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New hotel bets on JKIA growth as it targets more travellers

Surrounded by middle class homes and a rolling grass plain within sight of Nairobi’s JKIA, the hotel’s environment is far removed from the busy atmosphere at the airport.

The 67 Airport Hotel, Nairobi.

The 67 Airport Hotel, Nairobi.

It won’t be long before the views across the plains are obscured by apartments but the location of the 67 Airport Hotel puts it closer to the airport than most of its competitors. Considering the agonizing traffic jams between JKIA and Nairobi’s Central Business District, the 67 Airport Hotel offers great possibilities for business travellers and transit passengers with a tight schedule.

“Our unique selling point is proximity to JKIA,” says Bernard Kondi, a manager at the 67 Airport Hotel. “Our guests find we are also not too far from the centre of Nairobi,” he added.

By now you must be curious about the location of this latest addition to Nairobi’s hospitality industry. The 67 Airport Hotel is located off Mombasa Road, between JKIA and Mlolongo township. The hotel is located on the western side of the highway bordering the Nairobi National Park.

The name ’67 Airport Hotel’ is actually derived from the location. “We are 6 kilometres from JKIA or a 7 minute drive from the airport,” explains Kondi.

It’s really amazing how this part of the city has transformed in recent times. The area is changing from savanna grassland into a mixed development of homes, apartments and now a hotel. The access from Mombasa Road is rather dusty but the road is bound to improve as the area develops.

The concept of an airport hotel has not quite taken root in Kenya. There are hotels along Mombasa Road, but they are not very near to the airport. Airport hotels will become very important as more people transit through Nairobi. According to the Kenya Airports Authority, JKIA handles 6.5 million passengers a year. A large part of this group consists of business and transit travellers. By 2020, JKIA will be handling an estimated 20 million passengers a year.

The 67 Airport Hotel opened its doors last February. The hotel has 64 rooms of various sizes. The price range is Kshs7,500 to Kshs10,000 for Kenya citizens and US$110 to $125 for citizens of other countries.

View inside one of the rooms at Nairobi's 67 Airport Hotel.

View inside one of the rooms at Nairobi’s 67 Airport Hotel.

The rooms have an ‘Open Concept’ design, where the only part of the room that is closed off is the bathroom. There are no barriers between the sleeping area and the wardrobe. This gives the rooms a spacious feel.

The four-storey hotel however does not have elevators. Kondi, the manager, says guests with disability are allocated rooms on the easily accessible ground floor. “We value all our guests and we strive to ‘wow’ every one that comes here,” says Kondi who has several years of experience in the hotel industry.

Says Kondi: “We want to develop a reputation for delivering on promises and grow into the No. 1 hotel in Africa. That’s why we ask our staff to be on the lookout for the tiny details that make a difference to guests.”

In addition to accommodating airline passengers, the 67 Airport Hotel hosts workshops, conferences and product launches. There are four conference rooms of various sizes, the biggest of which can host 150 people.

In the near future, there will be new hotels coming up within the grounds of JKIA. Could this threaten 67 Airport Hotel’s main advantage? “No, we believe there is enough business for every player and as long as we continue to ‘wow’ our guests, people will keep coming to us,” says Kondi.

To find out more about the 67 Airport Hotel, visit their website here: http://www.67airporthotel.co.ke/

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