The Hilton Hotel in the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) closed its doors for good on Sunday, January 1 – the end of an era for an iconic hotel with a rich history and guest list. The building is expected to get a new occupant in coming months.
Hilton first announced plans to shut down the CBD hotel and let go of its employees in April 2022. At the time, management asserted that the closure was not directly linked to the effects of Covid-19. The hotel, in which the government holds a 40.57% percent stake, is ran by its parent company International Hotels of Kenya.
The CBD location of the hotel made it less than ideal for high-end clients who today prefer upmarket hotels in less crowded and busy parts of the city – such as Westlands and Upperhill. In a pointer to the changing times, Hilton expects to open a new luxury hotel in Upperhill, Nairobi, in February 2023.
“We’re opening in February 2023, but aren’t accepting reservations yet,” a statement on the hotel’s website confirms.
Known as Kwetu Nairobi, Curio Collection by Hilton, the 102-room hotel is located at the Peponi-Kitisuru Road junction, overlooking Karura Forest. Hilton had previously disclosed that an unspecified number of staff from the CBD hotel would be redeployed to other hotels in its Nairobi portfolio.
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Hilton also operates the DoubleTree by Hilton in Hurlingam, and Hilton Garden Inn Nairobi Airport, located on Mombasa Road just seven kilometres from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
In its pitch to guests, Kwetu Nairobi emphasizes the proximity to Karura, where visitors can enjoy outdoor activities, as well as dining and entertainment options in Westlands. Amenities at the hotel include a spa, business center and outdoor pool.
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