Islamabad Serena Hotel: The Magnificent Fort



The Islamabad Serena Hotel is built in the heart of the city and is a treasured part of a historic heritage. Spread over five acres of land, it looks like a fortress from a distance nested in green Margalla foothills. The design of this unique edifice is a combination of a modern scheme with traditional finishing and detailing style. This unique combination enhances the décor and differentiates this hotel from the rest.

The interior has a rich use of “Mushrabiyas” (bay windows) throughout the façade and lobby adding grandeur to it. The main idea behind is the use of “Sheesham” wood and the revival of old Islamic Civilization where bay windows were used for fresh air circulation.

The interior has the artistic creations by Ustad Saiffullah, Michoo Sallah-Ud-Din, Shafique Rana, Master Mahmood and Ustad Allah Rakha. The manifested work of the artisans is beautifully highlighted on the ceilings, walls, floors and furnishings. The hand-made glaze tiles and the hand-carved “Naqashi” are visible all over the vicinity.

The interior uses a rich and fine combination of Botticino marble flooring, Sheesham wood, earth-tone and Chakwal sand stone on the walls. The entrance has a hodgepodge of sand blasted intricate glass designs depicting luxury. The fountain at the lobby is the grand addition to the entrance. The striking use of marble flooring throughout the hotel reflects the mastered work of Pakistani artisans. The floor of the lobby is interlaced with symmetrical and geometrical patterns of “Lasbela” marble.

The antique and marvelous Afghan Ankhoi rugs add beauty to the interior. The use of wooden arches that frame colonnades supporting balconies is truly ravishing.  The rich Iranian crystal-made Shamadans (chandeliers) give a novel touch to the lobby lounge.

The ceilings are produced in a geometric expression of interlaced wood with floral motifs beautifully brushed in ochre, amber green and Indian red. The main lobby ceiling exemplifies the rich “Naqashi” of Ustad Saif-ur-Rehman.


In 2008, Islamabad Serena Hotel underwent a series of expansions to fulfill the demand of the increasing number of guests. This plan also included an addition of 389 rooms in the hotel.

“Wings” is the most luxurious suites offered in this hotel.  The décor is inspired by art and craft work of the Swat valley and the plateau of Potohar. Most of the furnishings in the rooms have Swati motifs carved in dark wood which are visible in the mirrors, dressers and bed posts. Every minute detail was kept in mind in the selection of accessories, carpets and drapes in these grand suites.

Islamabad Serena Hotel also has a range of other suites and rooms as well to accommodate the varying needs of their guests. The suites include Presidential Suites, Premier Suites, Executive Suites, Junior Suites, Deluxe and Executive Rooms.

The fabrics and carpets have been used from Swat, Punjab and Kashmir. The rich source of Afghani hand-woven carpets, Kilims, Moroccan and Tunisian traditions encompass a deep heritage. Special care has been taken in the design and selection of fabrics, curtains and carpets to ensure factual manifestation of Islamic Architecture.

Serena provides its guests an unforgettable dining experience with its 9 lovely, unique and exquisitely designed restaurants offering a number of exotic cuisines.

The “Zamana Resturant” is a spacious restaurant with a rich blend of Moorish, Kashmiri, Islamic and traditional sways. Situated on the lobby level, it has a seating capacity for 300 people and the seating arrangement is brilliantly divided in two floors having a breathtakingly wonderful view of the garden and also a fountain within the vicinity. Outdoor seating is also offered with live music. Both continental and Pakistani cuisine is served here.

At the right to this restaurant, Dawat Restaurant is another eye catching dining area which only serves Pakistani cuisine. The basic architectural theme of this elegant restaurant is inspired from the Mughal era.  Guests eating here can enjoy the scenic view of the water garden including a small fish pond. Musical evenings are also held here for the entertainment of guests.

The Maghreb” Restaurant looks magnificent with the beautifully arched ceilings and crystal chandeliers and serves delicious Moroccan and Lebanese cuisine.

There are also 9 business rooms equipped with projectors and other state of the art facilities. Various organizations and multinationals can book these rooms to conduct meetings and conferences any time by reserving different sized rooms. Business rooms can be reserved based on the requirements and number of people. 5 to 50 people can be accommodated in these rooms. The business rooms have been named according to the different places of northern areas.


The spacious Serena banquet halls with their lavish interiors are perfect for any kind of family or corporate event.

Sheesh Mahal is an enormous hall suitable for weddings and other functions. Approximately 3000 to 5000 people can easily be accommodated in this hall. On the roof of the hall there is a huge beautiful Mirror (sheesha) with wooden carvings.

Kehkashan is a smaller hall as compared to Sheesh Mahal and is designed in a way which is mostly used for exhibitions.  Shamadan is another hall which is used for family functions and other such events.

The interior of the banquet halls with its textured plastered walls and hand-painted domed ceilings is richly lavished with the features of Moorish and Islamic brilliance. The doorways from the Hall have been outlined with the lime plaster and stucco respite. Also, the vibrant ceilings of the banquet halls are painted by Ustad Saif-ur-Rehman truly exhibiting his genius.

The interior of the hotel exhibits a rich collection of art work by renowned artists like Naheed Raza, Gulgee, Amin Gulgee, Samina Ali Athar, Maleeha Ali Agha, Masroor, Kazi, Abrar and Has-saan Gardezi.

The “Maisha” health club is situated in an area of 35,000 square feet offering great gym facilities, along with a steam room and dry heat saunas. There are also two heated swimming pools, one of them is the only pool in Pakistan which is located on the roof top. There are nine treatment rooms with two separate gyms for men and women respectively.

There is also a shopping arcade under construction right next to entrance. Near the shopping arcade, the guests can enjoy baked delicacies, ice cream and beverages at the Rakaposhi, Bakery & Ice Cream Parlour which has an indoor and out door garden seating arrangement.

Nayyer Ali Dada is the creative mind behind the architecture of Serena Hotel. Casbella has provided the fabrics and furniture and the wood work is done by Mohkam Furnishers.

Serena Hotel is a place of serenity and utmost luxury. All features of the interior vividly exhibit the essential elements of the tradition of the Islamic civilization. Serena offers its guests an unforgettable experience.


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