Sarova signs deal to operate iconic Imperial Hotel

Imperial Hotel in Kisumu City, Sarova group has taken over the management of the hotel [Michael Mute, Standard]

Sarova Hotels and Resorts has announced the addition of its eighth hotel in Kenya.

This follows the signing of a seven-year management agreement with Kisumu’s Imperial Hotel owners, the Gilani family.

The iconic facility will now be named Sarova Imperial Hotel Kisumu. Sarova Hotels Group Managing Director Jimi Kariuki, in a statement, confirmed the take over.

Sarova Hotels now has presence in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru and Kisumu.

In Nairobi, the group owns the Sarova Stanley and the Sarova Panafric while in Mombasa, it owns the Whitesands Beach Resort and Spa.

In Nakuru County, the hotel group has Sarova Woodlands and Sarova Lion Hill.

Kariuki said having a presence in Kisumu and Western Kenya has always been part of the hospitality group’s growth plan.

“The city’s location on the shores of Lake Victoria and the on-going modernisation of the lakefront makes Kisumu a unique destination to add to the Sarova experience. Kisumu is fast becoming an attractive destination,” the MD said. 

He said the Kisumu International Airport also makes the city easily accessible, with daily 45-minutes flights from Nairobi.

There is also a daily passenger train service that was recently introduced from Nairobi to Kisumu.

Located in Kisumu’s Central Business District along Kenyatta Avenue, Sarova Imperial Hotel is currently undergoing upgrade that once complete in July or August this year will see the launch of 93 renovated guest bedrooms including suites, new meeting facilities, and upgraded food and beverage outlets.

Imperial Hotel chairman Amin Gilani said Imperial Hotel was built in 1983 with the vision to establish a Western Kenya tourism circuit.

‘’After operating the hotel for 40 years, Sarova Hotels is the ideal partner for further growth due to their industry leadership, rich history and a deep respect for community, tradition and sustainability,’’ he said.

In a more competitive and ever-changing industry, Kariuki said the company will continue looking at organic and inorganic avenues for growth. 

“Sarova Hotels has remained focused on growing our footprint in Kenya through identifying new hotel management opportunities,” he said.

The chairman added: “Having been in existence for more than 48 years, we have the experience, the expertise and the business infrastructure to provide management support to hotel owners who are looking for this.”