31 new hotels coming up in Kenya this year

JW Marriott Hotel
Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Rising structures point to recovery of sector boosted by growing tourist numbers.
  • The country has continued to attract international hotel brands.

Kenya has 31 new hotels in the pipeline this year with a total of 4,268 rooms, a new report says, signalling the continual recovery of the tourism and hospitality sector even as visitor numbers keep soaring.

This will mark a rise from 25 new units that were set up in 2023, according to the latest The Hotel Chain Development Pipeline Africa report from the W Hospital-ity Group. It shows ongoing and planned construction will bring an extra 4,268 rooms, adding to the 3,729 units recorded last year.

In 2023, Marriott International Group opened JW Marriot Lodge in Maasai Mara with 20 rooms. Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts opened doors to its 128-room service suites in Nairobi. Thailand’s Dusit International reopened Dusit Princess Residences Westlands with 100 rooms and CityBlue’s c3 opened Cowrie Shell Residences in Mombasa with 15 rooms.

Increased investment in hospitality comes as the industry continues to recover from the shocks of the Covid-19 menace that was first reported in the country in early 2020.

Some of the hotels in the pipeline this year are Kwetu Nairobi, and Curio Collection by Hilton located in the city’s Gigiri area.

The JW Marriott Hotel is the latest addition to Nairobi’s grand hospitality portfolio, boasting an exclusive view of the city as it becomes the tallest hotel in the city with 35 storeys. It is the second of Marriott International’s luxury portfolio in Kenya after JW Marriott Masai Mara Lodge opened in February last year.

“Being the largest hotel company in the world, Africa remains a key focus region for Wyndham Hotel & Resorts...New focus markets include Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritius, Cameroon, Angola, Mozambique, and DR Congo, to name just a few,” said Govind Mundra Head of Development, Middle East & Africa, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. The Ministry of Tourism data shows tourist arrivals in Kenya exhibited an increase from 1.48 million in 2022 to 1.95 million in 2023 depicting an increase of 31.5 percent.

This growth in tourist arrivals could have various implications for the local economy, including increased revenue, job opportunities, and the overall development of the tourism sector.

International arrivals through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport also grew from 1.06 million visitors in 2022 to 1.35 million in 2023 while via the Moi International Airport, the numbers rose from 84,860 to 154,203 in the period under review.

The new hotels come at a time when President William Ruto has urged investors to take an interest in the sector as tourist numbers continue to grow, creating a need for extra rooms, adding that hotel occupancy in Nairobi stands at between 90 and 100 per cent.