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“lovely luxurious experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Nairobi Serena Hotel

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Nairobi Serena Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Kenyatta Avenue/Processional Way | P.O. Box 46302, Nairobi GPO, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 92 hotels in Nairobi
New York City, New York
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“lovely luxurious experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

Cannot say enough lovely things about this hotel - everything about the service was incredible. We ahd a lovely visit. The restaurants had excellent food, the spa was a great place to visit. The woman working in the spa's locker room helped us blowdry our hair, was really kind... our room was well appointed, and very reasonably priced. The shower was great ( though after days on safari, we put it through its paces). Our driver didn't show up as scheduled one day so the doorman arranged for us to be escorted and taken around and returned to the hotel, he negotiated a great price for us.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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449 people have reviewed this hotel

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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)
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Paris, France
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
145 helpful votes 145 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

Outside of South Africa, Africa is certainly not known for good service in hotels. It can be friendly but it's never very professional nor is it efficient.

Such is not the case at the Serena where the staff is not only nice but they are professional and efficient. When somebody tells you now, it means now and not the African next hour! This compliment applies to all departments, so a lot of congratulations to the management as it must not easy to train staff that way on the continent were it's unknown, and where by the way there are no proper hotel diplomas.

In addition the rooms are nice even if somewhat small, nicely furnished, beds are comfortable, bathrooms in perfect working condition and very clean with possibly the best amenities one could dream about; if I had one complaint, a small one, I would say that the TV sets and the quality of reception could both be improved.

I had a couple of small issues, the details being uninteresting here, and I would like to point out that one of the duty managers, a gentleman named Simon Kiberenge, proved to be so efficient and at the same time so extremely courteous that I couldn't believe I was in Africa, I thought I was in Thailand the country of the best hotel service in the world.

As for the food, the buffets be it breakfasts or main meals are very good and nicely presented; I would not be quite as enthusiastic with more sophisticated courses which if nicely presented are too often somewhat tasteless. But service in both restaurants is as usual in this hotel absolutely perfect. Having stayed a few days I had the opportunity to meet one of the F&B managers, David Shitaka, who was also a true professional: what a pleasure for somebody like me always on the road!

As any reader will have understood, I will be a return client.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

The Aksum bar at Nairobi Serena hosts a Whisky and Jazz night every last Thursday of the month. I went for the June do and it was awesome !


The set up was just right, cozy and chilled out with very decent crowd. You have the option of the high bar seats, though they seem to always be full, or lounge chairs which are right next to the make shift stage.


They have lots of Jack Daniels cocktails and shooters on offer and they are fairly priced.


Isaiah Katumwa played on the said night and he was fantastic. He even got people dancing, whichever little space they could find !


Try and get in early if you can, it gets packed and finding seating space maybe a challenge. Kicks off at 7.30pm and wraps up 10pm, though Isaiah was persuaded to play a wee bit longer :-)


If the last Thursday of any given month finds you this side of the Sahara, you know exactly where your evening needs to start :-)

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

We were here for just one night, but it was a very nice hotel. The rooms were comfortable. We got there late, and had to leave for a 8am flight for our safari, so we didnt get to hit up the pool, but I did look at it and it looked nice. The breakfast buffet was amazing, lots of variety, many different juice selections (including mango juice). I had some eggs with smoked salmon, it was really good, along with bacon and toast and waffles and fruit and hash browns... so many options...

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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.
london
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

a lovely, comfortable, expensive hotel. jointly with the fairview the two quietest and most pleasant places to stay in nairobi. but the seafood buffet (once a week, can't recall which evening) is the best thing about the serena. if i had to choose between a humble guesthouse but with enough money to come to the serena for the buffet versus staying at the serena but being denied the buffet, i'd go for the first.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 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
    • 4 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.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

Stayed just one night here before embarking on safari. Good comfortable hotel, if not outstanding. Nice pool and hottest sauna I have ever experienced. Good food. Very pleasant helpful staff which is my experience everywhere in Kenya and Tanzania - some European hotel staff should get some training in East Africa.
We were tired after an overnight flight and never left the hotel during our 24 hour stay, so cannot speak for the convenience of the location for visiting the city. We were able to access our room on arrival at about 10am which is creditable.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

This was our first visit to Nairobi and, as you can imagine, we were sceptical about the expectation of standards. In many places "good" is actually "meh" and even "excellent" can actually mean "meh!".

Based on the Trip advisor Rating of 4/80 for Hotels in Nairobi, we took the plunge and made a telephonic reservation. The reservations desk was very helpful and friendly even though, for the first few seconds, I had difficulty understanding the English Accent. Upon hearing the price, I asked for a discount based on prices I could see online and was pleasantly surprised to have the original quote adjusted to match (closely) the rate that I had seen online. I asked if I could make a tentative booking for 24H whilst I finalised other travel arrangements and was told that this was not a problem. I received an email (requested by me) within minutes of the call. The following day I confirmed my booking. I asked the reservations desk to make a note on my booking that we would be arriving late (after 9pm) and to ensure that our room was not forfeited accordingly.

Upon arrival, the check-in process was very simple and straight forward, I elected to pay for our entire stay in advance in cash. We were shown to our room which was lovely and overlooked the city skyline. This was particularly nice in the morning watching the sunrise behind the city skyline and silhouetted acacia trees.

The room (Deluxe/Standard) was very spacious and comfortable, clean and well maintained. The view over the city gives the impression that you are not in the city whereas you are are right there..

The water pressure in the shower was torrential rain style, totally loved it, could have spent an hour under it if there was enough time ... loved the shower. The bathroom was clean and everything worked. The bathroom was just a bit small (I am somewhat larger than the average person so ... I may be biased here).

There was a super sized safe in the room that (when I took the pre-cast shelves out) I could fit my backpack with laptop and camera into. I love that !!

We never made use of all the facilities, so our assessment is based on the things, places and facilities we did use.

The restaurant was lovely, we had 3 x Buffet breakfast and 1 x Seafood Buffet Dinner in the Mandhari Restaurant. The service and quality was superb and the attention to detail and guests was top notch.

The prices in the curio shop were reasonable and the shop was well stocked with enough variety to make some last minute purchases if required.

What was probably most noticeable was the number of staff (smartly dressed and polite) that appeared to be ready to help around every corner, at the lift, in the foyer ... everywhere. All with a friendly smile and ready to respond to our sketchy attempts at Swahili ... Jumbo Sana, Lala Salaam, Karibo Sana, Asanti Sana ..... Even though the Hotel itself was superb, what I remember most was the friendly staff.

So ... there has to be something wrong right ? ...

If I had to pick one thing, the size of the bathroom could have been bigger. Unfortunately, this is not something that the hotel can just change because of the structural effort that would require. Perhaps if the door was converted to a sliding door then that would provide the extra space. Don't misunderstand me, this was not a showstopper and when I go back to Nairobi, I'll be staying at the Serena again, no doubt!

Leaving was difficult because I would have liked to tip all the staff that took care of us. I don't like to walk around with pockets of cash giving money here and there. It would be nice if there was a way to provide a single amount to the reception and know that this would be distributed to all.

On the whole, our stay was awesome. I was well pleased with our choice and even though the rates are toward our upper limits, I will go back to the Nairobi Serena when we visit Nairobi again.

Room Tip: We loved the City Facing Rooms but did not see any others.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.

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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 92 hotels in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Nairobi Serena Hotel 5*
Reservation Options:
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