Serena Beach Hotel Mombasa
Serena Beach Hotel Mombasa is deemed to be the best hotel in Mombasa’s north coast. A quiet sanctuary off the main road, it is located right on Shanzu Beach and overlooks the Mombasa Marine National Park, a 200-square kilometre National Marine Reserve.
Designed like a 13th century Swahili town, Serena Hotel has winding walkways, inner fountain courtyards, and open air markets. The grounds are beautifully landscaped with a coconut-fringed beach, bougainvillea and other tropical flowers and trees on the grounds and a swimming pool with a swim up bar. It also has state of the art conference facilities.
The Serena Mombasa has 164 air conditioned rooms, all nicely equipped with lots of towels and bathrobes. Rooms are cleaned and turned down daily.
The Village rooms are in the shady courtyards of the Swahili Village and the best ones are the ocean view rooms at the front. The upstairs rooms have balconies, and the ones downstairs have verandahs for outdoor seating.
All have wonderful Swahili design features such as carved balconies, coral pillars, fretwork screens, carved doors, gleaming arches, stone-carved niches and lovely Lamu-styled furniture. Nicely appointed modern bathrooms have showers, bath tubs and toilets.
The garden rooms in Serena Beach Hotel Mombasa are larger and have views of the garden with some glimpses of the ocean. They have carved balconies, broad verandahs, brass-inlaid furniture and a blue-green décor scheme which echoes the colors of the ocean and the swaying coconut trees. The toilet is separate from the bath tub and shower and there are twin wash basins.
Guests have the choice of three restaurants, a buffet restaurant, a place for snacks and the main restaurant, the Jahazzi grill. The buffet breakfast is extensive with egg stations, Swahili dishes, 6 different kinds of fresh juices, fruit, pastries, home made jams and marmalades, cold cuts, cheese and hot dishes. Lunch is served by the pool. The Jahazzi Grill is an open air restaurant for dining under tropical stars and swaying palm trees. It offers excellent seafood – prawns, crab, fish, lobsters and oysters – as well as steak, chicken and pork.
There are several bars on the grounds including a swim-up bar in the pool. Complimentary coffee and tea are available all day.
There is one pool with a swim up bar. Sunbeds are set out around the pool and on green grass on the beachfront.
Music from live bands, dancing and Swahili market nights in the “village squares” with food and music.
Things to enjoy
Windsurfing, deep-sea fishing, catamaran sailing, introductory scuba diving lessons with certification and snorkeling, boat rides in a glass bottom boat, tennis in flood lit courts, squash in air conditioned courts, water aerobics and gym aerobics, fully equipped gym with instructor, beach walks and nature trails with the resident naturalist, volleyball, table tennis, darts and pool
Jogging in the Bamburi Nature Trail, golf course.
Find the Right Room
Total number of guest rooms: 164
Village rooms: 40
Village sea-view rooms: 26
Garden rooms: 48
Junior suites: 8
Luxury suites: 2
Family rooms: 6
Family sea-view rooms: 2
Prime rooms: 32
All rooms at the Serena Beach Hotel have air-conditioning, mini bar, safe and Satellite TV. Mosquito nets available on request.
Arriving guests at the Serena Mombasa are treated royally on arriving with a refreshing cold drink and towel to freshen up with. The Swahili- village ambience has a lovely local feel. The beach is clean and suitable for swimming and walking. The off shore reef is fabulous for viewing at least 250 marine species such as turtles, crabs, butterfly fish, parrotfish, sea urchins, cowries, moray eel, lionfish, starfish and sergeant major fish.
Its world class Maisha spa has private courtyard treatment rooms and outdoor showers. Treatments are also offered in massage tents on the beach. There are steam rooms, saunas and outdoor jacuzzis, a hair salon, and yoga classes in a specially constructed yoga podium suspended over a calm pool of water.
This is a kid-friendly environment. Kids love the butterfly conservation program at Serena Hotel which maintains breeding areas for over 12 species of endangered forest butterflies. Mature butterflies are released onto the hotel grounds.
A single pool is a small drawback. However, the sea is calm as it is protected by the offshore reef and the water is clear and warm for swimming.
On Shanzu Beach, Mombasa, Kenya
Directions to Serena Beach Hotel
20 km north of central Mombasa along the main Mombasa-Malindi highway. Serena Mombasa runs a daily shuttle bus into town and there is a wide selection of taxis available. Moi International Airport is 27km away and there is a small local airstrip nearby in Shanzu.
All images and photographs used in this review are the copyright of Serena Beach Hotel Mombasa