Want to Rejuvenate? Serena’s the Pick For You

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The pool at Nairobi Serena, with the city's grand view as a backdrop. Refreshing after a day's hustle

It had been a while since I took a break and indulged my wanderlust: 2 months is a very long time. I needed time to rejuvenate and replenish my spirit while communing with nature. Well, nature pushed me to take the break I needed, and after a bout of illness, the best news came my way – a trip to Nanyuki and to Ol Pejeta.

The refurbished Sweetwaters Serena Camp front
The refurbished Sweetwaters Serena Camp front

I’ve always loved Nanyuki, with the cool mountain air that wards off the hot sun, and the green from the mountain forest sending down healing through the land. Being on the leeward side of Mt. Kenya gives Nanyuki an outpost feel, although the town has recently grown immensely thanks to some major brands setting up shop there.

After a long drive late in the evening, it was a joy to be welcomed warmly into Sweetwaters Serena Camp. I was surprised – a good surprise – at the new look of the main lodge: the front desk, lounges, dining room and bar were all refurbished. With the dining hall and lounge overlooking the waterhole, it was a great spot to start or end your day as the grazers come in for a quick drink and chomp of the grass around the waterhole. In addition, there was a chill out zone with seats to lounge in outside if it wasn’t too cold for you. I did kinda lose my bearings a bit on the first day, having to adjust to the new layout that my brain hadn’t processed yet.

 

So inviting, the rooms at Serena Sweetwaters Camp
So inviting, the rooms at Serena Sweetwaters Camp

And did I mention the WiFi? Great range all through to the last tent in the camp, I couldn’t have been happier. I was too bushed to do much anyway – and always fell asleep fast every night after exciting adventures as Ol Pejeta – more of that to come in the next blog post. After the trip, I felt so much better and my spirit was in a much happier state.

I think in all my travels, Serena is the one brand that I’ve had the chance to stay at for most of the part. And the one thing you want guaranteed in while you stay at a hotel or lodge is consistency, and excellence in service.

 

Sundowners never looked this inviting.
Sundowners never looked this inviting. Amboseli Serena

From the minute you walk into any Serena, you’re warmly welcomed by the staff, who are always at hand to answer all your questions and quickly set you up in the comfort of your room. The meals are great and you have a wide variety to pick from – and given how I love my food, hard to make decision on what not to eat!

I often wonder who designs and decorates the Serena hotels and lodges – they’re all exquisite, making sure the African theme is not just integrated, but contemporary without losing its charm.

Presidential Suite

It’s no wonder then that Serena was one of the top scorers at the World Travel Awards this weekend, scooping an armful of 5 awards in total. This is a true recognition of excellence from the world experts.

I’ve set my sights on staying at other Serena hotels – I’m looking forward to visiting Rwanda’s Kigali and Lake Kivu hotels, and Uganda’s Kampala Serena hotels, having checked Kenya’s Amboseli and the Beach Resort in Mombasa off the list. Nairobi Serena is just down the road from my house, always a great place for meetings and conferences, and serves the business traveler efficiently and ensures the stay is excellent, helping you to forget that you’re in the midst of a bustling capital city. Or for that day at the spa, Maisha Spa is great for the body and mind.

The pool at Nairobi Serena, with the city's grand view as a backdrop. Refreshing after a day's hustle
The pool at Nairobi Serena, with the city’s grand view as a backdrop. Refreshing after a day’s hustle

The big dream remains to visit the first Serena – Polana, in Maputo, Mozambique. Now that will be a dream come true.

Stay tuned for my adventures at Ol Pejeta, where once again, I had the chance to meet Sudan.