Reviews of Serena Inn
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Delightful & friendly Serena Inn
We decided to move to this hotel earlier than anticipated and arrived on Sunday 21st December. Although expensive, we thought every penny was worthwhile as this was a most delightful place to stay. Without exception, all the staff from the cleaners right through to the managers were all friendly and helpful. We were given a fabulous corner room with balcony to the side and front and complimentary basket of fruit. The hotel building was full of character and interest with beautiful features and furnishings.
The location was perfect as we had all the benefits of being by the beach but could meander through the very interesting streets of Stone Town at our leisure as the hotel was so well positioned. Stone Town is interesting with plenty to investigate and we never felt threatened or uncomfortable (except for the humidity) during our stay. An altogether memorable visit.
Good place to stay when in Stone Town
A good place to stay for a day or two whilst visiting Stone Town. Whilst the hotel is clean, modern and of a relatively high standard, its location is what makes it standout. This, and the pool, is excellent.
There are some very good restaurants near by, serving real culinary delights, in particular the at Beyt al Chai (opposite) and the Silk Route (near the fort).
A disappointing stay at the Serena
The Serena Inn is very, very nice to look at and the staff were very nice, especially the reception staff. The restaurant was very weak. The bar service was slow and haphazard in the afternoon but in the restaurant in the evening, we kept getting asked if everything was okay by lots of managers, but when we did make a comment (see below) it was dismissed.
The restaurant food was disappointing and rather ordinary for the price. We ordered prawns for the starter and there were only 2 prawns on the plate costing about $7. When we commented on this, we were told it was only an appetizer. Other appetizers were larger. The restaurant was overlooking the beach with open windows, and it gradually dawned on us that the trickle of water down the beach was from a toilet and explained the smell!
We had a very early start, hence the stay at Serena, but the water went off in the night. We had to ring to find out what was happening and the staff said it was fixed, but it wan't so we had to ring again. Then it was fixed but only just in time (with cold water only) for us to get out for our flight. They did serve a decent breakfast at 5.30 which was much appreciated. The pool closed at 6pm! Far too early.
Beautiful setting and furnishings but we felt the restaurant and water let it down. In our view it was not that high a standard for its cost.
If you want to go shopping, do be aware that they basically close down at prayer time and in the evening. The shops were expensive. It was even worse as it was during Ramadam. If you want to go shopping, go in the morning between 10 and 12.
Serena Inn review
Wonderful location, loved zanzibar , and sitting by the pool watching the Dhows go by. Food and service in the main Restaurant a bit chaotic at times. Overall though a good experience.Read more about the whole trip
Best Hotel in Stonestown
Really nice hotel; lovely room with big balcony and hammock. Good air-conditioning and nice roof-top restauant.
Stonestown wasn't a great place though.
Fantastic stay in Stone Town at Serena Inn
We thoroughly enjoyed our 2 nights stay here. We finally had air-con and so slept really well!!! (We found the humidity quite hard work!) Great staff, wonderful and varied food and brilliant facilities. We thoroughly enjoyed the large cool pool. What a great way to finish up our holiday!!Read more about the whole trip
Serena Inn review
We can see why this hotel is rated as one of the best in Zanzibar, we loved it and would like to have stayed longer than 2 nights. First impressions are really important and they made us feel really welcome when we arrived. The high level of service and attention to detail continued for the rest of our short stay. We loved the buzz of Stone Town and were surprised that we were not hassled by the shop keepers as much as we expected.
We had a good room with a view of the sea and pool plus a small balcony. Although not the size of accommodation that we had seen on the rest of our holiday it was perfectly okay for the amount of time we used it.
It was great to be able to combine the noise and bustle of Stone Town with the tranquility of the Serena Inn. The best of both worlds. The pool and pool area was great and the staff were very attentive. It was lovely to hear live music in the early evening. A great way to enjoy sundowners.
We made one mistake and that was eating at Africa House Hotel for one evening, just not in the same league as the Serena Inn and more expensive although the bar area was good.
We arranged for a dhow sunset sailing trip for our last evening followed by dinner in the seafood restaurant on the roof terrace of the Serena Inn. The Dhow cruise was amazing. We had a crew of 7 and just the two of us as guests. They served fresh canapés and drinks provided by the hotel whilst sailing down the coast and back for over 2 ½ hours. We booked this through the hotel and not Fisherman Tours as they advised us to use another organization which didn't sound as good.
In summary an fantastic ending to a great holiday in two exceptional countries.
Serena Inn review
Beautiful room. Loved the hammock on the verandah.
For Mark it was the airconditioning that brought a smile to his face!!
Thought the restaurant menu abit boring especially as the other restaurant was seafood only. Cafe menu excellent and so was room service.
Excellent tour of the city.
Would liked to have stayed longer (2 nights only).
Hotel building and gardens, the best of british colonialism.
A lovely corner room but as it was on the ground floor the foliage obscured the sea view!
The hotel informed us that the pool would be closed for a private function from 3pm on the only full day we were there! After complaining they allowed us to use the pool until sundown.
Serena Inn, Stone Town
Probably the best hotel in Stone Town, and well situated, but naturally it lacked the individuality of the other placed visited during the trip.
The Roof Top Dinner was a beautiful setting, as were the terrace bars and pool area.