There are only a few places in Kampala that can be considered ‘iconic’ of the city. Hotel Diplomate is one of those places. Located on Tank Hill in Muyenga, Hotel Diplomate is the place that everyone knows for one reason or another. Built in 1980, by Dr. Boney M. Katatumba (no relation to the Euro/Caribbean music sensations) the hotel is known for its spectacular views of Kampala city.
The hotel sits in its aging glory on Tank Hill and can be accessed from Gaba Road on the Kansanga side (coming from downtown make a left on the dirt road before ‘Rice Stop’ restaurant – not advisable as the road is not great!) or from Tank Hill Road on the Muyenga side (look for the sign on the left hand side of the road even though it’s a right turn!).
Do not go expecting five star services but do expect five star views. The bar is almost always open and there are normally juices, sodas, beer and an assortment of liquors on offer. It’s the perfect place to go with friends if you want to get away from it all and while away an evening with a cold beer and a game of pool. Go on a clear day, get there before sunset and bring your camera. The menu is limited and items aren’t available but if you’re starving something can always be found.
There are also some beautiful terraced seating and dining areas further up the hill where you will generally have the place entirely to yourself and it’s a good venue for a business meeting, conference, or workshop since you won’t be jostling with others.
If you want to book in at Hotel Diplomate it’s pretty easy on the pocketbook but you get what you pay for. Standard rooms all have en suite bathrooms and are priced between $45-$65 USD making it one of the decent budget hotels in Kampala. (For others check this out: http://www.inkampala.com/travel/accommodation/) Rooms are clean but well-used and faded a bit. Tiles are chipped here and there, the carpets worn thin as is the aging hotel lion which greets you on entry but remember that the hotel was built nearly 32 years ago and hasn’t changed much since then.
To contact Hotel Diplomate either phone: +256 (0) 414 2676 655 or +256 (0) 414 572 828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. They have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hotel-Diplomate-Kampala/201862129825595 as well as a wide variety of reviews on Trip Advisor: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g293841-d598928-Reviews-Hotel_Diplomate-Kampala_Central_Region.html.