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“Nice hotel but some less than attentive staff and poor organisation” 3 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 96 hotels in Nairobi
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Nice hotel but some less than attentive staff and poor organisation”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

We stayed here for 1 night, in June, en route to the Masai Mara. I had booked well in advance (February) yet when we arrived after a long flight from Edinburgh to Heathrow to Nairobi, we were told that there was no record of our booking. I had booked online and also spoken to reception staff, on the phone and also via email, on several occasions, after booking the room. All seemed to be ok as they acknowledged my booking at the time. Luckily, I had brought the email confirmation and trail of the conversations I had had with reception. Fortunately, there were rooms available, but I was not best pleased with the attitude, which was less than helpful, or apologetic, under the circumstances.

The room was nice enough, so no complaints there. The buffet breakfast was included in the price and was extensive and tasty.

On checking out, I requested the use of a day room on our return the following week. Again,this had already been requested and confirmed at the time of making the original booking, so again, no record. However, after some time of staff conversations, they finally agreed to book me a room until 6pm. We were to be picked up for the airport transfer at 8pm, so that seemed not too bad for us.

On the return to the hotel, after our wonderful safari, we had to wait for 15 minutes whilst the 1 person on reception took care of a group of business men, who were clearly having issue with their check out. It seemed they had all been charged different rates for identical bookings! Eventually, someone came from the back office to attend to us, but with no sense of urgency or apology for keeping us waiting. We got our room sorted then took our bags up (no offer to help us, but as we were travelling light, not a problem, just poor service).

On checking out, it seemed to take a long time to complete paperwork...inefficient.

We also made use of the Business Area to print out our boarding passes. The printer failed after the first 2 were done, for no apparent reason. The message on the printer console was requesting a password to continue, yet no request for the initial successful prints. No staff around to attend to this, so I went back later in the hope that the problem had been resolved. 2 staff there in the room on my return, the printer still beeping and flashing, but neither had attended to the issue. I pointed out that I had tried to print but the error had appeared. One of the staff had a look at the printer, pressed a few buttons, opened and closed the paper trays, but to no avail. Eventually, she asked me to try again, then entered a password when it was requested. My boarding passes then appeared. Poor service from unwilling staff with no real clue. Disappointing.

On the flip side, the restaurant and bar staff were attentive, smiley and helpful. Likewise the concierge desk staff, who we had nice welcomes from and who helped us with bags and helped us into our taxi for the transfer to the airport. Not all bad then!

Handy for the airport, but some serious staff training and organisation is required. Not really value for money when the reception staff can't give the hotel a good first impression for travellers. They let themselves down, so I can't really recommend this hotel unless it's necessary to stay close to the airport. Just be sure to have printouts of any emails or booking confirmations with you for backup should their system not have your booking registered!

Room Tip: Rooms on the 2nd floor were handy for getting to and from reception, dining room and other facility...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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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, July 5, 2013
Thank you for taking time to give us your constructive feedback.

Our sincerest of apologies on the consistent delays you have faced at the Front Desk. Surely your reservation should have been active upon your arrival without you presenting the relevant evidence for it.

I have taken up your stay feedback with the Team and we are revisiting the entire check-in process to close any loop holes.

May I request you to reconsider our services during your future travels as you will experience a far superior service delivery.

I look forward to having you with us.
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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
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Atlanta, Georgia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

Overall, this was a great stay and a great hotel. I think for the price of the room, breakfast should be included or at the very least discounted. The breakfast buffet was $35 a person in addition to the $280 a night. This is expensive for Nairobi even though it sits on a "National Park". The food and the staff were AWESOME and extremely accommodating and willing to please. The rooms are nice but the beds were a bit hard for my liking. I would absolutely recommend this hotel to anyone that stays in the Nairobi area. Matter of fact, I plan on staying here again during my follow up visit to Kenya.

I saw several posting about bad service in the bar/dining area. Unfortunately depending on who the server was, I did experience slow service, but I did observer the waiter being pulled in multiple directions, however Martha and Rickson were AWESOME and made dining there a pleasure. GIVE THEM A RAISE!!!

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

I am very pleased to learn that your stay was a pleasant one apart from slow service.

We are addressing this concern by consistent On Job Training program.

I can assure that your future experinces will be even more positive.

We look forward to welcoming you back.
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
60 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

Make sure you get a room towards the game park otherwise make sure you have earplugs! Traffic in Nairobi is a nightmare so the hotel is in a good location as you do not have to travel too far even though a hotel transfer of 20.- usd is in my opinion overpriced.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 25, 2013
Thank you for taking time to give us your feedback.

We look forward to welcoming you back.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Juba, South Sudan
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
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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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
89 reviews 89 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
36 helpful votes 36 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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Additional Information about Ole - Sereni Hotel, Nairobi

Address: Mombasa Road, Nairobi 00500, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Spa Hotel in Nairobi
#15 Luxury Hotel in Nairobi
#16 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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Also Known As:
Ole - Sereni Hotel, Nairobi Hotel Nairobi

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