Photo by Johanna Read TravelEater.net
Gately Inn is the perfect place to recover from the long flights to Uganda. This boutique hotel is only 10 minutes from Entebbe International Airport, yet you won’t hear a plane overhead. While Entebbe is just outside Uganda’s capital, the drive to Kampala can take two hours with traffic. You’ll prefer to stay in the quiet suburb of Entebbe on Lake Victoria.
At Gately Inn, you won’t feel like you’re in a generic airport hotel, and it is the perfect introduction to Uganda. Situated in a flower-filled garden, the Inn’s six cottages and main house offer a variety of room choices.
I stayed in a spacious cottage with a high white-washed ceiling. After 36 hours of travel, I was glad to cool off in my sunken pebble shower and then gratefully collapsed into my comfortable bed surrounded by a pale mosquito net.
My cottage featured a closet area, desk, and a flat-screen TV with four satellite channels. The shower and toilet were each in their own separate room. From my private porch I could admire the garden and Uganda’s beautiful light. Guests who stay in the main house’s five rooms have different room styles available, the most popular is the sun-filled luxury family room which can sleep three. Decor is rustically elegant, perfectly befitting East Africa.
Gately Inn is named after the owner’s great aunt who, in the early 1900s, went from Australia to South America by ship and led a “luxurious and adventurous life”. Gately Inn is especially appealing to those with the same adventurous mindset. Fellow guests are from countries all over the world in Uganda for business, NGO-work, or setting off on a Ugandan safari. You’re sure to meet someone interesting hanging out in Gately’s open-air restaurant or relaxing on the terrace’s cushion-filled couches.
The restaurant features international cuisine; I was thrilled to have a Thai dish. Breakfast is included in rates — the eggs Benedict are delicious, and the banana pancakes are almost too pretty to eat. Available all day are fresh juices and yogurt smoothies. The restaurant is famous for its coffee.
Gately Inn is a great place to base yourself for your Uganda travels. Onsite is a gift shop featuring a curated collection of African crafts. Nearby are botanical gardens, the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, a golf course, a small shopping mall, and the beaches of Lake Victoria.
If you’re travelling around Uganda, be sure to stay at Gately’s original property in Jinja (the source of the Nile), Gately On Nile, which opened in 2000. Bespoke luxury safaris can be designed to introduce you to mountain gorillas, tree-climbing lions, the elusive shoebills, and other Ugandan highlights.