I lived at this hotel for six months back in 2002, I lived there one month before it officially opened and have gone back for years now on business. A couple years ago this hotel expanded to include a massive conference center and it is a complex in its own right now.
The location is great for getting to and from the airport, the diplomatic and government offices etc… Obviously this is not a time to be walking around as a foreigner to and from your hotel, but there is a small park right next door.
Security on the front side and where the bulk of the original rooms are as well as the nicely appointed gym and pool are is the front side of the hotel where you benefit from the best stand off and highest security in terms of having to deal with any type of vehicle bomb. This hotel is one of the few in Islamabad which has not had a major security incident. The expansion of the hotel with the conference center has opened up additional entry points and like with any travel to anywhere in the world it would be wise to always have a plan in your mind for any scenario, however the physical security is very good for Pakistan and security is a big priority for the hotel so you can relax in an excellently appointed world class hotel atmosphere.
There are a number of restaurant choices in the hotel all of which are great, the architecture is really worth enjoying and the rooms are well appointed and comfortable. The staff is very friendly and helpful, and if you recognize you are a guest in the country and don’t act like an entitled tourist or ugly westerner you will enjoy not only an excellent culture of hospitality but truly excellent service.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Islamabad Serena Hotel stands at the foot of the Margalla Hills, on fourteen acres of land, with beautiful gardens and serene water shore of the Rawal Lake in close proximity, next to the Diplomatic Enclave. The architecture and interiors of this fabulous Hotel building is a mere reflection of typical Pakistani cultural heritage depicting the skills and craftsmanship of native artisans. In this state-of-the-art building, local traditions are elegantly combined with latest technologies in order to provide a comfortable stay to our prestigious guests. ... more less
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