Fairmont Hotels & Resorts To Manage Top Safari Retreats

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Kingdom Hotel Investments and IFA Hotels & Resorts have entered into an agreement for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to manage five properties in Kenya.

  • E-Mail
By  Massoud Derhally Published  May 15, 2005

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Kingdom Hotel Investments and IFA Hotels & Resorts have entered into an agreement for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to manage five properties in Kenya. Fairmont assumed management of Nairobi’s Norfolk Hotel, the Mount Kenya Safari Club, the Aberdare Country Club, the Ark and the Mara Safari Club. Following approximately $25 million in enhancements, all five Kenyan properties will be renamed Fairmont hotels in mid-2006. The five hotels were acquired today by a joint venture formed by KHI, IFA and Fairmont. Fairmont holds an approximately 15% equity interest in the joint venture. “This diverse group of a city hotel, resort retreats and secluded wilderness lodges appeals to a broad range of our customers,” said John Johnston, Fairmont’s Executive Vice President, Europe, Africa & the Middle East. “Strong awareness of Fairmont as an expanding luxury hotel brand in Middle East and Europe, our reputation for luxury in distinctive surroundings and our global distribution network will ensure increasing recognition for these five unique additions to the Fairmont experience.” Sarmad Zok, CEO, Kingdom Hotel Investments noted, “The acquisition of this historic portfolio represents a unique repositioning opportunity. The Fairmont re-branding as well as a $25 million renovation program will steer this portfolio to realizing a significant upside. We look forward to maximizing the value of this investment with our partners. Kenya is one of the world’s most appealing adventure and wildlife tourism destinations and is currently experiencing a strong rebound.” "IFA’s mission is to provide a truly outstanding international network of tourism opportunities to global consumers,” said Jassim Al-Bahar, Chairman. Beyond our existing presence in South Africa and Zanzibar, this latest development is another example of our commitment to ensure superior quality through partnering with other industry leaders.” Situated in and alongside Kenya’s most famous natural attractions including the Masai Mara plain, the Aberdare hills and Mount Kenya, the two resorts and two nature lodges are all between one- and three-hours drive, or a short internal flight, from Nairobi’s Norfolk Hotel. Following approximately $25 million in enhancements, all five Kenya properties will be renamed Fairmont hotels in mid-2006. The Norfolk Hotel has been one of Nairobi’s most storied gathering places since it opened in 1904, in the pioneering days of colonial settlement, hosting notables like American President Theodore Roosevelt, Lord Baden-Powell and Baroness Karen Von Blixen-Finecke, better known as Out of Africa author Isak Dinesen. Today, this 167-room hotel located 30 minutes from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport continues to provide a sophisticated respite from the bustling nearby business district, and an ideal safari departure point, complete with four impressive dining venues, an outdoor heated swimming pool, a full-scale health club, a ballroom and four function rooms. Located 190 kilometres (118 miles) north of Nairobi, the 115-room Mount Kenya Safari Club showcases magnificent views of neighbouring Mount Kenya and a long-held reputation for secluded elegance including a variety of cottages, suites and villas. Spread over 100 acres of landscaped grounds, the property features a nine-hole golf course, heated swimming pool, horseback riding, bird walks, organized trips to game reserves and fish safaris as well as access to an animal orphanage. Seven restaurant and bar offerings range from casual poolside cocktails to formal dinners accompanied by music and traditional Chukka dancers. Originally the retreat of movie star and Club founder, William Holden, illustrious members have included Winston Churchill, Bing Crosby and John Wayne. Described as ‘Scotland with lions’, the unique 1,300-acre setting of the Aberdare Country Club encompasses moorland, thick forests and clear mountain streams. An easy three-hour transfer from Nairobi, this 1930s country hotel was originally built on the slope of Mweiga Hill as the private farm and residence of wealthy English landowners. The hotel’s 48 accommodations are in luxurious cottages with spectacular views of the Aberdare Mountains to the west, Mount Kenya to the east and the plains below. Beyond a main lodge dining room with two lounges and a well-equipped conference centre, the Club offers a nine-hole golf course, swimming pool, two tennis court, riding stables, trout fishing and a wildlife sanctuary that abounds with zebra, giraffe, gazelles and even the elusive leopard. Built in 1969 to complement the Aberdare Club, The Ark is a tree-lodge set in the heart of Aberdare National Park and uniquely shaped to resemble Noah’s Ark. True to its ship-like structure, it overlooks the floodlit Yasabara waterhole and contains 60 ‘cabins’, accommodation with en-suite bathrooms. In addition to a main dining room, lounge and bar, this one-of-a-kind safari lodge also features three decks of balconies and a lounge with 24-hour tea and coffee service, providing ideal vantage points for viewing game. A ground-level ‘bunker’ takes you close to the animals for photography and cabins are fitted with buzzers to announce the arrival of the one of the ‘Big 5’ at the forest waterhole. The Mara Safari Club is located at the foot of the Aitong Hills, northwest of the Masai Mara, Kenya’s most popular game reserve. This expansive lodge with dining room, lounge and pool bar is surrounded by lush gardens clustered around indigenous trees. The 50 tented accommodations include deluxe beds, en suite baths and other features of a top hotel. Guests can choose from a wide range of activities, including game drives, walking safaris, bird walks, fishing and balloon safaris over the Mara plains. A naturalist, traditional dancing and talks on Masai culture enrich this luxurious adventure.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code