By Najibu Mulema
During the Launch of The City Gym (apparently the most equipped gym in town) early this week, I was seated somewhere in the corner as I heard some two ladies discussing, praising the new World Class Apartments in town.
As the discussion drew closer, I was prompted to inquire from one of the two ladies about the name of the new talk of the town. That is how I got to know that actually they were talking about Speke Apartments on Wampewo Avenue.
From that moment, I kept wondering what was so special about those apartments.
I have almost visited almost all hotels, apartments out and within Kampala so what I had in mind was that ‘it can’t be any different from the usual apartments we have in town.’
‘Waking up on a good side of bed’;
On a delightful Friday morning, I got unexpected call from my colleague, Mike Ssegawa and guess what? He asked me to escort him to the apartments on my “wish list”. I couldn’t resist because it was my time to explore what I had wanted to see in the past couple of days.
At around 10:30am on that very day, we were already at the main entrance of Speke Apartments which is located on Wampewo Avenue, Plot.19.
We were thoroughly checked by the walk-through Metal Detector, well-armed security men checked us in. As we walked past the security check point, my perception about the whole place started to change. I couldn’t believe my eyes!
At first, I thought I was the only one who was amused by the spectacular look of this wonderful place not until I saw my colleague following the same trail.
What welcomed us were the two modern swimming pools; one for adults and the other one was a spouting baby pool, which I could say it’s one of a kind in the country.
The most of part of the spectacular eight floor building is complete, and only a part is under final touches. In short, Speke Apartments have raised the standards of Kampala to New York City in the US. It is New York City in Kampala.
We reached the reception; two beautiful receptionists gave us warm welcome smiles as if we were ‘diplomats’. Like they say, First Impressions you receive from someone/place justify what you are likely to face in the following encounters. After such a fantastic welcome my heartfelt at ease, I really felt like I was home.
Since we had an appointment already with the Sales Manager of the place, Mr. Shrestha Nimes, the receptionist informed us to wait for him in the waiting lounge outside. Within two minutes, Mr. Nimes was already at our service.
After a few interactions, I jokingly asked if I could take a tour and take a glance at the whole amazing place. Surprisingly, Mr. Nimes offered to first give us a full tour of the apartments even before proceeding to the actual business meeting.
He begun by assuring us about the tight security in the place and that was proved when we approached the entrance to the apartments. There are two check-in points, the general reception area and another before you access the apartments. He said that security of their guests was paramount and that is why a lot has been invested in ensuring safety and security of guests at the luxurious apartments.
Speke Apartments have eight gigantic floors and each floor has three fire emergency exits, fire holes and fire detectors as well as fully equipped with modern lifts for easy movements.
The apartments are categorized into penthouses, three bedroom, and two bedroom apartments and soon by the end of April this year; one bedroom apartments will be fully accomplished.
All the apartments are fully furnished, stocked with all household utensils – what a new resident needs is to just come the luggage and the rest you leave it to the management.
We managed to tour almost every floor and on the eighth floor is where the penthouses are situated.
If you have been seeing them in movies, well this time round, state of the art penthouses have been drawn nearer to you. Each penthouse has got a child proof electric cooker meaning its safe for the children, 55inch smart LED TV in the living room and 45 smart LED TV in all the three bedrooms. Since they are on the topmost floor, they have that breathtaking downtown city view which gives you a glance of the city while in one place.
All the seven penthouses have spacious study rooms and USB ports on walls, and still this first of its kind in Uganda. There are no apartments in the country apart from those in Speke that have USB ports on the walls.
From there we managed to further tour the three bedroom and two bedroom apartments. Each living room in all the apartments has a 55 smart LED TV, with wide comfortable sofas whereas all bedrooms have 45 smart LED TVs and double beds.
All the rooms have intercom telecoms for receiving and making calls.
Each apartment has a fully equipped kitchen with a breakfast bar, a balcony with furniture, six chair dining table and beautiful divans.
For internet lovers, all the apartments are connected with free WIFI with ACs.
In the swimming pool section, life guards are on site, swingers’ pool beds and umbrellas not forgetting the spouting baby pool, which is the first of its kind in Kampala.
Speke Apartments also offers room services, laundry services.
The luxurious apartments in town have a VIP Lounge and soon opening up a restaurant which shall be offering all kinds of foods like Brazilian, Continental, Chinese, Indians and local.
Another exciting part is here, Speke Apartments also have Villas. Hope you’re surprised but that is the whole truth.
The Villas are fenced separately and when you walk towards them, a big security gate welcomes you. These ones were mainly put up to accommodate families. All the furniture found in Apartments is as well found in the Villas.
What makes the Villas different from the apartments we saw earlier is that Villas are normal storied houses with a lot of space outside covered with green.
Another good thing about, the Villas they have behind spaces for barbeque with furniture outside and each bedroom has its own bathroom and that does not stop at that, each room in the Villa has AC with daily room service.
Villas have a separate WIFI router.
Home of the biggest gym in East Africa
For those who love massage, steam bath tylo, sauna, gym, Speke Apartments is a place to be.
All the services are offered to residents free of charge but a non resident has to part with only shs40,000 to enjoy all the services mentioned above.
Apparently, Speke Apartments gym is the biggest gym in East Africa with a range of sophisticated equipments which include 18 speed bikes, 18 treadmills, nine steppers among others.
The gym has five trainers on site and all equipments with screens are connected with free wifi. Nimes says residents access the services for free while non residents can enjoy all the healthy services at only Sh40,000 a day.
It also offers aerobics, zumba and it is the first gym to offer belly dance class. The gym also has fresh rooms, changing rooms with lockers.
Unlike other Apartments and hotels, Speke Apartments’ costs are customer friendly with formidable services.
At the moment Speke Apartments have seven penthouses each with three bedrooms, 67 three bedroom apartments and 67 two bedroom apartments.
A two bedroom apartment occupy 149 to 151 square metre, three bedroom apartment occupy 169 to 171 square metres whereas a penthouse covers 225 square metres.