Zanzibar has always been my favourite destination, and this time around staying at the award winning Zanzibar serena hotel has given me the best of it. Being situated in one of the best streets of stone town on the beach front in two historic buildings, Zanzibar Serena is a home away from home.
We arrived on a Saturday afternoon and were received with cold hand towels and fresh pineapple juice at the reception. After checking in and being assisted with our luggages to the rooms we spend the rest of the day going around the hotel interested to find out what got the hotel scooping the 2016 world travel awards winner for both best Tanzania’s leading boutique hotel and best hotel in Zanzibar. I was pretty excited about everything mostly the Zanzibari style hotel architecture which is mostly influence by the diversity of other cultures who came and/or settled in Zanzibar centuries ago. All the pictures I saw online were less of the gem it is. I had been to Zanzibar before not less that three times, but I had never stayed in a better hotel.The decor is to die for, I snapped almost everything and while at it I found an interesting landline phone that was used during extelcoms operations in this same building early last century.
Hygiene and cleanliness seems to be priority at Serena, from the hotel surrounding to the bedrooms. The cleanliness just gives you a fresh feel and comfort of its kind. Apart from being in a safe area there are security guards within the hotel surroundings to make sure everything is in order.
I kept finding out interesting things about the hotel like it is where former president Bill Clinton of the United States stayed during his visit to Zanzibar (one of the guys I went on the trip with stayed in the same suite by the way, how cool?). Not that I didn’t have a nice room, I had the premium room with both the pool and beach view from my balcony, a hammock and comfortable lounge chairs. Like that is not enough just outside my room at the end of the beautiful narrow corridor there was a Zanzibari style bed facing the beach.
I spent the rest of the evening by the pool side on the comfortable lounge beds then later moved to the Masahani bar for a few drinks before having dinner at the Baharia sea side restaurant as we saved the terrace sea food restaurant for our last night at the hotel. I had chicken curry, chapati, seasonal veggies and extra rice then finished it off with fresh tropical fruits for dessert.
Being the foodie I am when travelling and staying in hotels, I tend to look forward to hotel breakfast buffets. We had an early breakfast the next morning because we had excursions planned by the hotel for the whole day. It was so nostalgic when mkono wa tembo cooked the same way my mother did when dad brought plantain from his Zanzibar trips was on the menu. There was sparkling wine too at no extra cost and a lot other continental meals. I loved how Zanzibari food is a big part of the menu giving you even a better feel of Zanzibar without having to go look for local food somewhere outside the hotel.
On our last night, we had dinner at the terrace as planned under a full moon to the sound of ocean waves crushing against each other.
One of the reasons I wanted to stay longer is the friendly staff at the hotel, by the time I was leaving I felt like I was leaving friends that I have known for a while. Ameir made us laugh through out dinner, and I still remember Mr. Lameck’s smile while teaching me how to use the vintage landline phone at the reception lounge.
As usual I like to let pictures speak for them selves.Enjoy! xx
From the room;
Around the hotel;
We got all the excursions handled by the hotel and I visited places I had never visited before with very informative tour guides. We went to the former slave market, did a proper stone town tour being all historical places and visited the spice farm and then spent the rest of the day at the Serena Mangapwani restaurant where we also had our lunch by the beach. Mangapwani beach is a 30 minutes drive from the hotel and a shuttle is provided for by the hotel for both drop off and pick up. I will share the rest of that on my next post, yes it needs a whole other post and its not to be missed.
Anyone planning for summer in Zanzibar? Now you know where to stay 🙂 . Be sure to check out my next post for the rest of my Zanzibar experience.