On our way to our safari expedition at Governor’s camp in the Masai Mara in Kenya, Kuoni our travel agents advised that we should stay one night in Nairobi to rest prior to our journey onwards. They booked the Nairobi Serena Hotel. I was very dubious and skeptical about what the hotel in Kenya (a third world country) would be like. Questions in my mind were, would the water be safe? Is there bottled water? Would the rooms and bathrooms be clean? Would the sheets be clean to the level we are used to in five star hotels in the West? Boy was I a fool.
We got to the hotel by about 8 am having come off a very tiring 9 hour flight from Heathrow to Nairobi. A minibus from the “Private Safaris” – part of Kuoni. picked us up and took us to the hotel. As we were there early, we were taken to the lounge in the hotel by the Kuoni rep who very quickly arranged for us to be taken to our rooms as soon as they were made ready. During our wait for the rooms, my wife and I decided to search for breakfast which was taking place in the Maghreb Restaurant by the pool side. Breakfast was a very nice affair, with fruit, fresh pancakes made by a chef in front of you, eggs and anything else you would expect. Breakfast cost about £15.00 each as we hadn’t yet checked in and stayed a night. By the time we had eaten our fill we were told our rooms were ready and we went straight up, not forgetting to tip the porter who took our luggage.
The room was amazing, exceptionally clean. The bed was huge and very comfortable and we had a beautiful marble bathroom with Penhaligon toiletries. Waking up refreshed, my wife and decided to try out the Serena Maisha Spa which in my opinion was excellent, from the cold sugary tea at the start to the excellent 90 minute full body massage I received from Esther was much better than any I have received all over the world. During the evening my wife and I chose to dine in the fine dining restaurant at the hotel called the Mandhari restaurant. It was indeed a lavish affair. Sitting here you would never ever know your were in the middle of a third world country. The restaurant’s main head chef is celebrity chef Edouard Loubet and he has two Michelin stars. The food was excellent and being muslims we were grateful to learn that all meat served in the hotel is halal.
All in all our stay was so good we decided to stay an extra two nights at the end of our safari and beach trip. So we returned! This time another excellent room, an upgrade to an executive room which was bigger and had fresh fruit in the room also. We again returned to the Spa and also tried out the food at the pool bar, my chicken pie was lovely. By the pool side there is also a dessert café which is not well advertised but a must to try!!
I cannot recommend this hotel highly enough. I was treated like a member of the family and in a large hotel, that is what I called World Class Service! Well Done Serena Nairobi!
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