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“An Africa experience, in a comfortable, welcoming place” 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 #4 of 100 hotels in Nairobi
London
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“An Africa experience, in a comfortable, welcoming place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2011

Unlike so many hotels where you feel like you could be anywhere in the world, the Serena feels like Africa but in an unpretentious, non-touristy way. It is THE hotel for business networking but also has a lovely pool, lush, tropical gardens and lovely eating and drinking space by the pool. Staff are incredibly friendly and now all know my name, I stay there so often. It is becoming my second home in Africa. They just need to speed up the service in the restaurants but otherwise, a very charming, warm, welcoming, comfortable place that makes you feel like you are in Africa.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2011

Had a week of business in Nairobi and the hotel exceeded all expectations. Friendly efficient staff and fantastic rooms,complimented by two great restaurants make for a fantastic stay.

I'd come here again any day.

  • Stayed February 2011
    • 4 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.
Aberdeen, Scotland
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2011

Concerned to see other reviews about thefts from safe. We stayed overnight here after a late night flight. We were upgraded to a very smart suite (the room they took us to originally wasn't ready for us). Breakfast was very good.
Seemed to be very security conscious with checks on vehicles on arrival and security patrolling the floors.
Service was good and the staff friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed February 2011, 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
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Nairobi, Kenya
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2011

I'm really disappointed to say that what started out as a real treat turned into a very unhappy situation. We stayed in the Serena for just one night and money was stolen out of the safe in our room, one of those ones where you put your own pin in. I now see that sadly other travellers have had the same experience. The staff seemed helpful at first but then I realised they did not look even remotely surprised. Later they admitted they had a machine on the premises that could read the last 400 entries typed into the safe!

I live in Kenya and unfortunately corruption is very common, including amongst security staff. What normally happens is they blame the person who cleans the room, even though the cleaner clearly would not have the means to break into a locked safe, which more senior staff do. If you are already booked into this hotel just be very careful.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Loughton, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2011

In the interests of giving a fair review, I will start with the positives.

The rooms are nicely laid out, the bathrooms are extremely pleasant, with extremely good showers, and breakfast was a real treat - a wider selection you could not hope for. The bed was comfortable.

Unfortunately all of these positives were put into the shade due to a theft from my room that I was sharing with my fiance. We went out for about 6 hours, having been in the hotel for a few hours after our flight. We left cameras, MP4 players, and our money in the safe in the room. Having been the victims of a burglary in the UK weeks earlier, we were extra careful to ensure that the safe was locked.

We came back to the room to find the safe wide open. Everything seemed to be there, until we counted the cash in our wallets. We each had $200 US prior to going out, and now we each had $160. Someone clearly hoping we would not miss a slice of the money.

We reported this to the 'security' team at the hotel. Not overly interested, not overly surprised either. They informed us that the electronic safe had not been locked when we left the room (they interrogated it apparently), this was not true. We could not prove we locked it obviously, so we continued on the tack that regardless, the money had been taken from our room by a member of staff. They performed an 'investigation', and said that they could not prove it was a member of their staff (as if the person concerned would leave their prints all over the safe?!), and so they were not liable. The inherent implication would be that the story was made up by us. We called the police, and they were more helpful, but it seems they could not see beyond the fact that the safe was 'unlocked' when we left the room.

We would have left happier if the hotel had agreed the money was taken, and that they would refund what (to them) would be a drop in the ocean. They could then have performed their internal investigation to nab the culprit, but I would have left in the same financial situation I arrived in. Thefts happen, but what prompted this review was what followed.

It is hard to say where the fault lies here, but we know that the safe was locked, and I am sure that only a handful of people at a senior level in the hotel could over-ride the lock system (for guests who forgot their password for example). This is worrying, and may provide some indication as to why our complaint was dealt with so poorly by management. Unfortunately given my certainty that the safe was left locked, this reflects my view of what happened.

So, all in all, a nice hotel on the face of it, but if you are going to stay, keep your belongings with you at all times. In future I know I will only use a safe at hotel if it is at the reception, and I can get a receipt for everything I put in there - I do not trust those provided in rooms.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2011

Paying a large sum of money to stay at a good hotel is one thing. Being charged three times for the privilege is another.

I stayed at the Serena Nairobi for four days in August 2010, en route to Juba. A few days after leaving the Serena I noted from my bank that my payment had been put through twice. When I pointed this out to the hotel I was refunded one of the transactions with an apology, but not the transaction costs. Almost six months later, I discovered today that the payment from August was put through my account AGAIN!

Is this incompetence to be expected from one of the "Leading Hotels of the World"?

Stayed August 2010, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2011

My husband and I spent the first and last nights in Kenya here. We arrived at the same time as the prime minister, and were treated the same. Staff were really friendly, and on arrival we were offered either a fruit cocktail or a beer, to be brought to our room. Although these arrived about two hours later.

Our room was a little dated, but the bed was huge and very comfortable. The bathroom was pretty small, but with some luxurious Penhaligons products. There was a lot of information and advice on the area in the room. My only issue with the room was the fact that the AC was a bit noisy. I prefer to turn this off and open a window if possible, but there are mosquitoes and the noise of traffic would probably have prevailed. I did think that the room smelt a little stale - my only criticism.

We felt very secure here, there were lots of security staff who were in no way intimidating, but nevertheless their presence was reassuring.

After a long flight, arriving late afternoon, we chose to eat at the hotel restaurant rather than brave Nairobi. We pushed the boat out, eating a la carte in the upstairs restaurant overlooking the pool. Whilst it wasn't cheap, the food was fantastic. The service was really good.

We had an early start the following morning, being collected for our safari at 6.30am. We had a great night's sleep, waking up refreshed and raring to go. We were surprised that we were able to have breakfast that early - it opened at 6.30am, but we were welcomed in at 6am. The breakfast was great - a huge buffet with around six choices of fresh fruit juice, and a choice of freshly cooked eggs, pancakes, waffles etc.

On our return from the safari we were welcomed back as if old friends. We were pretty shattered after a week of off-roading and fresh air, so spent the afternoon lazing by the pool. I had picked up a stomach bug on safari, so we didn't indulge in the a la carte again, instead eating in the less formal pool restraurant. This was just as good, with plenty of choice.

I travel a great deal on business, although not yet to East Africa. I would however recommend this hotel to colleagues staying here as I felt very safe and it had a professional feeling. I would have felt comfortable meeting with agents here. There did not appear to be anything "in your face". I did not use the business centre or internet here so cannot comment in this aspect.

I would wholeheartedly recommend the Serena Nairobi. It is comfortable, luxurious, with great food and the staff are very good.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
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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 100 hotels in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Nairobi Serena Hotel 5*
Reservation Options:
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