The very first airport hotel has opened, seeking to cash in on the growing passenger, cargo, and airline numbers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
The 144-room Lazizi Premiere Hotel is located on First Freight Lane inside the JKIA.
It is targeting transiting passengers, airline crews, and business executives on the go.
This is very strategic because there is no other airport hotel here. We are also targeting those who work in the airport and in the vicinity who can walk in for lunch, said Kiran Patel, owner of the hotel.
Mumbai-based hotelier Sarovar runs the hotel under a management contract.
It currently has a portfolio of four hotels in Kenya including Heron Portico, Zehneria Portico, and the upcoming Tetezi Hometel, owned by lawyer John Mburu.
The four-star Lazizi airport hotel sits on a 1.5 acre plot. It features three conference rooms targeting business meetings, as well as a rooftop pool, spa, gym, coffee shop, bar, café where guests can while away as they wait for their flights.
Lazizi has employed 165 staff, Mr Patel said. Satya Roychowdhur, an ex- Carlson Rezidor executive, is the general manager at Lazizi.
JKIA passenger traffic grew 9.7 per cent to hit 7.1 million travellers in 2016 according to official data.
International travellers – the captive market for airport hotels – make up three quarters of the total passenger traffic according to data from Kenya Airports Authority.
Hilton Garden Inn, another airport hotel located next to JKIA, was expected to open in March 2016, but construction work is yet to be completed.
Airport hotels also profit from events such as flight delays, reschedules or cancelled journeys, which at times force airlines to offer accommodation to distraught passengers.
Mumbai-based hotelier Sarovar plans to open its first-ever budget hotel under the Hometel brand in Nairobi after signing a deal with a city lawyer to put up the facility.
The upcoming Tetezi Hometel Nairobi is owned by lawyer John Mburu, and targets business travellers and holidaymakers on a shoestring budget.
Sarovar will manage the hotel’s day-to-day operations, earning a fee for its brand and services.
The 80-room hotel is located on Riverside Drive and its construction has already started with the opening set for 2019.
A typical Hometel hotel development cost in Kenya,excluding cost of land is estimated at $60,000 (Sh6.1 million) per room.
There is a growing demand for good value for money hotels across the country and abroad. This is the largest demand segment. We aim to cater to these markets with our hotels by offering best value to business and leisure travellers, said Ajay Bakaya, managing director at Sarovar Hotels in a statement.
Tetezi Hometel Nairobi will be the first in Africa, he said, adding that the brand delivers profitable hotels to owners.
Mr Mburu will invest about Sh480 million in the construction, Sarovar said.
The budget hotel brings to four the total number of properties managed by Sarovar in Kenya including Heron Portico and Zehneria Portico.
Lazizi Premiere located near the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, has opened.
The Indian hotelier has three brands: Premiere (luxury), Portico (midscale) and budget offering Hometel. There are 10 Hometel hotels worldwide, Sarovar said.
Sarovar presence in Africa will now total to eight hotels including New Africa Hotel and Casino in Dar-es-Salaam, the 73-roomed Panorama Sarovar Portico in Juba, Sarovar Premiere in Lusaka, and Sarovar Premiere Addis Ababa.