NAIROBI, KENYA: Not until Tuesday afternoon did dusitD2 hotel become a household name in Kenya and beyond the borders.
This follows the Tuesday 3 pm attack on the facility by terrorists killing at least 15 people among them 11 Kenyans, a Briton, an American and two unidentified people.
The incident disrupted business in the busy Westlands suburbs.
Al Shabaab claimed responsibility.
The boutique hotel is described as the perfect urban retreat for both work and play. It offers world class cuisine from its array of bars and restaurants, stylish and spacious guestrooms, unique event spaces, the award winning Devarana Spa and a striking red swimming pool.
Dusit is a word derived by King Rama V of Thailand, who died in the 1910.
It encompassed the Utopian concept of a garden in heaven and can be translated to mean "green city in heaven".
Given that Nairobi was once known as the Green City in the Sun and the "place of cool waters," it seemed fitting to bring the first Dusit Hotel brand in East Africa to Nairobi (there is one in Cairo). It opened its doors to customers more than four years ago in Nairobi
The Dusit International headquarters is in Bangkok, and they run and own about 25 hotels worldwide. Their hotels are typically located in "show-off" spots such as 14 Riverside.
The Dusit brands include Dusit Deverana, which focuses on relaxation complete with a spa-like experience.
Dusit Princess offers quick Five-Star service while Dusit D2, a second-generation brand, is not very large, and is all about contemporary art.
The D2 target market is young, wealthy businesspeople with "a passion for fashion and design, but not too formal."
The 101-room hotel, which opened its doors in September 2014, benefits from the huge daily human traffic — 3,000 people— that passes through 14 Riverside.
Lunchtime is a busy period as businessmen and women grab a bite to eat in between meetings.
EMULATE KENYAN CUISINE
Soko is their main dining option and tries to emulate Kenyan cuisine. This is the place to enjoy some wimbi uji and ugali as well as a more continental spread.
The Zing Lounge and Bar is airy and bright, with the very latest in furniture and furnishings.
Outside and around the corner is the Rouge Deck where everything, as the name suggests, comes in red.
That includes a red swimming pool and a red tree!
Next to the deck is the Deverana Spa in truly Thai style — serene and dimly lit, with quietly elegant murals on the walls and seven treatment rooms complete with baths and massage tables.
The hotel management recently refuted claims that the facility is earmarked for demolition.
It said on its website that no notice has been issued to this effect either to Cape Holdings Ltd, the landlord/developer, or Knight Frank, the property manager, by any of the authorities, including the county government, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) or Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA).
''The development is not built on and hasn't encroached on riparian land, and all requisite approvals from regulators were acquired prior to construction. The development is therefore fully compliant with all regulatory requirements and does not warrant the alleged demolition.''