About a dozen years ago I was in Arua and I remember Kudrass as a well-run lodge with really efficient and helpful staff. So for old time's sake I styed there again. I certainly can't remember the romms smelling of wee as they do now.
Looking over the Taxi Park in Arua is the Rippons Motel. This building or two buildings of several stories is a warren of bar restaurant and lodge with single and double rooms.
The rooms here are good value at the budget end of the hotel scale, but it was worth staying here just to look out from 2nd floor balcony with a view over the hustle and bustle of the taxi park. I would sit here most days to catch up on my journal and occasionally to eat lunch cooked under the lean-to opposite the entrance to the hotel.
A single self-contained room here cost 15,000 non-self was 10,000 but in the end I plumped for the 20,000UGX self-contained room with twin beds and the promise of a fan. Khadija the receptionist brought me a fan but for some reason it failed to work but thankfully the room remained cool despite the weather in Arua being 30 –35 ‘c every day I was there.
The bar at Rippons is really nice and I never saw more than 3 people here at any one time, which is a real shame for what looks like a decent boozer. I was told that several years ago this place was bouncing at a weekend and the previous owner had the place run really well. Since the previous owner died it has been taken over by someone else and now is a shadow of its former self. At least it remained a quiet place to sleep because of its loss of popularity. A friend of mine told me that that many people turned up here that he always feared the that the first floor of the bar would collapse on the dance floor below with the amount of revellers dancing the night away.
The restaurant that is below the bar now and not a dance floor serves standard Buganda fare as well as excellent chapties.
I stayed a week in Arua and a lot of it was to do with being content with where I was staying. Rippons couldn’t be more central. The hotel is surrounded by a ridiculous amount of places to eat and is near the market. The girls that worked in the reception and bar & restaurant were all a good laugh and made my stay memorable I could have easily stayed longer.
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