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“A Welcome like No Other” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Zanzibar Serena Hotel

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Zanzibar Serena Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Kelele Square, Stone Town, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 31 Hotels in Stone Town
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“A Welcome like No Other”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

I have not seen such friendly and jolly service in a long while and it was great to be at Serena Zanzibar. Right from the airport pick-up through to the front desk, great customer service with a genuine smile.

The hotel is located right in the center of stone town within easy walking distance to major attractions , the open market place at Forodhani, house of wonders , museum and government offices. It is refreshing to be in a town where security is not an issue and one can walk around into the night without fear. The locals are extremely friendly and chatty as you walk around, if lost just turn to the person around the corner and they will give you directions.

The hotel is a refurbished building giving it that great traditional feel you want to enjoy in Stone town, Zanzibar (a world heritage site) but also modern comfort provided. Room was clean with complimentary water bottles provided. Most rooms have a sea view. The hotel is on the ocean edge , though without a beach as such as the tide comes in quite close. still possible to walk along the beach at low tide. They offer free transfers to a private beach about 30 minutes away.

Only con was the expensive transfer from the airport at 40 USD for a very short distance.
Otherwise great hotel, great food and great people.

Definitely looking forward to visit again and hopefully soon.

Room Tip: Room Choice – Request a room with both sea view as well as pool view.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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449 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    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 (117)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

There's nothing wrong with this hotel. Rooms were very pleasant and as honeymooners we received a few bottle of wine which was lovely. The only grumble I had was the service. We spent our last day in Zanzibar here before flying home. For the last week we had been used to excellent service and so perhaps my expectations were too high. Upon arrival the reception staff couldn't find our reservation. This was quickly sorted but they promised our room would be ready within 5 minutes. They took us to the bar to wait. 30 minutes later we were still sitting there and no one had come to apologise or see us. My husband went to check and was promised again it would only be another 5 mins. 15 minutes later we finally got into our room. I appreciate that they might not have been expecting us but keeping us waiting 45 mins with no apology isn't good. Compared to other serena hotels which we stayed at during our safari in Tanzania I would say this one is average and doesn't live up to its 5 star rating.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012 via mobile

I spent three nights at the Serena Inn, Zanzibar....... The hotel gives its guests real professionalism and I must say everything was just perfect.The room service was just good. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR VISITORS TO STONETOWN.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 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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Christchurch, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

I will start by saying I believe we may have had the best room in the Hotel - Room 51.
Serena Inn is located right in stone town, walking distance to all that stone town has to offer, markets, beach, restuarants. The Hotel itself has old world charm and the architecture is exactly what we imagined stone town to be like. Our room was an absolute delight, a large 4 poster bed with mosquito net, nice bathroom, an L shaped balcony which provided 2 seperate otdoor seating areas, one with a hammock which I lived in! The view from the balcony was over the sea and the pool area, we sat out and with so many small boats going past we never tired of the view. The pool was a relaxing, quiet oasis. Breakfast was OK, but included in the price, for other meals we ate out, found a great little cafe/restuarant right by Memories of Zanzibar that I would love to review but can't remember the name of it, but we ate there 3 times it was so good.
Cons : Bed hard (but we found it the same all over Eastern Africa)
You must climb stairs to get to upper floors and a bit of a maze, but worth it to have the
room we had.

Room Tip: Room 51 - the best in the Hotel.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

A beautiful hotel, it's like stepping into a paradise of days gone by. Lovely attention to detail and some of the friendliest hotel staff I've ever met and I've been to a good few. Excellent choice for what ever you want!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 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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Risor, Norway
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

Zanzibar Serena Inn combines a fine athmosphere and pleasant service. The hotel staff is very service minded and we enjoyed our stay thoroughly. Restaurants OK - not remarkable, but with OK choice. Go for the seafood. We will be back!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Istanbul, Turkey
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

Hotel is at the heart of Stone Town.Walking distance to authentic narrow streets of the Town and near to the sea; good for taking fisherman and local sail boats' pictures. Hotel belong to Aga Han foundation, quite clean, friendly services. Stayed 1 night only before departing to a nearby island.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Address: Kelele Square, Stone Town, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar > Stone Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Stone Town
#4 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
#4 Spa Hotel in Stone Town
#6 Business Hotel in Stone Town
#6 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
#9 Family Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Zanzibar Serena Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 51
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Also Known As:
Zanzibar Serena Hotel Stone Town
Zanzibar Serena Stone Town

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