The Sarova Hotels & Resorts, Kenya’s largest indigenous collection of hospitality establishments has announced the addition of its eighth hotel in Kenya, Imperial Hotel Kisumu.
This means the group’s portfolio has increased after the signing of a 7-year management agreement with the hotel’s owners, the Gilani family.
Subsequently, Kisumu’s iconic hotel has been named Sarova Imperial Hotel Kisumu, according to a statement attributed to Caroline Wandetto, the Group’s Marketing Manager who declared that their presence will henceforth be felt in the lakeside city.
Wandetto said with the establishment in Kisumu, Kenya’s third largest city, Sarova Hotels is now the only hospitality group in the country operating quality properties in Kenya’s four cities.
They include; Sarova Stanley and Sarova Panafric (Nairobi), Sarova Whitesands Beach (Mombasa), Sarova Imperial Hotel (Kisumu) alongside Sarova Woodlands and Sarova Lion Hill in the newest city, Nakuru.
Sarova Hotels Group Managing Director, Jimi Kariuki said during the signing ceremony that having a presence in Kisumu city and in the larger Western Kenya region has always been part of the hospitality group’s growth plan.
Kariuki noted that Kisumu is undergoing extensive urban rejuvenation under the project being driven by Kisumu County Government with a view to enhancing its attractiveness as a business and leisure travel destination.
“The city’s location on the shores of Africa’s largest fresh water lake, Victoria, coupled with the ongoing modernization of the Lakefront makes Kisumu a unique destination worth adding to the Sarova experience,” explained Kariuki.
He said Kisumu is fast becoming an attractive destination to visit not only by business travellers but also by tourists, mainly focusing on the domestic ones.
Kisumu International Airport makes it easily accessible by air with daily flights from Nairobi operated by Kenya Airways, Jambojet and Safarilink. There is also a daily passenger train service from Nairobi to Kisumu,” he added.
Located in Kisumu Central Business District, Sarova Imperial Hotel is undergoing an extensive upgrade that once completed in July/August 2022 will see the launch of 93 renovated guest bedrooms including suites, new meeting facilities and upgraded food and beverage outlets.
Imperial Hotel Chairman Amin Gilani said the hotel built way back in 1993 was envisioned to establish a Western Kenya Tourism Circuit. However, he added, we are in a global era where professionalization and collaboration are crucial to the success and to meet our vision.
“After operating the hotel for 40 years, Sarova Hotels is the ideal partner for further growth due to our industry leadership, rich history and a deep respect for community, tradition and sustainability,” added Gilani.
In response, Kariuki said that in this competitive hospitality industry the company will continue looking at organic and inorganic avenues for growth.
“Sarova Hotels has remained focused on growing our footprint in Kenya through identifying new hotel management opportunities. Having been in existence for over 48 years, we have the experience, the expertise and the business infrastructure to provide management support to hotel owners who are looking for this,” he revealed.
Kariuki pointed out that Sarova Hotels will continue scouting for new properties across Kenya and particularly Western Kenya region in line with the vision of our shareholders apart from entering different segments of the hospitality business.