Villa Rosa Kempinski has downplayed concerns about security threats to its premises following the completion of the Nairobi Expressway, which passes nearby and overlooks the hotel.
The five-star hotel attracts international and regional delegates including presidents and celebrities due. However, following the construction of the freeway, there are concerns that the road’s proximity to the hotel poses a safety hazard that could turn guests off.
However, the hotel says its rooms, including a presidential suite, are a long way away away from the road and noise, while maintaining the safety and privacy of customers.
Kempinski Sales Manager Judy Matengo said the speed limit along the 27km route would mean no car or people would slow down enough would pose to pose a potential threat.
However, the hotel erects a bulletproof glass barrier to the swimming pool, which faces the street.
“The rooms are wide and not very close to the street . The only thing around is the swimming pool which is open and we have started to take security measures and we will have bulletproof (glass) there… We respect the privacy of our guests,” she said.
The 200-room facility had booked its Presidential Suite and Mini-Presidential Suite ahead of the funerals of former President Kibaki.
Before that, the hotel had hosted the DRC delegation, which was in the country to sign the East Africa Agreement.
The expressway begins at Mlolongo, connects Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and ends at James Gichuru Road in the Westlands.
Ms. Matengo said, the expressway promises advantages for the hotel.
“The expressway is to our advantage. It takes 12 minutes from the airport compared to 45 minutes or an hour due to traffic jams. It’s even safer, with no buses and caravans and parking lot boys stealing guests’ phones.”
The chain, Europe’s oldest luxury brand, entered Kenya in 2012 with the hotel in Nairobi’s Westlands and a luxury hotel Market Olare in the Maasai Mara.
The hotel’s presidential suite costs $15,000 (Shh 1.72 million) bed and breakfast.
The hotel said the construction of the Expressway said its business was affected due to road closures as well as water, electricity and internet disruptions.
“We are delighted that this has happened during the Covid period. Under normal circumstances, the impact would have been twice as high.”