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“Sanctuary in the City” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Nairobi Serena Hotel

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Nairobi Serena Hotel
Ranked #3 of 161 Hotels in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence
USA
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Sanctuary in the City”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2014

If a hotel can be romantic, this is it. Lovely lobby, bar and library area. Public spaces are beautifully decorated with artifacts from all over Africa. The garden is lush, with the most fantastic cricket and frogs sounds after dusk (except smoking is allowed there, and it carries to the pool dining area). BEAUTIFUL, well maintained pool and spa. The hotel service is quite good, and the staff very thoughtful and accomodating. The food and dinner service in the main dining room, the Maghreb, is decent but overpriced given that it is neither inspired nor interesting (particularly if you are vegetarian or vegan), excepting breakfast which is consistently good. The gym is small but well equipped with a reasonable selection of cardio, weights and machines. Spin and other classes, though few at night. All the rooms have great light and lovely hardwood furniture and appointments, great bedding.

The hair salon ambience and service is inconsistent with the rest of the hotel but there are other options available nearby.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the pool or garden will get some noise during the week from dining area below, more on...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank lomnava
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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820 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (153)
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
62 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2014

We stayed in July 2014 at the Nairobi Serena for 4 nights. Our plan was to stay someplace very comfortable after a 24 hour journey from New York, recover from jet lag, see a few sites in Nairobi, and then depart on a Safari. The hotel exceeded my expectations: the facility is top notch, with a beautiful gym/spa (including excellent massage), great outdoor pool, nice restaurant, and good, reasonably priced room service. The hotel is easy walking distance to downtown, including the City Market (where we found better prices for crafts than we found many other locations once we were on the road on our Safari).

Finally, the hotel doctor: I've traveled all over the world and rarely gotten ill, but on this trip, I did catch something on our 3rd day, and the hotel doctor was an enormous help: he came to my room within 90 minutes, spent a good amount of time checking me out, provided the necessary meds (antibiotics, anti-nausea, hydrating salts), and then was available to us by phone even after we'd left Nairobi on our Safari, which I greatly appreciate; and his bill, by American standards, was extremely reasonable.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank finman66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nairobi
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2014

You want a great feeling in the city? Nairobi Serena is your preferred choice. pop in for lunch if you got no time; great delicacies! But I would recommend one or two nights.... Serena is preferred by Serena Williams and you know why. Last time she came the hotel was her home so why don't follow the footsteps?

Room Tip: East facing if you want a city view.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Langat C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abuja, Nigeria
Level Contributor
85 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2014 via mobile

Weekend break to Nairobi, wanted somewhere with a convenient location, but also safe and nice!! This definitely fitted that description, convenient location to get to the main sights from, felt safe and the decor and ambience are nice too. Bed in particular very comfortable!!! Food and drinks nice, service very good, not cheap but then you wouldn't expect it to be!!

Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank graciej78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Africa
Level Contributor
83 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2014

Looks and feels tired and a bit 90s. It needs a major refurb. However, the service more than makes up for it. The food, the bar, the security, the reception and the gift store. All good. Everyone greets you and genuinely so. i loved both the breakfast and lunch buffet with a bit of local foods. Both buffets were brilliant.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kkn889
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
143 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 16, 2014

Went on business and stayed a week. This is not a slick 5 star hotel, but one which evokes the charm of Africa. It is an older hotel, well maintained and has its unique feel.

The good:
- Arranged a hotel car for airport pickup as I was arriving at 2 am. Efficient, and a nice Mercedes with a good driver.
- Spacious but not large room, well maintained by housekeeping. The staff on my floor were both friendly and good.
- Solid service evident in all staff
- Good spa - went for a massage one evening and the masseuse did a great job. A bit pricey but good.
- excellent breakfast which was included in my room rate. I also had some dinners there and the food was generally good.

What can improve:
- There is only one Elevator, and its pretty slow. Needs an upgrade
- the shower is a bit out of date and they could be replaced by newer units which provide a nicer jet
- The gym though nice is just too crowded with equipment and they need an expansion. You have to negotiate between equipment and people to get to your target.
- they could soundproof the rooms a bit better as you can hear the traffic near by


Tips - if you have a day free try doing some of the outdoor sights e.g. Nairobi National Park, the giraffe center and the David Sheldrick center (elephant orphanage - superb!). I arranged this though the concierge in advance, and though expensive was worth it. $ 240 or so for the entire trip in a dedicated van for myself.

Select your hotel based on your business location as Nairobi traffic can be pretty bad. For me this wasnt great but I managed. Also use the hotel cars for a reliable ride.

Room Tip: Higher floor facing the pool
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Asiaishome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bridlington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2014

As a family of 3 we stayed at the Nairobi Serena Hotel for 1 night before going on to a safari holiday. We were very impressed with the hotel upon arrival and it didn't disappoint during our short stay. We got there about 8am and although check in isn't usually until much later they let us into our rooms straight away. Room very comfortable, had joining door to my son's room, very helpful staff who told us about where to go in Nairobi. Very spacious hotel, lovely pool and facilities, gorgeous breakfast!!!! Only downside is we didn't get to stay longer. A lovely place.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Christine E
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 161 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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