Following my recent blog about my favourite Serena I asked my colleague Amanda the same question and this is what she had to say:
If I am allowed two then my favourite Serena properties have to be Serena Inn in Zanzibar and Mivumo River Lodge in the Selous. Those that know me know that I am partial to a touch of luxury however not at the detriment of the experience. In my view luxury should be used to enhance the experience not cocoon you from it and that is what make Serena Inn and Mivumo River Lodge My favourite Serena properties.
I have always wanted to visit Zanzibar – the sheer name has always evoked in my mind such visions of adventure and history, of palm fringed beaches, wood carved doors and not to forget – amazing spices. With this in mind I stood in front of Serena Inn, a boutique hotel beautifully positioned between the sea and the edge of Stone Town. What better location could you get for soaking up the atmosphere of this magical island. Walking through the doors into the reception of the hotel I could see straight through to the ocean and at that exact moment a magnificent Dhow with its sails billowing in the wind sailed past. A perfect start! My guide took me on the most amazing adventure to explore the narrow, windy streets of Stone Town. Stopping at a variety of shops which made me feel like I was stepping into an Aladdin’s Cave of treasures. How could I resist bringing back a beautifully carved miniture wooden dhow for my son and an intricately designed tiny little silver antique jewellry pot for my little girl.
I could have wandered those streets for hours but a cool dip and a massage overlooking the ocean eventually drew me back to the hotel! I know – this is where the luxury wins. I really was not disappointed as just as I finished having an amazing massage in one of the cabannas by the pool and had sat back down with a long cool drink I noticed a crepe station where fresh crepes were being prepared for those feeling a bit peckish. Could things get any better – now I was being offered a Chocolate Crepe!
My Serena Inn had immersed me in the magic of Zanzibar whilst at the same time offering me the perfect oasis in which to relax and be spoilt with lovely friendly staff. Daniel the Hotel Manager (pictured) instinctively knows exactly what his guests want and this is a rare but very much appreciated trait.
I shall continue with My Serena in my next blog…..