Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Zanzibar, Tanzania

The hotel

The Zanzibar Serena Hotel has been styled to represent the epitome of Swahili style, ethnic elegance and Arabic opulence. Guests will discover the essence of the island and cool bedroom interiors, ornate balconies and ocean views encourage a tranquil and warm sun-kissed welcome. Carefully constructed rooftop dining provides a breathtaking back-drop to a rich and varied choice of cuisine whilst beauty treatments and poolside bars allow you to relax and enjoy your holiday at your leisure. Idyllically situated on the sea-front of ancient Stone Town, and surrounded by an exotic mix of sultan's palaces, Portuguese forts, ancient dhow harbours, and bazaars, your cultural senses have now been activated and you’ll be delighted by the many local excursions available that will help you to discover more about the people, history and wildlife of Zanzibar.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Swimming Pool
  • Babysitting service
  • Room Service
  • Laundry Service
  • Internet Access
  • Restaurant

Where is it

The Serena boasts the most enviable address in Stone Town, close to all the local sightseeing including museums and markets and a walking tour is an absolute must. Other day tours depart from Stone Town so it is worth spending a couple of nights here before your beach stay. The resort is located within the UNESCO World Heritage section of Stone Town overlooking the ocean. Transfer time from Zanzibar Airport: 15 minutes.

Hotel information

51 rooms with Swahili style décor, high ceilings, white walls and shuttered windows. Traditional carved furniture, antiquities, modern amenities and 4-poster beds adorn most rooms. Standard Rooms with mosquito netting and 1 king-sized bed or twin beds, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

Half Board option: includes buffet breakfast and dinner. 

Full Board option:available at a supplement and includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Prime Rooms with balcony, sea views and 4-poster beds, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

Executive Suites (available on Full Board) with balcony, panoramic ocean views, seating area and 4-poster beds, sleeping maximum 2 adults.

Choice of restaurants; Baharia Restaurant (all-day dining), Terrace Restaurant (sea food menu), The Pool Terrace (snacks), the Masahani Bar and the Mdele Coffee Shop. Mangapwani Beach facility. Swimming pool. Complimentary WiFi. 24-hour room service*. Babysitting service*. Laundry service*.

* Denotes local charge. 

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (455)
  • Very good (231)
  • Average (66)
  • Poor (28)
  • Terrible (11)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating A perfect hotel in Stone Town

May 8, 2019 GouveiaMario Lisbon, Portugal

Excelent location for Stone Town with a vintage flavour. However if you are looking to relax on the beach, one hour transit by van should be expected because the local beach is out of bounds. Service is outstanding and pool is amazing.
Image of the Tripadvisor rating 33wedding anniversary

Apr 23, 2019 williamg216 Johannesburg, South Africa

The hotel was amazing upgrading us to suite 33 to coincide with our 33rd wedding anniversary. The hotel is fantastic reasonable clean and staff extremely friendly and welcoming. Good air conditioning and highly recommended.
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Averagely good

Apr 23, 2019 _monix_Kinyanjui Nairobi, Kenya

It was quite nice but they could improve on their breakfast and dinner They have very welcoming workers they are ready to serve you and to attend to your needs. It was the best holiday i have had in quite sometime. I even went there twice but the second time was not as good as the first
Image of the Tripadvisor rating A perfect Swahili stay

Apr 13, 2019 TR45 Ithaca, NY

I lived on Zanzibar in 1997 when this hotel was new. I used to go for lunch there occasionally and dreamed of staying there but never did. In 2019, I finally returned to Zanzibar and there was no question where I would stay. It was The Serena. I arrived to a gracious and warm welcome and was quickly shown to my beautiful premier room, with a… Read more
I lived on Zanzibar in 1997 when this hotel was new. I used to go for lunch there occasionally and dreamed of staying there but never did. In 2019, I finally returned to Zanzibar and there was no question where I would stay. It was The Serena. I arrived to a gracious and warm welcome and was quickly shown to my beautiful premier room, with a large corner veranda with views right on the beach and the Indian Ocean. The room was quiet, tranquil, and beautiful. The showers were hot and water pressure excellent. My rate included breakfast. Every morning, the wonderful and gracious staff welcomed me for a sumptuous buffet consisting of everything you could imagine and many you could not even imagine. Service was always attentive and gracious. You sit at a table with windows open right on the beach and you just sit and watch the wonderful scenes go by. I sat for 1-2 hours every morning enjoying this peace and tranquility. The pool is spectacular and the hotel has direct access to the beach. The section of beach at the Serena is excellent as well and now, unlike 1997 when the waters had some pollution issues, the waters and beach are routinely used by everybody for games, exercises, and swimming. I started every morning before breakfast swimming in the ocean and the pool as well. Throughout my visit, the staff showed themselves to be exemplary. Every person you run across at the hotel is delightful, welcoming, and helpful. In short, my dream of staying at the Serena as a younger man in 1997 was fulfilled in 2019 as an older man and I can truly say every aspect of my stay exceeded my lofty expectations. Finally, this place is truly infused with true Swahili design, not faux Swahili design like some of the newer neighboring hotels. Stay here. It is the real Zanzibar thing. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Perfect in Many ways

Apr 10, 2019 tapiwakW185YF Lilongwe, Malawi

Serena Hotel is a great choice for an authentic Swahili style hotel experience in the middle of stone town. The stunning open windows overlooking the bustling town and the Indian Ocean will leave you feeling both at home and mesmerized. The ambience as you dine is truly grand; whether on the roof top or ground floor, your ears are serenaded by the… Read more
Serena Hotel is a great choice for an authentic Swahili style hotel experience in the middle of stone town. The stunning open windows overlooking the bustling town and the Indian Ocean will leave you feeling both at home and mesmerized. The ambience as you dine is truly grand; whether on the roof top or ground floor, your ears are serenaded by the Taarab bands and your eyes with the gorgeous scenery. Meal times are not just about the food (You have the absolute best view!). Its location is a big plus for the avid explorer - who will find exploring town so easy. A 2-minute walk and you are at the exuberant Forodhani food market which is home to a great many stalls where locals and tourists alike come out for evening meals, the old Fort Stone Town’s oldest building, which has had many functions over the years including an army barracks, a prison a and now serves as an entertainment center and home to Zanzibar’s Film Festival; House of wonders, which once was the Sultan of Zanzibar’s residence and now famous for being the first building in the whole of East Africa with Electricity and running water and a steam elevator; and even a little ways across the Indian ocean to Prisoners island home of Aldabra giant tortoises, averaging in weight at a whopping 200kgs. Just around the corner from Serena are some amazing little boutiques and a taxi rank. With both variety and convenience at your fingertips, it’s an excellent place to start your touring and shopping. The service here is I think their big cherry on top. The way I was treated, I see a 25-year dedication to customer service excellence (the hospitality was impeccable). They have mastered the art of making people feel truly welcome. During my stay, I fell ill and they bent over backwards to help. I felt a bit ill while on stay here and Saada one of the waitresses at dinner brought me some ginger tea all the way up to my room to help settle my tummy. She was so sweet and being a solo traveler this was very comforting. So, if you’re keen to feel like one of the A-List, definitely give this place a try. Side note I was as good as gold the next day. 😊 Read less