improved charcoal production technologies and sustainable land management practices through an integrated approach).

In conclusion, we need to combine all efforts to protect forests by stakeholders at all levels or else Uganda may have no any natural forest by 2025. 

The writer is a Project Officer-Forestry at Mid-Western Region Anti-Corruption Coalition    

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