NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 24 – India’s fastest growing hotel chain, Royal Orchid is set to open a Sh150 million luxurious five-star facility near Kenya’s Maasai Mara national park in two months.
The 60-bed capacity development is located near Talek river and will comprise of 12 luxury tents, five-star cottages and ‘sizeable’ conference facilities.
Dubbed Mara Azure, the hospitality chain owners said the lodge will give Royal Orchid a competitive edge when clients opt to savour the great wildebeest migration experience after spending in their Nairobi’s Hotel Royal Orchid Azure.
“We have been losing guests to rivals when our guests want to have a Safari experience in the Mara. The new development will be a circuit that guests rotate through either coming from Nairobi, Mombasa or Amboseli,” said Hotel Royal Orchid Azure Nairobi, Chairman, Parbat Pindoria.
The facility will be its first Hotel in Mara after it made its debut in the country two years ago.
The development lying on a 25-acre piece of land is strategically located allowing guests watch wild animals from their rooms.
The chain said it would open the facility in December with competitive pricing, setting the stage for fierce battle for visitors with existing rivals including giants like Amboseli lodges,
“We must have competitive prices in Mara,” said Pindoria.
The hotel chain is also extending its health services it offers in its Nairobi outlet. Clients that need dialysis services will be charged Sh2,000 compared to a high of Sh15, 000 it charges guests in Nairobi.
Members of the community in the Mara will be charged an average of Sh 200 for consultancy and treatment when its clinic opens.
“We are in talks with local doctors on this plan, and they will also help us in getting approval for setting up the facility,” said Mara Azure Director, Naran Hirani.
Already, according to Mara Azure management, an undisclosed number of Russian and Italian visitors have booked several rooms before the grand opening of the facility later in the year.
Royal Orchid has a presence in East Africa with the Royal Orchid Malaika Beach Resort which opened in 2013, with owners saying they would use it to tap into the Uni-Visa plan that links tourists from Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda.
The hospitality sector in Kenya remains attractive supported by Kenya’s position as a regional hub for East and Central Africa and the attractive tourist destinations.
A new hospitality report by Cytonn Investments says Maasai Mara is the best performing region in the country when it comes to hotel room revenue due to higher room rates as a result of the Maasai Mara game reserve attraction.
The report highlight three best markets for investing in the hospitality sector that include, serviced apartments in Nairobi, three and five star-rated hotels in Maasai Mara and business hotels in Nairobi.
The report, however, highlights the need to differentiate product offering, location or customer service to attract high occupancy rates.