KENYA’S DECK OF HOSPITALITY CARDS SHUFFLED AS TWO GROUPS MOVE CLOSER
(Posted 13th June 2017)
News are breaking from Nairobi that the Simba Corporation, owners of the landmark Villa Rosa Kempinski, the Olare Mara Kempinski luxury tented camp and also of the Acacia Premier Hotel in Kisumu, have signed a deal with the Hemingways Group, which besides their three hotel properties in Watamu, Nairobi and the Masai Mara also includes the Express Travel Group and the Europcar franchise in Kenya.
While the development of more Acacia hotels in by Simba Corp in Kenya, as initially suggested in Naivasha, Nakuru and even Meru appears to be on hold for now, is the acquisition of a 35 percent stake in the Hemingways Group seen as a clear signal that Simba intends to widen their presence in the hospitality and tourism industry at large and is set for further growth.
Besides creating synergy effects – no particulars could be obtained at this stage of the various hospitality businesses moving closer together vis a vis joint marketing strategies and perhaps even management – can it be expected that Europcar Kenya may now be a target for placing vehicles sold by Simba Colt Motors, like Renault’s and Mitsubishi’s in the car hire firm’s fleet when replacements become due.
The Hemingways property in Watamu is presently undergoing a major transformation with the South Wing being converted into serviced apartments while the North Wing and main areas are undergoing a facelift in time for the next high season.
The all suite, all butler served property in Langata, Hemingways Nairobi, is considered one of the finest properties of its kind in the Kenyan capital and the Ol Seki luxury tented camp on one of the conservancies adjoining the Masai Mara too has been in the top tier of safari accommodation not just in their location but in the country overall.
There is already speculation in the market that over time Simba Corp could expand their shareholding in the Hemingways Group but only time will tell which direction this partnership will go. In any case has the deal laid the foundation for the emergence of a new multi tiered hospitality and tourism group which is worth watching.