Serena Beach Resort and Spa is the kind of destination that delights without trying too hard. Set by the beachfront in the serene Shanzu area of Mombasa in Kenya, this stunning resort features tastefully decorated luxurious suites spaced out by manicured gardens and with spectacular views of the Indian Ocean.
With so many trees in the garden and defined walkways, you will often feel like you are on a nature trail as you walk around the property. Then there’s the cool breeze from the Ocean than will help you enjoy the outdoors as much as you do the indoors. The property is extensive so you may walk around in circles a couple of times, but the beauty of losing your way is that you get to discover amazing places like the Spa, Art Studio, Conference Centre, Water Sports Centre, Tennis courts and Butterfly Park that are further away from the rooms.
If the beauty and tranquility of the beach in the mornings and evenings doesn’t move you, then the brass embellishments and polished wooden furnishings will. The beautiful brass fittings will be everywhere; as you dine, in your room, on the lobby- and they will remind you of the rich culture and traditional Swahili town that inspires the architecture of this hotel. It will make you feel like you are part of something bigger than yourself. Something more significant; so significant in fact, that it deserved to be preserved in such a luxurious, urbane retreat.
The high-ceilinged lobby at Serena Beach Resort and Spa is grand, but it doesn’t even begin to prepare you for the rest of the hotel. Checking in is seamless and in between the welcome drink and having your bags carried, you will notice the change in aura to a more relaxing, beachy feel. Going up the stairs from the lobby, past the entrance that leads to the Fountain restaurant, is one of my favourite spots. From this point, you get the view of a beautiful transition of pond and pool waters that open out to- and prepare you for the beach.
Right past the bougainvillea and palm trees that shade the rectangular shaped pond is this miniature pool where the sky blue pool waters overflow to. And then the larger pool draws you nearer to the aquamarine beach waters and it feels like this transition of waters is the centrepiece of the resort. Understandably, this spot has been used as the backdrop of many wedding photos of unions brought together at the Serena Beach Resort and Spa.
If dining alfresco is your thing then you will love lunches at Sokoni Restaurant. The dining area is airy and laid-back and features décor that is characteristic of a conventional market place. Unlike the napery in the more formal Fountain Restaurant, Sokoni’s tables and are lined with Kikoi fabric and the walls are adorned with calabashes, uteos (winnowing trays) and sisal baskets that underline the influence of Swahili culture on the Resort. Sometimes in the evenings, a band sets up at Sokoni and entertains guests till late.
Although Sokoni restaurant is famed as the go to joint for scrumptious Pizzas, burgers and sandwiches, it also serves the soups and salads as well as delicious mains like the traditional fish and chips, chicken meals, grilled steak, prawns and pasta. The variety available for various meals is outstanding, and French fries and coleslaw salad are served with the selection of burgers (chicken, lamb, beef or vegetarian) and sandwiches (steak, chicken, ham, cheese, tomato, bacon or turkey). When you need something sweet and cool, pop in to the ice cream parlour opposite Sokoni restaurant to sample the range of delectable ice creams, cakes and drinks.
Eat breakfast like a King at the Fountain restaurant, which offers a wide range of options on the buffet English or American breakfast. You can choose to sit inside facing the fountain or outside on the side facing the beach to enjoy breath-taking views and the refreshing morning breeze. For dinner, a selection of salads and desserts is offered on buffet while the soups and mains are ordered from the day’s menu. Taking the stairs to the right of entrance to Fountain restaurant leads you to Nyota Bar and Terrace. The lounge is cosy, with décor featuring stripes and soft shades of blue and green fabrics that add to the feel of the beach which is visible in the distance. There is a variety of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks at affordable prices and it is a great place to while away your afternoon or evening.
Jahazi Grill is the fine dining restaurant at Serena Beach Resort and Spa. It is set facing the beach and designed with an Arab Dhow in mind. Jahazi specializes in sea food, which is offered fresh and delicious to a fault. Something about the sitting area upstairs will probably remind you of the ships in movies like Pirates of the Caribbean. Meals are served a la carte and favourites apart from sea food include the Jahazi Cannelloni, grilled sirloin steak and chicken, beef tenderloin, roast rack of Lamb and Pork Spare ribs.
Makuti bar is also set on the grounds facing the beach and it serves hot and cold drinks during the day. These grounds are popular for weddings and events with the beach in the background and they add to the excellent conference rooms on the other end. The Conference packages at Serena Beach Resort are affordable and all-inclusive and work as a motivating factor for any team. Besides, you get to enjoy a swim in the warm ocean waters or in the pool after your meetings and then down cocktails with colleagues as you sundeck by the poolside.
The Maisha Mind Body and Spirit Spa is one of the main highlights of Serena Beach Resort and Spa. The Spa is styled to provide the ultimate relaxation sanctuary and it includes all things you would want in a spa, and then some. Treatment options are many so you are bound to find something that works for you for a good price.
The changing areas (His and Hers) are luxurious and spacious with sauna, steam rooms and outdoor Jacuzzis. There’s a Spa Boutique, Spa Bar with fresh healthy juices, spiritual library, yoga/meditation area and a communal relaxation garden. The treatment rooms open out to private gardens with a sundeck and pergola shower and they are exceptionally cosy and cool with décor and furnishings that infinitely describe opulence. When you lie down to get pampered, there is no other place you would rather be.
Just a short distance from the Spa, you will find the fully equipped gym, 2 Squash Courts and 3 Tennis Courts when you walk further down. After a game of Tennis with friends, walk down to the Water Sports Centre near Jahazi Grill and embark on a water adventure. The Centre offers Scuba diving lessons and provides the required gear and once you perfect that, you can venture into snorkelling, wind surfing or Catamaran Sailing. Or you can opt to test the waters and try Deep Sea Fishing and diving or boat rides in Glass bottom boats. Visit the Butterfly Centre as well and get to see the beauties, learn about the conservation of different species and maybe even participate in the releasing of adult ones. Even better if you get to release the butterflies on your wedding day, just after your vows
Retreating to the modern, swanky and spacious en-suite rooms at Serena Beach Resort and Spa will be the perfect end to your day. The rooms are snug and homely and you will not want to leave once you lie down. The rooms have large glass doors that open out to balconies or patios where you can sit and marvel at the views of the Ocean or the beautiful gardens. Check out the family rooms if you are with your family, or choose from the Village Rooms that simulate a 13th Century Swahili Village. There are presidential/ VIP suites as well that are designed to offer princely accommodation. Amenities are first class and you get the kind of service that befits this type of Resort.
There are many things that make Serena Beach Resort and Spa the ultimate destination for Conferences, Weddings, Honeymoons or family holidays. Try as we may, there aren’t enough words to describe how exceptional this beach resort is. If you are looking an urbane retreat centre on the beach front in Mombasa that will give you for value for money in addition to exceptional accommodation, food and conference facilities, Serena Beach Resort and Spa will give you all that and more.
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