Sarova Hotels Group Managing Director, Jimi Kariuki (front left) and Munira Gilani (front right), exchange signed copies of the management agreement that will see Sarova Hotels managing the Kisumu–based property as Sarova Imperial Hotel. Joining the two executives to commemorate the new partnership are (from back left to right) the Chairman Sarova Hotels, Hon. John Ngata Kariuki, Chairman Imperial Hotel Amin Gilani, Dr Fatimah Gilani and Director Sarova Hotels, Saveer Singh Vohra.
Sarova Hotels & Resorts, Kenya’s largest indigenous collection of hospitality establishments, has announced the addition of its eighth hotel in Kenya, Imperial Hotel Kisumu, to the group’s portfolio after the signing of a 7-year management agreement with the hotel’s owners, the Gilani family. Kisumu’s iconic hotel will now be named Sarova Imperial Hotel Kisumu.
By establishing a presence in Kisumu, Kenya’s third largest city, Sarova Hotels is now the only hospitality group in the country operating quality properties in Kenya’s four cities – Sarova Stanley and Sarova Panafric in Nairobi, Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort in Mombasa, Sarova Imperial Hotel in Kisumu, and Sarova Woodlands and Sarova Lion Hill in the newest city, Nakuru.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Sarova Hotels Group Managing Director Jimi Kariuki said that having a presence in Kisumu City and in the larger Western Kenya region has always been part of the hospitality group’s growth plan, noting that the city is currently under-going an extensive urban rejuvenation of the downtown and lower town areas. The project is being driven by the Kisumu County Government and this will further enhance its attractiveness as both a business and leisure travel destination.
“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. Kisumu is fast becoming an attractive destination to visit, not only by business travellers but also by tourists, mainly domestic tourists.
Kisumu International Airport also makes the city easily assessable by air with daily 45-minutes flights from Nairobi operated by Kenya Airways, Jambojet and Safarilink Aviation. There is also a daily passenger train service from Nairobi to Kisumu” added Mr. Kariuki.
Located in Kisumu’s Central Business District, Sarova Imperial Hotel is currently undergoing an extensive upgrade that once complete in July/August 2022 will see the launch of 93 renovated guest bedrooms including suites, new meetings facilities, and upgraded food and beverage outlets.
On his part, Imperial Hotel Chairman Amin Gilani said, “In 1983, Imperial Hotel was built with the vision to establish a Western Kenya tourism circuit. However, we realize that we are in a global era in which professionalization and collaboration are crucial to success and to meet our vision. After operating the hotel for 40 years, Sarova Hotels is the ideal partner for further growth due to their industry leadership, rich history and a deep respect for community, tradition and sustainability.”
In a competitive hospitality industry, Mr. Kariuki said the company will continue looking at organic and inorganic avenues for growth.
“Sarova Hotels has remained focused on growing our footprint in Kenya through identifying new hotel management opportunities. Having been in existence for over 48 years, we have the experience, the expertise and the business infrastructure to provide management support to hotel owners who are looking for this. 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,” he added.