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Our base is the Serena hotel, which looks more like a fortified castle. We have to pass two

security posts and go through a lock before we can enter the hotel grounds. A high wall closes

the hotel completely. That heavy surveillance leaves us in two minds. On the one hand, we

find it reassuring that so much attention is paid to safety, but on the other hand we get the

impression that staying in the city is not without danger. Whatever the case, the hotel itself is

beautiful and has a real palace feel about it. We notice that straight away when we enter the

majestic entrance hall, where we are immediately offered a welcome drink. Flight crews from

various foreign airlines walk through the corridors and illustrate the international character of

the hotel. The interior makes grateful use of Pakistani craftsmanship with rich fabrics, furniture

with artistic inlay details and traditional decorative pieces.

Faisal Mosque, Islamabad