Best Hotels in Kenya and East Africa: Simply the Serena Group of Hotels
by: Robert Muhoho
In keeping with the Serena philosophy of harmony with the environment, each property demonstrates an ethnic design making full use of local materials that blend with the immediate surroundings. The attention to detail and commitment to hygiene, using only the highest standards of produce is legendary across East Africa.
Serena hotels have also been eco-tourism pioneers for many years and have initiated important environmental programmes to protect wildlife, communities and fragile habitats. Their philosophy that tourism should offer a distinctive experience of the country visited rather than simply an experience in a country, is their firm ethos.
The Nairobi Serena Hotel
There are seven Serena properties in Kenya-the first is their city flagship, the Nairobi Serena, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World organisation, located on the edge of the city in a tropical garden setting, but only a few minutes from the town centre.
The Mombasa Serena Beach Hotel
The second is their coast flagship, the Mombasa Serena Beach Hotel, a member of Club Best Hotels of the World organisation, situated along Shanzu Beach on the North Coast. Since September 2003, the property now offers a brand new state-of-the-art conference facility built in the luxurious grounds of the hotel, capable of holding up to 140 delegates.
Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge
Moving to more traditional safari lodges and hotels and camps, the third property, the Amboseli Serena safari Lodge, nestles in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, hidden beneath a grove of a giant Acacia trees set beside a gentle flowing natural spring.
Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge
The fourth property, the Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge, is located on a ridge that commands magnificent sweeping views of the Chyulu Hills at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro whilst the fifth property, the Mara Serena Safari Lodge, is perched on the saddle of a hill commanding one of the most spectacular views imaginable across the vast plains, forests and rivers that make up the Maasai Mara, one of the worlds richest wildlife sanctuaries.
Serena Mountain Lodge, Nyeri
The sixth Serena property, the Serena Mountain Lodge, Nyeri, is located 2,194 meters high up on the slopes of Mt. Kenya, surrounded by a dense rainforest that comes alive at dusk with a myriad of sounds that make the African bush so special and exhilarating.
Samburu Serena Safari Lodge
The last Kenyan Property, the Samburu Serena Safari Lodge, is located right in the centre of the Samburu Game Reserve, a Semi-arid, open savannah plain broken by small rugged hills in Kenya’ Northern province.
Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge
Similarly, there are five properties in Tanzania- the first; Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge is located on the Great Rift Valley Escarpment with a fantastic view over Lake Manyara and the Valley below.
Ngorongoro Serena safari Lodge
The second, the Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge, is perched high on the rim of the breath taking Ngorongoro Crater.
The third, Kirawira Camp, recently awarded membership of the much coveted Small luxury Hotels in the World accreditation, is situated in the Western Serengeti.
Serena Mountain Village
The fourth, The Serena Mountain Village, nestles in the heart of a coffee plantation on the shores of Lake Duluti near Arusha.
Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge
The fifth, the Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge, inspired by the traditional African Village based on individual thatched huts, set high on a hill with 3600 views out over the Serengeti savannah.
Like the Kenyan Properties, all were designed to blend in with their natural surroundings and constructed using local materials and labour.
Zanzibar Serena Inn
Moving away from the mainland, the Zanzibar Serena Inn, located at the Heart of the Old Stone Town comprises of two restored sea-front buildings, one dating back to the 18th Century and the other colonial building to the 19th century.
The Serena Inn also comprises the Mangapwani Serena Beach Club and Restaurant, famous for it’s freshly caught local sea food, located on the North West Coast of the Island and just a short drive by courtesy bus or boat journey. Serena Inn guests are able to enjoy all the facilities of a luxury beach club in exclusive private surroundings.
The group recently acquired two further properties; the hotel Polana in Mozambique, overlooking the Bay of Maputo, now restored to its former colonial glory.
Kampala Serena Hotel
And the very latest, the Kampala Serena Hotel which represents a US$18M investment for extensive refurbishment of the former Nile Hotel, opened in September 2005.
Serena Hotels East Africa; keeper of high standards and unique designs
When the Serena group was established in the mid-70s, by the Aga Khan Fund for Development, the aim was simple but challenging, to become the leading hotel group in East Africa. Today, this aim has become a reality and Serena Hotels are recognized both locally and internationally as clear market leaders, offering the highest standards of service and properties of unique design set in prime locations through out each region.
In addition to its East African portfolio, the Serena Group owns properties in Pakistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
About The Author
Robert is a tour consultant in Kenya and has planned business and vacation safaris for over 10,000 tourists in the East African region. He is a tour operation- major and involved in National tourism policy development in Kenya.
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