28 Sep 2013
Kempinski Hotels focuses portfolio expansion on Africa
Company poised to bring luxury hospitality to up-and-coming destinations around the continent
26 September 2013, Nairobi, Kenya; Kempinski Hotels, Europe's oldest luxury hotel group, has announced plans to expand its portfolio of luxury hotels in Africa. With two new properties opened in Kenya in 2013, Kempinski looks to add five more hotels to its African portfolio in the next year.
Upcoming openings in Africa in 2014 include the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City in Accra, Ghana and the Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski in Cairo, Egypt set to open early in the year, as well as a newly signed 450 key hotel in the future capital of Equatorial Guinea, Oyala. Additional plans are moving forward to open hotels in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo by the end of the year.
At a press conference at the new Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi, President and CEO of Kempinski Hotels, Mr. Reto Wittwer told reporters that following the company's success expanding into the Middle East and China over the past twenty years, Kempinski expects its growing portfolio in key destinations across the African continent to become a major source of revenue for the company, as well as provide new sources for talent and talent development across the company.
Kempinski Hotels currently operates 82 hotels in 31 countries and has 37 more hotels under development worldwide. Congratulating the team of Villa Rosa Kempinski on the occasion of their recent opening Mr. Wittwer stated "We will continue our development strategy throughout the continent over the next few years, partnering with key players in Africa to secure the best locations for our luxury properties. There is a worldwide fascination with this region and we believe in the strength of places like Kenya as a destination. Our distinct brand of European luxury and operational know-how makes us a key player in all the markets we operate in, and we expect that our new property here in Nairobi will be no different," explained Mr. Wittwer.
"African hospitality traditions lay a great foundation for our global expansion here in Africa, and around the globe. Kempinski places a great emphasis on recruiting and retaining the best talent in the industry and the quality of candidates we are encountering in places like Kenya and Ghana, gives us great confidence that we will be able to deliver the service that we have built our reputation on over the past 116 years that Kempinski has been in operation" said Mr. Wittwer.
Kempinski currently operates hotels in Egypt, Djibouti, Tchad, Seychelles, and Kenya. With five hotels set to open in Africa in the next year, Kempinski will hire more than 1500 people in the next twelve months, nearly doubling its current workforce on the continent, and will draw heavily on local talent in each destination.
"Finding new talent, which will push us further in the future, continues to be our utmost priority," said Mr. Wittwer. "We are looking for candidates who are interested in different cultures, speak various languages, share our passion for hospitality, and are looking for a bit of an adventure abroad." He continued "In addition to our needs in Africa in the next twelve months, our global expansion plans for the next five years will require an additional 12,000 new members of staff, and it is essential to attract and retain talented people who are dedicated to offering our guests the outstanding service that Kempinski is known for."
Recent and upcoming openings in Africa:
The five-star Villa Rosa Kempinski is located on Chiromo road, within the Westlands area in the heart of Nairobi. It is only a half-hour drive from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and five minute drive to the Nairobi Central Business District. The new luxury hotel will consist of 200 spacious rooms and suites distributed over ten floors, including two Presidential Suites on the top floor. The hotel will feature three concept restaurants in addition to an all-day dining restaurant, a bar, and a cigar lounge.
Olare Mara Kempinski luxury camp is located in the beautiful Olare Orok Conservancy, which is home to some of the Mara's largest lion prides. The property features twelve spacious luxury tents, which are built on elevated decks with private balconies that offer unhindered views of the Mara Plains and the Ntiakitiak River.
Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City Accra set to open in early 2014 will offer 269 rooms, including 22 suites and two Presidential Suites and will feature include two restaurants, a lobby café with outdoor seating, a cocktail bar and lounge and 6,000 square metres of retail space. The 3,000 square metre Resense Spa (the first branded Resense spa in Africa) will offer 10 treatment rooms, a beauty parlour, a fitness centre, a yoga studio, an organic food bar, a 25-metre outdoor pool, two table tennis courts and two tennis courts. It will set new standards for luxury, quality and service across all of West Africa.
Set atop the budding desert hills of New Cairo and just minutes away from Cairo International Airport, the Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski opening in early 2014 will be beacon of grandeur and luxurious hospitality. Guests will enjoy cool breezes of desert evenings in lush open spaces, the aromatic flavors of signature restaurants, as well as the serenity of 244 spacious, stylish rooms and suites. Housing the largest ballroom in the Middle East the hotel is set to become the most sought after venue in the city for conventions and celebrations.
Kempinski Hotel Oyala, due to open in early 2014 will be the first luxury hotel in the city and marks the debut of the Kempinski brand in the future capital of Equatorial Guinea. The newly built hotel is made up of 400 rooms and 50 suites, modern meetings and conference facilities for up to 2,000, restaurants, lounges, spa and a championship golf course.
AHIF, Taking place in Nairobi 23-25 September 2013, is the premier hotel investment conference in Africa, attracting many prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies and their advisers. The conference is also receiving support from the Kenyan government by way of sponsorship from the Kenya Tourist Development Corporation (KTDC) and the presence of the tourism minister Hon. Phyllis Kandie MP.
The speaker line up features government ministers from four countries and dozens of CEOs and board-level executives from the most important companies building and running hotels across the continent, including:
• Phyllis Kandie, Cabinet Secretary for East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, Kenya
• Carvalho Muária, Minister of Tourism, Mozambique
• Dr Maria Mutagamba, Minister of Tourism, Uganda
• Jean Max Rakotomamonjy, Ministre du Tourisme Madagascar
• Simon Vincent, President EMEA, Hilton Worldwide
• Alex Kyriakidis, President & Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International, Inc.
• Hervé Louis, Chief Finance Officer, ACCOR
• Ulrich T. Eckhardt, President India, Middle East & Africa, Kempinski Hotels
• Jean-Gabriel Pérès, President & CEO, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts
• Ewan Cameron, Chief Executive Officer, Lonrho Hotels
• David Scowsill, President & CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council
• Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President Development - Europe & Africa, Hilton Worldwide
• Samer Abu Ayash, Senior Vice President - Head of Design, Construction & Real Estate, Kingdom Hotel Investments
• Rui Barros, Senior Vice President & Managing Director EMEA, Wyndham Hotel Group
• Neil George, Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Development Middle East & Africa, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
• Peter Norman, Senior Vice President Acquisitions & Development, Hyatt International (Europe Africa Middle East) LLC
• Taras Ettl, Vice President Development - Middle East & Africa, InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG)
• Bani Haddad, Regional Vice President - Middle East and Africa, Wyndham Hotel Group
• Marianne Ndegwa, Jordan, Managing Director, Kenya Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC)
• Rohan Patel, Director, Sankara Hotel Group Kenya Ltd
• Olaf Schmidt, Global Sector Head - Hotel, Retail & Real Estate Investments, IFC (International Finance Corporation - World Bank Group)
Confirmed sponsors are as follows: 2013 Host Partner: (KTDC) Kenya Tourist Development Corporation. Platinum Sponsors: ACCOR, Mangalis Management Group and Marriott International, Inc. Gold Sponsors: AECOM Design + Planning, Africa Export Import Bank, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Colliers International, G1 Architecture, Golden Tulip, Grant Thornton, Hilton Worldwide, Horwath HTL, Hotel Partners Africa, Hyatt International LLC, HVS, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), Kempinski Hotels, Lonrho Hotels, Moevenpick Hotels & Resorts, Ole-Sereni, Shapooji Pallonji International, Starwood Hotels and Restorts International, STR Global and Wyndham Hotel Group.
About Bench Events
In addition to the next Africa Hotel Investment Forum, Bench Events is one of the organisers and founders, alongside Questex Travel + Hospitality and MEED Events, of several well-known conferences for the hotel investment industry including Berlin (IHIF), Dubai (AHIC), Istanbul (CATHIC) and Moscow (RHIC). www.benchevents.com
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