Beginning the first of last month, leading East African hotel chain, Tourism Promotion Services (TPS) (operating as Serena Hotels), commenced the first phase of the expansion of the Nairobi Serena Hotel, an establishment consistently voted as the capital’s leading business hotel.
The expansion and refurbishment of a member of the Leading Hotels of the World is expected to take about 18 months, a period which the hotel chain’s management describes as part of a quest to meet the ever–changing guests’ needs and exceed their expectations, through Nairobi Serena Hotel’s over 40 years of existence.
Popular with politicians, businessmen and the elite of society, the hotel’s rich culture and heritage has made it one of Eastern Africa’s preferred destinations for both business and leisure. And with this upgrade, Nairobi Serena Hotel hopes to further cement its reputation as the city hotel of choice for accommodation, fine dining, conferencing and wellness in Nairobi, amidst a throng of new entrants, including Best Western Premier, Pullman, Tune Hotels and the further expansion of perennial rival Hilton Hotel, in the business category.
In order to achieve this, Nairobi Serena says it will ‘stay true to its Pan-African roots, continuing to draw inspiration from across Africa’ – we can safely assume through distinct architectural nuances, with influences from Ethiopia, the Maghreb, West and East Africa.
The first phase of the expansion and refurbishment program is scheduled for completion in September 2017 and will comprise of new front of house areas, the entrance, porte cochere and reception, a refurbished Northern wing with remodeled guest rooms, a new floor of guestrooms and an executive lounge. Evident highlights will be a new ballroom and 100-car parking silo.
During the expansion, the management has been careful to minimise interference with daily operations and client-flow, taking measures such as construction works from 8.00am to 5.00pm on weekdays, and until 1.00pm on Saturdays, with Sunday exclusions. Its fine dining restaurant Mandhari, the Café Maghreb, the Aksum Bar, executive meeting rooms and the Maisha Gym and Spa will be operating as normal.
The Nairobi Serena Hotel expansion follows an 8-year financing partnership of upto $20 million from French fund Proparco which commenced in August 2015, and has seen refurbishment of the Dar es Salaam Serena Hotel last year, as well as the sprucing up of the Kampala Serena Hotel with an additional 36 suites.
These developments are likely to see some adjustments, whether construction or obstruction, to access roads around the hotel, including Processional Way and Nyerere Road, prone to congestion particularly during rush hours, seeing the proximity of the facility to the Central Business District.