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Polana Serena Hotel

5.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

Serena is a properly renovated colonial style hotel along Maputo Bay. It is probably one of the (if not the most) expensive hotel alternatives, but has very nice rooms, a beautiful breakfast area, big pool, spa and other amenities. Staff are friendly and attentive. Wifi is good and works throughout the hotel grounds.

The Bathrooms, have both bath & shower, but the toilets have their own doors, so for those who prefer to have privacy, they can do so. the beds are comfortable & the little extras the staff give was magic.

When we arrived we got a room in the new part of the hotel. They have a new wing on the ocean side of the swimming pool. You get there by entering an are which feels like an underground dungeon thru a door which looks like the door we have in our basement. Some long windowless hallways lead to room where some have balconies with a ocean view (which is actually nice), some are just facing other walls. When we got there the room was drab, no decoration, hot water was not working (had to call 4 times ntil on the next day somebody came and fixed it), room was dusty. There were people with a saw working next to our terrace, a big heap of trash in front of the terrace, noise (workers were hrowin trash down the hill). After threatening to leave after the first night they finally moved us to a room in the main building. What a difference, classy, nicely decorated building, everything was working, no construction noise. Service was in general good, but sometimes very slow.

In my wedding I had the opportunity to enjoy the wedding night in this magnificent hotel. Being fresh married and staying in a presidential room is difficult to describe sparing praise for the service provided with excellence. I would not need to return as a regular guest to a normal room to get to know the day to day life of this establishment because we are talking about a five star hotel where refinement and good taste are always present in every detail.

Lovey hotel with old Portuguese decor. Really nice view of the ocean and an excellent swimming pool. This hotel reminds me of a palace. The restaurant serves delicious food too. Service at the bar lounge area can be a bit better though. On the whole it was quite a nice stay.

Our first floor, corner room facing the bay, with two windows, was fantastic, except for the worn carpeting. Our terrace offered approximately 270 degrees of beautiful viewing while standing. Although, if sitting on a chair, the railing was in the way of the view. All the amenities one could request were available; excellent temperature control, very good WiFi, a large bathroom, several outlets, a stocked minibar, bathrobes, turn down service, etc. The décor was mostly Portuguese with a few Chinese vases. It is a shame local handiwork isn’t used in the interior, as there are so many impoverished artists in Mozambique. The Polana Hotel shuttle charged $40 plus tip for a one-way drive from Maputo airport. Don't assume it is provided as a guest amenity. Our porter at the airport attempted to prevent the shuttle’s door from closing and pounded on the window insisting on a bigger tip. The shuttle driver, although a very nice person, didn’t interfere with the porter’s behavior. Be prepared with many 100 metical bills, single dollars, and/or euros for the overzealous staff at the Polana. They were extremely insistent on accompanying and helping guests. I wonder if they are paid or depend on gratuities. Although we really didn’t like constantly feeling the need to tip, the “employees” were ever so appreciative. A nice and usually helpful person at guest relations, recommended his friend for a tour of the city, claiming him to be a seasoned tour guide who spoke excellent English. Unfortunately, his friend was a taxi driver, not a tour guide and spoke little English. The driver did bring us to a few attractions in Maputo, but couldn’t share much information of the city other than pointing out the hotels. He did not assist us in warding off all the aggressive vendors surrounding us at stops, i.e. the central market, and the fish market. I don’t recommend going to the fish market, except if interested in eating a meal there. The central market had a few well priced souvenirs, but we were stormed by vendors. We really enjoyed eating at the Delagoa Restaurant in the hotel. It was the same price as the Taverna restaurant, located three blocks from the hotel, but the service and food were much better. If not interested in a buffet, I recommend the Delogoa in lieu of the Veranda restaurant. Note: Obtaining the visa to enter the country in advance is not necessary. On entry into the airport at Maputo, a visa may be obtained simply by filling out a form and paying $36 USD or 35 Euros. Naturally, there is a line to be processed.

Absolutely fantastic service by all members of the staff. A job well done to the team! The architecture is beautiful, old world and well maintained. Food is also excellent for both breakfast and dinner , especially seafood. Combine this with a magnificent view of the sea and all is good.

This hotel stay was well worth the price. The service was beyond exceptional and the breakfast was out of this world. The Polana has retained its pre-Independence atmosphere while moving forward with the times. It is an island of calm in a city of craziness and so provides welcome relief to the busy-ness of the city.Make sure you ask for Fernando at the concierge desk as he is super helpful.

I went back to Polana in March, after 40 years, as I lived there for 3 weeks, when I was little. It is still a marvelous hotel, as it was in the past, a very Iconic place with an excelent service and still a beautiful location and building. Everything is very clean, including the pool and gardens.The staff is also excelent and very kind, always willing to help you. I sincerely hope I can can back one day.

The hotel is big, the building has fascinating old style, well hidden in the environment, fantastic gardens, a large swimming pool, large gym and spa, a rich breakfast, different selection of restaurant and bar. Consequently the price is high, but the level is high.

Avenida Julius Nyerere 1380 Maputo

Hotel highlights

  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • Free parking
  • Onsite dining
  • Spa

Located within a mile (2 km) of Museum of Natural History, Polana Serena Hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Eduardo Mondlane University. This 142-room, 5-star hotel has conveniences like a full-service spa, an outdoor pool, and an indoor pool. Also near this Maputo hotel are Maputo Cathedral and Maputo City Hall.


Enjoy dining at Varanda All Day Dining, one of 3 onsite restaurants. Savor a meal from the comfort of your room with 24-hour room service, or make new friends over drinks at the bar/lounge. For your convenience, breakfast is available for a fee.


All 142 air-conditioned accommodations feature sitting areas. LCD TVs come with satellite channels, and guests can stay connected with free WiFi. Bathrooms offer jetted tubs, hair dryers, and free toiletries. Minibars, coffee makers, and free newspapers are also standard.

Property features

Guests of Polana Serena Hotel enjoy a full-service spa, an indoor pool, and an outdoor pool. You can take advantage of free parking, along with an airport shuttle for MZN 200 per person one way. Staff members are on hand to provide dry cleaning/laundry services and concierge services. Other amenities at this luxury hotel include a fitness center, free WiFi in public areas, and conference space.

Room options

Standard Room

King 1 | Twin 1 | Sleeps 2

Executive Room

King 1 | Twin 1 | Sleeps 2

Studio, 1 Double Bed

Full 1 | Sleeps 1

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

79% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 548 reviews