Kenya’s lake side city of Kisumu set to get first branded hotel


(Posted 05th June 2015)

The world’s largest hotel brand with over 4.000 hotels presently only has two franchise operations in Kenya, a market with a significant growth potential for branded four and three star hotels. A Best Western Plus in Mombasa, a three star hotel and a Best Western Premier in the Hurlingham area of Nairobi not far from the Yaya Shopping Mall, a four star hotel, are the only two though it is understood that a third franchise, likely also a Best Western Premier – the brand’s top tier – is under planning in Kisumu near the airport.

Best Western’s geographical exclusion zone is relatively small, compared to many of the other global branded operations and as yet there is no basic Best Western, ordinarily a two star operation, anywhere on the map in Kenya. The brand is according to information received during recent visits, keen to expand though and given the experience the present owners seem to have with the label, likely to attract more investors into that level of hotel operations.

The owners of the Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi are presently building up their own mid star brand, Acacia Hotels, and their property in Kisumu will be the first of its kind to open, likely followed by Naivasha and other urban centres across the country.

Similarly is another local three star brand, Boma Inns, keen on further expansion, beyond their first upcountry hotel in Eldoret and plans for Nyeri where the company has a conference centre already.

Nairobi, but also upcountry country government towns, will be keen to see more affordable and yet branded hotels emerge in coming years to cater for the growing number of Kenya’s middle classers. Those may only once in a blue moon sample a five star hotel’s restaurants due to the cost but will very likely become regular patrons at well-appointed and managed lower star properties in their home towns.