Wednesday, 20 September 2017

KENYA: Intercontinental Hotel Group Former Africa Manager Appointed To Head Ole Sereni

Hotel group Ole Sereni has hired a former manager of the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) as its new boss.

Karl Hala, who was the regional general manager, IHG Africa and general manager InterContinental Hotel Lagos will be responsible for all operations and revenue growth for Ole Sereni.

I am excited to start a new challenge within Ole Sereni and look forward to working with the team to further develop their already extensive product and service suite, said Mr Hala.

This position was previously held by Ghulam Samdani.

Karl’s wealth of experience and industry knowledge has already made him a key addition to the Ole Sereni family. We view his appointment as a sign of our commitment to being the leading airport hotel in our industry, said Ole Sereni Director of the Board Mr Nazir Noordin.

Mr Hala has spent the past 35 years at InterContinental Hotel Group with 10 years handling Africa.

Ole Sereni is currently constructing the second phase of the hotel, which will feature long-stay apartments to cater for accommodation demands by clients.

Meanwhile, Mumbai-based hospitality firm Sarovar has asked the High Court to allow it to recover Sh57 million from Ole Sereni as compensation for being unfairly booted from management of the four-star Kenyan hotel.

Sarovar claims in suit papers that Ole Sereni has failed to honour demands for settlement of the Sh57 million it was awarded by an arbitration panel in December last year.

Ole Sereni is yet to respond to the suit. Justice Rachael Ng’etich has ordered the Kenyan hotel to respond before July 19 when the case comes up before her again.

Ole Sereni on opening its doors in 2009 hired Sarovar to manage the Mombasa Road facility. The hotel however parted ways with Sarovar in 2013 following allegations of negligent management.

The two parties opted to settle their dispute through arbitration, and in December last year the panel of Njoroge Regeru, Njeri Kariuki and Wilfred Nderitu ruled that Ole Sereni had not followed due process and awarded the Indian firm Sh57 million.

Sarovar has sued Ole Sereni through its parent firm, Placid View Properties Limited.

Sarovar argued that Ole Sereni did not give a 30 day notice before terminating its management deal with the four star hotel.

The final award has not been modified, set aside, or varied by any competent court. I am not aware of any proceedings in this honourable court seeking to set aside or vary the final award. Placid View Properties Limited is yet to settle the final award despite my company making a request through our advocate.

I request this honourable court to adopt and enter judgment against Placid View as per the final award of the arbitration tribunal to enable my company enforce the resultant decree. I also pray that my company be awarded the costs of these proceedings, Sarovar executive director Ajay Bakaya says.

But Ole Sereni insisted that there was no need to issue a notice, as Sarovar had breached the management contract by failing to ensure that the hotel was up to standards expected of a four star facility.

Tourism Observer
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