I had some reservations about the Ole Sereni after reading some of the reviews – I needn't have worried.
We were traveling to Kisumu and needed a place to stay in Nairobi that was convenient to the airport given the seemingly never ending traffic jams in Nairobi during peak hours. The Ole Sereni fitted the bill perfectly.
This hotel is located on the outskirts of Nairobi on the airport side yet far enough away not to be disturbed by aircraft noise. It also has the added benefit of overlooking part of the Nairobi National Park.
On arrival our check in was handled smoothly, we were given a welcome drink and in no time were shown to our room which was a welcome sight after more than 12 hours of traveling.
The room was clean, well furnished with a decent size bathroom, effective air-conditioning, a mini bar, TV, complementary water, a good selection of toiletries and reliable wifi.
Having said everything was handled smoothly at reception on check, I later discovered that our stay was on a room only basis despite having booked and paid for bed and breakfast.
I returned to reception to raise the matter and was told our booking was definitely room only. I asked them to recheck which the person did, this time with another member of staff who gave the same response. At this stage I was becoming a little frustrated and pointed out that I had been traveling for more than 12 hours, was tired and could do without the bewilderment of the reception staff particularly as I was able to show them a printed copy of my reservation which clearly showed bed and breakfast. To my astonishment a 3rd member of staff had now become involved who after some head scratching accepted that our reservation included breakfast.
I specifically asked that my details be amended and that a note be made on the system/message book to ensure no embarrassment was caused on check out the following day. Imagine then my surprise when I was given a bill for the breakfast we had just enjoyed!
Once again a lengthy debate ensued and the now expected referral (passing the buck) up the chain of command followed before I became annoyed and pointed out that I had gone through the whole process the night before and had been assured that their error had been corrected. I also pointed out that I had a plane to catch and should I miss it through their incompetence I would book an alternative flight at their expense. This seemed to do the trick.
Breakfast itself was superb with a huge choice of cereal, pastries, juices, eggs, omelets, fruits and even an Indian section. Although beware of the lattes and cappuccinos offered by the staff – they are classed as extras!
One other word of caution, we were allocated a room at the front of the hotel and noticed that construction work started around 7am. When I investigated further I found out that the authorities were building a new road and junction system which will literally come within feet of the boundary fence when complete. His will inevitably bring with it massive noise and dust/fume problems especially as the road is being designed with the main intention of diverting lorries and buses etc away from the main road into Nairobi. Work should be completed within 12 months but I would check before booking and always request rooms on the Park (rear) side of the hotel.
- 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