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“Nice hotel, hardware great but needs upgrade on software” 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
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Nice hotel, hardware great but needs upgrade on software”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013 via mobile

Very pretty hotel! Nice decor and colonial.

Very expensive!

Service - not great for the standard expected.

Took an hour to check in because you can't really communicate with the staff. Requested for a room for one person (after an hour of explanation) end up with a room having two single beds.

Tv some how lags?

The blanket is those old furry ones, but they cover it with clean sheet.

Got international plug Internet is included.

Very good location and afternoon tea is pretty good.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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316 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    137
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    43
    12
    11
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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
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  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Johannesburg, South Africa
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
70 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

She has changed a lot in the last forty years but it is still a beautiful place to stay. When I visit a five star I become over critical and expect everything to be perfect. Wash basin plugs that don't fir, towel rails that fall off the wall, plugs that don't match the wall socket are completely unacceptable at this level. Having said that the breakfast is very good, the beds are supremely comfortable and the service is superb.

Room Tip: Stay in the old hotel and not in the dungeons below the pool
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

This is a excellent hotel. A grand hotel of Africa. You must also visit the shop/restaurant Doha for the most amazing views. The best place for sun downers. The breakfasts at the hotel were fantastic. I also recommend Zambi for a good meal.

Room Tip: Choose a sea facing room in the main hotel
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 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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Oeiras, Portugal
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

I've stayed in this hotel several times since my youth...
The last time I was there, was three weeks ago.
This time I stayed, for a week, in a room on the terraces past the pool, facing Maputo bay.
The room was very good, spacious, clean and very well equipped with all facilities working well, with a pleasing balcony and a nice and bright bathroom.
The swimming pool area is very well cared and enjoyable.
The Staff is kind and attentive.
I was at the hotel on a bed and breakfast basis, and this time I didn't have lunch or dinner there, but I can say that the breakfast is very good and widely varied.
The last refurbishment of this hotel, carried out some years ago, brought about some minor architectural innovations on it, with which I don't totally agree. Nevertheless, this restyling didn't lessen the strong character of this true icon of Maputo...

  • Stayed April 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

This is my favorite hotel among the many I have been to in Africa, but was annoyed by the fact my TV didn't work properly and I repeatedly have to call for assistance which took ages to come. Secondly, at lunch we were told we could not sit on the terrace for lunch.(this happened on two consecutive days because the Ministry of Works and another Ministry were having lunches (I won't questions why government ministries in one if Africa's poorest countries should eat in one of its most expensive restaurants...but that is for another forum), as paying guests of the hotel I think it's unfair to be confined to the dingy dining room on a sunny Mozambican day).....and as I right this my movie has been interrupted by another message from guest services.......

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Hong Kong, China
Top Contributor
234 reviews 234 reviews
79 hotel reviews
Reviews in 84 cities Reviews in 84 cities
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

Flight issues meant that we only spent 9 hours at the beautiful Polana Serena Hotel in Maputo. This colonial hotel is very expensive, but all hotels in Maputo are, but the public areas are beautiful, the pool area is expansive and the rooms – we were in a newer (we assume) block at the back of the hotel below the pool, with a view of the sea – are spacious and well appointed.

The restaurant had a nice looking if expensive buffet and a good a la carte menu, and the service was very good. I’d only hope that the next time, we have more time to enjoy the facilities.

Room Tip: I'd have chosen a room in the main hotel to save the long walk past the pool. If it was raining...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 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.
Atlanta
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

I first stayed at the Polana in 1989 when Mozambique was still at war and the Hotel was run down . Now it has been beautifully restored to its former glory with local handicrafts, parquet floors. There are innumerable niches and nooks with comfortable chairs for meetings or quiet reading and work. The room I had was comfortable with air con and a great view of the Indian Ocean. The pool is huge and well organized. The pool boys go around with fragrant towels and fruit delights. The service is friendly and obliging. The restaurant is first rate. It has both a la carte and buffet service. The Friday night grilled lobster was spectacular. Salads and fruit are fresh and delicious. The price is a bit high but worth it. My only complaint is that the room lacks a good desk lamp for work. The lighting is dim, charming, but dim.

Room Tip: Floors 5 and 4 are out across from the pool and involve a little hike to get to the main building w...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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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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