Three years down the line and the Mombasa Serena remains my top choice in Mombasa. From arrival to departure were my already high expectations exceeded on every score.
From Tuva the General Manager to Herman, the F&B Manager to Doreen who was my waitress in the dining to Marsden Nzaro, who even dressed up to fit the part of a historic guide when he gave me a tour of the Serena premises to explain architectural details, they all were exemplary hosts.
Check in was a breeze, with my guest information obviously stored in the Serena data base and before I could even sign the form was I offered a scented iced towel and a glass of fresh juice.
I had arrived early in the morning and enjoyed a full Serena breakfast first before I made my way to the room after a front office staff delivered the key to me in the Fountain Restaurant, baggage of course placed there already.
My ocean front room somehow proved to be more spacious than I remembered and definitely was the bathroom showing signs of a more recent refurbishment. A tub AND a wide shower cabin AND twin basins … Nothing was lacking and I noticed Serena’s move towards greater sustainability as they had replaced the small plastic containers for shampoo and shower gel and even lotion with wall mounted larger dispensers, an applaudable move.
A stroll through the gardens, before another wave of rain showers had me rush back to my room, showed a well maintained landscape and notably had the beach also been cleared of seaweed – in sharp contrast to some of the other resorts I had stayed on this trip.
And about the beach, I was able to witness the release of 34 sea turtle hatchlings one morning under Serena’s sea turtle conservation project which ensures that all hatchlings reach the ocean safely which increases the chance of their survival.
Also worth mentioning is the Serena Butterfly project near the car park, set inside the hotel’s tree and plant nursery. I had seen it a few years ago and the numbers of butterflies now kept has increased to 67, a wonderful conservation achievement.
To the food … Besides enjoying the huge breakfast buffet every morning did I have one dinner at the main Fountain Restaurant – a wide choice of offerings, creative presentation on the four food stations, besides the active cooking station, and of a quality which tempts for second and third helpings.
One dinner I had at the seaside Jahazi Restaurant and my seafood chowder order was followed by prawns piri piri. Open for lunch – I peeped in one day and saw the place was quite busy – and dinner is this seafood restaurant surely among the best at the coast and no wonder, when I had my dinner, were guests from other hotels having their dinner there too, besides a good number of hotel residents who fancied some very well prepared seafood.
The staff, from arrival to the last wave of good bye, were on their best including gardeners and security guards, walking by with a smile and a greeting on their lips and not the dour faces seen at another place where I stayed before- review of which I am still pondering over.
I never did use, typical for me, the gym or the Maisha Spa but walked in and out and for those fancying workouts or massages, don’t miss a visit just because I did.
The Serena Beach ticks all the right boxes for a true five star experience at the beach and I already look forward to my next visit, in another couple of years.