12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
We moved into the Serena Beach hotel fro...
"We moved into the Serena Beach hotel from the Shanzu 'paradise' hostel next door.
This was probably the best hotel we have ever stayed in (we are regular travellers both for business and pleasure) and it was superb.
The food was gourmet standard, the rooms, facilities, location, staff in fact absolutely everything was first class.
We will certainly use the group again and would recommend the Serena beach to anyone, especially if its your first visit to Kenya.
- Travel date: Fri 3rd of August 2007
We did a 7 day safari staying in Serena...
"We did a 7 day safari staying in Serena lodges and then 7 days at the Serena Beach hotel. The facilities in all were superb. Everything was supplied from towels to bath robes and wine served in your room every night at the Beach hotel.
The staff could not do enough for you and the food was superbly cooked and presented. We had no tummy troubles (a sign of good hygiene).
We cannot wait to return to Kenya and I would always head straight for the Serena group for their superior accommodation and service that they offer."
- Travel date: Mon 28th of May 2007
"We stayed at the Serena Beach for 7days from the 7th August '06.
We arrived after a 7 day safari Staying at the Serena Lodges in Samburu, Mountain Lodge and Masai Mara all of which were of a very high standard, excellent service, accomodation and food.
We were cellebrating our Silver wedding and the hotel could not do enough. Wine brought to our room every evening, an upgraded room looking out onto the sea and a cake presented to us after a parade of staff through the dining room.
The staff were all very friendly and attentive and could not do enough for you. The food was of a high standard and good variety. The room we were in was spacious with a wonderful view across the lawn to the sea. Tea and coffee was free and on offer all day with towelling robes, a safe, TV and hair dryer all provided in the room.
The work being carried out was barely noticable however the Beach Boys were a pest on the Beach and did prevent us having a quiet stroll.
All said and done I would highly recommend this hotel."
- Travel date: Sat 19th of August 2006
"Went to Mombasa Serena in July 06 for 5 nights after our safari for some rest and relaxation. It was a lovely hotel and the staff were polite and helpful, a special mention for Edward one of the waiters, he was so nice. The food was good, not exceptional but perfectly acceptable and they had some very pleasant entertainment in the evenings which was just as well as it is quite a way from Mombasa town. Then again I don't think I would like to go into town in the evening it wasn't a pleasant place.
They are currently undergoing some refurbishment and although it was screened off unfortunately we were put in a room right next to it. A letter in our room apologised for the noise and said it would be restricted between 9am and 5 pm The work started the first morning at 8am and the next at 7.45. We complained and within the hour were moved to a bigger and better room right away from the work, so full marks for that.
This was an impression we got throughout our stay i.e. they really wanted you to enjoy the experience and nothing was too much trouble.
I would recommend this hotel for a relaxing beach stay"
- Travel date: Mon 31st of July 2006
"After two weeks of safari in Amboseli and Masai Mara, my girlfreind and I hit Serena to relax and be spoiled with good food and service. This however was not the case. They hotel is WAY overpriced. My girlfriend had stayed at others in Mombasa that were 1/3 the price and 100% better.
The food rates on par with high school cafateria food. There is an extremely annoying man from the "high end" restaurant on property that cruises the pool area hourly trying to convince you to come to this terrible restaurant that evening. Once there, you will never be left alone by the roaming band playing for tips, the servers coming to your table every 3 minutes, and the manager coming to talk to you. There is NOTHING peaceful about this hotel. You are never left alone. You are looked at as an ATM machine.
The rooms are fine though. Clean with good bathrooms.
The pool is nice.
You cannot go to the beach, as it is crawling with beach boys that will not leave you alone."
- Travel date: Wed 12th of July 2006
"My partner and I stayed at the Mombassa Serena in Sept 05 for a beach/safari holiday. We were both totally thrilled with the hotel itself. The hotel staff we felt were exceptional and nothing was too much trouble for any of the guests including ourselves. We were made very very welcome, the hotel facilities were fantastic and the complex itself was stunning.
We only had one area which we felt spoiled our time there inasmuch as each night there was entertainment and the noise factor up until 12 p.m. most nights was very very loud. We had a room quite near to the entertainment area and after the second night we asked to be moved. We thought at first we were just being grumpy but many other of the hotel guests felt the same as us.
Apart from that it was a truly memorable holiday and we would return but would specify beforehand that we would like our accomodation to be as far away as possible from the entertainment areas."
- Travel date: Sat 6th of May 2006
"We were here for 8 days. We arrived with high expecatations - and they were surpassed (a hard feat). We had garden rooms. The swahelli architechture and staff attitude are fab and compensate for the few downsides (samey food, generator noise, poorish beach).
It got busy at Easter - but we loved it and will go back for Xmas!
The Serena ethic is brilliant - i dont think they promote enough their right on business methods."
- Travel date: Tue 18th of April 2006
First class in all ways
"My boyfriend and I had a wonderful holiday in Kenya staying at the Serena. As soon as we arrived we knew that we'd picked a great hotel. The pool over looks the beach and the gentle roar of the reef always there, adding to the ambience of the place.
The room was spotless, good AC, fridge etc. Every night when the beds were turned down anti mosi stuff was burned in the room just in case, I didn't get biten at the hotel once. The bathroom was a little 'tired' but that is the only negative thing I can say about the whole place. They give you a complimentry bottle of water every day. We wandered along the beach and had a good look at the other hotels and were very pleased to be staying at the Serena! It's in a class of it's own in comparisson.
The hotel is gorgeous, very clean and the staff top notch. The sevice was always excellent. We spent a lot of our time at the pool bar, James, Joseph and co looked after us so well we can't wait to return! We were staying on a full board basis and the food was very good, for a bit more the seafood restaurant Jahazi Grill is well worth a treat. The restaurant is right on the beach and decorated like a traditional dhow, Jackson the manager must be the most hardworking but happy man on the planet! Us westerners could learn a lot from these guys!
Outside the hotel you remember how poor Kenya is, yes expect to get hassled, but a firm 'no thank you', will normally do. We enjoyed the haggling process as have travelled extensively and are used to it.
The Mombassa day trip was very interesting, although long, top notch lunch though. The Dolphin Dhow was a terribley long drive through some very poor areas but great even though we didn't get to swim with the dolphins people who went the day before did. We also went deep sea fishing and the chef at the hotel cooked our catch for us on our last night! I went diving for the first time and felt very safe with my instuctor Omar. We also did a 3 day safari whiched we booked separtly with DM Tours before we left. We stayed at Governors Camp which totally blew our minds! Amazing!
The piano bar is a lovely way to start the evening with a great cocktail list. The hotel is to a very high standard set in beautiful gardens theming with birds and monkeys. It even has it's own resident grey parrot who repeats various tunes and sayings, including the odd swear word! Mimicks the phone ringing and wolf whistles female guests. My boyfriend spent most of our holiday trying to get him to say 'Lovely jubbley', if he now says this please let us know!
We left our books for the pool guys and some clothes that we didn't really want to take back with us for the room boys. You have to leave a letter so they don't get accused of stealing.
All in all I can't wait to return!!"
- Travel date: Tue 4th of April 2006
"A wonderful hotel. Beautiful grounds, lovely rooms, very pleasant staff, excellent food. The large grounds make the hotel feel peaceful and quiet. Without a doubt the best hotel in Mombasa. We were originally booked into the Voyager but left after 18 hours due to the filth, foul food/drink and unpleasant staff - it's no better than a Butlins holiday camp. The Serena is the exact opposite. Perfect."
- Travel date: Tue 21st of March 2006
great for a break
"a great place to go for a few days sunshine.
staff were all so friendly and my two children loved it. There is always something going on, whether it be dancing in the gardens, teaching squash or diving. Beautiful gardens, and lovely beach. The food was good and all in all a very nice holiday."
- Travel date: Wed 8th of March 2006
Bonding - both with thosein the truck and outside it
"We went on a Safari with Kuoni holidays in FEB 2006- a week's safari and then beach in Mombassa. Excellent experience all round - loved the Serena hotel in the masai mara which was built like Masai mud huts. Inside the spacious rooms, everything was curvy, painted deserty colours and recessed lighting had big paw prints inside the recess - the whole thing perfectly matching the atmosphere of the Masai Mara. Add to that great food, wonderfully attentive staff, a good little souvenir shop, Michael's singing and guitar music and a safari where we saw every sort of animal possible - at close range. We bonded well with our 5 other companions and couldn't have had a better holiday. Reclining on your sun-bed with drink in hand and extensive views over the Mara takes a lot of beating. Swimming pool is a bore hole - small and very cold but refreshing.
Beach hols at The Voyager Hotel just north of Dyani beach also excellent - good food, one third of all bookings are repeat, good for children but lots of space so if you don't have children (like us) it didn't matter. 3 amazing swimming pools - one sports pool for swimming, one large curvy pool for swimming and games and an infinity pool for adults only. Cocktails in the Crow's nest with views of the beaches was great. Cocktails used rather a lot of alcohol so if you didn't want to feel drunk at lunchtime ask for a small! White sand beaches, not too much hassle and a rather overly warm sea - not very invigorating at 33C. Windsurfing, catamaran, sailing - although wind got up daily from lunchtime onwards so water activities limited. Also tide goes out quite a long way and stops activities. Kenyan people really delightful and very caring.
Take any spare t-shirts, socks. pens, books. Give the clothes to people you meet but take the books to a school. Kenya is dry and very poor!"
- Travel date: Mon 6th of March 2006
Indian Ocean retreat
"Stayed here for three nights in February. Having arrived in very high temperatures and high humidity we were a little daunted, but the hotel did everything possible to look after us, from the cold towels and drinks as we walked throuhg the doors to our exceptional 'garden room' which became our haven from the heat.
The hotel is a very large one with a lot of guests, but manages to absorb them somehow, so that you never feel crowded. There is a great garden area overlooking the Indian Ocean, so that you can transition from lounging by the pool to lounging in the sea quite effortlessly. There are lots of staff around to attend to refreshment needs, although we appreciated the opportunity to retire to air conditioned rooms after lunch, for a couple of hours. There is after dinner entertainment most evenings, and dinner itself is extensive but, I have to admit, standard Serena fare - you could almost guess that you were in a Serena hotel (we stayed in six altogether) by the arrangement of the buffet. There is also a grill. where you receive a credit if you are staying on HB terms, and it is well worth it to push the boat at least once. Don't miss the parrot who whistles and calls when he's in the mood. Strongly recommended for a couple of days, but unless you are a beach/sun addict you may find it a bit much after three or four nights."
- Travel date: Sun 19th of February 2006