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“serenity at Serena”

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Zanzibar Serena Hotel
Ranked #8 of 33 Hotels in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 23, 2010

With an excellent experience of Mara Serena at Masai Mara- choosing this Hotel was almost by default. The hotel did not disappoint us with the excellent view and comfort. I would recommend this hotel to everyone. One thing though beyond our control was the 30 minute boat ride from Dar es salaam... well its all a part of the game. The Hotel per se and the private beach made up for our tiring arrival.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank ofusandeep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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551 - 557 of 696 reviews

Reviewed May 19, 2010

I decided to treat myself massively on a trip to Zanzibar and the Serena Inn was so, so incredible. It's located on a gorgeous little street and the buildings/decor are stunning--very authentic, historical quality. Looks & feels nothing like a chain hotel. Staff were so friendly and welcoming. Pool was amazing and overlooks beach. Restaurant (for dinner and breakfast) was SO good.

My favorite part: the Serena Inn has its own private beach just up the coast a ways, and a shuttle will take you up there. Mangapwani Beach (sp?) is in a gorgeous little cove and is totally secluded. There's a restaurant and changing facilities there too, and they even provide booties to protect your feet from the coral.

ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT THERE! Expensive but it's worth saving up.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled solo
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Thank NilikutaShani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2010

a real nice small hotel quiet cozy and great food. just slow roomservice better to avoid.
great vieuw friendly staff beutifull settings.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank dustyharry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2010

Serena Inn has a wonderful location in Stone Town - right on the front - my room (and I believe most of the rooms) had a great sea view, giving two of my best Zanzibar experiences - a fantastic sunset with cocktail in hand and watching dolphins playing around in the sea in front of the hotel.

Service was friendly and efficient, though a little slow in the restaurant, which was fine for me as I wanted to sit back and relax (and watch the dolphins).

The pool was a definate plus point as I believe these are rare in Stone Town, my excursions were organised in advance which I think is definately the best thing to do. Once you have a guide with you you will not be hassled by other locals trying to guide you.

I visited Mangapwani (Serenas own beach) for a day which was a real paradise and well worth it - from what I understand bus transfer to the beach is free but if you want to take a dhow (recommended) there is a charge for this.

I stayed three nights and would recommend this if you have time. The island is quite big so it is possible to twin centre this with one of the beaches.

Stone Town was just part of a fantastic trip I took throughout Tanzania - Safari in the Selous, Serengeti and Ngorongoro culminating in the islands of Mafia and Zanzibar. A real trip to remember combining absolutely everything - wildlife, culture & relaxation.
I travelled with specialisttanzania.com who were happy to change one of their published trips to fit in my extra requests.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank gr8getawaygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2010

We were originally supposed to stay at another hotel on the coast, however a few days before we were meant to arrive we got a call from Expedia letting us know our other hotel had a bad fire and they had to rebook us somewhere. We ended up selecting Serena Zanzibar- and we were so glad we did. Great views of fordani park and easy walk to everything in stone town, lovely food, great pool area and wonderful staff made our holiday nice and relaxing. A must stay if in stone town

Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
Thank travellingcpl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2010

After our wedding we didn't have much vacation time so took a couple of days to Zanzibar. We stayed at two different hotels in Zanzibar, one in old town and another on the more resorty side out of the town. The Serena was very impressive in its amenities and service and attention it gave to the residents. We were very impressed that they took care to provide an upgrade for our honeymoon to a gorgeous suite with a lovely porch overlooking the water. We didn't make it to their private beach away from the hotel because of our relatively short stay but heard only the best things from other guests.

Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
Thank jchavezfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2010

I stayed at the Serena in Zanzibar for two nights. I had a corner room with three windows looking out on to the Indian Ocean. It was definitely a "wow" effect. (I am going to try to attach a photo of the view) I was traveling alone and had two single beds in the room so for a couple, this room wouldn't work well. The Serena is generally viewed as a the best hotel in Stone Town. You can easily take a City Walking Tour from the hotel as well as other tourist options (private beaches, Prison Island etc).

While the Serena does offer side excursions (for additional costs) run through its own staff; I did not use that service. I used "ECO AND CULTURE TOURS" and really enjoyed myself. http://www.ecoculture-zanzibar.org As a solo traveler, I wanted to make sure that I was not bumbling around, wasting time trying to find my own way, and also feel safe and secure. My guide "Moussa" was wonderful. I made arrangements through "Robert" and was picked up at the harbour when I arrived via boat from Dar. I was driven to the hotel and then had a city walking tour. The next day, I went on a Spice Tour and in the afternoon, they took me on a small boat out to Prison Island to feed the tortoises and go snorkeling. I had a blast. Lots of fun moments and the snorkeling was great. I was amazed by the beautiful clear water, coral reefs, colorful fish, beautiful star fish of all different colors. If you enjoy snorkeling - definitely do this here.

The Serena is physically a beautiful hotel with a very pretty pool and views from many vantage points. I was there for the Friday night barbecue and really enjoyed that. Lots of delicious food by the poolside and musicians. Downsides were: my hotel room safe was broken; however, they let me put stuff in the managers safe at the front desk so that was not a problem for me. Second, the air conditioning was a bit weak so the first night, I had a bit of a hard time sleeping due to the heat - which is why I ranked sleep quality down a bit. Overall though, I had a great time and would recommend the Serena chain - in Zanzibar and elsewhere in Africa - Kigali, Kampala, Nairobi...

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled solo
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2  Thank safarigirlNC
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 Luxury Hotel in Stone Town
#5 Family Hotel in Stone Town
Price Range: $291 - $467 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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
Zanzibar Serena Hotel Zanzibar Island/Stone Town

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