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Kampala Hotel Transformed

Equatoria Hotel turned into shopping mall

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN  Dec 21, 2009

The first hotel opened by the Imperial Hotel Group in 1993 was recently converted into a major shopping centre, as the group’s management found the location less and less appealing to their erstwhile clientele due to increased traffic, the resulting noise, and the general change of demographics and business composition in the immediate neighborhood.

While some rooms were retained and will reportedly operate as a bed and breakfast service serving the immediate areas adjoining the hotel, most rooms, function rooms, and halls have been turned into shops, while other facilities, like restaurants previously operated by the hotel directly, have been leased out to individual operators.

What will be of value to the new shops is the parking space availability of the Equatoria, which will be a bonus for shoppers as they can leave their cars in a secure environment and find parking easily available rather than having to struggle for street parking space outside.

The Imperial Hotel Group, however, continues to operate the Imperial Grand Hotel and the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala and the Imperial Resort Beach, the Imperial Botanical Beach, and the more recently-acquired Imperial Golf Course View Hotel in Entebbe.

A source close to the hotel also inferred that a surplus of rooms in two-thirds of the star market segment may have been a factor for the owners when mulling over this decision and that collecting monthly rent may seem a better and more attractive proposition compared to low occupancies at the hotel as it was.

Equatoria Hotel turned into shopping mall
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