In Summary
  • CityBlue Hotels is a little known (in Kenya) hotel group which has been sending shockwaves through the industry in Rwanda and Uganda.
  • The group’s trendy boutique business hotels trade under the name Urban by CityBlue which is where I stayed both times.

There’s something about hotel food and eating spaces that I have always found somewhat off-putting. Perhaps it is the prospect of a buffet or the thought of seeing the rotund man wolfing down pastries at the next table shirtless by the pool later. I don’t know.

On a recent work assignment in Rwanda and Kampala, my employer put me up in two different hotels operated by one owner, and as I hardly hard anytime to go out food crawling, I had to eat on site.

CityBlue Hotels is a little known (in Kenya) hotel group which has been sending shockwaves through the industry in Rwanda and Uganda.

The group’s trendy boutique business hotels trade under the name Urban by CityBlue which is where I stayed both times.

When my colleague and I arrived at our hotel in Uganda’s capital at an odd hour, the chef at Café Mamba Restaurant was closing the kitchen but agreed to whip something up for us while we checked in.

We agreed happily, gave him our preferences and asked him to surprise us.

‘Whipping something up’ turned out to be an entire production whose outcome was a grilled fish fillet with a ramekin of brown gravy for my mate and pork short ribs for me. Impressed, we both sat by the pool flanked by well-manicured lawns.

TOO INTIMATE

This entire configuration seemed to me a little too intimate as the restaurant courtyard is surrounded by hotel rooms, but I looked the only one who cared.

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