Radisson Blu to open its second Nairobi hotel in February

The Radisson Blu Hotel in Upper Hill, Nairobi, which was opened on November 17 last year. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU |DAILY NATION

The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has set February 2017 as the opening date for its second outlet in Nairobi which has suffered multiple false starts blamed on building delays.

Park Inn by Radisson Nairobi was initially planned to welcome its first guests in the fourth quarter of 2013, but the date has been postponed several times.

The Minneapolis-based, Stockholm Stock Exchange-listed hotel chain blamed the setback on “finishing of construction” without offering further details.

Brothers Ronal and Rupen Samani through their firm AMS Properties Ltd are the owners of the upcoming 140-key Park Inn Nairobi located along Woodvale Grove in Westlands.

Carlson Rezidor will operate the facility under a contract management.

The hotel seeks to tap mid-market business travellers and corporate events in Nairobi, East Africa’s commercial hub.

“Our main market will be corporate clientele,” Carlson Rezidor told the Business Daily in an interview.

The upcoming four-star Park Inn hotel deepens Carlson Rezidor’s presence in Nairobi where the firm already runs the high-end focused Radisson Blu which opened mid last year; with another one located near the Nairobi Arboretum planned to open in 2018.

Carlson Rezidor first entered Africa in 2000 with it opened its first Radisson Blu in Cape Town, and currently has a portfolio of 35 hotels across 19 countries in Africa, with a global footprint of 1,400 hotels under its brands including Radisson, Radisson Blu, Radisson RED Park Inn, Country Inns, Park Plaza, Quorvus Collection and Hotel Missoni.

“Today, Africa is our biggest growth market. It’s really about delivering the pipeline,” said Wolfgang Neumann, Rezidor’s president and chief executive.

Beijing-based hospitality conglomerate HNA Tourism Group in April announced it had signed a deal to wholly acquire Carlson Hotels for an undisclosed sum, including its 51.3 per cent stake in Rezidor Hotel Group.

The global hotelier played down security concerns which has hit hard Kenya’s tourism and hospitality sector, saying “for almost two years no major terror attack recorded” in East Africa’s largest economy.

Park Inn Nairobi features five meeting rooms, gym, roof top pool bar, swimming pool, and underground parking, the hotel said.

The mid-market hotel brand is banking on its locality in Westlands, regarded as a hub for expatriates, and proximity to the United Nations diplomatic district of Gigiri, to capture business travellers, meetings, conferences and exhibitions.

Nairobi has recorded increased activity in the hospitality sector underlined by a growing number of conferences and business meetings which has attracted global hotel chains to set up in Kenya.

Arizona-based hotel chain Best Western on Friday announced plans to open its third outlet in Kenya, dubbed BW Premier Collection The Alba, set to open in the third quarter of 2017.

The 83-room facility adds to Best Western Plus Creekside Hotel in Mombasa and Best Western Premier Nairobi.

Carlson Rezidor’s pipeline in Africa includes Park Inn by Radisson in Kigali, Polokwane and Lagos, Radisson RED Cape Town (set to open in 2017), Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Addis Ababa (2018) and Quorvus Collection to be built in Lagos, and expected to open in 2019.

Other upcoming hotels in Nairobi are Pullman, Hilton Garden Inn, Ramada, Mövenpick Hotel, Four Points by Sheraton, JW Marriott, Sarovar’s Lazizi Premiere airport hotel, City Lodge at the upcoming Two Rivers mall, and Wyndham Amboseli Golf Resort and Spa.