Ten hotels in Nairobi received five-star rating for fine establishments and quality services offered to clients.
The Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA) unveiled its Star Award winners at a ceremony held at the EnglishPoint Marina in Mombasa.
The ten Nairobi hotels that received the five-star rating are: Hotel Villa Rosa Kempsinki, Hemingway’s Nairobi, Sankara Nairobi, Fairmont The Norfolk, Tribe Hotel, The Sarova Stanley, Radisson Blu Hotel, Dusit D2, Intercontinental Nairobi and the Boma Nairobi.
Thirteen establishments in the capital were awarded four-star ratings with nine others getting a two-star rating.
Segera Retreat Lodge in Laikipia County was rated five-star and so were Lake Elementaita Serena Camp, Mara Serena Safari Lodge, Olare Mara Kempinski and Enashipai Resort and Spa.
Fairmont Mt Kenya Safari Club in Nyeri County and Aberdares Country Club were rated four-star along with Boma Inn in Uasin Gishu County.
Giraffe Ark Camp Lodge in Nyeri got a three-star rating.
At the Coast region, the three hotels that got five-star ratings include Medina Palms Suites and Villas in Kilifi, Leopard Beach Resort and Spa in Kwale and Swahili Beach Resort.
Leisure Lodge Beach and Golf resort got a four-star rating.
Mombasa County Tourism Hub did not feature in the list of five-star winners as its popular hotels were ranked four-star.
Speaking during the awarding ceremony at the Marina English Point in Mombasa, TRA Chairman Sammy Nyule said classification makes it easier for tourists to choose their preferences according to standards.
All tourism facilities must be classified or accredited by the TRA within the next six months.
“It is now compulsory for every facility, especially accommodation facilities to be classified. We have not penalised any one because we want to urge them to take it up in the next six months,’ said Mr Nyule.
TRA’s director-general Kipkorir Lagat said the rating exercise was conducted fairly and in line with laws and regulations stipulated by the East African Community (EAC) Classification Criteria.
Mr Kipkorir said classifying hotels will go a long way in improving the quality of services offered to clients.
“We urge all the facilities we have given the star to maintain the service. If by any chance they also improve and want a reclassification to a higher star rating they should get in touch. If the facility downgrades the standards, the law obliges us to recall the star which we have awarded, “he said
He said some of the big names in the industry who did not undergo classification is due to renovations and ongoing works at their facilities.
Mr Kipkorir said the number of five-star facilities at the Coast region has dropped compared to the 2003 classification results where the region had more than four five-star rated hotels.
“In the entire region we have only three facilities at the level of five-star. The poor business which has happened over time may have made facilities to not keep up with the renovations and the upgrades required. In Nairobi, we have a few international chains who have come to Kenya and that has seen the increase in five star-hotels,” he said.
EnglishPoint Marina Group Director of Operations Sumeet Shandilya whose establishment was rated four-star said they will invite the authority to review their rating.
“I believe this is a five-star facility. We will invite TRA to review the property. It is very encouraging as well that TRA has started something like this which is internationally recognised,” he said.
He, however, expressed optimism business will improve this year due to the political stability.