Speke Resort & Conference Centre Munyonyo was Friday voted Best Service/ Luxury standard hotel in the country.
This happened at Hotel Africana during the inaugural Ekkula Pearl of Africa Tourism Awards. Also nominated in the category were; Sheraton, Serena and Imperial Royale hotels.
Speaking upon receiving the award, the general manager, Mr Greg Petzer, said they will continue reviewing standards to meet the market needs and make Uganda the best tourism destination.
“We are extremely proud for the recognition. As a team, we work very hard to meet the expectations of our quests. By winning this award it means we are doing something right but we are not going to seat on our laurels; instead we are going to work extra hard and continue being the best.” Mr Petzer said.
Speke Resort Munyonyo was built in 2001 and accommodated the visiting Presidents and Prime Ministers at the 2007 Commonwealth Conference (CHOGM). The Resort has 59 Presidential suites with a unique blend of traditional Ugandan décor and ultramodern furnishings, in addition to cottages, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments or studio rooms. The hotel has a total of 335 rooms.
Ekkula (a Ugandan word meaning 'Treasure') Pearl of Africa Tourism Awards was started to recognize individuals and institutions that selflessly put Uganda’s tourism to better heights. The Awards join a list of other initiatives that go an extra mile to promote tourism in Uganda and to the world.
The judges’ choice was based on the nominee’s contribution to promoting Uganda as a top tourist destination, giving back to and positive impact on community; promote domestic tourism as much as international tourism, professionalism, feedback from travels and conservation of culture.
The Katikkiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayiga, speaking as the guest of honor at the Award giving ceremony, applauded people investing in the tourism sector for creating jobs. He appealed to stakeholders in the sector to bring in more foreign tourists and also promote domestic tourism.
General Elly Tumwine, who was the lead judge, before thanking the event’s sponsors, said tourism in Uganda is still virgin and a gold mine for Uganda. He thanked the private sector for investing in the tourism sector. Ruparelia Group, which also owns Speke Resort, won the award for best tourism investors.
Other notable winners of the night included Amos Wekesa who won two awards including best tourism role model, Baguma Restaurant for best traditional cuisine, Natty Dread for best tourism photographer, Ndere Troupe for best traditional dance group and Busoga Tourism Initiative for best tourism initiative
Best youth tourism initiative award went to Wildlife Clubs of Uganda, best online tourism website/blog was The Pearl Guide Uganda, best travel tv show went to Bukedde TV, best supporting Tv station went to UBC TV, and best supporting airlines business class was Ethiopia Airlines.