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“You better be white.” 2 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
Calgary
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“You better be white.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

Having left the Boma Hotel to try something new, I was disappointed to come to Ole Sereni. More expensive than Boma, with a room half the size, little amenities, cramped this hotel is definitely NOT worth the $300 (please don't fork this over for a park view, not worth it, go on a safari).

Adding to the experience is that I have a Kenyan girlfriend and we of course checked in together earlier this day. Went out at night only to be questioned by security upon returning.

As Lacie8, commented below, I had the same experience. Overall unless you're 'Mzungo' you will not be able to walk around freely without the suspicious eyes. Disgusting stay, wouldn't recommend this to anyone, even at half the price. Especially watch out for the security 'Augustine' who under the false pretense of 'I just want to see if you're double booked so tell me your room number (HAHA)' wants to nose around your business even if it's your wife or girlfriend of a different color, I guess at $300/night we deserve to be interrogated. It shouldn't even matter who goes to your room if you pay for two people especially at the ridiculous cost.

On the bright side, the workout facilities are quite nice, but you can get that in many other hotels, cheaper and for a better value. The pool is okay, but comparing to somewhere like the Boma (10-15 min walk away) really not worth it. Agnes at the front desk was as helpful as can be and a shining star.

Front desk is in the middle of the hotel so after you go up the first stairs and about 20 M down the hall or so. We brought our bags in ourselves and was not offered any help at any point even after check in, maybe they were too busy to bother with a local.

The room itself had bits of food under the fridge, the AC remote was under the bed and took time before we found it or realised there was even a control, rooms are quite small and cramped, no slippers were in the room as advertised (booking.com). It features a french balcony, which means the window opens but there is no room to go outside.

Just so you know where I'm coming from. I rated a 2 star guesthouse here in Nairobi 5 stars because of the level of service they offered for the rate of $30/night. For 10 x the price at Ole Sereni had me wishing I was back at the guesthouse.

I would never, ever stay there again. I am guessing most of the reviews are from others that have not stayed in other places in Nairobi or though that this was the best the city offers.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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, October 13, 2013
Thank you for taking time to share your feedback.

We have been communication vai mails on this complaint. It is extremly unfortunate that you feel this and I can assure you that Ole-Sereni is a global organization which ensures same service levels and respect is given to all its patrons.

We take this very seriously and do not allow any of our team members to deviate.

We sincerely hope you will reconsider our services in future.
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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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Corvallis
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

We stayed one night and enjoyed it. Our room overlooked the national park and we saw crowned cranes from our room. The room was very quiet and spacious. Beds in Kenya are harder than we are used to but it was still comfortable. The staff were quite nice. Will stay here again while traveling thru Nairobi.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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, October 2, 2013
Thank you for taking time to give us your positive review.

We hope you will choose our services during your future travels to Kenya.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

The hotel is nice and close to the airport but also on the edge of the National Park so it feels very peaceful.
The staff were very helpful, although the check out process was quite slow.
The restaurant was great and had really good indian food!
I was lucky enough to have a room that overlooked the park, I didn't see any animals but it was still a nice scenic view.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 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, October 2, 2013
Thank you for taking time to share your experience.

I am thoroughly pleased to know that your stay was pleasant.

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.
Herriman, Utah
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2013

I stayed there for 5 nights while on a business trip. We requested a hotel car to pick us (5 of us) up from the airport. Due to the fire in the arrivals hall of the airport we cleared customs in a parking garage. The driver was there holding a sign for us with all of our names on it.

We found the staff at the hotel to be friendly and welcoming. The rooms are clean. The bed is a bit on the hard side. My other colleagues found this to be the case as well. I had no issues with service. The food in the restaurants was quite good. The only issue we had was that they were testing out a new internet system so that non staying guests at the hotel would have to pay for internet. It's complimentary for hotel guests. The system barely worked the first day. I believe they gave up the test and went back to the original system for a while.

The travel desk did want to charge $140 USD for a car to make a 1 hour tour to the post office and grocery store. We re-negotiated this to bring it down to $30.

Room Tip: Half of the rooms on the city facing side of the hotel have balconies. Ask for a balcony room.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 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, October 2, 2013
Thank you for taking time to give us your positive feedback.

I am very glad to learn that your stay was pleasant.

On your remark on the mattresses, we are in the process of changing them in the next month. I am sure you will find superior level of amenities during your future travels to Nairobi.

We look forward to welcoming you back.
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Lower Gwynedd, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

Thank you to the entire staff - from security - to bell staff - to check in - to the breakfast staff - everything was fabulous. Our room was clean and comfortable and a welcome after long flights. Look forward to returning in 10 days and then for our final day. Thank you for making us feel safe and at home.

Room Tip: we faced the reserve on the 2nd floor and the room was absolutely fine!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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, October 2, 2013
I thank you for taking time to give us your positive review.

I am very pleased that your stay was pleasant.

We look forward to welcoming you back home.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

The hotel is quite nice and conveniently located near the airport. On the downside, the rooms don't offer all amenities that you would expect like toothpaste and toothbrush. And more importantly, after checking into the hotel; a day later I was stopped by a security guard asking me harshly where I thought I was going and when I explained I was staying there, I was given a blank stare. Then later on that night I got a call from reception saying I needed to identify myself. I took a few minutes in my room to cool down then went to reception and within a minute the person there managed to find a copy of my booking and all over sudden the mood changed.I don't know if this happened because I am Kenyan and maybe they thought only 'Mzungus' can afford to stay there or just mere negligence.Either way, never again. Adios Ole-Sereni!

Room Tip: If you are African, prepare to be accosted as you board the lift to your room
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 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, September 23, 2013
Thank you for taking time to give us your reviews.

I am very shocked by your comments and do sincerely apologise for your experience.

May i please suggest that you give us an opporunity to discuss this over a call or if you could come over to Ole-Sereni.

I would really appreciate if you could revert with your contact details and we will take it up from there.

I look forward to your response.
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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
71 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

We stayed here for one night on our way home (after 2 weeks safari in Kenya and Tanzania) - our TA booked a "standard" room which we did not really look into in any detail. The room was extremely small and overlooked a road construction project but this this was more our fault than the hotel's as we did not check in advance the difference between various rooms - all other hotels/lodges/camps which our TA booked were in the super deluxe category so we did not even bother to double check this booking.

Overall the hotel was great - the common areas seem to be of a higher standard than the actual rooms. The staff were generally very professional - of particular note, we dined at the hotel's fine dining restaurant, Eagles. I must say - the service and food were totally world class - I highly recommend this restaurant. Unfortunately we were both so tied we could not do justice to the superb meal .

The location suited us perfectly - near Wilson and JNB airport. The concierge was also most helpful in tracking down our pre-booked driver and taking care of our luggage. The (included in our rate) breakfast buffet was also very good.

Room Tip: Make sure you book a room facing the national park and not the road construction project. Standard r...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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, September 23, 2013
Thank you for taking time to give us your positive review.

I am very pleased to learn that you found the Eagles experience upto your stisfaction.

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.

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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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Ole - Sereni Hotel, Nairobi Hotel Nairobi

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