Nairobi’s Hilton Hotel to Shut Down After 53 Years

Nairobi’s iconic Hilton Hotel will close its doors indefinitely in December and lay off an unspecified number of workers

Hilton Nairobi Hotel

The Hilton Nairobi hotel will close its doors indefinitely on December 31. 

The iconic five-star hotel consisting of 287 rooms, has been in operation for 53 years in Kenya, having been launched in 1969. 

Owned 40.57 percent by the government and 59.4 percent by the Hilton Group of Hotels, the hotel management pointed to other factors beyond the Covid-19 pandemic for the planned closure. 

“Following extensive discussions with the hotel ownership, Hilton Nairobi will close its doors for the last time on 31st December 2022 and cease operations. Covid-19 created unprecedented challenges for our industry. 

However, the decision to cease operations is not directly connected to the pandemic. Unfortunately, the closure of the hotel will result in a retrenchment process. However, we will work with those impacted to help them find alternative employment,” a Hilton spokesperson told the Business Daily. 

Hilton however said it will not quit the Kenyan market but will continue to operate its other brands in the country.

“Hilton Nairobi Hurlingham and Hilton Garden Inn Nairobi Airport are growing our portfolio with new hotel development opportunities in the city and beyond,” it said.

Analysts opine that, despite the expected indefinite closure of the Hilton Central Business District hotel, the Kenyan hospitality sector has witnessed increased activities positioning it on the path of recovery, after having been one of the worst-hit economic sectors by the onset of the pandemic.

For instance, hotel chain Sarova Woodlands took over management of Kisumu’s Imperial hotel, now renamed Sarova Imperial Kisumu after having entered into a 7-year agreement with the Gilani Family,  French’s Fairmont Norfolk Hotel located in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD), resumed operations after having been shut down for nearly two years.

Data from the Central Bank of Kenya’s Monetary Policy Committee Hotels Survey March 2022 found that the overall number of operating hotels stood at 100.0 percent, whereas the overall bed occupancy rates increased to 57.0 percent in March 2022, from the 21.0 percent recorded in January 2021.

“We expect the hospitality sector to continue witnessing expansion and reopening activities in order to further boost its overall performance. However, some hotels’ performance continues to be weighed down by the effects of the pandemic, which has, in turn, led to reduced income,” Analysts from Cytonn Investments state.

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Experience working on communication and marketing departments and in the broadcast industry. Interested in sustainable development and international relations issues.

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