Beautifully located on one of the most sought-after avenues in the heart of the city, the Grand Dame of Maputo, as the Polana Serena Hotel is widely known as, is a majestic colonial building with a history stretching as far back as 1922. Presented in an inspirational fusion of international, African and authentically Portuguese style, the Polana Serena offers every modern convenience, complemented by its gracious service.
As you swish through the glass doors into the lobby of the Polana Serena Hotel, leaving the heat of the African sun behind you, you’re greeted with gleaming marble and stylish décor that epitomises a bygone era of old world elegance and modern world luxuries.
Following an extensive expansion and refurbishment programme in September 2010, the five-star Polana has managed to merge a combination of the past with modern day facilities and comforts to match. The underlying success of this refurbishment however, is not in the luxury or the décor, carefully chosen to represent each era of the hotels history, but in its commitment to environmental best practice, with the Polana Serena Hotel being officially certified ISO 14001 compliant by an external certification body.
Another honour which the hotel recently received is 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.’
When questioning their produce procurement policies, I was assured by Remy Cadiere, Director of Food & Beverage, that the Polana is committed to sourcing as locally as possible – Moçambique first, then South Africa and Africa and when all else fails Europe.
This is quite evident with the choice of fresh and obviously local choice of food on the buffet table at the Varanda Restaurant, or on the exquisitely plated cuisine at the Delagoa Restaurant, two of the of dining experiences available.
Saturday nights are extra special with their sumptuous ‘seafood buffet’ – a starter selection of prawns of all sizes prepared in almost as many ways, clams, oysters and calamari; then there are the wonderfully large ‘LM’ prawns, crayfish and fresh line-fish all freshly prepared on the grill. This, complimented with a glass of fine South African wine and background music supplied by a local live band, is what memories are made of.
In addition to the wonderful cuisine, stylish and luxurious interiors, be sure to pop into the Maisha Spa for a special treat.
words – Tessa Buhrmann
pics – © Polana Serena Hotel