The Nairobi Serena won the “Leading hotel in Kenya” award at the World Hotel Awards 2015 that were held on Saturday at the Seychelles Kempinski resort. This is not a mean feat considering the number of hotels that we have in Kenya. The World Travel Awards were founded in 1993 and have been described as the “Oscars” of the travel industry. It is an annual event where an international jury of hospitality experts and peers decide on awards presented to hotels and other hospitality services. It is also fitting to note that the Nairobi Serena Hotel is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World Group and has been voted as the ‘Best Hotel in Nairobi’ by airlines and international travel magazines.
Established in 1976 the Nairobi Serena like wine seems to be getting better with age. The hotel has been modernized over the years and now has all the modern necessities like conference facilities, WIFI, heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi, gymnasium, spas among others. The Nairobi Serena is conveniently located within a 5 minute walk from the CBD and about a 30 minute drive from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. It offers an oasis of serenity amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. What struck me most about the hotel is the interior décor which reflects a Pan African theme featuring art and inspiration from Ethiopia, the Maghreb, West Africa and East Africa. The artwork is authentic and gives the hotel an African feel something which sets it apart from other hotels in the capital.
The hotel has bars and restaurants to cater for each individuals’ tastes and preferences. Café Maghreb offers an internationally themed buffet breakfast and lunch menu, a table d’hote dinner menu and 24 hour brasserie service. The Mandhari Restaurant’s fine dining experience is considered to be one of Nairobi’s finest restaurants and is well known for its seasonally inspired menus and extensive wine cellars. An Ethiopian inspired Aksum Bar offers a varied range of live music and dance. The Pool Bar offers café styled dining round the pool while the Bambara Lounge which is the dedicated residents lounge offers all day café service and newspapers.
Since my first interaction with the hotel during the BAKE Kenyan Blog Awards 2012, I have not ceased to be amazed by the service quality displayed by the staff at the Nairobi Serena. I happen to believe that a good hotel is not just about having a magnificent building but also well trained and quality staff who are able to deliver exceptional service which is key to delivering an unforgettable experience to guests. Whether it is a cocktail to launch a new product in the market, a business lunch hosted by a corporate, a conference or a wedding the staff are able to cater to the unique needs of every client in a manner which delivers value for money. The hotel seems to have invested heavily in their staff judging by the professionalism displayed by their members of staff.
In my not as frequent as I would like travels I have come to believe that it not the places/buildings that one visits that makes them memorable but rather the experience one has during that visit. The Nairobi Serena has invested abundantly in their guests’ experiences with a view of making it so memorable that you will always be drawn back. This is why it is justly famed for exceptional standards of efficiency, service and five star hospitality.
It therefore came as no surprise when they won the Leading Hotel in Kenya award and why I would not hesitate to recommend anyone who has not experienced the hotel to try it out.