Sarova signs deal to operate iconic Kisumu Imperial Hotel


The entrance to Kisumu Imperial Hotel. Hotel chain Sarova Hotels and Resorts will run the iconic hotel after signing a 7-year deal. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Hotel chain Sarova Hotels and Resorts will run the iconic Kisumu Imperial Hotel in a new management deal set to see it make a debut in Western Kenya.

The hospitality group on Tuesday said that it has inked a management deal with Mayfair Holdings Limited, which owns Kisumu Imperial hotel, to operate it for a period of seven years.

The deal will see the hotel that has been under renovation since 2020 at a cost of Sh500 million renamed Sarova Imperial Hotel Kisumu.

The opening of the hotel in Kisumu will mark the entry of the first hotel operated by Sarova hotels in Western Kenya.

“Having a presence in Kisumu City and in the larger Western Kenya region has always been part of the hospitality group’s growth plan,” said Sarova Hotels Kenya managing director Jimi Kariuki.

“The city's location on the shores of Africa’s largest lake, Lake Victoria, and the on-going modernisation of the lakefront makes Kisumu a unique destination to add to the Sarova experience.”

The three–star hotel will run 93 renovated guest bedrooms including suites, new meetings facilities, and upgraded food and beverage outlets.

 “We will continue to scout for new properties in Kenya and the region in line with the vision of our shareholders, as well as enter different segments of the hospitality business,” Mr Kariuki said.

Kisumu Imperial has been in existence for 48 years. The hotel has been undergoing a facelift to keep up with the trends in the hospitality industry.  

Imperial Hotel general manager Michael Kamau told Business Daily in a past interview that they took the decision to renovate the hotel to attract new customers.

"We asked ourselves why we were not attracting younger people. We also realised most of the loyal clients who have been with us are aged and their spending power was getting strained, forcing us to shift our focus to younger people aged between 25 to 35,” Mr Kamau said.

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