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“Tired and shabby. Not worth the money.” 2 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 #4 of 96 hotels in Nairobi
UK
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Tired and shabby. Not worth the money.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2009

Fine if you are stuck in Nairobi for a night for business or a cancelled flight but the whole place feels very shabby and its title as a "Leading Hotel of the World" is just a joke. I am now very wary of any hotel with this award ...

I arrived late to find a lone receptionist trying to check in 15 other people, which took hours. The room they gave me stank so badly of smoke I could hardly breathe (and I am a smoker !), so they moved me to a charming room slap bang on the main road, with a tiny bathroom, a broken television and a broken air conditioning unit.

Eventually got to sleep extremely late and was woken by a knock at 8am, by some buffoon asking if I have any laundry.

This place is fine but it is just not good enough and certainly not worth the money.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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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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
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Baltimore, MD
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2009

Expensive and overated for nothing. I have stayed here at least three times a year for the last 5 years. I am an American citizen with Kenyan background, and its amazing how this hotel treats guest based on appearance. I wonder if they train their receptionists on how to treat people based on appeaance. This place has an obsession for 'tourists'. My company keeps booking me here because of company policy, but if I had a choice. .. The rooms are like what you would find at a motel 8, dark creepy corridors, mold and mildew in showers. and you pay oer $300 per night.

There is nothing to look forward to staying in this place, if you have a choice, Just stay away from this rat hole.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Harris-Kenya, Manager at Nairobi Serena Hotel, responded to this review, December 23, 2009
Reference is made to the review of Nairobi Serena Hotel by TA member (MD Baltimore)

Whilst we do not claim that our standard bedrooms are large, the size at 25.2 sq mtrs is not considered unreasonable. The comment on corridors being “dark and creepy” is the first such complaint we have received in over thirty years of the Hotel’s existence. The width is 1.5 metres and the corridors are well lit 24 hours a day and we feel the comment is unfair.

We are disappointed that the writer felt he was treated poorly due to his appearance and that tourists get preferential treatment.76% of our business is from the corporate market segment from all over the world and our guest feedback system consistently confirms a positive rating of staff for their friendly and caring service.

It is unfortunate that the TA member has not registered a complaint during his regular stays at the hotel and in the event a complaint was made, we would welcome details to enable Management take immediate remedial measures.

We apologize for not meeting the client’s expectations and would welcome contact with the client to ensure a pleasant stay on his/her next visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Avignon, France
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2009

i travel on a regular basis for business and pleasure to africa/ ao kenya and consider the nairobi serena one of the best , if not the best choices in nairobi, kampala
the reception of the guests, recognition they know you by name almost immediately, the overall quality is in accordance with its: label leading hotels of the world ( notably they are all different in setup, size, location, and vary on the high end in quality-level a bid)
the all african staff on all levels show great professionalism..
the f&b choice is the best in nairobi they constantly try to improve, train the staff by international know chefs, from france, switzerland etc they send their staff for training in other top hotels world wide. considering the fact that not all 'european' foodstuffs are always available, some of them are imported under heavy burocratic burdens..the real taste and saveur of the local products are greatly utilised and highlighted by the competent chefs.
the location of the hotel is central nairobi 30/50min from both the international and local airports, by comfortable limo service, with fantastic drivers..
the small park and pool areas are well maintained, the gym and renovated spa indulge you after a days work, safari, or long trip...
the rooms are very clean, comfortably decorated with all amnities free wifi, the bath room is a bid small, but well provided.
the beds are on the hard side, acceptable, but need to be improved with a next overhaul
for all this reasons many local and international known personalities visit this beautifull african decorated hotel on a regular basis , great change you run into a minister, president or princess that discreetly dine and wine...

concluding i can highly recommend this hotel to the demanding traveller for their next short or longer stay in nairobi
also before a safari to the bush this is an excellent start...
enjoy it
henricus deiters

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Washington DC
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2009

If you need to be downtown, then Serena is a good place to be. The rooms are comfortable, there is a nice bar and restauarant, a sports club, business center, and a good pool. Service is generally very good. There are lots of taxis, but i dont reccomend using the hotel service to book safaris. You can line up a safari with a private driver for twenty percent of what you would pay at the hotel. All in all, was quite happy with my stay.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2009

We arrived at the hotel and were offered complimentary beer, wine, coffee or tea served in our room. The pool and health centre are lovely and the atomosphere is great. Lively and vibrant. Penhaligan bath products are supplied. The only let down was check out We had pre paid and checked out at reception asking reception to provide a taxi. We headed for the airport and our driver took a phone call. He said we must return back to the hotel as there is a problem. He asked us not to panic. At the hotel we were taken back to reception and told we had not paid our bill. This was incorrect. We argued for half an hour and told staff we would miss our flight. We were held hostage and hold released on handing over our credit card and paying twice for the accommodaiton. We hope that our money will be repaid by the serena as our agent has told us that Serena got it wrong.

We would stay here again but check and double check that everything is in order before leaving the UK

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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London
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2009

We had one night in Nairobi before we headed out on safari. I have to say I don't really know how this hotel deserves the title "One of the World's Leading Hotels". Whilst it's not bad it's not great either. The Serena lodges we stayed at on safari were fantastic but I felt this was not in their league. The room was smaller than I expected and the bathroom was very pokey. I also felt the service was much less friendly than at the other places - maybe this is all you can expect for a hotel in the middle of a city. The food was ok but again nothing to rave about. One positive though - I did enjoy the steam room and jacuzzi and it was nice to have the pool too

  • Stayed October 2009
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Burton upon Trent, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2009

We had one night in the Serena but wished we had stayed longer. We had a large room that was spotlessly clean. The staff were all very friendly and efficient. We ate in the restaurant where there was a buffet and an a la carte menu which was all very nice. Would definitely recommend this hotel and would not hesitate to return. Nairobi is a lovely place which needs more than 1 day to explore.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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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Additional Information about Nairobi Serena Hotel

Address: Kenyatta Avenue/Processional Way | P.O. Box 46302, Nairobi GPO, Kenya
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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 96 hotels in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Nairobi Serena Hotel 5*
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