Latest Mozambique Stay

48 hours at the Polana Serena

Welcome to the Polana Serena Hotel, arguably the most well known building in the whole of Maputo.

This incredible hotel has been around since the 1920s and has always had a reputation for being an opulent respite from the busy city it is intrinsically a part of. Regally placed amongst so many other well-known landmarks in Maputo, the Polana Serena Hotel was my home for a weekend, and an incredible base to discover the city itself.

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Luis, the head doorman at the Polana Serena is just so uber cool with his badges!

 Why I loved Polana Serena

The history seems to just ooze out of every wall here. The building has been renovated in recent years, but still shows an excess of luxury wherever you look. The grand pieces of furniture, the uniforms of the staff, the incredible service, it all creates the ambience of classic colonial hospitality. The food, restaurants, and spa facilities totally lift that in a modern way though. It doesn’t feel like a heavy old-school hotel, just a great balance of both.

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My fancy room at the Polana Serena

The room was exactly as luxe as I expected it to be. These rich colours are continued throughout the entire hotel and they’re reminiscent for me of the Portuguese mosaics that are all over the city, read more about those here.

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Just your average ocean view

The view from the hotel’s terrace is pretty spectacular looking over the pool and then onto the moody Indian ocean in the background. The featured image right at the top of this post was taken from between those arches in the far end of this photo.

The Maisha Spa is a lovely private getaway at the hotel too. I didn’t get any great pics sadly, it’s a bit awkward to take pictures of randoms in robes in a spa, but it’s got a gorgeous Arabic influence. Even though I never went for a treatment, I got to try out the pool, jacuzzi and steam room and they were delicious!

Food at Polana Serena

There are three different restaurant options at the hotel, and luckily I got to try them all. Delagoa is a French fine dining restaurant, while the Varanda is a little more relaxed, and known for its seafood grill on Saturday nights. My favourite though was the Aquarius Bar. We spent an afternoon indulging in a sickly amount of sushi and it was deliciously fresh and perfectly put together.

For a luxury property, the Polana Serena Hotel has rates that I don’t find completely crazy even though they’re priced in US Dollars. And to be honest, if I travel back to Maputo, this is going to be my first choice of stay.

Should you go? If you can afford a weekend here, I would say YES! The city is vibrant, travellers are well looked after, it’s a photographer’s dream and there is just so much history to take in. I had an amazing time at the hotel, and a great time exploring the city. You can read more about what I found fascinating about Maputo in my post 8 things I bet you didn’t know about Maputo.

My stay at the Polana Serena Hotel was courtesy of Serena Hotels, and some images have been provided by them. As with all my posts though, it’s my opinion on this page. You can read more about the hotel here.

Travel & food blogger helping adventurous South Africans find their next escape.

Comments (8)

  • […] and explore. I was invited to spend a weekend in April with Serena Hotels discovering the historic Polana Serena Hotel, and venturing out onto the streets […]

  • Wow Kate lovely to see all the super place you go to…Thank you xx

    • Thanks Debs. This was wonderfully special!

  • Very cool article! I’ve lived in the Polana for nearly 2 months. Great memories!

    • That sounds like heaven! Anything I missed to scout out when I’m next in Maputo?

      • Not sure what you are into, but if you have a “wild” side when it comes to nature, I have two suggestions, the first one is the Maputo Special Reserve (formerly known as Maputo Elephant Reserve), a VERY unspoiled nature park. It’s pretty “Raw” if you know what I mean. If you feel like basking in the sun, I recommend “Machangulo Lodge” just across the maputo bay (2 days minimum). If you want to treat yourself to the highest (and absolutely don’t care about the budget), then the White Pearl in Ponta Mamoli is your destination (a “simple” 25 minutes helicopter ride away). ;)

        • Thanks for the suggestions! Hopefully it won’t be too long until I’m back!

  • Polana Serena looks beautiful. I loved the fancy bedroom and ofcourse the ocean view was great.
    Do they have hotels in Johannesburg too. I am exploring Jo’burg these days.


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