The walnut wood floor and wardrobes combined with the grey walls and white beddings of the new wing of Sankara Nairobi are surprisingly warm and inviting.
The wooden rafters outside the seventh floor wing provide the illusion of privacy and at the same time cover for the new section that hosts 11 new rooms including a presidential suite.
“This is an exciting venture for our hotel in lock-step with the growing demand from consumers and their desire for unique experiences. We wanted to capture the hotel’s personality with signature elements that showcase warmth and understated elegance,” said Krishna Unni, group general manager of Sankara Hotel and Resorts.
These rooms have walnut wooden walls, marble bathrooms flooded with natural light.
The presidential suite is finished with a spacious master bedroom, a large living and dining area, powder room, pantry and an adjoining room as well as designer amenities in both.
According to the Hotels Outlook report by PwC, staying competitive is a key challenge for existing hotels as new players come in.
“We have seen significant differentiation specifically among four-and five-star hotels. Certain hotels have hosted global leaders and international conferences, helping to position them as high-end. Some offer bespoke, luxury experiences whereas others have focused on amenities attractive to short-term business travellers,” says the report.
According to the report, some hotels also tend to articulate their value by focusing on quality in a certain price ranges. Some hotels are making investments to maintain or improve guests’ stay whereas others are struggling. Remaining or becoming relevant could end up being a factor of how much money they have and the willingness of the owners to invest.
The new wing comes as Sankara is expected to rebrand to Marriott’s Autograph Collection. The two brands signed an agreement last year that will see Sankara trade under the premium or upper upscale category dubbed Autograph Collection, intensifying ongoing battle by global brands to dominate Nairobi’s hospitality space.
The Sh3.2 billion Sankara, which is owned by Westlands Hotels Limited, opened in late 2010 riding on the then resurgent tourism sector that had caused a huge shortfall in Nairobi’s bed capacity.
The hotel hosted French president Emmanuel Macron and his delegation during their visit this month.