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“Worst Hotel Experience” 1 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 #21 of 93 hotels in Nairobi
Juba, South Sudan
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Worst Hotel Experience”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

I'd like to start this review by saying that I travel regularly for work and pleasure and have been living in Africa for ten years now, and never in my entire time on the continent have I ever been treated so badly as I was at the Ole Sereni.

Here is a summary of my stay:

1. Arrived to no soap, shampoo or moisturiser in my room - something you would assume is a basic entity of a room of this price.

2. The view from the window was of a building site and was loud all through the night.

3. Service at the restaurant and bar was SO slow, it took over 45 minutes to be served a drink, after having to remind the staff on numerous occasions that we were there.

4. The TV in our room did not work, and I was asked to wait until the following day for it to be fixed.

5. The safe was not working, and despite asking for it to be fixed, no one came to fix it.

All of these factors could have been overlooked, but the real issue that pushed the entire experience over the edge occurred on our last day at the hotel. As we were packing we realised that $100 was missing from one of our travel wallets. Upon checking the other wallet we found that a further $150 and £70 was also missing. As soon as we realised that money was missing form our room - our travel wallets had been left in our room the day before when we went out in our suitcases as our safe did not work - I went to reception to report it.

At reception I was asked to wait for the manager to arrive. Soon a man called James introduced himself as the head of security for the hotel. He asked me what had happened and I explained the situation. He informed me that I 'should have told him sooner, as it was getting late now and he usually leaves early', to which I informed him I had only just found out that someone had stolen money from our room and let them know immediately. He asked me to be patient and he would come back to me with an answer within the hour after checking the CCTV footage and key card entry record.

After 3 hours I still had not had any feedback on the situation and it was getting close to the time I needed to check out and catch my flight, so I went back to reception and asked for an progress report. I was asked to wait again and James finally returned. He said that he had reviewed the CCTV footage and the key card record and during the time period in which the money could have been taken only 3 people had entered me room, and they had all left together. He had asked each of them if they had taken the money and they said that they hadn't. The only conclusion he could make was that there was insufficient evidence and that he had to decide that I had made a mistake. Upon me informing him that I was not mistaken and that one of his employees, or several in cahoots with each other, had stolen money form my room when the safe was not working, he said that the only line of action that could be taken was for me to make an official police report as the hotel could do nothing further for me.

I was livid that not only had James, the head of security, insinuated that I had made the whole story up, but that he was also not willing to do anything further for me. I asked to speak to a manager and was brought Nathanel, who refused to look at me throughout our exchange and told me that James was right, the only thing I could do was pay my bill and leave, if I wanted to take it further I must inform the police. When asked how I was to do that when I was taking a flight within the next 3 hours, he said 'the world is now a small place' and walked off.

Not once in the whole exchange with either Jame or Nathanel did either of them apologise to us, offer us any form of compensation or appear that they were at all sorry for the fact that our holiday had been ruined. Instead they spent the entire time trying to shift the blame on to us and accuse us of making the whole thing up and waste the last 4 hours of our holiday being made to feel like rubbish that was not worthy of the managements time. I have never come across as man as arrogant and rude as James, if he represents the entire attitude of the hotel then they will have a very dark future ahead.

Never in my life have I been so insulted by two people. Customer service and quality of stay is clearly not something this hotel does or wishes to pride itself on. Not only will I never return to this hotel, but I will ensure that my company never uses it again. Our two night stay cost us over $600, add in the $350 stolen form our room and we paid nearly $1000 for a below par hotel experience in which we were insulted and treated like an inconvenience rather than paying guests.

If you are coming to Nairobi and want to 'splash out' on a nice hotel, do NOT choose this one, you will only leave disappointed and out of pocket.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Ghulam S, General Manager at Ole - Sereni Hotel, Nairobi, responded to this review, June 29, 2013
Ms. Emma,

Thank you for taking time to give us your feedback.

I deeply regret that your stay experience was a negative one.

I am aware of the theft you claimed that occured in your room and I can assure you that it was not from any of our staff memebers. We practive the highest level of integerity and our systems and procedures are strict enough to ensure there is no lapse.

Our Team members are trained in the highest level of customer service skills and we will ensure they only excel further. On your remark on our associates, I will have them communicate to you singularly explaining their side of the story.

Please allow us to further revert on this.
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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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New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

A 3-day work conference allowed me to take in so much of what makes this hotel beautiful. The location is close to the airport, but more important, overlooks a vast expanse of Kenyan savannah. The restaurant and bar both share a long balcony running the length of the hotel allowing beautiful views. The food selection is a nice and the food is deliciously fresh - breakfast is a particular treat.

The conference facilities were very nice although the audio system had some hiccups. The rooms are well ventilated and lit, and the breaks outside in a small garden were delicious and nicely presented.

My room faced the Mombasa Road side of the property but I can imagine the other side of the hotel offers breathtaking views from the rooms. The swimming pool offers the same breathtaking views and is heated which is a plus during the cool nights of June/July. It's almost too small for laps but as long as no one else is using it, the pool is passable. The gym is quite well-equipped (if a little stuffy in the afternoons) and has knowledgeable staff; the "boom-boom" music gets old quickly but on request the gym staff lowered the volume. The hotel staff is polite, attentive, cheerful.

I had the same experience as another reviewer with the hotel's taxi service. The hotel wanted $40 for a ride that costs $18 with other taxi companies, and they wanted $70 for two passengers. The driver was quite good - polite and knowledgeable. But the car's air-conditioning didn't work. Best to call a different taxi company.

Several of my colleagues and I noticed on two different occasions young women who appeared to be escorts, hanging around in the hotel lobby or bar. Perhaps the hotel cannot entirely control who sits in their lobby, but that seemed out of place in a hotel that otherwise is very classy, if over-priced in some areas.

Room Tip: ask for a room facing the savannah - outstanding views await.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ghulam S, General Manager at Ole - Sereni Hotel, Nairobi, responded to this review, June 20, 2013
Thank you for taking time to give us your positive feedback.

I am pleased to learn that your stay was a pleasant one apart from the price concern you raised on our Travel Desk.

We are aware that our prices are inflated compared to the local market purely because of the quality of cars and the professional drivers we offer. The AC not working is not an excuse and we will address it right away.

Once again, I thank you for choosing Ole-Sereni and we look forward to welcoming you back.
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Panama City, Panama
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013 via mobile

I just checked out from the Hotel. The food was really good, staff was nice, the view is really nice. The bad side: two nights in a row the hotel management decided to move furniture between 1:00am and 5:00. This resulted in two sleepless nights. They accepted they were making noise and did not paid any attention. The problem of the hotel is the lack of flexibility of the managers. Another problem is the overpriced transportation services (up to 3 times market price). I took one of their transportation services no a/c and overpaid. In general the place is nice, but needs to revise its policies and management style

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Ghulam S, General Manager at Ole - Sereni Hotel, Nairobi, responded to this review, June 17, 2013
Thank you for taking time to give us your constructive feedback.

My sincere apologies on the incovenience you faced during your stay. It is our prime focus that all our guests enjoy the finest of comforts but I see that we failed to offer the same to you.

I have taken note of your concerns on the Travel Desk service pricing and I will address it.

May we request you to consider our services again during your future travels to this part of the world with an assurance that your stay experience will be of superior quality.

I look forward to welcoming you back.
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Brussels, Belgium
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

Wonderfull view of the savana from this exclusive hotel. All is fantastic: the staff, the terrace bar and the pool overlooking the savana, the cosy african chic rooms, the lobby, the shop and the food... Wow ... À real paradise to start and end your safari

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ghulam S, General Manager at Ole - Sereni Hotel, Nairobi, responded to this review, June 12, 2013
Thank you for taking time to give us your postitive feedback.

I am truly pleased that you found our property and its amenities to your liking.

A True African hotel in every aspect.

I look forward to welcoming you back.
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2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013 via mobile

Well, I must say that ole sereni is one little secret joint I have discovered. The location is execellent, has fantastic set up and above all a warm and hospital staff. I always enjoy my evenings there and to maximaze my benefits, I decided to joint the gourmet club membership. The food is great and services is fantastic. My son is in love with the place and he looks forward to a weekly visit, especially on Sunday's to play after lunch. I watch all my manchster united matches here. No wonder we won.

Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ghulam S, General Manager at Ole - Sereni Hotel, Nairobi, responded to this review, June 6, 2013
Mr. Sjadrack,

I sincerely thank you for taking time to give us your postitive feedback.

Ole-Sereni is truly a local hotel with a global approach and I am pleased to learn that you are one of our loyal customers. Gourmet Club is truly a one of a kind loyalty profram and it delivers great benefits.

To keep you posted, we are celebrating Fathers Day on 16th June (Sunday) and we recommend you to bring in your family to enjoy this event.

Once agin, I thank you for sharing yoru views and look forward to having you with us.
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Cheltenham
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

We read in the in-flight magazine on the plane that William and Kate stayed here on route to Mount Kenya where he proposed, so if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for us. We also saw an actor from the soap Eastenders staying here. Popular stop over hotel on route elsewhere, as only five minutes or so to the airport. We were on the way to Amboseli national park. This hotel is literally on the edge of Nairobi national park and if you're luck you can see the animals from the terrace whilst having breakfast. Good service etc.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 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.
Ghulam S, General Manager at Ole - Sereni Hotel, Nairobi, responded to this review, June 3, 2013
Thank you for taking time to give us your positive feedback.

I am truly pleased that you decided to choose us based on the reviews.

We hope your stay was memorable and look forward to welcoming you back.
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Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

I honstly stayed at Ole - Sereni Hotel by chance as I could not find other reservation but to my surprise .. it was wonderful and the hotel design was fantastic .. I recommend this Ole - Sereni Hotel to anyone wither it is for business or pleasure. Thanks & Regards

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ghulam S, General Manager at Ole - Sereni Hotel, Nairobi, responded to this review, June 6, 2013
Thank you for taking time to give us your positive feedback.

I am truly pleased that your stay was pleasant and we look forward to having you with us.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
#13 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#15 Business 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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