Simba suspends hotel expansion over market glut

Adil Popat, CEO  at Simba Corp. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Adil Popat, CEO at Simba Corp. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Popat family, which owns Villa Rosa Kempinski Nairobi, has temporarily frozen an aggressive plan to set up a chain of mid-priced hotels across Kenya, citing a glut in the market.

Family-owned Simba Corporation –with interests in hospitality and the automotive sectors- Thursday announced it had shelved plans to open four-star hotels under the ‘Acacia Premier’ brand and two-star hotels dubbed ‘Acacia Express.’

“We have seen that there are about 20 hotels coming up so we postponed the expansion plans. We don’t want price wars,” said Adil Popat, chief executive at Simba Corp.

“We’ve decided to hold a bit because markets have become soft. The plans are ready, we’ll push the button when ready,” Mr Popat said in an interview.

Simba Corp in early 2015 opened Acacia Premier Kisumu, featuring 94 rooms, three spa rooms, restaurants and coffee shop, poolside deck.

The conglomerate wanted to replicate the Acacia model with planned hotels in Nairobi and Naivasha.