Kempinski’s Rwandan market entry serves notice to competitors


(Posted 21st April 2014)

Kigali’s ‘Grand ol’ Dame’ of the hospitality industry, the Hotel des Mille Collines, will from mid 2014 come under Kempinski management, it was confirmed over the weekend.

The hotel’s new General Manager, Mr. Christoph Strahm, is already on site and several other Kempinski team members will join him over the coming weeks, as the hotel, named earlier this year by Rwanda’s ‘The ServiceMag’ as Kigali’s hotel with the best service, moves towards a full rebranding with a renewed marketing drive.

The 112 room and suites hotel, it was reliably learned, will then embark on a major refurbishment lasting some 18 months, during which also major changes to the F&B services will be implemented to reflect Kempinski’s global reputation as one of the oldest and finest global hospitality concerns.

In Kenya Kempinski manages the Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi and the Kempinski Olare Mara luxury tented camp in the world famous Masai Mara Game Reserve, which was recently voted as one of the top ten best properties of its kind in the world. The company’s push into Rwanda, one of the region’s fast growing economies, confirms Kempinski’s intent to widen their footprint across the African continent with CEO Reto Wittwer recently saying: ‘Africa is THE future market for us, both from a strategic and a financial point of view. Important key destinations which play a vital role for the economic development of the continent are our target there. As we were industry pioneers in Russia and China, we also want to be pioneers in enhancing the luxury hotel market in Africa and set new standards in quality, service and luxury. We are focusing particularly on sub-Saharan Africa, which has seen exceptional economic growth for several years now’.

Kempinski already operates seven hotels in Africa, five of which are in sub-Saharan Africa. The company is opening new hotels in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Rwanda, in Equatorial Guinea, in Ghana and a third hotel in Egypt, all within the next 12 months.

Kempinski Hotel Fleuve Congo Kinshasa

Takeover and opening on March 01, 2014

Located in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital city, in the Gombe district by the Congo River, a half-hour drive from Kinshasa’s N’Djili International Airport, Kempinski Hotel Fleuve Congo Kinshasa features 237 elegant rooms and suites, which showcase panoramic views of the city, the Congo River and Brazzaville, the capital of Congo. The hotel features three restaurants and three bars, five fully-equipped function rooms, an auditorium seating 300, two floodlit outdoor tennis courts, an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and billiard and snooker rooms.

Grand Hotel Oyala Kempinski
Opening Q2 2014

Set in a lush tropical rainforest in Equatorial Guinea’s future new capital of

Oyala, Grand Hotel Oyala Kempinski will feature 450 rooms and suites. In

addition, 50 private four-bedroom villas with fully equipped kitchens and served

by its own staff will also be available. The hotel is set to become one of the most

iconic destinations in West Africa, with some of the most modern conference

facilities in the region, including a banquet room for up to 1.200 guests. The

hotel complex will house two bars, a café, six restaurants, offering among others Italian,

Spanish and African cuisines, as well as a deli, a Club House and a classic all-day-

dining restaurant. An 18-hole golf course, a retail gallery, a night club, a

wellness area including a Kempinski The Spa, and a private clinic are other

notable features of this property.

Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City Accra

Opening Q3 2014

Kempinski’s first hotel in Ghana will feature 269 rooms and suites and will bring a new level of contemporary luxury hospitality to Accra.

Ideally located in the heart of the city, Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City will boast the largest rooms in Accra in addition to two restaurants, a lobby lounge with outside seating, a cocktail bar, a pool lounge, 1,700 m2 of meeting and banqueting facilities, including the biggest ballroom in the city, and 7,000 m2 of retail space. The hotel will also offer an extensive Resense spa (opening early2015) featuring luxurious wellness and fitness facilities, a hammam, relaxation areas and a dedicated yoga studio.

The keen interest of global hospitality giants in particular across Eastern Africa is largely driven by the discovery of significant gas and oil deposits and major new infrastructure projects like railways, ports, pipelines and airport expansions but also through a thriving tourism industry, all of which offer excellent prospects for returns to investors. Hotel groups like InterContinental, Hilton and Sheraton, long established in Kenya and Uganda, saw such competitors like Fairmont, Hyatt, Marriott, Radisson Blue and Dusit take over or preparing to open properties over the past few years and Marriott’s recently concluded acquisition of South Africa’s leading hospitality brand, Protea, has boosted their portfolio across the continent and turned them into a leading player especially in Eastern Africa.

Watch this space for breaking and regular hospitality news from the entire region.

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