Three hotels in Kenya’s coast earn coveted five star status in new rankings

The Kenyan Coast, the hub of the country’s tourism, has three new five star hotels.

According to the latest classification of hotels and resorts, several hospitality establishments in the region dropped in their ratings after inspection done early this year.

Information contained in Kenya Gazette Notice number 6111, Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA) Director General Kipkorir Lagat announced that Leopard Beach Resort & Spa, Swahili Beach Resort, both in the South Coast, and Medina Palms Suites in Watamu in the North Coast, have been conferred with five star status. The new ratings follow a nationwide classification exercise covering Coast, Upper Eastern, Central and South Rift tourism regions.

No hotel within Mombasa County attained the coveted five star status, leaving out Kwale and Kilifi counties the highest rated. Both Leopard Beach Hotel ad Swahili Beach Resort are categorised as vacation hotels while Medina Palms is under the villas, cottages and serviced apartments categories.

Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort and Spa, which used to enjoy five star status, has dropped and is now classified as a four star hotel. The Serena Beach Resort and Spa retained its four star status as did Mombasa’s iconic Vision 2030 flagship resort, the English Point Marina. Other four star hotels include the Heritage Group of Hotels owned Voyager Beach Resort, Leisure Lodge, Baobab Beach Resort & Spaand Turtle Bay Club (Watamu).

Bahari Beach, Pangoni Beach Resort, Indian Ocean Beach Resort and Diani Sea Resort , Royal Court (Mombasa) and Mnarani Club (Kilifi ) were awarded three star status. The 88-room Plaza Beach Hotel, also in Mombasa, has been awarded a two star status as has Mtwapa based Boutique Hotel.

Speaking to The Standard on Saturday, Swahili Beach Hotel General Manager Jeff Mukolwe expressed his satisfaction with the ratings.

“My directors have been supportive at a time when Kenyan tourism was at it’s lowest,’’ he said.

His counterpart at the award winning Leopard Beach Resort and Spa Mohamed Omar welcomed the ratings, terming them a true reflection of his hotel’s investments.

“The owners have consistently shown confidence in investing in destination Kenya even when things were not looking up,’’ he said.

The Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (Kahc) Coast branch said the outcome shows the industries progress following the enactment of a new tourism Act.