Five star rankings are hard to come by in Kenya


(Posted 07th August 2016)

The latest edition of the Kenya Gazette has seen the findings of the Kenya Tourism Regulatory Authority published, in which the results of the hotel, resorts and safari lodges classification at the Kenya Coast and upcountry were published.
Notably has TripAdvisor leader Medina Palms captured the coveted five star ranking, the only five star ranked property between Mombasa and Malindi, while only two resorts south of Mombasa were rated that high, one of them being the Leopard Beach Resort & Spa in Diani.
In Diani were such gems as The Maji, AfroChic and Alfajiri Villas however left out of the current rankings, raising questions why they were not included in the latest publication by the TRA.
Medina Palms in Watamu has consistently scored excellent marks in TripAdvisor reviews and impressed this correspondent in particular vis a vis their food, apart from the superb layout of the resort and the quality of the accommodation available. Only one resort in Watamu, the Turtle Bay Beach Club, was ranked with four stars, again raising the question what ranking the equally if not more popular Hemingways Resort might deserve, which was surprisingly not mentioned in the Gazette Notice No. 6111.
No information could be obtained what happened to the fancied resorts in Malindi owned by Flavio Briatore, namely the Lion in the Sun and the Billionaire’s Resort as they were not included in the latest Gazette Notice of 05th of August.
Another crowd favourite, the Mombasa Serena Beach Resort & Spa, was in the latest exercise awarded four stars, as was the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa, the same as the latest addition to the Mombasa hospitality scene, the English Point Marina.
On the safari circuit did as per the latest Gazette Notice only the Segera Retreat capture a five star ranking, a vote of confidence for the owners and management team which has for some time now been given international recognition as Kenya’s poshest of the posh.
Oldtimers like the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club however found themselves pegged into the group of four star properties, no doubt a result of not reinvesting enough in recent times to keeping the property in the elite five star group.
The much less pretentious but probably more preferred Aberdare Country Club, incidentally owned by a Marasa Africa, a Ugandan based hospitality group, also got four stars and well deserved that ranking is.
Again, a number of internationally acclaimed safari camps such as Elsa’s Kopje, Joy’s Camp but also the Olare Mara Kempinski and the Ol Seki Hemingways also do not feature in the latest Gazette Notice, nor does Richard Branson’s Mahali Mzuri but as and when their rankings are available be sure to read about it right here.