Multinationals drive uptake of serviced apartments

Prit Shah
Vaal Real Estate sales manager Prit Shah (left) at Villa Rosa Kempinski during release of the report February 12, 2019. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA 

International companies operating in Kenya are driving up increased demand for serviced apartments as they seek to host their staff in upmarket parts of the capital over the period of their work.

According to a report by realtor Vaal Real Estate, serviced apartments in Nairobi registered a three-year average occupancy of 72 percent compared to a 52 percent average for the traditional short- stay hotels.

“In terms of a home away from home, a serviced apartment will give you that but a hotel can’t. You get a kitchen, you can cook your home cooked meal. With a hotel, it is not possible. So we have seen a very big rise with the occupancy for serviced apartments compared to traditional hotels,” said Vaal Real Estate sales manager Prit Shah during launch of the report yesterday.

Nairobi accommodated 4,582 serviced apartment units in 2018, about 1.98 times the number in 2013, with Westlands supplying about 37 percent of these due to its status as a popular business hub as well as its offerings of entertainment and social amenities.

Kilimani is the second largest hub for serviced apartments at 28 percent.


The Central Business District (CBD) and Upper Hill tail the rest at nine and six percent respectively despite their access to a corporate clientele base.

For the CBD, Vaal’s report says development and occupation of serviced apartments is hindered by congestion and infrastructure stagnation. Branded serviced apartments are beginning to have an impact on the market with global brands such as Best Western, Radisson and MÖvenpick pioneering the evolution.