Reviews of Serena Inn
Wildlife sightings and reviews
63 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Serena Inn and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Serena Inn review"
"We loved the Serena. "
"Nice but well worn"
"Perfect Hotel in Stonetown"
Beautiful, historic hotel. Wonderful staff, with a special thanks to Suleiman for all his help during our stay.
We had a deluxe ocean front room with an amazing veranda where we could watch the sunset and the activity on the beach below. The breakfasts were excellent.
We think this is the best place to stay in Stonetown." See all these reviews: 9n in Tanzania; 4n in Zanzibar
The hotel is beautiful and the staff very friendly and professional. It's in a great location – a short walk from Fordhani Gardens, Palace of Wonders and all the shops of the old quarter.
Breakfast was plentiful – lots of choice – and our 9 year-old was delighted to have the option of minute steak and chips to start the day!" See all these reviews: 12n in Zanzibar
"Wonderful stay in Stone Town"
Two minor suggestions that would have a major impact on comfort:
- There were only two umbrellas in the sunny areas of the pool. Unfortunately, some guests would claim them for the day, whether or not they were at the pool. A few more umbrellas would make a huge difference, since the pool area receives full sun in the afternoon.
- Second, much care has been taken in furnishing the bedroom and bath area with quality products. Yet, they hung a short, narrow plastic shower curtain that does not function adequately. I had to use towels to sop up the water on the floor after showering." See all these reviews: 7n in Tanzania; 3n in Zanzibar
There were very few guests staying whilst we were there which did mean that the bar and restaurant areas were almost deserted and lacked atmosphere. Music was laid on in the early evenings but we found the wandering minstrels in the restaurant rather intrusive and more suited to a beachside tourist venue than a luxury hotel.
The staff were attentive but we felt a little overwhelmed at times by the sheer number of them. Very few were engaging which may be the culture of the hotel but as a result we did venture to outside venues for some drinks and snacks rather than stay on site.
The location is excellent and the swimming pool area is delightful." See all these reviews: 8n in Tanzania; 3n in Zanzibar
"Luxury in the Serena at Stone Town"
We took a walking tour booked at the hotel desk. This was quite expensive, but made sure that we did not get lost and we were fed with the history of Stone Town and Zanzibar as we walked around. Stone Town was rather dirty and dilapidated and was not quite up to our expectations.
The bar lunches a the hotel were good, although service was slow. Breakfast was excellent, although it was extremely hot in the restaurant. We had sundowners on the roof terrace of the Africa House Hotel, 2 minutes down the road and had a lovely evening meal at the Six Degrees South restaurant next door.
As we had a evening flight out from Zanzibar, we paid $100 to keep our room for the day, which in our view was money well spent, although there is a shower available by the pool." See all these reviews: 10n in Tanzania; 3n in Zanzibar
"Serena Inn review"
"Luxury in Stonetown"
The roof top restaurant was a good place to dine once - although we were disappointed that the lobster was not available the night we were there." See all these reviews: 7n in Zanzibar; 6n in Tanzania
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Other lodges in Stone Town
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
Zanzibar Coffee House
The Zanzibar Coffee House is a small quiet hotel tucked away in the back streets of Stone Town, with lovely, simple rooms.
Zanzibar Palace Hotel
The Zanzibar Palace Hotel is a highly regarded boutique hotel with very personal service and just nine rooms, all of them Zanzibari in style.
Beyt al Salaam
The Beyt al Salaam is a pleasant, boutique hotel with only six rooms and atmospheric and stylish Zanzibari décor.
Dhow Palace Hotel
The Dhow Palace is a very good-value, mid-range hotel, full of Swahili character, and the pool makes it appealing to families.
Emerson Spice is a beautiful small hotel in the heart of Stone Town with individually designed rooms adorned with gorgeous fabrics.
Kholle House offers an atmospheric Stone Town stay in a historic building, and is very good value for money.
Jafferji House is a converted old house that blends modern facilities with traditional style. The ten, unique rooms are show great attention to detail.
Swahili House is a traditionally styled boutique hotel furnished to a high standard with a convenient location in the centre of Stone Town.
The Tembo Hotel is a good-value, family-friendly hotel right on the seafront in Stone Town, with 36 rooms and a good-sized swimming pool.
Emerson on Hurumzi
Emerson on Hurumzi was Stone Town's first boutique hotel, featuring antique furniture, unique, stylish rooms and a superb rooftop restaurant.
Mbweni Ruins Hotel
Mbweni Ruins Hotel is very convenient if you want to stay on the beach, but very close to Stone Town, or visit Chumbe Island.
Maru Maru Hotel
In the heart of Stone Town, Maru Maru combines contemporary style and creature comforts with a Zanzibari twist.
The Park Hyatt Zanzibar is a high-quality example of this group, with excellent facilities and service.
Kisiwa's central location in the heart of Stone Town's Shangani area makes it a great base to explore this fascinating town.
The Seyyida is a characterful old hotel near the seafront in Stone Town, with the rare bonus of a swimming pool.