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“Still one of my very favorite hotels anywhere” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Nairobi Serena Hotel

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Nairobi Serena Hotel
Ranked #3 of 156 Hotels in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence
Northern California
Level Contributor
58 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“Still one of my very favorite hotels anywhere”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

I had a couple of nights at the Serena last month. The service remains impeccable. The buffet breakfasts are to die for. I love the bar for afternoon tea, a great selection of South African white wines by the glass or a late night single malt. One evening, I was having drinks with two Kenyan friends. The bar was full. One of my friends commented, "There's Raila Odinga (the current prime minister of Kenya and perhaps the next president)." What interested me was that only a total of 4 people in the entire bar got up to speak with him (and I would say that a majority of the people in the bar were Africans). People comment that the hotel needs a re-do. Yes, it is the same as it was when I last stayed there, 3 years ago. And yes, it is not "modern" or trendy in decor (vs. traditional African). But I have nothing at all negative to say about the Serena except that it is expensive, yet a great treat for me every time I stay there.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JP&mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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789 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (148)
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Cardiff, Wales
Level Contributor
51 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

This may not be the most modern of hotels around but i rate it above the cutting-edge places i often stay in in the Far East due to its traditional decor and traditional manners. Lovely staff whose smiles light up your day. Everyone takes the time to be polite to you and when travelling on business this makes such a difference to your day. I was also impressed by the facilities, especially the wifi which was available throughout the hotel, including in the rooms so i was able to use my laptop, iphone and ipad very easily. The only thing i missed was a nearby shop where i could stock up on cheap snacks and drinks, so i had to resort to room or restaurant service at all times. But that's not the end of the world!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sarah_Watts-Peters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kampala, Uganda
Level Contributor
322 reviews
163 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 247 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

A recent stay, for albeit only a few hours, once again gave me the opportunity to sample the Nairobi Serena Hotel. On arrival - a new passport being presented, the reception staff, shortly after midnight, was alert enough to spot this and changed my records right away as the pre-printed registration form still showed my 'old' passport number.
Travelling light this time I left the standing by hotel porter to resume other duties and went to my room, to find the bed turned down, a flower arrangement on the table and besides the fruit basket a bottle of fine red wine with a welcome note by Daniel Kangu who is the General Manager of the hotel.
The hotel knew that I would be leaving a few hours later to resume my travel across the region and still had done the full monty.
Time flew, as i worked on reports for most of the few hours before heading for breakfast. Supposed to start at 06.30 the buffet was all set shortly after 6 already and I found all the regular goodies like smoked salmon, a full cheese board, cold cuts and a wide range of buns and bread, something for everyone's taste for sure. Compliments here to the chefs for keeping up standards AND presentation and to the morning shift at the Maghreb Restaurant, all of whom were cheerful and when they learned of my imminent departure, served my tea at double speed. 5 stars all the way again and already looking forward to my next return, which MUST be longer to sample the Spa, the gardens and most important, the fine dining experience the hotel offers for dinner.

Room Tip: I still settle for the Garden Suites any time I can have one, though they are in serious demand of c...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 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
Helpful?
1 Thank Safariafficionado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

Clearly Nairobi Serena Hotel is in a great location, gardens / landscapes are just beautiful, staff are just amazingly welcoming, smiling, friendly yet professional which made our stay very good. However this old lady is in need of a serious revamp... everything there is old fashioned and one can see that time has past. Honestly the entire facility, from lobby, to bar/restaurant, and rooms need a facelift and I not convinced that it merits the Luxury Hotel of the World rating. We have stayed at Kampala Serena in Uganda prior to our stay in Nairobi and one cannot compare the two hotels ie there is literally a century in between the two, Nairobi Serena being the one stuck in the past! In this context, paying USD 300+ for a standard room, is, in our view, clearly overprice. Elsewhere, with such rates, one can stay in the most modern yet warm 5 star hotels (eg Mandarin hotels). In a nutshell, if you fancy old fashion, and someone else is paying for your stay, then you will definitely find this hotel charming.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RainbowNomads
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
59 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

We spent just a few hours there between our flights from Kilimanjaro and back home from Nairobi.
It was a nice surprise for us, this hotel was provided by our safari agent Diwaka Safaris as a perfect ending to our Kenya-Tanzania safari

We arrived at the hotel about 22-00 and faced a real 5-star treatment, though we were dusty and tired after 5 hours drive from NgoroNroro to Kilimanjaro and flight to Nairobi and a farewell dinner at Carnivore, also kindly arranged by Diwaka Safaris

Service is faultless, everyone thoughtful and helpful, even proactive. We had to leave early in the morning to catch our flight home. Reception was kind enough to remind us to order an early room service breakfast, place our wake-up call at two o' clock in morning etc. Seems normal for 5-start hotel -we just did not expect to find it in Kenya, don't know why.

spacious rooms, impeccable bathroom ( a bathroom after all this showers in lodges!!!), posh bath towels and amenities, comfy bed. Pity it was just for a few hours, but gave us enough energy to survive through a ling way home.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AllaMoscow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

We have been visiting Nairobi for 13 years and whole heartedly believe that Nairobi Serena is the best place to stay in the city.
Hotel is spotless and staff go out of their way to help. Rooms are great and beds comfortable. All food is good and varied, but breakfasts are superb.
Pool area is gorgeous and again spotless.
Service from all is good and security thorough.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ruth o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

I stayed here on business after a recommendation. I found all the staff very welcoming and helpful, check-in was quick. I arrived late and ordered room service which arrived promptly. It is in a great location for meetings as it close to the business district. I thought the selection and quality of the food was good. My room was quiet with a nice view of the park. Bar has a nice atmosphere and is reasonably priced. Also showing numerous live sporting events.

I also used the laundry service for a semi-emergency after I ripped the button from my suit jacket half an hour before I was due to leave for a meeting. The member of staff dispatched to help came for my jacket and returned it within 15 minutes, making a fantastic job of re-attaching it.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank James C
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

Property: Nairobi Serena Hotel
Address: Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi, 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 #3 of 156 Hotels in Nairobi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Nairobi Serena Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 183
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Justly famed for its exceptional standards of efficiency, service and five-star hospitality, the elegantly sophisticated Nairobi Serena Hotel is a member of the 'Leading Hotels of the World'. Despite its pivotal central hotel location in Nairobi, Kenya, the Nairobi Serena remains true to its title and offers an oasis of serenity amidst the bustle of one of Africa's most vibrant capital cities. Offering a wide range of dining experiences, The Nairobi Serena is also renowned for its 'Mandhari' fine-dining restaurant, which is universally acknowledged as one of Kenya's finest. ... more   less 
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