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“Very Nice Rooms in a Very Historic Hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Polana Serena Hotel

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Polana Serena Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Avenida Julius Nyerere 1380, Maputo 00100, Mozambique   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 21 Hotels in Maputo
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Mississippi
Top Contributor
149 reviews 149 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
“Very Nice Rooms in a Very Historic Hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2011

As far as room furnishings go, this was on par with the nicest places I have ever stayed anywhere. Upon my arrival, the staff was eager to help me check in and get to the room. I felt pampered and safe.

On the downside, it was a bit pricey for what it was. They tried to overcharge me for postage. They decided 8:00 am was the time they needed to check the mini-bar. Did I look like that much of a lush that they needed to check 6 hours after I checked in?

Overall, it's a nice place to stay. The Southern Sun edges it out, but this one is worth a look.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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317 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (97)
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leiden
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2011

You get what you pay: beautifull rooms with nice african decorations, good beds, nice views of the sea, wonderfulll gym with sauna (free), excellent breakfast, best swimmingpool, nice personnel.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2011

All in all, had a beautiful visit to Maputo with thanks to the hotel. Everyone was very friendly and the hotel grounds were beautiful. The rooms on the ocean were a little muggy, probably due to their proximity to the water. Perhaps next time I would stay in the main building further away from the sea. I had some trouble getting a good wi-fi signal in the room, but would stay at the hotel again.

Stayed July 2011, traveled on business
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2011

I disappointment in terms of service and cleanliness. Unhelpful staff with a poor knowledge of the attractions in Mozambique.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
104 hotel reviews
Reviews in 89 cities Reviews in 89 cities
152 helpful votes 152 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2011

Another visit to the Polana. Maputo has become a very busy city, and the Polana seemed solidly booked during my recent business trip.

I felt that the Polana's management team has gotten a better handle on ensuring first-rate service in many areas. One example is the breakfast where there now is a very visible supervisor walking around and directing the servers. She rarely smiles but seems to be successful, since coffee service has become much faster than before--although there was one day when she was not around and I needed to remind the waiters four times to finally get my coffee. Other notable improvements since my last review half a year ago: (i) Blackberry reception is now available throughout the hotel; and (ii) internet connectivity is pretty reliable, although not 100 percent.

By contrast, evening service at the main restaurant and bistro/club near the pool continues to be very slow. At the restaurant, there seems to be strong pressure to take advantage of the cold and hot buffet, although it is, in my view, way overpriced. When I wanted to order a la carte, the head waiter took a long time to bring me the menu--and the wait for the dish I ordered was 45 minutes. At the pool bistro/club, more basic food can be had but only until 7 pm on many nights. On Thursday night, they now have very cool jazz performers and it is very crowded with locals as well, but wait service is very sporadic; it took us half an hour to get our bill and we got it only when we threatened to walk away. I would hope that the management team will continue to work toward perfectioning the service.

Overall, the Polana is a beautiful hotel with a nice feel to it.

Room Tip: Get a sea view. It's worth it.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Lephalale, South Africa
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2011

The Polana Serena hotel exceeded all our expectations. We stayed for a longweekend in a luxury or superior seaview room. The staff was very discreet, never banging on the door to make the room and we enjoyed the turndown service. The phone rang only once to let us know that one of the taxis returned our change. The beds are excellent quality matresses, we really slept like kings. The price is a bit high, next time we will be in the cheaper rooms since the rest of the hotel is stunning enough. Don't be fooled by the price quoted on their website, it excludes taxes of more than a R1000 per day, it is only added once you make the booking. Best hotel for a romatic getaway. The bar at the end of the property has a stunning view over the sea, we spend many hours drinking Manicas and staring at the view.

Room Tip: If you're prepared to pay the fee, the superior rooms in the main building is stunning with your...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Centurion, South Africa
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2011

The Polana is a beautiful hotel located very centrally in Maputo. It is however still in a country where the surrounding area is under developed and poverty is rife. As such, the standards in the hotel are excellent for the context in which it sits and the staff do their best to provide good service. It does however not compare to 5 star service in more developed parts of the world and small touches are missing. I would definitely stay here again, just with some managed expectations not to expect too much.

Room Tip: Ask for a sea facing room & be specific if you want a non-smoking room.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Polana Serena Hotel

Address: Avenida Julius Nyerere 1380, Maputo 00100, Mozambique
Location: Mozambique > Maputo Province > Maputo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 21 Hotels in Maputo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Polana Serena Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 142
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The “Grand Dame” of Africa, as the Polana Serena Hotel is widely known, is a must-see historical landmark when talking about the city of Maputo. The elegance and splendour of its façade are the living memory of bygone colonial times; its luxurious interiors whisper stories of the many generations who spent nights protected by the hotel’s majestic walls, kings and queens, ambassadors and presidents, princesses and common travellers; its gardens, perfect and romantic lookouts offer a breathtaking view over the Indian Ocean.Built in 1922 in the heart of Maputo, one of the most exclusive residential areas, the Polana Serena Hotel belongs to the elite of the most famous hotels in the world. The splendor of its colonial lines blend tradition and art, making your stay an unforgettable journey through the past, looking to the future. Faithfull to the Serena Group philosophy of integrating architecture with cultural heritage, the Polana Serena Hotel offers a mix of elegance, grandeur and ethnicity, in a space equipped with the most modern solutions, luxurious facilities and excellent service. ... more   less 
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