Carnivore restaurant owners open new four-star hotel in Langata
Tamarind Group, the owners of Carnivore and Tamambo restaurants, has opened a four-star hotel in Nairobi. This has added more beds to the city’s capacity that has been on rapid growth in the recent years.
The Tamarind Tree Hotel, which is adjacent to the Carnivore Restaurant off Langata Road, is the first hotel for the company that has successfully run a chain of restaurants in different parts of the country since the 1970s. It started with Tamarind in Mombasa and Nairobi and later the Carnivore Restaurant in 1980.
It has since grown to include a number of restaurants under the Carnivore, Tamambo and Tamarind brands in Nairobi and coastal Kenya as well as a Carnivore in South Africa.
“We love change as this is the only way to get better at what we do. Hence we are always seeking to stay ahead of the game through creative and innovative products,” said Tamarind Group Executive Chairman Martin Dunford. He spoke when the 160-room hotel was officially opened earlier this week.
The Tamarind Tree is the latest addition to growing list of hotels being set up in Kenya. Among the major brands that have opened up hotels over the recent past include Hilton, Sheraton, Ramada, Best Western, Marriott, Movenpick, Accor Hotels, Carlson Rezidor and Acacia Premier.
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The investments have had the impact of doubling the number of rooms over the last six years, a trend that is expected to continue. In a 2017 report, Consultancy group W-Hospitality noted that Kenya’s positioning in the region made it attractive to investors in the country.
“In sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya has the highest proportion of its pipeline rooms under construction… of the total, only two hotels are outside of Nairobi, and of those in the capital city, all but one of the 16 hotels are under construction – a total of almost 3,100 rooms entering the market between 2017 and 2020. As an important regional and African city, it continues to be the focus of the international chains, with more deals in the offing,” said W-Hospitality’s report.
While boosting confidence in the country as an investment destination, the move could also be a cause of concern for investors, with an influx in the number of hotels bringing with it the possibility of reduced rates as hoteliers jostle for clients.
A PKF report last year warmed of a possible glut that would see hotels experience low returns, even losses due to high competition as more hotels open.
The Government, however, does not foresee such a challenge, noting that there are efforts geared towards growing visitor numbers and industry earnings to ensure that hoteliers get fair returns on their investments.
Tourism Ministry officials have in the past noted that Kenya is coming from a situation where hotel beds were not adequate.
Industry estimates indicate that it costs between Sh3 billion and Sh5 billion to put up a quality hotel that can get a rating of three to five stars. This would mean that Kenya will see investments of about Sh150 billion in the seven years between 2013 and 2020.