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“Ideal location for airport transfers, but also a tranquil, lovely hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ole - Sereni Hotel, Nairobi

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Ole - Sereni Hotel, Nairobi
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Mombasa Road, Nairobi 00500, Kenya   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #22 of 92 hotels in Nairobi
London
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Ideal location for airport transfers, but also a tranquil, lovely hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2011

I stayed here transiting Nairobi from South Sudan. The location of the hotel means that you can make an early morning flight out of Nairobi, whereas some of the more established hotels are located on the other side of Nairobi's now infamous rush hour traffic. The Sereni was just that - serene. Looking out onto the wildlife park, from the pool, from your room or from the restaurant was a lovely way to relax. The rooms were new, fresh and clean - also well equipped. The beds were fantastic quality, and I slept very well. The breakfast was substantial, and restuarant, where I had dinner, was reasonably priced for Nairobi (which is expensive). The service was a little slow for the standard of restaurant, but it's fine if you are not in a hurry. The pool was nice and clean, and there were plenty of sofas in corners around the hotel where one could work. The hotel wireless was patchy though, so find a place with good signal and settle there. This was also one of the hotels where you don't have to send copies of your credit card, or transfer the money in advance to them in order to make a reservation. I was told by other hotels that this was 'because of credit card fraud' but I would say that having full copies of people's cards floating around was an encouragement to credit card fraud, so was good that this one had seen sense.

Room Tip: I'd pay the extra to go on the side facing the park - waking up to the view is nice.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled solo
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (142)
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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2011

Just stayed at the Ole Sereni, very impressed. Close to the airport, location wise. View of the game park from the restaurants is spectacular, however the city view is not so great.

The rooms are clean, modern with LCD tv, wireless internet including in the room, wet room, safe, fridge, tea & coffee making facilities, hairdryer, UK plug sockets, small balcony, complimentary bottles of water and little essentials like shower gels, shampoo, vanity packs, soaps etc.

My only downside is that I found the bed uncomfortable and kept waking up in the night, the cleaners seem to start very early too- but there is a flip side as the bed had lots of comfy pillows which I loved as I always seem to be asking for more at hotels.

Used room service which was very fast and the food was delicious. The staff are friendly enough and seem happy with what they're doing - I don't think there is any slave labour here as I have read this assumption in previous posts!

However next time I am back here I will ensure I have some small Kenyan currency to tip staff individually as they do work very hard.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Nairobi, Kenya
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2011

I booked Ole Sereni online for an overnight stay as it is close to the airport in Nairobi. When I arrived there was no record of my booking though I had confirmation. It took almost ONE hour to resolve the problem and only after I insisted and became quite agitated! That the person "responsible for internet banking" was not in at that time of evening!! I was so amazed at that statement delivered so casually!
The rooms are modern and clean and quite friendly to the tired traveler but the reception was horrendous! If that is sorted it is well located near the airport and quite serene with the National Park just behind it.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the National park are better and more quiet.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Hampshire, UK
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2011

Stayed at this hotel over-night while travelling on my way back home from South Sudan. Conveniently located on the Mombassa Road close to JKIA between the airport and downtown Nairobi which means you avoid most of the traffic hassle of getting into Nairobi.
Efficient and friendly check-in staff greet you on arrival, the rooms are clean and very comfortable, with everything you might need, plus complimentary Wi-Fi.

There are several restaurant / cafe options within the Hotel providing a wide choice from a full 3 course meal to lighter snacks.

Probably the Hotel's biggest attraction though it is located on the very edge of the Nairobi Game Park and the rooms have panoramic views extending for miles over the park to the distant hills. It was pretty quiet during my short stay but I did see Giraffe in the distance.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2011

My daughter and I stayed at the Ole Sereni Hotel, in Nairobi, Kenya, from 10/29/11 until 11/01/11 as part of the last few days of our vacation.

The interior decor of the hotel is absolutely beautiful and exotic. Quite pleasing to the eye. However, our accommodations left something to be desired. Our room was rather small, especially the bathroom. The towels were an awful grey color and were very old. For some reason or another, the staff failed to supply us with wash cloths. We usually had hand towels and bath towels but had to call housekeeping and ask for wash cloths. I found this situation to be exceptionally awkward as I have always thought the wash cloth was also a normal part of the towel supply for a hotel room. On one occasion, while at this hotel, we returned to our room in the evening to see we had neither wash cloths nor hand towels. I got on the phone and called housekeeping to request the missing items. We were told the hand towels "were in the dryer" and that as soon as they finished drying, someone would deliver them along with some wash cloths, to our room. I found this situation to be totally ridiculous for what was supposed to be a 5-star establishment.

The mattresses on our beds were so hard the beds felt like cement slabs. The beds are beyond being uncomfortable -- they are absolutely awful.

We were advised to keep our room window closed at night in order to prevent mosquitos from getting in. The only problem with this scenario is that the window in our room, overlooking the wild animal park, was a window that could not be tightly closed. There was a tiny gap and it was just the perfect size for mosquitos to come into. They visited us practically every night and both my daughter and myself suffered several mosquito bites. The staff was aware of the mosquito problem so management must have also been aware. Yet, there are no mosquito nets in any of the rooms. We have stayed in several hotels and lodges in Kenya and every single established was equipped with mosquito netting. The Ole Sereni has chosen to ignore the need for something as simple as mosquito netting for the prevention of mosquito attacks on their guests.

Directly beneath our room, an outdoor restaurant was situated. The restaurant offers an unobscured view of the wild animal park. Nice touch. Not so nice was the fact that the restaurant with the "pool bar", hosts various clientele each night who drink and converse on the patio accompanied by music, loud music, lasting into the early hours of the morning. If we were night owls, which we are not, we could appreciate the early morning revelry but since we choose to sleep at night, being kept awake by the noise beneath our window was not something we appreciated. My daughter suggested we might ask to be moved to a different room but I dismissed the suggestion. That was a mistake.

Room service and the deliverance of requested meals was prompt and very nicely taken care of. My daughter and I were grateful for the free Wi-fi service which allowed us to communicate with friends in the USA.

There was an employee at the registration desk that was not cordial or even half way nice to us. I don't remember her name. I wish I had made a notation of it. She seemed to have some sort of problem with my daughter and I being African-Americans and when she addressed me or responded to my questions, she was rather curt and hardly looked me in the eye. As I stated before, I have no idea what her problem was. We have visited several places in Kenya both last year and this year and my daughter and I have always been welcomed and well received. At the Ole Sereni, we were stared at and occasionally frowned at by employees in the restaurant where the breakfast buffet was served. I have no idea why the personnel at this hotel acted in negative manners. On the other hand, there were other employees who were very nice and went out of their way to make our stay pleasant.

In summation, I do not think we will be returning to this establishment in the future. The negative aspects (mosquito bites, dingy towels, lack of proper towels, hard mattresses, noise beneath our window every night, unprofessional staff) out weigh the good aspects of this establishment.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
derby
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2011 via mobile

We stayed here after bike riding 400k through the rift valley on a charity ride.
It was the perfect end to a perfect week.
A couple of girls go the maasai suite. It was awesome!! Great view over the park. Sunken jacuzzi bath. 2 toilets. Flat screen. Super king size bed!
Our room was gorgeous too. A king size. Clean . Well appointed.
Service was a bit poor.we stayed in some dodgy hotels but the service was way better and drinks etc were a lot cheaper but we had a fantastic night sat on the veranda in the warm night air.
If I were to pick Nairobi and a honeymoon spot I'd be more than chuffed here!!

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Wilmington, North Carolina
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2011

After what we thought was our final night in Nairobi at the fabulous Norfolk Hotel, our flight home was cancelled (our treatment by Brussels Airways is another horror story), and the airline put us up at the Ole Sereni. The only thing I am thankful for is that we did not have to pay to stay at this hotel. Yes, the grounds are interesting, and you can view giraffe and zebra at a distance, and the public areas of the hotel are quite attractive and imposing, even. But the room we had was dreadful. The very least the hotel should do is put down some kind of decent carpet. The hideous brown linoleum was the ugliest thing I've seen since the warthogs of the Maasai Mara. Someone told us that this building used to be the US Embassy -- I can believe this, because the room looked like it might have been an office, and someone with no decorating skills came in and partitioned off a bathroom, putting the toilet practically inside the shower. The towels were grey,practically see-through, and about the size of a large dinner napkin. As an airport hotelroom, it does have the advantage of being very dark, so if you arrive late, as we did at 4:00 am after being tortured by Brussels Airways, you can sleep late into the day. Even though it was a bright, sunny day, the satellite went out and stayed out for more than an hour. Since our flight wasn't leaving until 10:30 pm, we were there for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the hotel, and the food was so-so at best. However, we committed the cardinal sin of having alcohol with our dinner, which was not to be paid for by the airline. Thus, it took more than half an hour for my husband to check out because the two beers had to be split out from the rest of the bill. I would never stay here again.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the back of the hotel look out over the national park. You will still need binoculars...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.

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Additional Information about Ole - Sereni Hotel, Nairobi

Also Known As:
Ole - Sereni Hotel, Nairobi Hotel
Ole - Sereni Hotel, Nairobi Hotel Nairobi
Address: Mombasa Road, Nairobi 00500, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#15 Business Hotel in Nairobi
#16 Family Hotel in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Ole - Sereni Hotel, Nairobi 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ole Sereni is a premium wildlife resort strategically located just off the Mombasa road overlooking the Nairobi National Game Park. Centrally positioned between the international airport and the city center, this is the only hotel bordering the wilds of the National Park. Ole Sereni offers all comforts and services to the business as well as leisure travelers and enjoys proximity to the central business district, international organizations, financial institutions, government offices and industrial area. ... more   less 
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