KIRAWIRA SERENA BAGS CONDE NASTS 5TH BEST IN THE WORLD
Serena has done it again one ought to say, when news broke that one of the worlds leading travel magazines, Conde Nast, has declared their Kirawira Camp as the world 5th best property, according to a vote taken by the readers of the magazine.
Today, 01st of December, is Serenas big day in Dar es Salaam, when it officially rebrands the former Moevenpick, former Royal Palms and former this and that as the Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel, after purchasing it from the previous owners and putting a lasting seal of quality management on the hotel, which had changed brands just once too often before.
Serenas entry into Dar es Salaam had their competition shaking in their boots as one regular source in Dar put it, as again other supposedly top hotels too had shown the habit of changing leading hotel management brands on a frequent basis, the last one being Kempinski being kicked out in favour of Hyatt.
Serena, wherever they operate, bring top notch quality to the market and owning the hotel now will ensure that this remains so in the very long term, giving the competition cause enough to re-assess their own quality vis a vis Serenas expected performance.
The news therefore, that their Kirawira Camp has been voted as Best alongside other top global properties will only boost Serenas standing in the Tanzanian market, where they have last year added two top of the range properties in the Selous game reserve. Earlier in the week information was also received of completed upgrades at their Serena Mountain Village near Usa River, outside Arusha, where the original rondavels received a major facelift and are now designated as family rooms, accommodating three with ease. A new access road from the main highway has also been officially commissioned, constructed of course by Serena Hotels at their own expense, to make the final journey to this fine property, located above Lake Duluti in the midst of an extensive coffee plantation, a joy for arriving tourists. Visit www.serenahotels.com for more information on this leading hotel, resort and safari lodge company in East Africa.
Archive for December 1st, 2011
Tanzania hospitality breaking news – Serena’s Kirawira Camp rated 5th best in the world by Conde Nast
KIRAWIRA SERENA BAGS CONDE NASTS 5TH BEST IN THE WORLD
FIRE, POWER OUTAGES AND PIPELINE CONTAMINATION THE CAUSE OF FUEL SHORTAGES
Oil company executives have been struggling to offer a believable explanation over the lack of jet fuel at Entebbe International Airport earlier in the week, when airlines were forced into costly diversions of scheduled flights in order to secure enough fuel to reach their final destination.
Following a harshly critical piece written here, some sources within the oil sector, wishing not to be named what else does one expect really claimed the article was overly critical but upon intense repeated questioning had to conceded that indeed the aviation fuel suppliers had repeatedly failed to delivery sufficient quantities of AVGAS in the past for reasons of internal logistics while still being unable to explain the discrepancy in pricing between Kenya and Uganda, which aviation sources call monopolistic exploitation, racketeering and profiteering.
The sources cited a lack of pumping activity on the pipeline between Mombasa and Nairobi, following theft of electricity equipment by vandals, again a repeat situation leaving the security precautions of the Kenya Pipeline Company and the Kenya Power and Lighting Company under intense scrutiny. In addition the pipeline between Nairobi and Eldoret, the present pipeline head and point of delivery for tankers from Uganda, South Sudan, Eastern Congo, Rwanda and Burundi and even Western Tanzania, was reportedly contaminated due to an error in feeding non compatible products into the pipeline, which now requires a major cleanup and is forcing importers from Uganda and the hinterland countries to load fuel from Nairobi. There however a fire broke out again in a pumping station, not far from the devastating fire and explosion causes by leaks a few weeks ago, when over 100 people died in the inferno just outside Nairobi. One source said: It is a combination of all these factors, mostly that we were caught unaware that fuel needed loading in Nairobi, which delayed deliveries. The process is lengthy to divert tankers from Eldoret to Nairobi and the tax authorities have a lot of red tape for such changes. Fuel has started to trickle into Entebbe now again and we hope that the reserve tanks can slowly build up full capacity again.
This however did not explain why the reserves were allowed to run down to empty status in the first place and who was and is responsible in Uganda over the constant lack of AVGAS and the periodic shortages of Jet A1 fuel. One regular aviation source had this to add: They should stop looking for excuses. We are sick and tire of that. THEY are responsible for orders and timely supplies, and not only do they overprice here in Uganda but also time and again fail to have supplies in stock. It is pathetic and shows that in particular Shell needs an overhaul from top to bottom, a change of attitude.
Well, predictions for the New Year are that such incidents are likely to continue as arguments are raging over the wisdom to expand the fuel pipeline from Eldoret to Kampala, while the Ugandan government appears intent to create refining capacities here in Uganda to process our own crude oil, as and when that is being pumped, another saga which appears never ending and where one missed deadline chases the next missed deadline. Watch this space.
MARASA PHASES OUT ROAD AND AIR PACKAGES COME JANUARY 2012
Marasa Africa, the hospitality and tourism business within the Madhvani Group, which operates Ugandas three main safari lodges in Queen Elizabeth and Murchisons Falls National Park, has just announced that they will be phasing out their direct road and air packages to Mweya Safari Lodge, Paraa Safari Lodge and Chobe Safari Lodge as of January 2012, concentrating purely on bookings for their respective lodges.
Clients wishing to book a package can then do so via Marasas affiliate company Premier Safaris, which has just received a fleet of brand new custom built Toyota 4×4 Landcruisers, perfectly suited to go on safari. Said Mani Khan, Director of Tourism Operations within the group: We will be concentrating on our core business, running the lodges and will leave transportation to our affiliate company and others licensed to operate safaris. It is understood that lodge vehicles will still be available though for game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchisons Falls National Park for those clients flying into these locations, but road packages from Kampala will concluded by the end of December. While discussing the performance of the three lodges it was also learned that the Christmas and New Year season was literally sold out already and that special events and meals will await guests booked.
Besides their Ugandan lodges Marasa Africa also owns and operates three properties in Kenya, namely the Mara Leisure Camp, the Aberdare Country Club and The Ark. For more information visit their main website, where links to all their properties in Uganda and Kenya can be found: www.marasa.net
SHERATON KAMPALA HOTEL RINGS IN FESTIVE SEASON
Christmas carols in November? One might wonder but the Sheraton Kampala Hotel, for the last 6 months under the able leadership of Chris Pollard and now having its shine back again, did invite the who is who of Kampala on the last evening of November for their annual festive season party. As the saying goes, it snowed food and rained drinks on those who made their way to the hotel for the evening, with a new range of cocktail and finger food being presented to the crowd, besides the carving stations where the traditional Christmas turkey was on offer. Cooked to perfection it was arguably the best advertisement by the hotel for their culinary prowess and those in need of a perfectly cooked and stuffed turkey for the holidays can place their order with the F&B Department, as can those who need a traditional Christmas Stollen.
One of the main features of the evening though was the performance by a staff choir, led by Sales and Marketing Director James Rattos, singing Christmas carols and getting the crowd in the ballroom all worked up and singing and swinging along to the tunes.
Chris Pollard also let this correspondent into the hotels development plans, which foresees an increase in rooms to eventually 300, a new underground parking on top of which a ball room extension will be built, eventually catering for up to 1.000 participants in key society events or conferences and meetings, while the lobby too will be getting a new face, important as it is after all the friendly face of Kampalas only internationally branded hotel at this moment in time.
Said Chris: For the past 6 months we have been keeping our heads down and after identifying areas which needed attention we went to work. Today, our occupancies have risen sharply, we are again the hotel of choice for many in Ugandas business community and our F&B department has performed extremely well with revenues proving that we are doing things right. We have a major refurbishment package coming up which will take between 12 18 months to roll out and accomplish after which the Sheraton Kampala Hotel will have reclaimed its rightful place as one of Kampalas top hospitality venues. I have had many one on one meetings for the past half year and we are now ready for any challenge.
The Sheraton Kampala Hotel, a franchise operation, is in the stable of Golden Leaves Hotels, which amongst other properties also owns and operates the Addis Ababa Sheraton and the Djibouti Sheraton and which head quarters are based in Dubai.
Well, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and a wonderful holiday season it is then at the Sheraton Kampala, which this year kicked off the season party circuit in true style. Visit www.sheraton.com/kampala for more information about their festive season programme and accommodation specials over the holiday season.