The hotel opened on 31 July 2006, after eighteen months of renovations and refurbishment at a cost of US$30.5 million. The hotel is part of the Serena Hotels Group. It has 152 rooms, including thirteen suites, one of which is a presidential suite. During the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2007 in Kampala, the hotel hosted Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom for four nights.
The hotel has its own helipad for easy transport between the hotel and Entebbe International Airport. Adjacent to the hotel is the Kampala Serena International Conference Center with a seating capacity of 1,500 and multilingual translation facilities of up to nine languages simultaneously. In 2016, the hotel is expected to undergo expansion, with the addition of 32 bedrooms, and the improvement of food, beverage, and meeting facilities.