The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Hemingways to Open Doors in Nairobi This Year

LUXURY hotels group Hemingways is opening a high-end hotel in Nairobi in the next few months.

The hotel, situated on a ten-acre plot near Karen County Club will be opened mid this year, according to Hemingways Collection chief executive Alastair Addison. "We will be releasing details in the next few weeks," said Addison on the sidelines of an Uchumi Supermarket event over the weekend. "We will not open the facility until everything is perfect."

The new hotel, thought to be worth slightly over Sh1 billion, will offer employment opportunities for 150 Kenyans, Addison said.

But going into the election period, Addison said the major concern for players in the tourism industry is that the polls are conducted in a peaceful manner to avoid the chaos witnessed after the 2008 presidential contest.

"The international markets are very nervous," said Addison adding that the tourism industry is a sensitive market because visitors have many options they can consider if they view Kenya as unsafe.

So far however, hotel bookings are positive an indication that international tourists are optimistic of a peaceful general election. Addison said the company is investing in Kenya because the country is the 'best option' among South Africa, Eqypt and Nigeria.

"We believe Kenya has a very bright future," Addison added. The Nairobi outlet will bring to three the number of hotels run by the Hemingways Group in Kenya.The others are Hemingways Watamu and Ol Seki Hemingways Mara. The group plans to expand into the East African region especially in Uganda and Tanzania.

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