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“Feel very comfortable, either for business or leisure”

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Polana Serena Hotel
Ranked #1 of 22 Hotels in Maputo
Certificate of Excellence
Porto, Portugal
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Feel very comfortable, either for business or leisure”
Reviewed 19 November 2013

I stayed in the Polana Hotel in late October, early November, with my wife and 2 young kids.
The hotel has all one needs to feel very comfortable, either for business or leisure (which was the case), and nearby the richest part of Maputo (Embassies, Restaurants, Bars, Shopping), the Capulana Market – which is highly recommended for handicraft and local food, and the Polana Church (very interesting to visit too).

The hotel comprises 2 buildings: the main building which named Polana as the best hotel in Africa from the years 20’s till the 70’s and the Polana Mar, which is in under the terrace of the pool, facing the Ocean, with the same service, but not directly connected to the main building.

We were given a fabulous suite and an in-front room for the kids in the main building, breathing old colonial times mixed with an oriental renovation that was conducted in 2010. The rooms are very good and were modernized then, with very comfortable beds and bathrooms, and nice views over the pools and gardens.

The veranda terrace that links the restaurant and the bar gives the hotel a colonial feeling, with the fans working in the ceiling and lovely whicker withe chairs and wood furniture: the breakfast and meals may be taken there. The sole thing I did not appreciate much was the A la Carte list for dinner in the Restaurant, because they prefer to serve buffet . There is also another restaurant in the garden by the pool, which serves a good sushi and an excellent buffet for children on Sundays.

There are also 3 boutique shops inside the hotel with nice local handicraft, and a Spa that we did not use, because we preferred to stay by the large swimming pool taking good sun-bathing.

The employees are very attentive and the General Manager is always around.

My kids felt like princesses in this hotel, and we felt like being the Vice-Kings of Mozambique.

Room Tip: Prefer to stay in the main building, preferably in the first floor, to have a wonderful terrace, and...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jnamem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MiguelAfonsoSantos, General Manager at Polana Serena Hotel, responded to this review, 21 November 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing the Polana Serena Hotel and taking the time to write about our service and experience. We take every comment about our Hotel very seriously and whether positive or negative we always aim to improve.

We are very happy to know you had a very good experience at Polana Serena Hotel. I will share your comment with all the Team, I am sure they will be happy to read your words.

Regarding your comment about Varanda Restaurant, we have Buffet offer but we also offer A La Carte, we also have Aquarius with Sushi and light meals and Delagoa Restaurant that is our fine dinning A La Carte.

Thank you once again for choosing Polana Serena Hotel and for writing such interesting and detailed comment about your experience at the Hotel .

Best regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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543 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (133)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Friday Harbor, Washington
Level Contributor
353 reviews
194 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 272 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2013

Visually this hotel is fantastic. The rooms were fine except we had AC problems that they were never able to fix. We stayed here for two nights to check out Maputo after visiting Vilanculos. We had a Deluxe sea facing room with a small balcony which helped given the AC issue.

Maputo is in a word - a "dump". Filthy, dangerous and the leadsers of this country should be ashamed. The hotel was truly an oasis and the only good thing about our visist to Maputo. We should have spent more time in Vilanculos which was great. The hotel was everything I expected from an old colonial hotel operated by the Serena group. I will say that the cocktails and food was priced at New York City rates and not particularly notable but staying here was neverthelessa good experience. The pool is beautiful but COLD.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Travel_Pin_Man
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MiguelAfonsoSantos, General Manager at Polana Serena Hotel, responded to this review, 21 November 2013
.
Dear Guest,

Firstly, I would like to thank you for choosing the Polana Serena Hotel and taking the time to write about our service and experience. We take every comment about our Hotel very seriously and whether positive or negative we always aim to improve.

We are very happy to know you had good experience at Polana Serena Hotel, however we regret that your experience was affected by a AC problem.

If you ever come again to Maputo, I would like to meet you personally.

Thank you once again for providing us with very valuable feedback on your visit to the Polana Serena Hotel.

Best regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2013

Super room with views over the ocean. Very neat, and clean and and perfect for romance or business. Lovely gym, spa and pool area. The Spa pool is heated and enclosed from the wind and sauna, jacuzzi use is free for hotel guests. Breakfasts and lunches are good. Wine is very expensive (3-4 times that of South Africa) and the cocktails are not that great.

Room Tip: Choose a room facing the ocean for less noise. Also try stay away from the ballroom as they often ha...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Domenique O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MiguelAfonsoSantos, General Manager at Polana Serena Hotel, responded to this review, 21 November 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing the Polana Serena Hotel and taking the time to write about our service and experience. We take every comment about our Hotel very seriously and whether positive or negative we always aim to improve.

We took notice about your comments on wine and cocktail quality, we will discuss among the Team to see how we can improve.

I would like to meet you personally, so please would you contact me directly on your next visit to Maputo.

Thank you once again.

Best regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lisbon, Portugal
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 October 2013

Polana Serena hotel in Maputo is definitely THE place to stay in Maputo. This charming and luxurious hotel has all I look for, both if I travel for business or pleasure purposes: the rooms, the service, the facilities - Gym & Spa, restaurants for all types of taste, hairdressing, adding the traditional decorations and the sympathy of all staff… all this makes me think only in POLANA when I’m in Maputo. I always feel at home there!

Room Tip: You can chose the central building rooms or the Polana Mar building rooms. Both with great sea view...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Goncalo A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MiguelAfonsoSantos, General Manager at Polana Serena Hotel, responded to this review, 21 November 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing the Polana Serena Hotel and taking the time to write about our service and experience. We take every comment about our Hotel very seriously and whether positive or negative we always aim to improve.

It is very good to read your comment.

I am sure all the team will be proud and happy to read your comment too.

I would like to meet you personally, so please would you contact me directly on your next visit to Maputo.

Thank you once again.

Best regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
Reviewed 17 October 2013

Gym- no gowns in early morning, light in sauna not working, no towels in gym first thing in morning, no water in sauna
Food generally very poor standard and staff following rules but ignoring guest experience
Food in restaurant way over priced and if a poor standard
Food in bar had to be sent back three times one evening. Menu misleading and borders on deliberate mis information/deception
Wi-Fi did not work most of Sunday
Electricity failed a good 50 times on Sat evening
You are clearly on a cost cutting drive - that is visually obvious - but this has negatively effected the guest experience
You are busy despite yourselves and I heard on numerous times from other guests during my 5 day stay that the Radisson Blue down the road offers better value.
It will be interessting to see if I get a reponse from your company
Air conditioning does not work effectively

Room Tip: Main hotel block are best rooms. Do not use rooms detached from main building
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Robert F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MiguelAfonsoSantos, General Manager at Polana Serena Hotel, responded to this review, 18 October 2013
Dear Guest,

Firstly, I would like to thank you for choosing the Polana Serena Hotel and taking the time to write about our service and experience. We take every comment about our Hotel very seriously and whether positive or negative we always aim to improve.

We regret that the experience and service at Polana Serena Hotel did not meet your expectations. It is in fact very disappointing for all the Team to see so many, negative comments about our service.

We have obviously, with your comment many aspects to improve however I would like to assure you that we are not on a cut cost drive attitude and we have strive to provide a unique guest experience always. We want to improve service, guest experience and try to do all the best we can to please .

I would like to meet you personally, so please would you contact me directly on your next visit to Maputo.

Thank you once again for providing us with very valuable feedback on your visit to the Polana Serena Hotel.

Best regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
2 reviews
Reviewed 4 October 2013

A beautiful shell of a hotel. Expensive for poor service and poor maintenance. Bills itself as a star hotel that delivers 1 star service. For example front desk promises to resolve all problems quickly. Issues never resolved. For example, air conditioning in room was very weak. Despite multiple promises to resolve the problem the issue was never addressed. Even in the winter Maputo can be bloody hot and sticky. Prestige club status does not matter at the Polana.

If you are the only game in town, service must not matter.

Room Tip: Try the Southern Sun, they try harder.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bob A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MiguelAfonsoSantos, General Manager at Polana Serena Hotel, responded to this review, 18 October 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing the Polana Serena Hotel and taking the time to write about our service and experience. We take every comment about our Hotel very seriously and whether positive or negative we always aim to improve.

We regret that the experience and service did not meet your expectations. It is in fact very disappointing for all the Team.

We have a team ready to please and follow up on comments or problems that guests face during the stay, and the system did not work this time. We will discuss your comment internally and we will for sure improve what you have mentioned .

I would like to meet you personally, so please would you contact me directly on your next visit to Maputo.

Thank you very much once again.

Best regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Africa
Level Contributor
20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 September 2013

Finding a hotel of this standard in a 3rd World Country and City such as Maputo has to get its credit. I have one night at this hotel for a function and was very surprised with the standard and look inside the hotel. The staff are amazing, most speak english. I think I came across one lady in the banqueting room who could not speak english but quicky pointed me to someone else who coudl assist me. Their banqueting room is also one of the most Stunning I have ever seen anywhere else in the world. The room is big and spacious, and the bathrooms very old elegance. And it met every expectation I had as a woman on business, lots of light and mirrors!
Look it IS a very expensive hotel, US$220 per single room and then Lunch and Buffet is on service everyday for about US$60 per person. But make no mistake its a wide selection of great food.
Overall a great stay and would definately return again.

Room Tip: Studio sea facing
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MonicaVW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MiguelAfonsoSantos, General Manager at Polana Serena Hotel, responded to this review, 18 October 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing the Polana Serena Hotel and taking the time to write about our service and experience.

We are very happy to know you had a very good experience at Polana Serena Hotel, look ad feel of Hotel, standards, service, staff.

I will share your comment with all the Team, I am sure they will be happy to read your words.

Regarding the English level, we invest in training very much and I am glad to see some improvements in our team members.

I would like to meet you personally, so please would you contact me directly on your next visit to Maputo.

Thank you once again.

Best regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Polana Serena Hotel

Property: Polana Serena Hotel
Address: Avenida Julius Nyerere 1380, Maputo 1100, Mozambique
Region: Mozambique > Maputo Province > Maputo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 22 Hotels in Maputo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Polana Serena Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 142
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The “Grand Dame” of Africa, as the Polana Serena Hotel is widely known, is a must-see historical landmark when talking about the city of Maputo. The elegance and splendour of its façade are the living memory of bygone colonial times; its luxurious interiors whisper stories of the many generations who spent nights protected by the hotel’s majestic walls, kings and queens, ambassadors and presidents, princesses and common travellers; its gardens, perfect and romantic lookouts offer a breathtaking view over the Indian Ocean.Built in 1922 in the heart of Maputo, one of the most exclusive residential areas, the Polana Serena Hotel belongs to the elite of the most famous hotels in the world. The splendor of its colonial lines blend tradition and art, making your stay an unforgettable journey through the past, looking to the future. Faithfull to the Serena Group philosophy of integrating architecture with cultural heritage, the Polana Serena Hotel offers a mix of elegance, grandeur and ethnicity, in a space equipped with the most modern solutions, luxurious facilities and excellent service. ... more   less 
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