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Experience: Polana Serena Hotel Maputo, Mozambique

A review of the Polana Serena Hotel in Maputo, Mozambique on the trip The South of Africa Tour.


  • One of the Great Dame hotels of Africa.
  • Beautiful courtyard pool with seaview.
  • Central seaside location.
  • Comprehensive facilities and excellent restaurant selection.


The Polana Serena Hotel, sometimes called the “Great Dame” of Africa, stands in the center of Mozambique’s capital Maputo. It was built in the early 20th century to be one of the best hotels in the world and has retained its 5-star rating and its place among world famous hotels like The Dorchester and The Ritz in Paris. The “palace style” attracted the rich and famous throughout the decades and during wartime was a popular meeting place for spies for the allies as well as Germany and Italy. Today it is managed by East Africa’s leading hotel chain, the Serena Group which has carefully renovated the hotel with local artisans and traditional Indo-Portuguese style.

There are 142 rooms at the Polana Serena Hotel ranging from Studio Rooms and Executive Rooms to Suites and of course the Presidential Suite. All are filled with exotically carved furniture in rich woods like mahogany. Complementary to the dark wood tones are soft crème and off white fabrics as inviting as the sea and city views. Rooms and suites are updated with the best amenities including wi-fi, satellite TV, video on demand, iPod docking stations, private safes and tea and coffee machines.

The main pool of the hotel is a showpiece. Guests can lounge around the pool with drinks from the bar or simply admire the sea view.

The Serena Maisha Spa is an oasis in the middle of the city. Not only does it feature a wide variety of spa treatments but it also houses state-of-the-art fitness facilities like the gym, aerobics studio, juice bar and pool which is nestled among the Polana Serena Hotel’s tropical gardens. There is also a Hair and Beauty Salon.

Inside the spa, holistic massages, de-tox and aroma therapy treatments complete a day of indulgence in the sauna or steam room, but only for adults.

The Polana Serena Hotel offers a wide variety of dining and lounging options. The Varanda Restaurant is a perfect choice for an early buffet breakfast or buffet dinner which features a balcony overlooking the pool and Maputo Bay.

One of the finest in the city, the Delagoa Restaurant presents classical French cuisine infused with Mozambique flair. Pre-dinner drinks including the award winning wine collection are offered in the Residents Lounge inside the restaurant which is open to all hotel guests. After drinks, guests have a choice of the formal dining room or the Rose Garden for outdoor dining. For special gatherings there are also private dining rooms available for business or events.

For trendy cocktails and sushi, Aquarius Baris an easy choice. The bar takes pride in its wide range of drinks and delectable sushi menu. Live jazz is played here making it a go-to for the local elite. Every Wednesday night, families and friends can enjoy tapas by the pool while watching old world cinema. The Polana Bar has been a local favorite for years. The bar is stocked with the finest wine and spirits, served in a relaxed atmosphere.

For large scale events, there is the massive ballroom that originally functioned as a fancy casino.

For business guests, there is a Business Center and Travel Desk available to serve.

Service in the hotel is of the 5 star standard with courteous front desk staff and friendly waiters in the restaurants.

Though there are newer hotels in the city, nothing can compare to the rich history and architectural beauty of the Polana Serena Hotel. The service and facilities will satisfy expectations while the restaurants and views will leave an impression to remember.

I can easily recommend the Polana Serena Hotel for an unparalleled Mozambique experience.

Polana Serena Hotel
Address: Avenida Julius Nyerere, Maputo, Mozambique
Telephone: 258 21 241 700


About David

Founder and writer at, David is on a mission to travel to every country in the world and has less than 10 countries left! He loves new adventures, unique cultures, historic landmarks, and luxurious hotels. Follow along as David shares a journey of a lifetime!