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“Simply the best in Stonetown”

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Zanzibar Serena Hotel
Ranked #9 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 26, 2013

We just went home from our 3rd stay at Serena Stonetown within one year. And we will for sure come back. The atmosphere of this hotel is outstanding. The staff warm and helpful. The breakfast room with the open windows to the sea cooling and maginificant. The pool area nice after a warm day in the narrow sreets of Stonetown. Our favorite room is room number 23 - the veranda with sea view to two sides fantastic. It is relaxed luxury. Serena is our home in Zanzibar!

Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
1  Thank HanneBi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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370 - 376 of 693 reviews

Reviewed February 25, 2013

We stayed in the Serena because we had been ill and good air conditioning and some space was a priority. We did have an excellent room (a suite) and all the facilities were good but the prices were very high. We actually paid less than the advertised price as we walked in off the street and offered to talk a suite for four nights if they reduced it. Since it was not booked they did but otherwise I don't think we would have stayed.

on the plus side
Rooms are good
pool is good and clean
Building has some charm
location and view excellent.

on the minus side
Although some of the staff were good they were nowhere near as friendly or as efficient as other places we stayed in tanzania
Breakfast was good but dinner was really terrible. We had to take the breakfast and dinner package to get the reduced price but after two days of eating there we went out to eat.
The lunch time burgers were fine but hardly amazing zanzibar fare.

Although we enjoyed the Serena sadly I just don't think it's worth the prices they charge which is why it has an average rating.

Room Tip: Try asking to see the rooms then haggling
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Thank linda55London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2013

We have stayed in 8 other Serena hotels and this one is not up to the same standard and it's expensive. The reception and other common areas are attractive (though not air conditioned) but standard rooms are small and the bathroom was old fashioned and pretty worn. The mosquito nets smelled dusty and musty. There was a droning noise all night – not from the A/C, probably from a generator. The pool area is pleasant but both pool and sitting area are inadequate for the number of people using them, and there is no pool shower to wash off the chlorine.

Our room overlooked the pool. A large group had dinner by the pool with music that went on and on and all we could hear in the room was loud drumming noise. When we asked at 10pm when it would end the receptionist said it would end at 10pm (it didn’t) and later said the hotel had no control over it!

Unless you are by a window in the dining room it’s suffocatingly hot at this time of year (February – the humidity is intense). The menu choice is rather limited. The bar is a nice place to watch the sun go down and the cocktails are good. The best thing about this hotel is the staff, particularly the bar and dining staff, who are very friendly and try hard to please.

This may be the best hotel in Stone Town, which is a World Heritage site, but in our view a half day tour from one of the resort hotels would be enough to experience the dirt and squalor. There are few buildings of real interest and there’s a limit to how many carved doors one can find interesting!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank 19lenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2013

This lovely hotel in the centre of Stone Town overlooks the sea and is in a wonderful location. Pool is excellent and rooms are clean and have large beds with mosquito netting around them. Breakfast is excellent but the set evening meal was very disappointing. However, the staff are very helpful and friendly. It was lovely to sit on the terrace with different live music each evening and watch the sun go down.

Room Tip: Ask to overlook the sea and not the ground floor.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2013

I didn't stay here-but I wish I had! We went to the restaurant on the last day for lunch and it was just such a clam place. The staff were very friendly and helpful, but left you alone also. It's on the beach and it just had a very comfortable feel. Possibly the decor is a little out-dated but I think it is correct for the 'africa, ex-pat' look

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank jmm73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2013

The location is perfect, inside the stone town area! You can walk around stone town, enjoy lunch or dinner at several restaurants near the hotel or enjoy the hotel’s restaurant as well. The hotel’s restaurant food price is not so higher than downtown restaurants. There are several kinds of breads, cereals, hot meals, fruits, natural juice and cheeses for breakfast and you can enjoy it appreciating the sea breeze and view. The staffs are very kind; provide high level service without bother with unnecessary flattery. The hotel facilities are well maintained, cleaned and with a constant scent of flowers. The swimming pool is perfect but close at 7pm. The room has adequate size, comfortable; the amenities are high quality, the mini-bar is fully with wine, sodas, chocolates, etc; as well as coffee and tasty Africa Pride tea bag. The free Wi-Fi works very well if you’re in the room’s balcony. The hotel also offer a parking lot with security service 24h and a free shuttle bus service to Mangapwani beach.
As a suggestion, the hotel should offer more options of cable channels and the environmental protection police is not clear disclosed; they keep the room’s air-con working all time, since you’re not at hotel, the towels are change daily, etc.

Room Tip: I sugget room #42, sea view.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Yuri_Capi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2013

I toured the island and stayed in a beach resort on the coast and got to know the other beach resorts in that area. The difference between these and my stay at the Serena Inn in Stone town was shockingly different.

The local staff in Serena seem to be well looked after and the hotel seem to invest in this resource. In other hotels, they are literally ordered around like slaves. Of course, the difference is that you also get a magnificant level of service in the Serena Inn because of this.

A really classic traditional hotel. The breakfast is one fit for kings.

A point to note - I did not get round to using it but they said that they offer a free shuttle to the beach, so you can truly get the best of both worlds of town and beach by choosing the Serena.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank MXS160
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, Zanzibar City, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Zanzibar Archipelago > Zanzibar Island > Zanzibar City > 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:
#2 Spa Hotel in Stone Town
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Stone Town
#3 Romantic Hotel in Stone Town
#4 Business Hotel in Stone Town
#5 Family Hotel in Stone Town
#5 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range: $311 - $461 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Zanzibar Serena Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 51
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Zanzibar Serena Hotel Stone Town
Zanzibar Serena Stone Town
Zanzibar Serena Hotel Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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