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“Delicious Foods served at the Polana Serena Hotel-Maputo, Mozambique” 5 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
Los Angeles, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Delicious Foods served at the Polana Serena Hotel-Maputo, Mozambique”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

We were at the 5 star Polana Serena Hotel in Maputo, Mozambique. Maputo, Mozambique is located in southeastern Africa just north of South Africa and faces the Indian Ocean. This magnificent hotel was built in 1922 in the Victorian style and reminded us of the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. In 2011 the hotel was refurbished and everything is new. The hotel staff was very friendly and helpful.
The food served here in their restaurant was outstanding. Everything was a Portuguese-African cuisine. Our favorite food at the Polana Serena Hotel was " Peixe Serra Grelhado" better known as Grilled Barracuda.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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318 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)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Lagos, Nigeria
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
143 helpful votes 143 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

We stayed in rooms underneath the swimming pool area. No elevators so be prepared to use a porter and have your tip ready.

The room was a delight on arrival. Big area with lots of cupboards, writing desk, and super bathroom. Bath, separate shower, and toilet leading off the bathroom in a separate room. The toiletries were all good quality. Good water pressure and hot. Mini bar also available - complimentary water was provided. Safe was a mystery as all the numbers had been worn off by usage.

Wifi only for 100mb per day - thereafter you have to pay.

The real disappointment was the food. Buffet night and day and not great selections, especially on the main dishes. Salads and starters had enough variety to get a reasonable meal. Breakfast was ok but boiled and undercooked bacon and sausage - this seems to be the norm for buffet breakfasts. Service was difficult to find - they seemed to be doing you a favour or were so indifferent to you being there that you felt you were interrupting them. One evening we could find no-one for the bill so we left. They hunted us down to sign eventually but no apology for being so absent. The hotel will really need to take their restaurant in hand to address the menu and service.

I was also disappointed with the conference facility. We were crammed into a room. They should provide more room per participant. The refreshments were fine.

Well done to a responsive Business Centre. They were able to help us with some printing for the sessions and were so pleasant. - Thank you to them. What sort of trip was this?

Room Tip: All rooms are fine. Probably the main hotel building will have the nicer rooms
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013 via mobile

Must have a drink in the balcony, facing the pool. Very good to just have a nice gin tonic in an afternoon.
When you are in the promenade, it seams like you are on a very diferent place. It is a cherry in Maputo city

Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

I had heard great things about this hotel, and having failed to secure a booking on 2 previous occasions my expectations were very high. Sure the location is great and i had an overpriced sea facing room with a balcony. The hotel is dated and the carpets and linen seem worn and past their sell by date.

The staff were mediocre at best...rude at worst. I arrived before check in time and decided to have a drink on the verandah...trying to make the hotel's job easier i went in to inform reception where they could find me when my room was ready, and i was abruptly cut off and told that they would find me when necessary.

I had booked and paid the higher rate for a sea view room, but was checked into a room with a view...of the road!! Fortunately i was promptly taken to the correct room. The room was large enough and the bathroom adequate in appearance...but i tried to have a bath at 4:30AM before leaving for the airport, and there was no hot water!!! Ridiculous for a 5 star hotel at $470 dollars per night is unacceptable.

The food was average and a number of items listed on the menu were not available. I also found the room service telephone staff abrupt and unprofessional...nor did they seem to know their menu.

The location and building facade are stunning and reminiscent of a grand old age of hospitality, but sadly there were too many let downs.

I was really excited about this stay, and could not wait...but, alas i shall not return on future trips. There is simply nothing drawing me back.

If you must stay here, opt for an ocean view room.

Room Tip: Ocean view
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Mauritius
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

This grande dame of Maputo has so much going for it - superb historic building beautifully restored, fine interior decor, and great location overhanging the sea. Pity that all this has gone to their heads. Service falls into one of two categories. Stuffy arrogance at the reception desk, and cheerful incompetence in all the bars and restaurants.On my first night there was no hot water throughout the hotel. That was only restored 12 hours later. It took 45 minutes to get a salad in the restaurant. What the Serena management does not realize is that when one is paying such hefty prices you expect more than palms in fancy pots and gilt mirrors. In the final crunch the people factor is what makes or breaks a hotel. Sadly, this one is irreparably broken.

Room Tip: You need a bank loan to get an ocean view.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013 via mobile

I was there on business and only stayed 2 nights. As such I didn't use many of the amenities but was mostly focused on the effiency of the staff. The check in went quick and easy but after that there where some problems. I had time for a quick lunch with my group but the kitchen was slow, the waiters mixed up orders and in the end there wasn't time to eat the food. Also there where problems with the WiFi in the room and it took too long to fix it. Everything else was comfortable and the rooms where clean, spacious and well equipped. I'm sure it doesn't get much better in Maputo.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

Serena Hotels are always good, but this one proved to be very poor value for money. For $295 a night for the cheapest room, you do not expect to be charged more for internet use over 100MB a day, or no loo roll holder, or a shaver connection that doesn't work, or room not ready until 2pm, or miserable staff. It's not bad, but it should be much much better,

Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
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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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