on March 31, 2013
We’d flown from Heathrow into Nairobi airport and from here we were taken on the transfer from the busy airport to our hotel, Nairobi Serena. Our friends’ daughter had recently stayed here on a holiday to Kenya and had recommended it to us. What we hadn’t realised at the time of booking was that we’d see little of the place as by the time we’d arrived and checked in it was for bed as we had an early start the following day. Indeed at the time we were leaving they hadn’t started to serve breakfast in the restaurant. But luxury we could have it delivered to the room.The Serena Nairobi was indeed a first class hotel and we were processed by the receptionist within five minutes that was when all luggage had been pushed through x-ray and we had walked through a metal detector. Although a bit spooky we were reassured because the news before we left the UK was that there were some problems in and around Nairobi with Somalia terrorists. We all remarked that the hotel had a bit of a colonial feel to it, but with no time to investigate further we headed for the comfort of our room. It was now well past midnight and as we had to be up at 5.30 our first thought was to get to bed. However, first we need to order breakfast and hang the food request on the outside door handle. As ever I was sceptical that it would arrive at the time requested, but we placed the order and then sank into the comfort of the twin beds. I barely had time to consider the luxury of this 5 starred, 183 bed-roomed hotel, before I entered the land of nod.Predictably I hardly seemed to have slept before the alarm went off, a quick shower (with instantly hot water) in the well equipped bathroom and just time to get dressed before room service was knocking at the door. They were spot on time and a very cheery waiter wheeled the trolley full of food to the table and then set the table for us. A crisp white table cloth was laid first and then a single rose as the centre piece before the serious stuff was placed. There was freshly squeezed fruit juice, tea, coffee, our full cooked breakfast, toast and jams. It all looked real special and the waiter insisted on guiding us to the table and seating us. We noted that the breakfast would normally cost 5,000 schillings but for us it was pre-paid and part of our hotel deal. We sat back in the comfortable dining chairs and thoroughly enjoyed our first meal in Kenya. This was the first time that I’d really checked out the bedroom with its flat screen TV and framed artwork. I later read that the interior design "reflects an entirely pan-African theme featuring art and inspiration from Ethiopia, the Maghreb, West Africa and East Africa.But time for reflection was short and having eaten breakfast we needed to be heading off downstairs to the hotel lobby to wait for our transport to the airport, which in due course would fly us to Aboseli and another hotel in the Serena group. Of course we missed all the facilities that this well placed hotel has to offer. We were unable to test the Wi-Fi or to explore the well cared for grounds (I had a quick glimpse of them before getting in to the taxi) or take a dip in the heated swimming pool. We didn’t even see the restaurant or the health club or the well-stocked bar, but I’m assured that they were all there and according to our friends’ daughter they were all spot on. Our experience at the Hotel Nairobi Serena was brief but I can report that the service that we received from the staff was extremely polite and accompanied by broad smiles and pleasant salutations.
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