Travel

Hotel suites fit for kings

Rooftop balcony at The presidential suite at Villa Rosa Kempinski. PHOTO | COURTESY
Rooftop balcony at the presidential suite at Villa Rosa Kempinski. PHOTO | COURTESY 

Do you fancy having an expansive foyer welcome you to your hotel with dramatic floor-to-ceiling window views of the city that continue in every room?

An enclosed study that provides you with a quiet space for your privacy, and when you finally settle in, a separate living room with plenty of comfortable seating for you and your guests.

Large double doors open into your luxurious master bedroom, and when you enter the bedroom, it boasts jewel-toned canopy beds, working desks and a lounge overlooking the city.

There is also the original contemporary artwork by a famous artist on the wall.  

Welcome to what is increasingly becoming a typical hotel room, where super rich Kenyans and visitors relax in style.

Kenya’s high-end hotels are pulling out all the stops to match rising demand for VIP service by consumers. With lavish decor, over-the-top amenities, and attentive service, they are ensuring every guest feels like a Head of State.

“What is clear is that we are seeing an above trend increase in HNWs (High Net Worth Individuals) and UHNWs (Ultra High Net Worth Individuals). These folks are expanding in number and they have a very defined demand,” says Nairobi-based analyst Aly Khan Satchu.

Hotel chains are increasingly facing pressure from ultra-affluent clients who demand special service.

“They want things that are world-class. It is no good selling them a Savile Row suit at twice the price, you got to sell the real deal at the right price. They are willing to pay for quality and they know what quality is,” adds Mr Satchu.



Presidential suite at the The Villa Rosa Kempinski. PHOTO | COURTESY
Presidential suite at the The Villa Rosa Kempinski. PHOTO | COURTESY

According to Mary Wanjohi marketing and communication manager at at the Radisson Blu Hotel Nairobi, more and more hotel brands are designing presidential suites that offer modern luxury and versatility, moving away from the traditional design layout and furnishings; therefore opening it up to a larger target market.

“This segment has growth potential since more hotel brands are designing presidential suites that offer modern luxury and versatility,” she says.

The five-star luxury Radisson Blu in Upper Hill is owned and operated by Carlson Rezidor, one of the world’s largest hotel companies with 1,400 hotels in its portfolio.

It offers one presidential suite and 13 executive suites. The presidential suite’s starting rate is $2,500 (Sh258,202) whilst the executive suites’ starting rate is $500 (Sh51,640) depending on availability.

Ms Wanjohi says there is high demand for the hotel’s presidential suite, especially if there are state dignitaries visiting the country or a city wide summit or conference.

It is not presidents alone who occupy the suites at Radisson Blu Nairobi.

“The suites are occupied by a wide range of clientele from presidents, state dignitaries, corporate executives and honeymooners among others,” she adds.

On regular days, she says, there are corporate clients who reserve the presidential suite for their executives.

These suites are characterised by modern luxurious design and furnishings, spacious lounges, dining area and office study area as well as spacious bedrooms with a private lounge.

Additionally, they offer spacious bathrooms with bath tubs, shower and walk in closets and interconnecting rooms as well as access to the business lounge.

Similar sentiments are shared by Anthony King’oo Ngunga, general manager, Crowne Plaza Nairobi who says there is a rise in demand for premium products from increasingly choosy customers.

“The demand for executive suites in the country has risen tremendously over the years. Kenya is fast becoming a key country for all the major business deals in the African continent and this has resulted in an increase of VIP guests who visit the country,” says Mr Ngunga.

“This has created a demand for executive suites/rooms in the hotels to match their standards back at home.”

Crowne Plaza Nairobi offers five executive suites out of the 206 rooms at the hotel. The price tag for the executive suite is $700 (Sh72,296) for bed and breakfast.

Mr Ngunga says businessmen, celebrities, diplomats and senior citizens, amongst others, are the key clientele for the suites.

“Presidential or executive suites in Kenya look very promising with current count expected to double to meet the increased demand,” he points out.

Besides spacious dining areas and sleeping rooms they also feature direct access to the VIP lounge, special check-in and check-out at the VIP Lounge as well as contemporary styled room with modern fittings.



Pampering amenities at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nairobi. PHOTO | COURTESY
Pampering amenities at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nairobi. PHOTO | COURTESY

They also offer access to connecting twin rooms that can accommodate security or entourage besides gourmet service.

Mr Ngunga observes that in 2016, Kenya attracted over 4,000 multi-millionaires.

“This has provided a great opportunity for hotels to either build or include suites in their current set ups to accommodate the growing demand for executive and luxurious accommodations from the business and leisure traveller who is looking to spend a premium to enjoy the best,” he says.

Knight Frank’s 2017 wealth report released in March this year showed that Nairobi’s population of the super rich grew at the fastest rate in 2016, beating Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

The report, which noted that hard economic times that prevailed in the year did not slow down wealth accumulation, showed Kenya created 900 dollar millionaires in 2016.

This brought the number of Kenya’s super rich to 9,400, representing an eight per cent growth from 2015’s total of 8,500.

The new group of super rich Kenyans includes 30 individuals whose assets are valued at more than $10 million each, 10 ultra-high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) with more than $30 million each and two centa dollar millionaires with more than $100 million each.

Dollar millionaires are individuals with assets worth more than $1 million excluding primary assets such as a home.