A group of 4 of us visited the Polana Hotel in March for a very close friend's 40th which coincided with my birthday too. We had a ball! We were upgraded as a birthday present and welcomed with a song from the staff and a delicious personalised birthday cake...
The renovation is beautiful and grand... peeked into the Ballroom and thought it was spectacular. My friends commented that they missed the huge palm trees that surrounded the pool area as they gave wonderful shade (pool umbrellas never cool properly in my opinion). Not having been to the Polana before, I couldn't comment. The pool area is lovely as it is now and we spent the majority of our time there sipping cocktails (excellent ones!)
The breakfasts were very good and extensive. We had dinner one night in the hotel which we thought was a bit pricey, but good. Staff could do with a little more training, in keeping with a five star property, but I understand that this is difficult when the majority don't speak English. Unfortunately, our friend's bar fridge didn't work for the entirety of our stay, even after numerous attempts to get it fixed. On that note, however, I highly commend the guest liaison gentleman (writing this review so belatedly, I have forgotten his name). He is an absolute credit to the hotel and should be hung onto!
Maputo seems to be on an upswing, we took a walk and passed lovely little gelato shops, eateries and boutiques as well as the mandatory sidewalk sellers. We felt perfectly safe, even walking at night. We also visited the Yacht Club for dinner and were very impressed. Fabulous food and service at very good prices. Just to note, that we were recommended to the Ice Bar, next door to 'Coconuts' - they only open at 23:00, sometimes 23:30 and dress is ubersmart! Don't bother unless you're wearing designer wear and killer heels.
All in all, a wonderful weekend away and we'll definitely return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The “Grand Dame” of Africa, as the Polana Serena Hotel is widely known, is a must-see historical landmark when talking about the city of Maputo. The elegance and splendour of its façade are the living memory of bygone colonial times; its luxurious interiors whisper stories of the many generations who spent nights protected by the hotel’s majestic walls, kings and queens, ambassadors and presidents, princesses and common travellers; its gardens, perfect and romantic lookouts offer a breathtaking view over the Indian Ocean.Built in 1922 in the heart of Maputo, one of the most exclusive residential areas, the Polana Serena Hotel belongs to the elite of the most famous hotels in the world. The splendor of its colonial lines blend tradition and art, making your stay an unforgettable journey through the past, looking to the future. Faithfull to the Serena Group philosophy of integrating architecture with cultural heritage, the Polana Serena Hotel offers a mix of elegance, grandeur and ethnicity, in a space equipped with the most modern solutions, luxurious facilities and excellent service. ... more less
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