Kempinski downplays fears of Nairobi expressway hit on hotel’s visitors

Villa Rosa Kempinski has played down concerns of security threats to its premises following the completion of the Nairobi Expressway which passes close and overlooks the hotel.

The five-star hotel has been attracting international and regional delegates including presidents and celebrities due. However, following the construction of the expressway, there are concerns the proximity of the road to the hotel poses security threats that could scare away guests.

The hotel, however, says its rooms, including a presidential suite are far from the road and noise, with safety and privacy of clients still maintained.

Kempinski director of sales Judy Matengo said the speed limit on the 27km stretch would mean no car or people would slow down enough to pose any potential threat.

The hotel is however putting up a bulletproof glass barrier to the swimming pool that faces the road.

“The rooms are far and not very close to the road. The only thing close is the swimming which is open and we have started taking security measures and we are going to have bulletproof (glass) there… We respect our guests’ privacy,” she said.

The 200-room facility had its presidential suite and the mini presidential suite fully booked ahead of former President Kibaki’s burials.

Before that, the hotel had hosted the Democratic Republic of Congo delegation who were in the country to sign the East Africa Community treaty.

The expressway starts at Mlolongo, connecting Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and terminating on James Gichuru Road in Westlands.

Ms Matengo said the expressway promises benefits to the hotel.

“The expressway works to our advantage. It takes 12 minutes from the airport compared to 45 minutes or one hour due to traffic jam. It’s even safer without the buses and trailers and parking boys snatching phones from guests.’’

The chain, Europe’s oldest luxury brand, entered the Kenyan market in 2012 with the hotel located in Nairobi’s Westlands area and a luxury tented camp, Olare set up at the Maasai Mara.

The hotel’s presidential suite costs $15000 (Sh1.72 million) bed and breakfast.

The hotel said the construction of the expressway affected its business due to road closure as well as interruption of water supply, electricity and internet.

“We are happy that this happened during the Covid period. The impact would have been double in normal circumstances.”

Source: BUSINESS DAILY

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