Airport Hotels in Kenya – Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport Hotel
Kenya is a vibrant tourist destination in Eastern Africa. It is known for hosting a multitude of wildlife and diverse ecosystems. The climate in Kenya is favorable and allows tourism for the better part of the year. Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, is the primary destination for international flights. As such, it has numerous hospitality joints and recreational spots. For many travelers visiting Kenya for either business or leisure, hotels are often the best accommodation option. Travelers having layovers in Nairobi tend to desire a hotel that is closer to the airport. The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has a number of airport hotels within its environs.
An airport hotel is a hospitality facility located near an airport terminal or within the airport’s property. This kind of hotel is usually more expensive and may have more facilities than normal hotels. They offer accommodation services on hourly basis. This is practical as a huge chunk of their clientele include airline passengers having late or early flights.
Why stay at an airport hotel
Recent studies indicate that airport hotels appeal to business travelers and leisure travelers. The high-end facilities at the airport hotels allow business clients to hold conferences or private meetings with elite clients. Leisure clients, such as those taking vacations, often desire hotel amenities that display the local culture to ensure a wholesome experience. Clients who have connecting flights may find airport hotels convenient due to the availability of luxury accommodation, sumptuous meals and recreational facilities. In other instances, clients prefer airport hotels when they have missed flights. Their proximity to airport terminals provides unmatched convenience as compared to regular hotels. Visiting tourist attraction sites becomes easier for guests as they can rest before and after their vacations.
Managing Airport Hotels
Have you ever wondered how hotel management affects your overall vacation experience? Discover Africa team has been on a campaign of highlighting the good work done by captains in the hospitality industry to give clients superb service and at the same time sustain the economy. From our research, we found that hotel managers and proprietors shape the customer service culture and overall landscape of the hotel industry.
In this feature, we look at the Four Points by Sheraton Airport Hotel. In an exclusive interview with the hotel’s general manager, Mr. Vivek Mathur, we learn how the Four Points facilitates accommodation for local and international travelers. Mr. Mathur is a renown hotelier with over 20 years experience in the hospitality industry. His 5-year tenure at the Four Points by Sheraton has been the most fulfilling and rewarding experience.
He has been part of the team that promotes the adoption of airport hotels in Kenya. As a gamechanger in the hospitality industry, he has shown the need to modernize hotel facilities with the latest designs in interior and exterior decor. This is in response to the dynamic tastes and preferences from clients.
He takes us through the outline of the hotel, adoption of new technologies, Go-Green policy, Covid-19 policies and their corporate-social responsibility strategies.
The Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport Hotel
The Four Points by Sheraton hotel is one of the best airport hotels in Nairobi. It is just 5 minutes away from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport terminal. It was officially opened in October 2017. Four Points by Sheraton is part of Marriot International which has 30 different brands. There are two Four Points by Sheraton hotels in Nairobi. One is in Hurlingham and other in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The Four Points establishment in JKIA has 172 standard rooms and suites on five floors. They are arranged in an L-shaped design that compliments the entire architecture of the hotel. They have four room types: the traditional king room, the deluxe king room, the suite king room, and an executive suite. The main waiting lounges in the 5 floors have emergency exits and emergency phones. Business clients can enjoy a world class conference facility.
You can wine and dine in three restaurants namely; the Lobby Cafe, Tazama Restaurant and the Marketplace. The joints offer authentic Kenyan cuisine and unique traditional pieces. Recreational facilities include a state-of-the-art gymnasium, spa services and a heated swimming pool at the rooftop.
Tazama restaurant specializes in international roasts paired with craft cocktails and the best brews. It has an open plan that allows guests to enjoy the spectacular view of the Nairobi National Park on one side and the airport runway on the other side. To the right from the entrance is an outdoor pool open from 08:00AM to 08:00 PM. It has a clear view of the Nairobi National Park. The pool receives ample sunlight during the day but can be heated for guests to enjoy it at night.
The Lobby Café can accommodate 65 guests. The space is designed to have lockable storage units that transform from a cafe between 08:00 AM and 04:00 PM to a bar between 04:00 PM and midnight.
The Marketplace, a 24-hour fine dining restaurant with low hanging, ball-shaped chandeliers that light up the room, giving it an elegant look and feel. The restaurant offers a multi-cuisine menu that includes a variety of international dishes. The Marketplace has a terrace stretching into a well-manicured garden with more sitting space and a bar just as you exit the garden. The Marketplace can hold 145 guests, and can be used to hold events and occasions.
The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a series of adjustments in the hotel. They include:
Numerous sanitization points from the entrance to the rooms and eating points
Minimized physical contact with people through social distancing
Reduced congestion at restaurants
New technologies to facilitate service delivery such as e-menus, automatic sanitizer and soap dispensers
E-payments using mobile money services, online money transfers and card transactions
Wearing of masks and gloves
Holding virtual meetings.
Corporate-Social Responsibility Activities
The journey of improving the quality and adoption of airport hotels in Kenya has been involving but rewarding to many players in the hospitality industry. Mr. Vivek Mathur and his team have been consistent in revolutionizing the quality of services offered in airport hotels in Kenya.
“We had to tell and educate our consumers of the value of an airport hotel because there were literally no airport hotels and people did not know their advantages. So we had to educate our clients on the advantages of an airport hotel and obviously once you educate them and they start coming in, then the experience starts kicking in which is your service, your product, your people.”
As a way of ensuring that the best hospitality culture lives on, Mr.Mathur says, “We are already blessed to have trained people. We have good hotel schools. We have a combination of young students and experienced people. I think I would say almost 50/50 between the experienced people and fresh people from universities so that we can mold them to the Four Points culture.”
The Four Points by Sheraton Hotel appreciates the input of locals in making Kenya a tourism-friendly country. Mr Mathur highlights some of the ways they give back to the community.
“We support some of the children homes such as Terry Child Support and Youth Resource Center, Hope House Babies Home and Home of Hope in Donholm. We recently started supporting them on a regular basis. We support the development of hospitality in this country by letting students who are doing Hotel Management do three to six months training with us to give them the real time perspective. I think this is a huge way of giving back to the community especially to our industry.”
A Luxurious and Memorable Hotel Experience
Taking vacations in Kenya is now smoother than ever before. With airport hotels, you can rest before or after your flight to remote tourist destinations. With good ambience, lively music and comfortable amenities, airport hotels in Kenya have transformed customer experience.
Mr. Mathur informs that, “What people are now looking for is not just a bed to sleep or something on the plate to eat. They’re looking for an experience and I think at Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport we’ve been able to deliver that experience.”
Annah is a travel and Safari enthusiast with a great passion for content writing. Her passion for travel and adventure fuels her travel blogging experience. You can connect with her via email or social media handles.