SUMMARY – ICONIC HILTON HOTEL IN NAIROBI TO CLOSE PERMANENTLY AT YEAR’S END, OFFERING FINAL CHRISTMAS DINING EXPERIENCE BEFORE SHUTTING ITS DOORS, WHILE HILTON ASSURES REDISTRIBUTION OF AFFECTED STAFF AND EXPRESSES COMMITMENT TO NAIROBI’S HOSPITALITY SCENE.
Nairobi’s Hilton Hotel, situated in the central business district, will extend its operations until December 31, allowing patrons one final chance to experience its renowned hospitality during the Christmas season. The hotel was initially scheduled to close before Christmas, but a Hilton spokesperson revealed the updated closure date in an interview with The Standard.
According to the spokesperson, Hilton Nairobi will stop its operations on December 31, 2022, after extensive discussions with the hotel ownership. d. With over 50 years of welcoming guests, the hotel is proud of its legacy of providing exceptional hospitality. The Hilton team expresses gratitude to all those who have contributed to its success over the years.
Redeployment and Support for Affected Staff
In response to the closure, the hotel chain has committed to redeploying all affected staff from the CBD hotel. Hilton assured its employees that they would receive a generous sendoff package in compliance with the law. The company emphasized its commitment to assisting both local and international team members in finding new employment opportunities. While specific numbers were not disclosed, Hilton stated that efforts were underway to support its staff during this transition.
Workers shared their satisfaction with the exit pay they received ahead of the hotel’s closure. As one worker explained, “They informed us that redeployment will begin on January 5 next year, and we have already been paid our salaries until December 31.” The staff members were informed that some of them would be redeployed to the United States, while others would secure positions in Dubai.
Future of the Iconic Building and Hilton’s Commitment to Nairobi
The future use of the Hilton building, a prominent landmark in Nairobi, rests with the government, as the owners are yet to determine strategic alternatives. Hilton clarified that inquiries regarding the future of the hotel should be directed to the owners, as they review options for the site. Despite the closure, Hilton remains dedicated to Nairobi as a destination. The hotel chain currently operates two other establishments in the city, with plans to open a new hotel next year and another in 2023.
Government Ownership and Challenges
The government, represented by the Kenya Development Corporation, holds a stake in the Hilton CBD. Initially, the hotel stood as Nairobi’s tallest building and attracted international tourists seeking its unique city views from the high-rise tower rooms. Additionally, it served as a popular meeting place for affluent businessmen and tourists. The Hilton, along with two other luxury hotels, has proven challenging for the government to divest its ownership in the past decade. The State holds a 40.57% share in International Hotels Kenya Ltd, the Hilton’s owner. Furthermore, it previously owned a 33.83% stake in Kenya Hotel Properties Ltd, which operated the InterContinental Hotel until its closure in August 2020.
Reluctant to invest further in the luxury hotels, including the Hilton, the government’s hesitance has affected other shareholders. The economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic led to the suspension of operations in several top hotels, including the InterContinental and Laico Regency.