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Serena Hotels receives ecotourism award and other news
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 15378

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Polana Serena Hotel receives the “Made in Mozambique” Seal of Honour

The Polana Serena Hotel recently received the “Made in Mozambique” seal. This insignia recognises the Polana Serena Hotel’s commitment to revitalisation and empowerment in the provision of good service and quality products. Says Merali: “We are confident that this stamp will add value to our services and verify us in the market as a hotel which provides services that are truly Mozambican and of an international standard.”

Beautifully located on one of the most sought-after avenues in the heart of Maputo, The Polana Serena Hotel has always boasted having a reputation of being one of the best hotel’s in the world. Having achieved this new ‘green’ certification is just another accolade which affirms this status as the hotel continues to keep abreast of the ever-changing trends in the market.

For more information visit http://www.serenahotels.com/serenapolana/default-en.htmlor call Polana Serena Hotel on Tel: (+258) 21241700 or 2124800Fax: (+258) 21491480

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/?p=635
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mawlana Hazar Imam arrives in Tajikistan to open Dushanbe Serena

Mawlana Hazar Imam with AKDN Resident Representative Munir Merali and His Excellency Hamrokhon Zarifi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who received Hazar Imam on behalf of the Government of Tajikistan. Photo: Gary Otte

Dushanbe, 30 October 2011 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Tajikistan today for the inauguration of the Dushanbe Serena Hotel. Prince Rahim and Prince Amyn had arrived earlier, and will also participate in the opening ceremony.

At the airport, His Excellency Hamrokhon Zarifi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, received Mawlana Hazar Imam on behalf of the Government of Tajikistan. Aga Khan Development Network Resident Representative Munir Merali and leaders of the Jamat also welcomed Hazar Imam to the country.

Mawlana Hazar Imam is welcomed to Tajikistan by LIF Member Dr Sharofat Mamadambarova and ITREC Chairman Dr Mamadsho Ilolov, as AKDN Resident Representative Munir Merali looks on. Photo: Gary Otte

Mawlana Hazar Imam has described the new five-star Serena Hotel as part of “a long-term commitment to a process of tourism development that can have deep and lasting benefits for Central Asia.” In addition to setting quality benchmarks, generating urban renewal and contributing to Tajikistan’s economic development, the Dushanbe hotel has already made important strides in human resource development through its comprehensive employee training programme.

While in Tajikistan, Mawlana Hazar Imam is also expected to review the progress of other AKDN projects in the region.

Prince Amyn and Prince Rahim are greeted by staff at the Dushanbe Serena Hotel. They are accompanied by Aziz Boolani, CEO of Serena Hotels (South and Central Asia) and Hotel General Manager David Scully. Photo: Michail Romanyuk

http://www.theismaili.org/cms/1281/
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

President Rahmon and Aga Khan Inaugurate Dushanbe Serena Hotel

http://www.akdn.org/Content/1093

Tajik Culture and Tradition Featured in Modern Hotel

Please also see: Photographs, Dushanbe Serena Hotel Website

Dushanbe, 1 November 2011 -- His Excellency Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, and His Highness the Aga Khan, founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), today inaugurated the Dushanbe Serena Hotel.

The ceremony, which was held in the hotel’s Millat banquet room, was attended by Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Executive Director of AKFED, Prince Rahim Aga Khan, eldest son of His Highness the Aga Khan and dignitaries from the government, development and tourism sectors.

“The opening of the Dushanbe Serena Hotel in the centre of the capital, the architectural designs of which unite our cultural heritage with the modern aspects of design, is a remarkable achievement,” said President Rahmon, expressing his gratitude to His Highness the Aga Khan, agencies of the AKDN and “all the architects, designers, engineers and all those who were involved and participated actively in construction of this modern structure.”

The Aga Khan said that he hoped that the hotel would be “a welcoming haven" for the “traders, bankers, developers and business executives, government officials and diplomats, the leaders of civil society, travellers, vacationers, artists and writers, people from many backgrounds and from the farthest reaches of our world”. Evoking the history of the Silk Route, he remarked that “all of them will learn, as they visit, about the exciting potential of this country and this region, and some of them will wish even to settle here in some way. Is this not exactly what happened at the time of the Silk Route?”

Located at the heart of the country’s capital on Rudaki drive, the hotel is part of the broader work of the AKDN, which includes a range of non-profit development activities throughout Tajikistan, from microfinance banks to a campus of the University of Central Asia, and selected commercial investments, including the Serena hotel and a hydroelectricity project, Pamir Energy, which are designed to create the infrastructure for economic development.

The hotel, which cost $58m to build, employed over 300 Tajik nationals at the peak of its construction period. It currently employs close to 200 staff, ninety-three percent of whom are Tajik and indirectly supports some 300 people. The Tajik government, Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG) and the International Finance Corporation partnered with the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) in the construction of the Dushanbe Serena.

Also addressing guests at the ceremony, Prince Amyn underlined the intention “to position the Dushanbe Serena as the flagship hotel property in this country, combining Tajik design with traditional Tajik warmth and hospitality, providing the highest levels and quality of service to international or foreign visitors and tourists as also to the citizens of Tajikistan themselves.”

Placing emphasis on research which had been carried out on the country’s artistic idioms, and cultural expressions in an effort to “escape the foreign architectural idiom that characterizes so much of the architectural landscape currently admired elsewhere,” he remarked, “my hope is that from the etching on the glass of this building to the intricate paintings on the walls and the designs and decor throughout the hotel right down to the uniforms of our staff we will have showcased Tajik motifs and colours and this country’s culture in a true and authentic form. We have been greatly assisted by the collaboration of many talented, hardworking local artists. Their enthusiasm and creativity have inspired us. They are a credit to this country.”

The hotel combines contemporary architecture with Tajikistan’s rich traditional cultural heritage. The signature inspiration is the Choekhanna – the traditional Tea Pavilion with its high slender column structure, vibrantly hand-painted ceilings and historic carved masharabiyya wooden doors. The Choekhanna opens to a view of the garden, with a central water channel in the tradition of a char bagh. Each of the hotel’s interior spaces is a reminder of the country’s rich cultural tradition. Local crafts such as carved plaster, or Ganj, Ikat or Abr textile patterns, suzani needlework in silk textile, wall paintings by local artists, carpets with colourful floral motifs and vibrant hand-painted ceilings are designed to create the warmth of Tajik hospitality.

Designed by renowned Canadian architects and interior design firm Le Groupe Arcop, the Dushanbe Serena Hotel offers 85 luxury rooms and suites as well as 10 long-stay serviced apartments and 10 office spaces, and incorporates conference and shopping facilities, restaurants, state of the art gymnasium, spa and swimming pool on the rooftop.

Serena Hotels builds hotel capacity in underserved regions. It has built hotels in East Africa and Pakistan and more recently in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. As part of AKFED’s development ethos, Serena is both a commercial enterprise and a development project. The hotels are designed to be engines of economic growth through local employment and the development of human resources, sourcing and the generation of tax revenues. From its beginnings, Serena has also stressed cultural and environmental sensitivity, for which it has received a number of prizes. Its current portfolio comprises 34 hotels, resorts and safari lodges in ten countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Syria (under development), Zanzibar, Rwanda and Uganda.

For more information, please contact:

Sulhiya Khaidarova
Sales and Marketing Manager
Dushanbe Serena Hotel
14 Rudaki Avenue, 734013 Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Email: sulhiya.khaidarova@serena.com.tj
Mobile: (992) 93 577 01 70
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VIDEO

http://www.akdn.org/videos_detail.asp?VideoId=125

Remarks by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Inauguration Ceremony of the Dushanbe Serena Hotel

01 November 2011

http://www.akdn.org/Content/1094/Remarks-by-His-Highness-the-Aga-Khan-at-the-Inauguration-Ceremony-of-the-Dushanbe-Serena-Hotel

Please also see: Remarks by His Highness the Aga Khan (Russian, Tajik), Speech by Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Press Release (English, Russian, Tajik), Photographs, Architecture, Dushanbe Serena Hotel Website

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim

Your Excellency, President Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan
Your Excellency, Davlatali Saidov, Chairman of the State Committee on Investment
and Management of State Property
Honorable Ministers
Excellencies
Ladies and Gentlemen

I would like to begin my comments this morning by thanking His Excellency the President for the support he has given this institution and having told us that it will remain fully occupied for the next two years! And I should warn our financing agencies that I will use that excuse to negotiate even harder than before for good terms for our future projects in Tajikistan!

We join today at a special ceremony of inauguration and dedication - and I am so pleased that we can share this moment together with all of you.

It is a time for thinking and talking about the exciting future, as we launch a new facility that will be central to the growth of this community and this country in the days and years to come.

But I am also thinking today about the past - both the near past and the more distant past which are tied so intimately with today’s ceremony - and with all the good things which we hope will come from it.

The spirit of our project, after all, reaches all the way back to the days of the ancient Silk Route - when this region was a key connecting point between people from many different cultures, languages and ethnicities - coming from opposite ends of the world as it was known at that time. And these travellers lived in some of the most magnificent caravanserai ever built and they constructed some of the world's most beautiful monuments: Samarkand, Khiva, Bokhara are iconic names. If we were using 21st century language to describe what was happening back then, we might have seen this place as one of the very first links in early processes of “globalization”, although there existed at that time, no credit cards with which to pay for the Syrian, Turkish and other caravanserai.

It is in this context that many of us see a new future for Dushanbe and Tajikistan as important players again on the global stage.

As that process develops, we hope that the new beautiful Serena Hotel will reflect both the spirit of this country's ancient past and be a welcoming haven with professional staff for the global players of the coming century - as they flow in increasing numbers to this lovely and exciting part of the world. Just think of who may be coming here - traders, bankers, developers and business executives, government officials and diplomats, the leaders of civil society, travellers, vacationers, artists and writers, people from many backgrounds and from the farthest reaches of our world. All of them will learn, as they visit, about the exciting potential of this country and this region, and some of them will wish even to settle here in some way. Is this not exactly what happened at the time of the Silk Route?

Thinking of the past, I recollect the important dates of Tajik history. Twenty years ago, independence; sixteen years ago, an agreement between the Aga Khan Development Network and the government of Tajikistan in order to contribute to the development of this country. That agreement has enabled us to share as partners in the work of developing Tajikistan and improving the quality of life of the people of this country. We focused not only on building this hotel, but we worked on rural development, health and education at different levels, the production of energy and including the University of Central Asia and the Ismaili Centre here in Dushanbe.

What is the purpose? The purpose is to bring multiple-sector support to the development process of the countries in which we work in.

On a day like this, we look to the future and we seek to set out benchmarks and goals to achieve and in doing that we work with partners and I want to take this occasion - and i can see our partners in the audience- to thank them for enabling our work In Tajikistan.

I also want to salute especially the architects and designers, the contractors, the project managers and all those workers who gave of their skills and energies to realize this project. I am pleased that my brother - and yes he is my brother-- who has worked so closely with all of these people, is joining me in expressing these thanks - speaking as well for the parent organization under which the Serena Group operates, the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development.

I hope that those of you who do decide occasionally to stay here, will find that what we have tried to achieve, will inshallah, be achieved.

Thank you.

*****

Speech by Prince Amyn Aga Khan for the official opening of Dushanbe Serena Hotel, 1st November 2011

http://www.akdn.org/Content/1095/Speech-by-Prince-Amyn-Aga-Khan-for-the-official-opening-of-Dushanbe-Serena-Hotel-1st-November-2011

01 November 2011


Please also see: Remarks by His Highness the Aga Khan (English, Russian, Tajik), Press Release (English, Russian, Tajik), Photographs, Architecture, Dushanbe Serena Hotel Website

Your Excellency, President Rahmon,
Your Highness,
Chairman of the State Committee on Investment and Management of State
Property,
Honourable Ministers,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen

It gives me the greatest pleasure to see the Dushanbe Serena officially opened today. Part of the hotel was, of course, unofficially available for clients during the recent anniversary of independence, although work was still progressing on the hotel and the building and its facilities were partly incomplete. The purpose then, as it is now, is that this hotel should offer to the country a receptive facility for investors and international visitors of all levels interested in Tajikistan and both capable and willing to support and take part in this country’s development. The Dushanbe Serena aims to strengthen Tajikistan’s infrastructure and to promote trade, tourism and investment to and within this country.

As an up-market facility, where service will be an essential element of success, it is also a purveyor of an enhanced quantity of jobs and professional opportunities to the people of this country. The Dushanbe Serena is what is known as a mixed-use building consisting of hotel rooms and the best modern hotel facilities, but also of apartments and office space.
Designing the Dushanbe Serena has not been an easy exercise, demanding that a building of so-called modern size and shape still respect Serena’s policy of high-lighting traditional design, a traditional aesthetic. We are all the children of mixed historical pasts, some of which pasts we like more, some less. It is like one’s parents or family: we like some more than others. But it is in its totality our heritage, it informs our present and acceptance of all of it is necessary to guide our future. The challenge for Serena was therefore to escape the bland artificial so-called international but essentially foreign architectural idiom that characterizes so much of the architectural landscape currently admired elsewhere, architecture where innovation has become synonymous with excess or extravagance. We have therefore undertaken considerable research into this country’s artistic idioms, its cultural expressions. My hope is that from the etching on the glass of this building to the intricate paintings on the walls and the designs and decor throughout the hotel right down to the uniforms of our staff we will have showcased Tajik motifs and colours and this country’s culture in a true and authentic form. We have been greatly assisted (and I want to thank them here) by the collaboration of many talented, hardworking local artists. Their enthusiasm and creativity have inspired us. They are a credit to this country.

The total cost of this project has been over US$58 million. This is excessive by normal standards since it has made the cost per room higher than the average tariffs we can expect to achieve. Non-availability of materials and of skilled labour, transportation costs have all contributed to this high end cost. Included in this figure are, of course, the some US$4.6 million that the company has paid to the Government treasury in direct and indirect taxes along with other levies such as customs duties. For this project to earn back so massive an investment will be a lengthy process at best. This project is thus essentially a development project rather than a purely commercial venture or opportunity and it must be seen and recognized as such. I would like here to thank most warmly our partners and lenders, International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Deutsche Investitions and Entwicklungsgesellschaft MBH (DEG), the German development agency. AKFED is happy indeed that DEG agreed to join us as an equity partner, and it is particularly satisfying that DEG decided to continue with us, despite the fact that there has been an unexpected and significant cost overruns.

During construction, approximately 300 skilled and semi-skilled manpower were employed, of which over 80% were Tajik nationals. Moreover, efforts were consistently made to develop the skills of the local manpower employed so as to minimize the dependency on expatriate skilled manpower, and the availability of this trained local manpower should now benefit future construction projects in this country.

In the same line of thought, the hotel has at present some 190 employees, of which over 90% are Tajik nationals in many cases trained by us. I want to congratulate these young men and women, who bring to their work an enthusiasm, a desire to continue learning and to perform at the highest level which is admirable and which augurs well for this hotel as a landmark of quality and professionalism in Dushanbe. Serena will, of course, focus on the continuing training and development of our young and talented staff. With increased experience and the enhancement of their skills they can expect to be given higher responsibilities, thus improving their families’ income and living standards.

Our intention is to position the Dushanbe Serena as the flagship hotel property in this country, combining Tajik design with the traditional Tajik warmth and hospitality, providing the highest levels and quality of service to international or foreign visitors and tourists as also to the citizens of Tajikistan themselves. We will maximize the use of indigenous produce, working with local farmers and suppliers to reduce reliance on imported goods. My hope is that the citizens of Dushanbe and Tajik visitors to this city will make of the Dushanbe Serena Hotel their natural meeting point, to enjoy the facilities of this hotel, to relax and simply to meet each other for a pleasant moment or to further their business interests. The hotel has 85 guest rooms including Presidential and Executive suites, six restaurants of different types, meeting rooms, a banquet hall, a fully-equipped business centre and a health club that includes a spa, state-of-the-art gym equipment, treatment rooms and a roof-top swimming pool with a view over the city to the mountains beyond, not to mention large and attractive gardens.

Like all Serenas, this hotel observes strict standards of environmental friendliness, both in terms of the product but also in terms of energy conservation, recycling of effluents and hard and soft landscaping. We pride ourselves that all Serenas (and we now have 34 in operation internationally and three more in progress) go beyond existing environmental laws, regulations and minimum requirements and in fact, through new techniques and approaches, set new benchmarks. Like all Serenas, this hotel will also engage in a programme of corporate social responsibility, assisting and working with various local village organizations, technical and educational institutions and civic groups, civil society.

Finally, I should like to end these words with an acknowledgement of the support and contribution made by Mr Ramesh Khosla of Arcop, our architect, and his assistant, Anca Haganu, BATT Construction, our contractors, and Planning and Construction Management, our Project Management. It is thanks to them that we are able today to celebrate the completion and commissioning of the Dushanbe Serena before you. My heartfelt thanks go to this team. Working and creating with you has been a joy.

Thank you – Tashakoor.


Last edited by kmaherali on Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:05 am, edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.eturbonews.com/26214/serena-chain-acquires-tanzanias-leading-business-and-tourist-cla

Movenpick Royal Palm Hotel Dar es Salaam

Serena chain acquires Tanzania's leading business and tourist-class hotel

By Apolinari Tairo, eTN Tanzania | Nov 06, 2011

TANZANIA (eTN) - East Africa's leading hotel chain, Serena Hotels, has taken over the business of the Movenpick Royal Palm Hotel Dar es Salaam.

Once operating as Movenpick Royal Palm Hotel Dar es Salaam, the 230-room facility will soon be operating under a business brand name of Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel.

Reports from Serena Hotels’ head office in Nairobi Kenya said that the flourishing and leading Serena chain had acquired the total business of the Movenpick Hotel in Tanzania's capital city of Dar es Salaam, but no more details were made available yet.

Located at the heart of the business district in the city center of Dar es Salaam, the hotel is one of the most popular accommodation and meeting place for corporate business and social events.

Movepick Royal Palm Hotel opened its business doors late in 1995, once operating under franchise of Sheraton Dar es Salaam Hotel, before changing its business to Royal Palm Hotel under Legacy Hotels of South Africa, and later the Swiss franchise, the Movenpick.

The hotel offers nightlife recreations, dining, business, shopping, and cultural diversions, while located a ten minute’s drive from Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) and within walking distance of the city center.

Acquisition of Movepick Hotel brings to 10 Serena luxury hotels, lodges, and camps in Tanzania. The Serena chain entered Tanzania in mid-1996 when former Tanzania President Mr. Benjamin Mkapa and His Highness The Aga Khan cut a ribbon to open two lodges and a hotel in northern Tanzania wildlife parks, the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge, Serengeti Serena Lodge, and Lake Manyara Serena Hotel.

The total number of lodges other than Ngorongoro, Serengeti, and Lake Manyara facilities currently under ownership and management of Serena portfolio in Tanzania are the Arusha Mountain Village (46 room), located at the foot of the wooded slopes of Mount Meru outside the tourist city of Arusha in Northern Tanzania, and Zanzibar Serena Inn (51 rooms) on the island of Zanzibar.

Other facilities under the Serena chain are Mivumo River Lodge in Selous Game Reserve, Kirawira Tented Camp, and Mbuzi Mawe Tented Camps in Western Serengeti and Selous Luxury Camp in Selous Game Reserve.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge shines at Ecotourism Awards 2011

Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge has been crowned Eco Tourism Enterprise of the year 2011. The announcement was made during the Annual Eco Tourism Awards Gala Dinner held on Friday 25th November 2011 by Ecotourism Kenya. The Ecotourism Awards seeks to reward individuals and corporates who have excelled in promoting sustainable tourism through business and best practices, and through involvement with the local communities around the areas in which they operate.

More...

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/?p=727
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Islamabad Serena Hotel completes 10 years of hospitality excellence

Islamabad Serena Hotel celebrated its 10th anniversary on Sunday, 11th March, 2012, at the lush green and spacious gardens of the hotel. With a cake cutting ceremony, followed by the General Manager’s and CEO’s speech, the event was well attended by government officials, diplomats, heads of international agencies, representatives from the private and corporate sector, NGO’s, and the media. Majority of the guests attended the festivity with their spouses.

The entertaining 10-year anniversary celebration comprising of folk dance performances, puppet shows, piano recital, display of traditional artifacts, and other enjoyable activities was a great success. The festive outdoor atmosphere was enhanced by mouth-watering treats containing large array of BBQ items in addition to local and international cuisines. It was interesting to see the traditional items like Makai ki roti, Gola Ganda, Shawarmas, Faluda, Jalebis, and a lot more! It was a food-lovers dream.

General Manager Peter Hill orchestrated the celebration with the help of his smart and dedicated team members. “Serena Hotels in Pakistan have come a long way. From the commissioning of a small hotel in the northern areas of Pakistan to this flagship property – the journey has been long but rewarding” remarked

Aziz Boolani in his opening address.

A highlight of the afternoon was the display of miniature art by the local artists at the Satrang Gallery; an initiative of Serena Hotels Pakistan to encourage and promote talented artists in their pursuit of excellence.

Opened on March 11, 2002, the Islamabad Serena Hotel now has 387 guestrooms and suites, 8 restaurants, elaborate conference and events center, a fully equipped spa & health club, meeting rooms, and two temperature controlled swimming pools.

The Serena collection of luxury resorts, safari lodges, and hotels spans across some of the most evocative, exotic, and enchanting destinations in the world. The Serena properties enjoy an established reputation for the highest standards of comfort, service, and product. From its beginnings, Serena has stressed on cultural and environmental sensitivity, for which it has received a number of awards. Its current portfolio comprises 35 hotels, resorts and safari lodges in nine countries – Afghanistan, Kenya, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zanzibar.

For more information, please contact:

Manizeh Kamal

Public Relations Manager

E-mail: manizeh.kamal@serena.com.pk

Phone No.: 111-133-133 Ext. 5688
Sarah Nisar

Marketing Communications Executive

E-mail: sarah.nisar@serena.com.pk

Phone No.: 111-133-133 Ext. 2013

http://www.serenahotels.com/islamabad-serena-hotel-completes-10-years-of-hospitality-excellence-,pressRelease_viewItem_73-en.html
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge Honoured In The 2012 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Hotel Awards

LONDON, U.K. – 18 January 2012 - TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP), the world’s largest travel website, today reveals Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge was chosen as the overall winner in the Top 25 Bargain Hotels in Africa by TripAdvisor in its 2012 Travellers’ Choice® awards.

Now in its tenth year, the annual TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards honour the world’s best hotels, earning their distinction from those who know them best – real travellers. Unlike any other hotel honours, TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice winners are based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from travellers around the world.

“With the help of millions of travellers around the globe, TripAdvisor is thrilled to recognise the world’s most outstanding hotels for the tenth year of the Travellers’ Choice Awards,” said Christine Petersen, president, TripAdvisor for Business. “From the best bargain hotels to best luxury hotels, remarkable service, value and quality are the hallmarks of our Travellers’ Choice winners.”

As TripAdvisor has continued its growth globally, featuring sites in 30 countries and in 21 languages, the Travellers’ Choice Hotels awards now highlight a broader range of spectacular properties across the globe.

For reviews on the Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge, go to http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g303978-d304441-Reviews-Kilaguni_Serena_Safari_Lodge-Tsavo_National_Park_West.html

For the complete 2012 Travelers’ Choice list, go to www.tripadvisor.com/travelerschoice.

Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge
About TripAdvisor

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/?p=901
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Special Visitor at Serengeti.

Room number seven at the Serenegeti Serena Safari Lodge had the rare chance to host a visitor, a special one. A leopard cub, estimated to be about four months old was found alone, huddled in a corner at midday over the weekend of April 21st.

The Lodge is lucky enough to share its compound with an adult “resident” Leopard, but it was unclear as to whether the cub had been abandoned, or whether the mother was out hunting. The park authorities were informed and a veterinarian came to assess the situation. On his suggestion, the cub was left alone, but always under the watchful eye of concerned staff members.

A good number of the clients who were in house were given a chance to peek at the cub through the window of room seven, under the watchful eye of the Serena staff, who were also careful not to stress the cub with all of the attention.

Fortunately the mother returned that evening at about 7:45pm and after a happy reunion, both Mum and cub headed off back into the bush.

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/?p=1569

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serena Hotels’ staff and Aga Khan Junior School Mark World Earth Week

Serena Hotels’ staff together with children from the Aga Khan Junior School in Nairobi embarked on a tree planting mission to mark the world earth week.

About thirty Serena members of staff from Tourism Promotion Services, Staff at Central Stores and Nairobi Serena Hotel together with an estimated 100pupils from the academy all together planted 1,500 seedlings at the University of Nairobi’s Lower Kabete Campus on Friday 27th April 2012.

More than 1Billion people around the world come together annually to mark the World Earth Week and to help elevate the importance of environmental issues around the world.

To support their efforts, Serena Hotels has over the years continued to support a wide- reaching reforestation program in the areas in which it operates. This program is dedicated towards reversing the tide of ecological destruction and most importantly to conserve the environment and air around us.

Our activities also spread to the Nderit Forest in Mau, our lodges in Kenya and Tanzania, and Nairobi City Park. We work closely with the Kenya Wildlife Service in terms of animal rescue and support. Today, our lodges, guests and communities have planted over 10Million trees through this program that has seen tremendous change in the eco system of the regions.

More photos from the tree planting initiatives are available on our Facebook page

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/?p=1723
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serena Hotels Staff Donate towards Rwanda Genocide Commemoration.

As Rwanda Commemorated 18 years since the genocide, members of staff from the TPS Serena Hotels East Africa joined the Nation in remembering and honoring the lives lost, and the resilience of those who survived the Genocide.

This year, a total of RWF 2.78 Million (USD 5,000) was made towards the 18th Genocide Commemoration in Rwanda. The donation, which took place in April was made to the “Abahumurizanya”, a genocide orphans Association that Kigali Serena Hotel supports and to the “FARG Umudugudu Group” in Rugerero Sector, Rubavu District that Lake Kivu Serena Hotel supports.

Speaking at his Tourism Promotion Services (TPS) office, which is an affiliate company of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), TPS Serena Hotels Managing Director, Mahmud Janmohamed commended the “East Africa Serena Family” for demonstrating the truly East African spirit for this noble initiative and expressed his sincere hope and belief that this donation, together with those from other willing donors will go a long way in addressing the humanitarian challenges that the survivors still face today so as to move towards a better and peaceful life.

The handover ceremony took place at the Kigali Serena Hotel. Present at the handover ceremony was Charles Muia, Country Manager, Serena Hotels Rwanda, and the Hotel Management and Staff.

Serena Hotels Staff and Management hope to do this even better next year, and to continue supporting these families.

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/?p=1752
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zanzibar and Zanzibar Serena Inn, a journey through history.

Zanzibar consists of a series of small tropical islands off the coast of Tanzania in the southern waters of the Indian Ocean. There are in fact two main islands – Unguja (commonly known simply as ‘Zanzibar’) and Pemba. Now part of the United Republic of Tanzania, Zanzibar was once a separate state and has a long trading history with the Arab world. The country has lured traders, adventurers, explorers – and now discerning tourists – to its shores for centuries.

Zanzibar’s history begins when the island became a base for Arab traders voyaging between Arabia, India, and Africa. Although the island had few resources of interest to the traders, it offered a good location from which to make contact and trade with towns on the East African coast.

More...

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/?p=1738
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In German.....

http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/kabul-und-kigali-serena-baut-fuenf-sterne-hotels-in-krisengebieten-fotostrecke-82815.html

http://www.spiegel.de/reise/fernweh/serena-hotels-aga-khan-baut-fuenf-sterne-haeuser-in-krisenregionen-a-837373.html
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

10,000 tree seedlings, 3 million trees later!

"This is how to do it" ...briefing session by the local community leader
Serena Hotels went all green and surpassed the 3million mark in the number of tree seedlings planted at the Hombe forest in Mt. Kenya National Park and across other Serena properties, significantly planting 10,000 tree seedlings in a single day at Hombe Forest alone.

The tree planting initiative which took place on World Environment Day blended with this year’s theme ‘Green Economy: Does it include you?’ saw staff from Serena Mountain Lodge spend a day at the Hombe Forest together with the local community on an afforestation exercise. They were joined by students from the Aga Khan Academy in Nairobi and staff from Air Uganda, Jubilee Insurance and Property Development & Management Service (PDM). The initiative also had friends from the social media fraternity, who took time off to plant trees at the forest as well as interact and share conservation stories.

Students from the Aga Khan Academy in Nairobi join in the tree-planting.
A similar activity was carried out across all Serena Hotels, Lodges and Resorts in East Africa and Mozambique with a target of planting a further 1,000 tree seedling at all 25 properties. This collectively brought the number of trees planted by Serena Hotels all over East Africa so far to 3 million trees, and will see the team

The World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated every year on 5th June to raise global awareness of the need to take positive environmental action and is run by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

Check out more photos of the tree planting on our Facebook page.
This entry was posted in Communication, CSR and tagged Aga Khan Academy, Air Uganda, Hombe forest, Jubilee Insurance, Mt. Kenya National Park, Property Development & Management Service (PDM), Serena Hotels, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), World Environment Day. Bookmark the permalink.

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/10000-tree-seedlings-3-million-trees-later/
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serena Hotels wins 2012 “Best Hospitality, Travel and Tourism in Africa” Award.

Serena Hotels is this year’s winner of the coveted “Best Hospitality, Travel and Tourism in Africa” Award. The exclusive African Business Awards was held on 7 June 2012, at Grosvenor House in London.


“Recognition for excellence is an honor in itself, and challenge to continue giving nothing but the best service and product and we are grateful at the challenge this recognition bestows on us” - Mahmud Janmohamed, Managing Director Serena Hotels.

This Award and recognition comes under a new category for 2012 and Serena Hotels is very proud to have won it. The other companies nominated were Hilton Worldwide and Sarova Hotels, Resorts & Game Lodges, Kenya.

Now in its fifth year, the African Business Awards is the key annual event for the African Business World and is much sort after by Africa’s leading companies and entrepreneurs. Organized by African Business Magazine (ABM), and the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC), the African Business Awards has become a platform to celebrate excellence and best practices in African business and recognizes those who have driven Africa’s rapidly transforming economy- under which Serena Hotels was seen to have undoubtedly contributed.
“Recognition for excellence is an honor in itself, and challenge to continue giving nothing but the best service and product and we are grateful at the challenge this recognition bestows on us”, said Mahmud Janmohamed- the Managing Director Serena Hotels.

The Serena Hotels spans some of the most evocative, exotic and enchanting destinations in the world. With a portfolio of 25 Hotels, Luxury Camps, Safari Lodges and Resorts located in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Mozambique, and Managing properties in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan, the Serena Hotels service profile guarantees unprecedented luxury, extensive amenities and unrivalled warmth and personal attention. The focus has been on product quality, high service standards and guest satisfaction and with this combination, Serena Hotels will definitely continue in its quest to be the Hotel of choice for any discerning traveller.

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/serena-hotels-wins-2012-best-hospitality-travel-and-tourism-in-africa-award/
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hotels bankrolled by Muslim spiritual leader eyeing locations in Syria, other conflict zones

Billionaire investor and moderate Muslim leader Prince Aga Khan (C) is shown herewith Princess Zara Aga Kahn (R) congratulating Irish jockey John-Patrick Murtagh after winning the 163rd Prix de Diane horse racie with Aga Khan's horse Valyra (L), on June 17, 2012 in Chantilly, northern Paris. AFP PHOTO

THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Stephanie Findlay
Staff Reporter

A location in Syria isn’t the first choice for most hoteliers — unless they are working for Serena Hotels. Then, it’s ideal.

Serena Hotels runs a network of “luxury resorts, safari lodges and hotels,” across East Africa and Southern Asia. Part of its unconventional business plan is opening five-star destinations in war torn places.

The chain is run by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, an agency that “focuses on building enterprises in parts of the world that lack sufficient foreign direct investment” by making “bold but calculated investments in situations that are fragile and complex,” according to its website.

The fund is bankrolled by Aga Kahn, a billionaire investor, moderate Muslim leader and believed descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, who acts as leader to some of the world’s 15 million Ismailis. He is the son of a playboy prince, Aly Khan, once married to the Hollywood starlet Rita Hayworth.

“If you travel the developing world, you see poverty is the driver of tragic despair, and there is the possibility that any means out will be taken,” said Aga Khan in a rare interview with the New York Times. By assisting the poor through business, he said, “we are developing protection against extremism.”

There are Serena Hotels in Kigali, Rwanda, and Islamabad, Pakistan, but the chain is eyeing locations in Damascus, Syria, and two more in Afghanistan, reports Der Spiegel, a German newspaper.

“They have calculated that countries like that will require and do eventually require westerners,” said Seth Jones, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, an American think tank, who recently stayed at a Serena Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan.

“If you're used to staying at a Ritz-Carleton or an Intercontinental, they're not that dissimilar,” said Jones.

Running a westernized hotel in the heartland of terrorist organizations and in the middle of civil wars calls for expansive security.

After the Kabul location was bombed by the Taliban in 2008, a concrete perimeter wall was erected. Today, swarms of armed guards patrol the grounds. It’s reported guests dine in bullet-proof vests.

The east-west tension is present inside as well. In 2007, Laszlo Barna screened Shake Hands with the Devil, a film based on Gen. Romeo Dallaire’s book about the Rwanda genocide, in the country’s capital at the Serena Hotel.

“It was probably one of the most nerve-wracking screenings I’ve ever had,” said Barna at the time.

Still, if the Islamabad location is anything to go by, future Serena Hotels will have no problem attracting foreigners, said Jones, the political scientist.

“It (the Islamabad Serena Hotel) has got beautiful grounds, these little cafes, like a little bakery you can sit out and have coffee,” he said.

“It's very sort of un-Islamabad now.”

http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1213793--hotels-bankrolled-by-muslim-spiritual-leader-eyeing-locations-in-syria-other-conflict-zones
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TPS Eastern Africa profits dip

By GRIFFINS OMWENGA gomwenga@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted Thursday, July 26 2012 at 15:31

The Euro zone crisis and security risks have eroded profits for hotels and lodges company TPS Eastern Africa, which has posted a 35 percent drop in its profits after tax for the last six months.

TPS Eastern Africa net profits declined to Sh120 million in the last six months from Sh185 million over a similar period last year, impacted negatively by media reports and travel advisories that reduced the number of tourists into the country from traditional source markets.

“The business was supported by the Eastern Africa domestic tourists and other non-traditional markets like China, Scandinavia and Thailand,” said TPS in a statement Thursday.

TPS, which is well known through its Serena Group of hotels, said the US and other Western governments travel advisory warnings about terrorist attacks in Kenya had eroded their profitability.

Kenya crossed over to Somalia in October 2011 in pursuit of the Al-Shabaab militia that it accuses of a series of kidnappings especially in the coastal region.

TPS also said the volatile economic environment in East Africa characterised by inflationary pressures associated with increased energy and interest costs affected business negatively. The group’s interest costs increased 51 per cent to Sh63.9 million from Sh42.4 million in a similar period last year.

However, the group has its thumbs up for the Tanzanian market, saying it expects a positive performance from the region between July to October.

"The forecast business outlook for the peak season from July to October (for east Africa) is at healthy levels", TPS said in the statement.

http://www.nation.co.ke/business/news/TPS+Eastern+Africa+profits+dip+/-/1006/1463796/-/28vkmy/-/index.html
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silver Eco-rating Certificate for Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp.

Committed to protecting and conserving the natural environment whilst promoting responsible tourism practices, Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp has been awarded a Silver Eco-rating certificate.

The certificate, awarded by Ecotourism Kenya, recognizes best practices in environmental conservation, responsible resource use and socio-economic investment among tourism accommodation facilities. Qualified applicants are awarded with a Bronze, Silver or Gold
eco-rating certification based on their performance.

The certificate was issued following a site visit which assessed the camp’s performance in nature conservation, environmental management, community development, education and awareness and environmental health and safety. This included inspection of key departments, including the kitchen, laundry, guest rooms, and staff quarters alongside interviewing hotel personnel and guests.

Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp is the latest property in the Serena portfolio to be awarded with the Silver Eco rating Certificate. Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge, Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge and Serena Beach Hotel and Spa have all been rewarded with a Silver rating for their marked environmental efforts.

Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp which is situated in the Soysambu Conservancy and overlooks the shores of Lake Elmenteita, a soda lake in the Great Rift Valley, located between Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru.

Lord Delamere established Soysambu ranch in 1897; A great adventurer, Delamere arrived in Kenya on foot after a 1000 mile walk from Somalia. He was the third Baron Delamere, and dedicated his foresight and fortune to pioneering farming methods in the Rift Valley, before passing away in 1913. Soysambu remains a working cattle ranch and the fifth Baron, today’s Lord Delamere, still lives on Soysambu, with some of the best Boran cattle in Kenya.

Declared a RAMSAR site (wetland of international importance) in 2005, Lake Elmenteita is home to over 450 species of bird including the rare Jackson’s Widow and the Grey – Crested Helmet – Shrike while the lake is the last breeding place in East Africa for the Great White Pelican.

In 2008, part of the ranch was transformed into a 48,000 acre exclusive conservancy, covering the north, west and part of the southern shores of Lake Elmenteita. Sharing a boundary with the famous Lake Nakuru National Park, Soysambu plays a major role in the Elmenteita-Nakuru Eco system, protecting over 50 mammal species including leopard and caracal and is home to 10% of the world’s entire population of the endangered Rotschild giraffe.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the great lakes, Lake Elmenteita and the surrounding environs are a place of natural importance, providing an important and significant natural habitat for biological diversity.

With 25 tents, Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp has initiated a re-afforestation program involving the local community, charities and primary schools, including Kiboko Primary School, Echariria Primary School, Kasambara Youth Group, Soysambu Conservancy, Lions Club International and Elmenteita Serena Staff. So far, the initiative has planted over 1000 indigenous tree seedlings provided by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED). In addition, the camp sponsors a routine monthly litter collection exercise along the busy Nakuru-Naivasha highway.


With 30% of the staff trained in first aid and about 80% having acquired firefighting skills the camp has a health and safety committee, which meets once a month, and undertakes quarterly risk analysis at the work place to spearhead health and safety issues at the facility. The camp has subscribed to SGS (SociétéGénérale de Surveillance), the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and a certification Company audits for its food safety and hygiene.

Enhancing support of the local communities Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp buys vegetables and fish from a local group, the Majimoto Youth Group, and supports the group by sending visitors to a spring managed by the group at a cost of Ksh.500 per person, payable to the youth group. All unskilled and semi-skilled labor is sourced from the neighboring Kasambara and Mbaruk villages. The camp promotes a community health education program for HIV awareness, a program managed by the resident nurse in Mbaruk Village. The camp also has a staff welfare committee established to cater for the employee’s needs, they are provided with free medical care, accommodation, food, uniform and transport.

Congratulations to the team at the Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp on this achieving this wonderful accolade.

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/silver-eco-rating-certificate-for-lake-elmenteita-serena-camp/
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nairobi Serena Hotel bags a double!

The Nairobi Serena Hotel added its name to the list of Serena Hotels lodges and hotels that have been on a winning streak for the past two months, after being bestowed with two certificates from SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and Certification Company and a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.

Nairobi Serena Hotel, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World was accorded the Hygiene Monitored Certificate by SGS Kenya Limited, the local body that represents SGS, the World’s leading inspection, verification, testing and Certification Company.

The audit, which was divided into four phases entailed inspection, testing, certification and verification, saw the Nairobi Serena manage to score more than 75% in the findings, a benchmark for their quality.

The SGS’s hygiene monitored approval scheme is a hygiene audit system that delivers measurable improvements to good hygiene practices and helps those in the food operations in the hospitality and retail sectors comply with international food hygiene regulations, an exercise that saw Nairobi Serena Hotel achieve a score of more than 75%.

The team at Nairobi Serena extended its winning by being awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence after earning 4.5 out of a possible 5 points. The Certificate is awarded to businesses that maintain an average rating of four or higher out of a possible five as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor.

Justly famed for its exceptional standards of efficiency, service and five-star hospitality, the elegantly sophisticated Nairobi Serena is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World group and is consistently voted ‘Best Hotel in Nairobi’ by airlines and international travel magazines alike.

Summing up their winning, General Manager, Mr. Daniel Kang’u said “Let us now give it our all and achieve the five full STARS in 2013. We can do it!”

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/nairobi-serena-hotel-bags-a-double/
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kigali & Kampala Serena Hotels win in World Travel Awards.

Kigali Serena Hotel and Kampala Serena Hotel are this year’s winners of the prestigious World Travel Award-2012 as the Leading Hotels in Rwanda and Uganda respectively, bagging the award for the very first time. The announcement which was made on September 20, 2012 from London via the World Travel Awards website saw these two hotels emerge winners among a competitive list, some who have won in the category more than once.

This was the first time Kigali Serena Hotel earned a nomination, as the Kampala Serena Hotel shared a nomination with another Serena Hotels gem, the Lake Victoria Serena Resort. Kampala Serena Hotel, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World had previously been nominated for the leading Hotel in Uganda in the year 2007.

At its 19th year, the World Travel Award serves to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel, tourism and hospitality industry, with 180,000 industry professionals from around the world participating in the voting process.

Ideally located at the very heart of Kampala, the Kampala Serena Hotel stands amidst 72 acres of landscaped grounds and water gardens. An oasis of cool and green, encircled by the seven hills of Kampala, this 152-room world-class hotel is the focal point of national, regional, business, political and social life.

The five-star Kigali Serena Hotel is built around a polished granite atrium, which showcases the very best of Rwandese cultural art. Relaxed yet elegant, the hotel centres on the Executive Lounge and Bar, which opens onto a wide sundeck overlooking the newly refurbished swimming pool. Also overlooking the pool, the popular Milima Restaurant offers a wide range of all-day buffet choices, while the relaxed Sokoni Café offers inside and outside poolside seating.

Other Serena Hotels properties that had been nominated for this years awards include Dar es salam, Nairobi Serena Hotel, Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge, Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge, Serena Mountain Lodge, Polana Serena Hotel, Serena Kirawira Camp, Lake Victoria Serena Resort and Zanzibar Serena Inn.

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/kigali-and-kampala-serena-hotels-win-in-world-travel-awards/
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Celebrated Indian Chef Visits East Africa

He wears many hats: a celebrated chef, author, restaurant consultant and an entrepreneur and hosts one of the longest running shows in Asia, which boasts of more than 500 million viewers in 120 countries!

Meet Sanjeev Kapoor, the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine today, who in the year 2008 was honored with the National award for ‘Best Chef of the Year 2008’ by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India among numerous accolades and was listed in the list of 100 of India’s Most Trusted persons by the March 2010 issue of Reader’s Digest.

His popularity has also spilled online, with his Facebook page garnering 446,261 likes and growing, and his popular Youtube channel for culinary video tips ammasing more than 33, 550, 000 views . Sanjeev was featured on CNN by Richard Quest on a programme on celebrity chefs (crème de la crème) chosen from around the world.

Enough of the introductions…are you aware Sanjeev was in town with his Tv crew…and sampled the gem that is East Africa? Below are photos from his stay at Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel, Zanzibar Serena Inn, Ngorongoro and Serengeti Serena Safari Lodges where he stayed while in Tanzania. In Kenya, our staff at the Nairobi Serena Hotel and Sweetwaters Tented Camp had the chance to learn from the master himself as well as staff from the Kampala Serena Hotel in Uganda.

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/celebrated-indian-chef-in-east-africa/

******
Serena Hotels wins in Condé Nast Traveler 2012

Kirawira Luxury Tented Camp led a number of Serena Hotels properties in being featured at this year’s Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. The awards by the world’s premier travel magazine lists hotels chosen by a team of editors, writers and experts and recognizes them for their best service, location, food, rooms, leisure facilities and ambience & design.

Kirawira Luxury Tented Camp earned three slots after making it to the Top 100 Hotels and Resorts of the World and the Platinum Circle which was launched to celebrate 25 years of Condé Nast Traveler. This circle recognizes the superstars of the Gold List and consists of hotels, resorts, and cruise lines that have made the list every year for the past five years running.

Kirawira Luxury Tented Camp made it’s cut alongside other Serena properties in the Top 25 Resorts & Safari Camps in Africa, which rates the top resorts and safari camps in South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Zambia. Amboseli Serena, Serengeti Serena Lodge, Mara Serena Safari Lodge and Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge made it to this list, with Zanzibar Serena Inn and Arusha Mountain Village featuring in the
Top 15 Hotels in Africa, where Condé Nast Traveler readers rated the top hotels in South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Tanzania, and Kenya. The Zanzibar Island was listed in theTop 5 Islands in the Indian Ocean. Sweetwaters Tented Camp earned a slot Kenya’s Top Hotels and Resorts.

Below is a breakdown of each Serena Hotels property that made it to the Condé Nast Traveler as well as what travelers had to say about the various lodges and camps.

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/serena-hotels-wins-in-conde-nast-traveler-2012-2/
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serena Hotels Celebrates World Responsible Tourism Day in Gilgit-Baltistan

http://ismailimail.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/serena-hotels-celebrates-world-responsible-tourism-day-in-gilgit-baltistan/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Ismailimail+%28Ismailimail%29
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

… and behold, Serena Forest in Rwanda

In Rwanda, it is mandatory for every citizen to participate in the community service day every last Saturday of the month, where they clean up their neighborhood and engage in community development projects. This practice, which dates back to colonial times is known as Umuganda and is intended to build community involvement and strengthen cohesion between persons of different background and levels.

The last Saturday for October was however different for the staff from Lake Kivu Serena Hotel, as they participated in Umuganda in a different way. Led by the country General Manager Charles Muia, the staff took part in a tree planting initiative in the 20 hectares area in Bwize on the banks of River Sebeya, where more than 8, 000 tree seedlings were planted on a single day to add forest cover in years to come. The Minister of State in Charge of Primary and Secondary Education, local area Member of Parliament, Mayor of the District, area residents joined Serena Hotels staff in this event.

The initiative is part of Serena Hotel’s commitment to going and staying green in all the regions where Serena Hotels are situated, and once the tree seedlings mature the forest will be named “Serena Forest”

Charles Muia also announced that at least four areas will each year get Serena’s support with tree planting, as part of Rwanda’s wider policy to extend forest cover from the present 23 percent to 30 percent across the country by 2020.

It is said that “Every great oak tree was once a nut that stood its ground”, congratulations to the Kigali Serena Hotel’s team on going green.

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/and-behold-serena-forest-in-rwanda/
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and the award for the Ecotourism Enterprise of the Year 2012 goes to…

*drum roll*


Serena Beach Hotel & Spa earned itself a deserving spot on the Serena Hotels wall of fame, after bagging the Ecotourism Enterprise of the Year 2012 – Villas & Holiday homes at the Eco Warrior Awards which took place on November 16 at the Nairobi Serena Hotel. This was the first time that Serena Beach Hotel and Spa was nominated for the award.

Through the Eco-Warrior Awards, Eco Tourism Kenya recognizes the efforts, innovations and exceptional achievements of credible individuals or groups, who actively promote responsible and sustainable tourism, by promoting mutually beneficial and equitable partnerships which directly conserve the natural environment and support local communities.

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/and-the-winner-for-the-ecotourism-enterprise-of-the-year-2012-is/

http://ecotourismkenya.org/news.php?newsid=160
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serena Hotels in Plant Your Age Initiative. [Photos]

Serena Hotels made another mark in “Going Green” by participating in the second phase of the Plant Your Age initiative by joining in a tree-planting initiative at the Nairobi National Park in November.

The initiative which had participants of different ages witnessed 10,000 tree seedlings planted on a single day, with Serena Hotels donating 2,000 of the tree seedlings towards the campaign. The initiative aimed at encouraging young people to plant the number of trees that were equivalent to their age to increase the country’s forest cover.

Serena Hotels also donated a cake to crown the event and to celebrate participants who were celebrating their birthdays on that auspicious day.

Below are photos from the event.

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/serena-hotels-in-plant-your-age-initiative-photos/
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More than a place to hang your hat: The Awali Adventure — Day Six

The message card left by housekeeping staff on my pillow was simple and beautiful: “Lala salama.” It’s a Swahili phrase that means sleep well and it’s just one of the many lovely touches offered by the Serena Hotel Group in Africa.

More....

http://blogs.calgaryherald.com/2013/04/22/more-than-a-place-to-hang-your-hat-day-six-of-awali-in-africa/
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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serena Hotel donates iron sheets to Genocide survivors

http://focus.rw/wp/2013/04/serena-hotel-donates-iron-sheets-to-genocide-survivors/

Serena staff at Kiziguro church. (photos Farouk Kaweesi)
Kigali Serena hotel on Saturday joined the rest of the country in the 19th commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsis by donating 200 iron sheets worth approximately Frw 1m to Gatsibo survivors.

This took place during a visit by the hotel’s staff to Kiziguro Memorial Site in the same district. The group of about 50 people was led by country manager Charles Muia who highlighted Serena’s concern for the plight of the survivors. “We have done this for the last six years, each time donating different items like clothing or towels to different survivors. But this year we decided to donate something to provide shelter for the survivors,” Muia said.

The hotel is also involved in other projects to improve the livelihoods of survivors, especially the youth and widows. The widows under their care are given food stuff and recently they have been given Frw 300,000 to buy materials for their project.


Serena country manager Charles Muia lays a wreath on one of the graves.
As for the youth project, youngster get the chance to go to school after which they get a job at the hotel. So far, Muia remarked, four of them are already employed and 12 will be completing school in May after which they will begin work with Serena immediately.

He added that on April 23, together with the Kenyan High Commissioner in Rwanda and members of the association of Kenyans in Rwanda, they will revisit the Kiziguro site and make more donations. That will be in addition to two more planned visits to other sites on April 27 and at the end of the month.

Feliciene Niyonzima, the president of Ibuka in Gatsibo, expressed appreciation for the visit, and called upon people to stand up to avoid a repetition of the 1994 Genocide by emphasizing forgiveness and reconciliation. Taking the visitors through the history of the site, Niyonzima said about 4500 people were killed in the district and this year alone 69 newly found bodies have been accorded a decent burial. He however noted that the remains of 2000 people are yet to be found.


The hotel’s staff at Kiziguriro Memorial Site.
The Serena staff also visited nearby Kiziguro Catholic Parish Church where Tutsis were taking shelter in 1994 before on April 11 Interahamwe militias forced the door open and started shooting, killing most of the refugees. At the site, a big hole in which about 400-500 bodies are said to be buried is preserved by a glass wall hut. It is said that the first Tutsis would be killed and thrown there until the hole filled up. Later, 12 people were found alive among the bodies in that hole.

The tour was concluded by the laying of wreaths at one of the graves.
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Admin



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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Serena Board Meeting in Mombasa.
Prince Amyn Aga Khan arrived at 6:30pm to Serena Hotel Sunday 12 May 2013.

He is scheduled to depart Wednesday.

MyFlag on his plane which is parked at Mombasa airport visible from far icon_wink.gif
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eight Serena Hotels Establishments make it to World Travel Awards Nominations.

Eight Serena establishments have made it to the nominees list of the World Travel Awards, with Serena Hotels earning a nomination in the Africa’s Leading Hotel Brand category. Nairobi Serena Hotel led other Serena Hotels Establishments after bagging two nominations in the Africa’s Leading Green Hotel category and Kenya’s Leading Business Hotel categories.

Last year’s winners of the Leading Hotels in Rwanda and Uganda have also earned a nomination in the same category, with Kampala Serena Hotel sharing a nomination with Lake Victoria Serena Resort for the leading Hotel in Uganda 2013.

This brings to ten the number of nominations where Serena Hotels in both Africa and Asia have been entered. Below is the list of the respective Hotels nominated for the awards together with their categories?

•Uganda’s Leading Hotel 2013 : Kampala Serena Hotel & Lake Victoria Serena Resort
• Kenya’s Leading Business Hotel 2013: Nairobi Serena Hotel
•Africa’s Leading Green Hotel 2013: Nairobi Serena Hotel
•Tanzania’s Leading Hotel 2013: Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel
• Rwanda’s Leading Hotel 2013: Kigali Serena Hotel
• Mozambique’s Leading Hotel 2013: The Polana Serena Hotel
•Afghanistan’s Leading Hotel 2013: The Kabul Serena Hotel
•Pakistan’s Leading Hotel 2013: Islamabad Serena Hotel
At its 20th year, the World Travel Award serves to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel, tourism and hospitality industry, with 180,000 industry professionals from around the world participating in the voting process.

The winner and 2 runners up from 2012 prequalify for the 2013 award and the full 2013 nominee list will be published on 27th May 2013 when voting opens for Africa. Voting will be online on the World Travel Awards website and is open to the public, with votes cast by travel trade professional counting as two points, and those by the public as one.

We take the opportunity to congratulate our colleagues in the Serena Establishments and wish them all the best with their nominations.


.This entry was posted in Awards, Communication, CSR, News and tagged Africa's Leading Green Hotel, Africa's Leading Hotel Brand category, Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel, Islamabad Serena Hotel, Kabul Serena Hotel, Kampala Serena Hotel, Kenya's Leading Business Hotel, Kigali Serena Hotel, Lake Victoria Serena Resort, Leading Hotel in Rwanda, Leading Hotel in Uganda, Nairobi Serena Hotel, Polana serena hotel, Serena Hotels, World Travel Awards. Bookmark the permalink.

http://www.theserenaexperience.com/serenahotelswta/?utm_source=feedly
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kmaherali



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Posts: 15378

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

5th June 2013

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

____________________________________________________



WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY CELEBRATED BY

SERENA HOTELS GILGIT-BALTISTAN

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QfJDFQM9xVRAFbNuWKY7-fhCpn8b1Kz_x88XL9tmkC8/edit?usp=sharing

******
Serena Hotels Marks World Environment Day [Photos]


http://www.theserenaexperience.com/wed2013/
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