We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Ok but not hugely memorable” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Nairobi Serena Hotel

Save Saved
You added Nairobi Serena Hotel to your Saves list
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Booking.com Hotels.com
and 8 more sites!
Nairobi Serena Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Kenyatta Avenue/Processional Way | P.O. Box 46302, Nairobi GPO, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 93 hotels in Nairobi
London
Top Contributor
137 reviews 137 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Ok but not hugely memorable”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2013

I think this hotel probably is at a pointtht it need an uplift. The grounds and food were very nice and the bar area is comfortable. The room was just ok, no wow to it and the bathroom was the smallest I have been in for some time. It's clean and functional but I didn't get a sense of luxury to it.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Write a Review

449 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    241
    163
    30
    8
    7
See reviews for
55
141
37
153
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (79)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Lagos
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

I wrote this piece about my experience in Nairobi Serena Hotel. It was published in Punch Newspapers, Nigeria (see See http://www.punchng.com/i-punch/what-makes-a-brand-social2/). It summarizes my experience and thoughts about the hotel. Here is the article in full below.

What Can Go Wrong May Go Wrong

''We are glad that we were able to meet your expectations during your recent stay with us. We however note that your wake up call and missed airport transfer did not meet your expectations, this is being addressed and we hope we can be of help during your next visit'.
- an excerpt from an email sent to me in December 2011 by Daniel Kangu, General Manager, Nairobi Serena Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya.

Here is an account of the series of events that triggered this email.

In December 2011 I planned to attend Convergence Africa, a conference for entrepreneurs, investors and policy-makers in Africa. Nairobi, Kenya was the host city. I went to popular travel review web portal, TripAdvisor.com to decide which hotel to stay. Nairobi Serena Hotel had an 87.9% approval rating from travelers. This 5 star hotel looked grand, imperial, and seemed service friendly…just the kind of place I needed. I made an online booking for a room and airport transfer service on the hotel’s aesthetic, easy to use website. I immediately received an email stating, 'Dear Dr Anderson, transfer has been confirmed. Our driver will have a Nairobi Serena Paging Board bearing your names at the international arrival exit'. I couldn’t wait to get to Nairobi.

We arrived Jomo Kenyatta Airport about 2am one cold morning in December 2011. I waited for over 35 minutes for the driver at the designated point. I eventually left for the hotel in one of the airport taxis. This was service failure number one. I thought to myself, 'what can go wrong may go wrong'.

I got to the hotel about 4am tired and disappointed. The front desk officer apologised for the mix up and I decided to let things be. My immediate challenge was to catch some sleep before the conference opened at 8am. I requested to be woken up at 6am.

The room was grander than I had imagined but at that point it was the least of my considerations. I was soon fast asleep. I woke up abruptly at 7am - obviously the front desk officers had failed to wake me up. This was service failure number two – a real nightmare. It was another vivid reminder that 'what can go wrong may go wrong'.

There was no time to waste. I hurriedly had my bath, jumped into my clothes and raced downstairs. I didn't fly thousands of miles to miss this headline event.
Since I was leaving the hotel immediately, I would have to miss the complimentary buffet breakfast I was entitled to. This was service failure number three! Indeed what can go wrong had gone wrong!

I approached the front desk with steely determination. Co-incidentally I teach brand leadership in marketing, sales and customer experience management in some postgraduate schools. ‘Nairobi Serena Hotel was not going to get off lightly. They had promised but 3 times out of 3 instances they had under delivered’.

It’s Never Too Late to Start Afresh

A senior officer on duty rushed towards me apologizing effusively. I was offered a complementary return drop to and from the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC), the venue of the conference. On the bus, I was given a hot cup of rich Kenyan tea and that day's newspaper. The driver was apologetic, empathetic and genuinely helpful. I soon warmed up to him.

The conference went very well.

I got back that night to find an envelope on my bed. It was a letter of apology from the hotel addressed to me. The letter chronicled the 3 instances they had let me down. I was offered a complimentary airport drop off and a complimentary buffet lunch or dinner. The letter came across as honest, heartfelt and most importantly it had executive support. The hotel’s Deputy General Manager signed the letter. What more could I have asked for? In an environment where organisations are long on talk about service delivery but short on execution, this was personalised service recovery in action. I was now an advocate for life.

For the rest of my stay it seemed to me that I got a little more attention from the hotel staff than the average guest. There were no more 'incidents' and I experienced the joys of staying in a 5 star hotel. At the end of my trip, I was sad to leave. Nairobi Serena Hotel had become a home away from home.

Lessons from Nairobi Serena Hotel

Here are some unforgettable lessons:
· Even the best brands sometimes get it wrong. Since what can go wrong may go wrong, don't wish off bad service. Rather plan for service recovery. Find one reason to make it happen for the customer and don’t give another excuse why it can’t and won’t happen.
· Leaders lead service recovery from the front - with credibility, sincerity of purpose and commitment.
· Nairobi Serena Hotel created a system whereby service recovery was everyone’s business. People were not afraid to report their service failures to their superiors. Employees were also empowered to win back the customer. After the incidents, employees were told to be extra nice to me and they were! Letting your people fail forward is a great approach to service recovery!



Closing Thoughts

I continue to share this experience in my classes and in avenues like this. Many times we neglect the customers we already have for the ones we desire. It is not too late to win back your disgruntled and passive customers. Don’t let them take their frustrations with your brand to social media. As a social brand, Nairobi Serena sure has a thing or two to teach us. Service recovery starts with making a plan for 'what can go wrong ' and following through with such a plan when things go wrong.

Follow this advice and thank me later.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 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
    • 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.
Dar es Salam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

Really enjoyed my stay, the hotel is old but very well kept. The rooms are very comfortable and well maintained. Beutiful green gardens surround the property. A good variety to choose from for breakfast too. The staff are very professional and courteous.

Room Tip: Choose a garden view room
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 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
    • 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.
Tripoli, Lebanon
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

We spent one night in this hotel in our way to Amboseli. It is obvious that this hotel had a glorious past.
It definitely needs renovation. Yet everything else is good. The staff are very friendly. Buffet breakfast and Buffet dinner were great...
Room space is average. Yet we had a nice garden view from our room ..

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Galway
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013 via mobile

Treated so well during my business trip stay at this hotel. Lovely, efficient and friendly staff. Daily newspaper was pushed through my room every morning, buffet breakfast was unreal as was evening meal in restaurant. I never had to ask for anything during my stay because the hotel staff went out of their way. Really looking forward to staying here again on my next trip to Nairobi.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Arusha, Tanzania
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

Nairobi Serena is a fantastic hotel for the business traveller. I stayed here from 22nd to 24th April and this was my third stay. The staff will always make you feel welcomed and at home. It is an excellent venue for business meetings both formal and informal not forgetting the cuisine. The location is great as you can walk or take a cab into town.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 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.
Paro, Bhutan
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

Had a business meeting here and was very pleased. Room was nice. Business dinner upstairs on outside balcony was excellent. Meeting facilities were good. Only slight disappointment was lunch at the buffet which was average.

Grounds are very nice. A breadth of tranquility in Nairobi

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.

Been to Nairobi Serena Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Nairobi Serena Hotel

Address: Kenyatta Avenue/Processional Way | P.O. Box 46302, Nairobi GPO, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Nairobi
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 93 hotels in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Nairobi Serena Hotel 5*
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Orbitz, Venere, HotelTravel.com, Travelocity, Asiatravel.com Holdings, Otel and Agoda so you can book your Nairobi Serena Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Nairobi Serena Hotel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.