Kenya’s first airport hotel Lazizi Premiere opens doors to guests

The Lazizi Premiere at the JKIA in Nairobi. Photo | Diana Ngila | NMG
The Lazizi Premiere at the JKIA in Nairobi. Photo | Diana Ngila | NMG 

Kenya’s first airport hotel has begun welcoming guests, 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.