Nairobi hotels profit from presidential suite demand during climate summit

The recent Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi created a rush for opulent presidential and executive suites among the city’s upscale hotels, resulting in a significant windfall for them.

The three-day summit attracted over 20 heads of state, along with their representatives and distinguished officials, including Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, John Kerry, the US Special Climate Envoy, Gillian Caldwell, the Chief Climate Officer of USAID, and Jeniffer Morgan, the State Secretary and Special Envoy for New Climate Action of Germany. Additionally, more than 20,000 delegates attended the inaugural climate event, reserving rooms in various city hotels.

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A hotelier shared with the Business Daily, “September has started on a high note as we found ourselves fully booked.” Some hotels charged between Sh1.03 million and Sh2.19 million per night per person.

As State guests, the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs had the authority to assign delegates to specific hotels. Sankara, a five-star hotel, had all its presidential and two executive suites reserved.

The $10,000 (Sh1.46 million) per night presidential suite is essentially a spacious apartment.

“A presidential suite can easily be converted to about six or seven rooms. From a business angle, you must ask how often you host presidents or dignitaries. Only five-star hotels can have presidential suites. The others have executive suites which can host dignitaries depending on their calibre,” he said.

Mohammed Hersi, an experienced hotelier with over two decades in the industry, pointed out that there are approximately a dozen presidential suites in the Nairobi central business district and nearby areas. This number might prove insufficient if Kenya were to host another significant global event, such as the annual climate negotiations organized by the United Nations Convention of Parties (COP).


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