Rating: Mid-range Price from: Â£80-Â£120 pp half board
Situated to the north of the city, the Mombasa Serena is a large hotel with 164 rooms and suites, on a lovely white beach and with many shady palms and tropical garden. A variety of room sizes and styles are available to suit all needs.
The hotel is styled on a 13th century Swahili village with rooms in clusters with names such as Lamu and Shela. The main building has a very impressive huge white-washed entrance with Arabic style carved doors and a spacious reception and hallway, leading through into large airy bar and lounge areas. The feel of the hotel is one of a type of ‘Sultan''s Palace' with many Arabic furnishings and the warm sea breeze rustling through the palms at night.
The hotel has a well equipped spa and health club, with saunas, steam rooms, outdoor jacuzzis and several treatment rooms. Yo can indulge in soothing massages and Ayurvedic therapies and attend yoga and body toning classes. It has a bar serving freshly squeezed fruit juices and herbal infusions. The fitness centre has a range of cardiovascular machines and weights for the health conscious.
There are several restaurants and bars, one being the famous Jahazi Grill which serves fresh seafood and overlooks the beach. You can also treat yourself to a champagne breakfast on the beach.
Open: Mombasa Serena is open all year.
Location: Mombasa Serena is on Shanzu Beach 30kms north of Mombasa.
Rooms: There are 164 air conditioned en-suite rooms in a number of categories including village rooms, garden rooms, prime rooms, family rooms and suites. All have a private balcony or terrace. Rooms feature TV, safe, phone, Wi-Fi, minibar, tea and coffee makers, free mineral water and mosquito nets. There is 24-hour electricity and room service.
Activities: Swimming, watersports, scuba diving, beach volleyball, tennis, squash, table tennis, darts, archery and aqua aerobics are all available. You can visit two local conservation projects, the butterfly pavilion and the turtle project. At low tide you can walk along the beach.
Facilities: The spa offers a comprehensive range of treatments and has saunas, steam rooms, outdoor Jacuzzis and a bar. There is also a fitness centre. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool with a swim-up bar. There is a PADI dive centre. There are several dining options including the Fountain Restaurant, a seafood grill, pizzeria and an ice cream parlour. The hotel has a terrace bar and a coffee shop. The hotel has extensive gardens and grounds and a network of nature trails. The hotel provides evening entertainment in the form of a DJ, live music, traditional dancers and acrobatic shows. There is a news stand, hair salon and gift shop on site.
Dining: Meals are taken at individual tables.
Children: Children of all, ages are welcome. Babysitting can be arranged. The hotel provides special activities for children. Special meals can be arranged for children.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is internet access.
The hotel was originally built and continues to be maintained using local materials and craftsmen. Much of the woodwork and raffia-work has been made by the members of the Association for the Physically disabled of Kenya. The majority of the hotel staff and the visiting entertainers are drawn from the local community, much of the fresh foodstuffs come from the local markets whilst all the seafood is bought from accredited local suppliers. The hotel also contributes towards local fund-raising projects and encourages the guests to visit local attractions such as the Bamburi Nature Trail and the Ngomongo Cultural Village.
The hotel cooperates with the Kenya Sea Turtle Conservation Committee on a rescue and conservation project that aims to protect the nesting and feeding sites of seven species of migratory turtles. The programme protects the turtles from poisoning by toxins or plastics, reduces the incidence of their capture by trawlers and fishing nets, curbs the exploitation of turtle meat, shells oil and eggs and protects the hatching cycle of the baby turtles.
The hotel has also recently set up an ambitious Butterfly Project, which aims to provide breeding areas for over 12 species of endangered forest butterflies.