New City Annex Hotel

New City Annex Kampala

Visitors happen. They just do! You think when you move as far away as Uganda, that you won’t have them.  Trust me… you will, and when they come to town, you’d better be prepared with options. Sure, close friends may cozy up on your couch or crash in your guest room, but what happens when the NGO colleagues, random college acquaintances, or that awkward ‘friend-of-a-friend-of-yet-another-friend’ come to town?

Chances are you’ve been faced with this situation multiple times. You either come up short with answers or maybe you already have your favorite go-to spot for guests. Though Living In Kampala is definitely a resource for expats living in this city, we understand how much visitor traffic comes through town and we want to provide you with the best options.

Located in the heart of Nakasero Hill is a budget hotel called New City Annex Hotel. The title may read ‘hotel’, but it definitely feels like more of a hostel. It’s a great option if you’re on a tight budget and don’t require all the perks and amenities of a nicer hotel. It has a laid-back, friendly environment, and the crowd is mostly backpackers. With rooms, or more accurately I should say “beds”, ranging from 18,000 – 180,000 UGX per night – it’s hard to beat!

This place is perfect if you’re looking for a cheap place to lay your head at night but don’t mind the lack of ambiance. There’s nothing friendly about the cement stairs and bare walls, but the staff definitely make up for it. I went in under-cover as a woman seeking out a place for friends to stay this summer (wild story, I know!) and was promptly greeted by two smiling women ready to answer all of my questions.

New City Annex Kampala

New City Annex provides several different room options. The most basic rooms are the Single Rooms, costing 18,000 – 25,000 UGX per night that contain only one single bed and share a bathroom. They also have twin and family basic rooms, costing 40,000 – 60,000 UGX per night that have two or three single beds, respectively, and share a bathroom. If you’re really feeling fancy, they have rooms that range up to the Deluxe, Extra Deluxe, and Suite options that have single or double occupancy, some even having personal, enclosed bathrooms! These nicer options will cost you in the range of 60,000- 180,000 UGX per night. Though they have a total capacity of 53 beds, they are quick to fill up, so try to call ahead if you have your heart set on a specific room.

Have your nose turned up at the idea of shared bathrooms? Have no fear, if you decide on this option. The facilities may be minimalistic and plain, but they are definitely clean. Also, a towel and bar of soap are provided with your stay!

The hotel restaurant and bar are located on the bottom floor of New City Annex. They’re open throughout the day for all three meals with a daily lunch buffet that includes local dishes as well as more widely appreciated favorites such as fresh fish or pasta. The bar conveniently opens at 7:00 a.m. and stays open until 11:00 p.m. with spirits, wine, and cold beers aplenty.

Now, let’s have a little chat about New City Annex’s location. The location is at both times spectacular and awful. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: it’s in a busy area of town and can be noisy at night from nearby restaurants, traffic outside, and fellow guests coming in after a late night. As I was leaving, I happened to grab a brochure and actually laughed out loud at one of the bullet points, which read: “calm and peaceful neighborhood.” This could not be farther from the truth but, unless you’re a super light sleeper, it’s nothing a set of earplugs can’t handle!

New City Annex Hotel

The good news? It’s in a very happening area in the heart of Kampala within walking distance to the National Theatre, my favorite little South Indian spot: Masala Chaat House, which is a few doors down, and two of the city’s largest shopping centers – Nakumatt Oasis Mall and Garden City Mall.  Food, shopping, and entertainment are just a walk away!

A good friend of mine often stays here when she comes in from Jinja before early airport arrivals. She says, “We love New City Annex! It has everything you need and is huge, so it can accommodate a lot of people. The shared bathrooms are actually quite nice, and the water is hot with pretty good pressure. Unfortunately, if you’re a light sleeper, it can be a bit of a hard night since there are always people coming in and out. The staff is really nice and the best part is that it’s incredibly cheap for a decent room in the center of a great part of town. It’s the best place for the buck!”

Address: Plot 7, Dewinton Road (Opposite National Theatre)
Phone: +256 (0) 414 254132 or +256 (0) 775 958867
Email: ncahotel@gmail.com

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About Lauren McBride

Hey, I’m Lauren. I’m what you’d call an “expat by marriage.” When my husband and I stepped off the plane in Entebbe in June 2012, I had no idea what I was in for: the breezy traffic on the open road, enjoyable boda rides through the heart of town, or the gentle, lingering smell of exhaust blowing in my face. I continue to be amazed by the strong community in Kampala, the arts, the delicious food, and the fun hangs around this town. I’m committed to sharing the very best of Kampala with you through this website. Contact me anytime with your ideas, feedback, or jokes at lauren@livinginkampala.com.