Until recently when I got the opportunity to visit Mt Elgon Hotel in Mbale, I was one of those people who believed that good hotels are only found in Kampala.
Although the exterior décor is often neglected by many a hotel, at Mt Elgon hotel it counts as much as the interior. The interior is good but the exterior green environment is also a fine place for outdoor parties and relaxation.
The hotel’s marketing Manager Ali Obot says the rocky and stony old structures reflect the traditional art of local people.
“This hotel has been in existence for more than half a century,” reveals Obot.
Although found on the outskirts of Mbale municipality, Mt Elgon Hotel is a wonder in the wilderness. The hotel is a getaway with a picture perfect view of Mt Elgon.
There is a good view of the vast coffee plantations and the hotel and is great for avid mountain bikers and hikers with the Wanale Hills, Mount Elgon, Sipi Falls, Sisiyi Falls, Nyero Rocks in the backdrop.
The staff at the front desk are upbeat and friendly as well. “Whether it’s romance, relaxation or adventure you are seeking, Mt Elgon Hotel is the getaway with it all,” says Obot.
On top of accommodation, the hotel also offers conference facilities. They also have a mini golf course and they have introduced camel riding. On weekends, they have cultural troupes performing traditional dances like the Imbalu dance.
Obot says the hotel also provides guided tours for their guests to Mt Elgon, Sipi Falls and Wanale Caves.
“On top of this, we also take out our visitors to view Shawuriyako Escarpments and Karamoja hills. We also link our visitors to the Benet vulnerable Mt Elgon traditional forest settlers and Western Kenya via Bukwo,” says Obot.
For wine connoisseurs, there is a gift shop selling French wines, brandy, vodka, vintage champagne, rum and other spirits.
Being a place that attracts tourists, there are different types of foods from which to choose from. On the hotel’s menu is malewa (a gishu delicacy, pictured left) in groundnut paste and other traditional dishes, plus continental dishes. The main course has a selection of grills such as chicken, lamb chops, steak and fish fillet. Deserts like mixed fruits, fresh fruits, pineapple and fruit platter are also served.