By Gilbert Mwijuke
As I pull into Saffron Beach Bistro’s parking yard, I am welcomed by a young man whose friendliness is evidently impeccable. Rahul Patidar is the proprietor of this new boutique hotel that is located just a few steps from Lake Victoria in Entebbe – one of the most dreamed-about destinations in Uganda particularly renowned for its wonderful beach life.
For starters, Saffron is the world’s most expensive flower – and certainly one of the most charming – that is famous for its medicinal values. Now, fans of this flower which, according to Patidar, is more expensive than gold (one gram costs $68, he says), can take their appreciation one step further by staying at a Saffron-themed hotel.
Saffron Beach Bistro wows from the outset with its soaring ambiance, serving up jaw-dropping views of Lake Victoria, the second-largest freshwater lake in the world. Here, and in some of its seven plush guest rooms, you’ll find Instagram-worthy vistas over the lake!
“My idea was to set up a hotel that offers excellent hospitality and food in a relaxed and cozy environment. In fact, I take care of all our guests, personally,” says Patidar, who launched Saffron Beach Bistro at the start of 2018 to offer guests a “Saffron feel”.
Even though the proprietor is of Indian origin, Saffron blends classic Ugandan elegance with a breezy lake shore vibe. And, in addition to dramatic lake views, the hotel’s guests can expect luxury – plush accommodations, fine dining, impeccable hospitality and boat cruises on Lake Victoria.
Some of Saffron Beach Bistro’s highlights include a fully-stocked bar, an open-air restaurant – with a focus on Indian and Chinese cuisine, naturally – and a beachside area that is perfectly placed for wedding parties and a sunset aperitif.
The hotel’s seven dwellings, which range from “standard” to “honeymoon suit”, offer sleek, modern design and sexy mood thermo lighting – with housekeepers at your beck and call, 24/7.
According to Patidar, the hotel will soon expand to include up to 10 elegantly designed cottages that will come at an accessible price point (Saffron’s rooms currently start at just $60, which is rare in most sleek hotels in Entebbe).
Yet, affordable rooms aside, Saffron serves up great food and drinks, too: seafood, pasta, pizza, a wide range of wines and liquors, as well as fresh local organic food. Guests can chow down on some of the most famous Chinese and Indian dishes such as Chicken Shanghai, Cumin Chicken, Chicken Hong Kong, Murgh Tikka, Reshmi Seek Kebab, Tangrin Mumtaz and Fish Tikka.
But whatever your taste buds, Chef Vin Kumar has what it takes to prepare for you a sumptuous meal thanks to his 19-year experience as a chef in India, Dubai and Uganda.
With its great food, elegant dwellings and sweeping views of Lake Victoria, launching Saffron Beach Bistro was certainly a good move for Saffron East Africa, a brand previously known for its trendy, Indian cuisine-focused restaurants.
Perfectly placed to explore the pristine beaches of Entebbe, it’s surely a welcome addition to Uganda’s hotel scene. Check it out before everyone else does!