Tucked in the heart of the affluent neighborhood of Karen in Nairobi, the once palatial family home for the Deputy President William Ruto’s family has now been turned into an exclusive guest house.
The multi-million shilling home that sits on four-acre piece of land now serves as an executive wing of the Weston Hotel that has become the nerve centre and the DP’s political power centre.
Situated along Koitobos Road the establishment enjoys the tranquility that is offered by the Oloolua Nature Trail with thick forest vines and undergrowth below high treetops and a giraffe centre metres away.
Renovation and expansion
“The hotel is currently undergoing renovation and expansion, but it will be ready and open next month,” said a source involved in renovations.
Though the guest house was open and running for a few months, the renovations are expected to upgrade it into a top-of-the-range facility for the affluent clientele complete with a presidential suite that could cost a fortune a night.
Ruto moved into the house in 2010 from an older house within the compound. When he became the Deputy President in 2013, the exigencies of his office- including security- necessitated his move to the official residence which had been completed a year before.
The residence has several houses including two 3 bedroom maisonettes, for the house keeper, security officers and other staff.
Initially the DP was reluctant to move to his official residence after Jubilee came into power. Besides, the house required minor adjustments and refurbishment.
“In his hustler spirit, he decided that the house could give him a coin or two for the family instead of letting it stay unoccupied,” said one of the aides who sought anonymity.
“It is an exclusive hotel or you can call it a guest house, but it is only for the top notch clientele, or when he has guests and wants to have very private meetings,” he added.
Once completed, the guest house will add to Ruto’s ventures into the hospitality industry coming after Weston Hotel, which describes itself ‘as a four-star, a classic, luxurious hotel tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the Nairobi Central Business District.’
“Essentially, it is a Weston Annex of sorts, it is meant for the VIPs, the kind of guests who want exclusivity and serenity away from the city,” said a another source.
Weston, a 120-bed capacity hotel with a restaurant, VIP lounge, sauna, an outdoor pool, club and a coffee shop has been beset with a never-ending controversy.
The hotel has over the years been transformed into the focal point for Ruto’s political activities in the city. The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, has claimed ownership of the land upon which it stands.
In January, the National Land Commission (NLC) ascertained that it was built on public land.The NLC valued the 0.773ha land at Sh300 million.
The DP, who has a private office in the hotel, hosts meetings with his guests ranging from Members of County Assemblies from across the country to Cabinet Secretaries.
“He comes here often, spends his time at the gym and holds meetings with mostly governors, senators, MPs, politicians and people from all walks of life,” said a staff who sought anonymity.
The DP has also been associated with the construction of a hotel in Mombasa with a 600-bed capacity along the shores of the Indian Ocean that was also in the eye of a storm.
There were claims that the contractor of the hotel had dumped sand on the access road to Shanzu public beach, but the National Environmental Management Authority cleared the hotel after they removed the sand.
Once completed, the hotel that sits on a 10 acre parcel of land, will be under Weston block of hotels.
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