Serena launches payment plan for local holidays


(Posted 08th May 2014)


An audibly unsettled Marketing Director from Serena Hotels was on the phone earlier on, explaining on the double that it was not to be First Stay and Then Pay but, like in the good traditional way, it was to be First Pay before you Stay, though giving clients the option to save up over a period of time before the final dues must be in Serena’s bank 14 days before arrival of the guests opting for this facility. 

It seems that my salvo raised a lot of interest by potential clients, and I am truly sorry for them that they have to pay before they stay, but as the saying goes, any PR is good PR and if it puts Serena into the frame, well and good, and they can always blame the error on me. 

Here is the updated version of their press release, duly copied and pasted so that no further sanctionable error from my side occurs, says this correspondent tongue in cheek.

Additionally does the scheme apparently only apply to Kenya and Tanzania, so aficionados who were already salivating over the prospects to stay for instance at the Lake Kivu Serena, they will have to find other means to make their dream holiday on the shores of Lake Kivu become a reality.

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Serena Hotels has recently introduced a phased- out payment plan that will see travellers plan better for their holidays well in advance, and ultimately get a chance to enjoy out of town safaris in some of the most exclusive getaways!

The plan, dubbed “Lipa Pole Pole” is a first in the hotel and tourism industry and will no doubt be a big value addition to Serena business strategy.

With just a 25% initial deposit payment, and a staggered pre- payment plan for up to 14days before travel, you can be on your way to a fantastic holiday experience! This is one of the ways Serena Hotels is looking to contribute to opening up local tourism to people of all income categories, whilst giving all a chance to sample its unique product range.

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Serena Hotels has launched another first when they made history yesterday in Kenya with ‘Lipa Pole Pole’ the Kiswahili version ofFirst Stay and Then Pay First Pay Slowly Slowly and then Stay. This novel idea, novel for East Africa at least, is aimed to attract more local visitors into their lodges and resorts during the low season, when the lack of foreign tourists can be made up by an increase in domestic and regional travel, as Kenyans, Ugandans, Tanzanians, Rwandans and Burundians are able to sample five star standards at affordable rates and convenient payment plans.

Required is an initial down-payment of 25 percent of the value of the stay, in any of Serena’ lodges and safari camps or the 5 star Mombasa Serena resort.

This low season are industry wide in Kenya occupancies below long term average and even market leaders like Serena Hotels are struggling to reach break even point, resulting in brainstorming sessions how to entice people to come and stay, resulting in the launch of ‘Lipa Pole Pole’ yesterday.

Besides five top rated city hotels in Nairobi, Kampala, Dar es Salaam, Kigali and Maputo – Bujumbura is in the making it is understood – are two seaside resorts in Zanzibar and Mombasa, two lake side resorts, one outside Kampala on Lake Victoria and another one in Gisenyi on Lake Kivu and a further 15 lodges and tented camps in Kenya and Tanzania waiting for guests, all in prime locations in the most scenic of national parks and game reserves. For more information check out the Serena Blog via or visit their main website by clicking on

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