The weather is chilly; lights flicker as live music plays pacifyingly in the background. Masses are checking in at the gate as well-groomed waiters move around taking orders for drinks.
We are seated at Kyoga Poolside at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel, one of the oldest five-star hotels in Kampala. The hotel shall be marking 50 years of creating great memories and outstanding service to their guests; both local and foreign.
On the other side of the hotel (Hotel Gardens), hundreds of people are enjoying performances from Uganda’s top artistes in what was dubbed the UG Mix Dance party; and happening for its 15th time, the turn up was really good.
In Kampala, you cannot talk of partying, entertainment, food on New Year’s night and forget the name Sheraton Hotel.
I love food, so when I received an invitation to Sheraton Hotel’s New Year party, I was heady with excitement. I could see it all in my mind’s eye – great conversation exchanged over drinks as we sat with my colleague from work, Alex Alinda.
We got together with a group of other party loving writers as we supped drinks and cracked jokes about 2016. Sheraton Hotel’s drinks menu is what you can describe as a ‘360 menu.’ It covers beers, wines, spirits, whiskeys, energy drinks and any soft drink you can mention.
Also with us is the hotel’s head of Public Relations and Communications, Mrs. Jacqueline Nalubega Mugisha.
“Tonight is not about anything else but celebration; so loosen up and let’s get the party moving,” she tells us.
Guests enjoy a meal as they wait on the new year.
At around 10:15, dinner was served and off we went, headed for Paradise Terrace restaurant. One’s appetite is even raised by the beauty of the fountain just in front of the restaurant before the sight of the food.
Sheraton Hotel’s menu is made of both local; and international cuisines; and being a buffet, one would easily get spoilt of choice; thanks to the labels and waiters that stood by to always guide as you choose what to serve.
The menu was made of soups for starters, the main course which also included a vegetarians’ section and a lip-smacking desert.
We savor the delicious dinner as we listen to the enzyme-stimulating music from Janzi band and watch performances from a host of other entertainment acts. It is a magical night with a full moon shining over.
The tasty food, the music and the drinks couldn’t give us chance to think and for a second or so; we have lost track of time. It is now 11:53pm and everyone is moving out for the magical fireworks.
“No other place has better fireworks than Sheraton. We are at the right place,” my colleague Alinda tells me as we make our way out through the well-lit hotel lobby.
Also coming out at the time was European Union Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Kristian Schmidt, renowned communications expert, Sarah Kagingo, top singer Dr. Jose Chameleone’s wife, Daniela among other big figures in government and private sector.
Sheraton Hotel’s reputation region over has earned it the confidence of guests and its yearly celebrations have made it “the only” place for one to usher in the New Year.
Magical display of fireworks as we ushered in 2017
The hotel this year has had major changes with the new General Manager bringing over thirty years of experience in hospitality industry, stepping in to take the hotel to the next development phase.
It also experienced the Marriot Starwood merger that has now created the largest Hotel group with over 5200 in over 110 different countries.
After the whimsical display of fireworks, the hotel revealed one of their main themes for 2017 as they launched a teaser video and banner of the 50 years’ campaign.
“I am a believer of possibilities and change. I thank all those who have shared the same sentiments with me this year and hope for a better 2017,” said Jean Phillippe Bittencourt, the hotel’s General Manager.
“I encourage all of us to have positive attitude towards everything we do next year so as to achieve our goals and objectives,” he added.
The night climaxed with more partying and popping champagne as we reminisced the year gone.
, #Sheraton Hotel