Guests included members of government and diplomatic missions in Kenya, South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Argentina, Australia and Canada; representatives from the United Nations; members of the Kenya Tourism Board, Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Kenya Association of Women in Tourism; Two Rivers Mall management and tenants; corporates with offices or doing business in Kenya; travel agents, travel management companies and tour operators; and local media.
Guest of honour Dr Chris Kirubi said in his opening address: “I am very proud of you and every South African who is here. I ask every Kenyan to welcome you with all our warmth because we are very hospitable people and we like visitors.” He noted the sophisticated security system protecting the 100 acres of land that make up the Two Rivers precinct, and the range of entertainment, retail and hospitality offerings available on site. He thanked the management of CLHG for having identified Kenya as being one of its principle investments, adding, “We are truly your partners. This hotel is part of the mall and the mall is part of you. We are proud of you.”
L-R: Andrew Widegger, Miriam Obegi, Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, Morne Bester
Chief guest, Kenya Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife’s secretary administration, Mr David Jakaiti, said, “On behalf of the Minister of Tourism and Wildlife, we are very happy to join City Lodge Hotel at this important occasion during the official opening, and to see such a wonderful facility in the heart of the city of Nairobi.” He went on to say, “As a ministry of tourism and wildlife, our major mandate and core values are to ensure we provide an enabling environment for investors to come and invest in our country to provide excellent facilities, like the one we’ve seen here today, so that we can see more bookings, more guests and tourists come to our beloved country.” He also congratulated the hotel on achieving four-star status, adding, “We want to encourage and assure you of our partnership and our support to see to it that you achieve your intended objectives. I congratulate you and wish you the very best with your endeavours.”
Representing CLHG from South Africa were chief executive officer Andrew Widegger, chief operating officer Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, divisional director of sales and marketing Zuki Jantjies, and general manager operations Morné Bester. Hosting a warm, welcome ceremony were the hotel’s general manager Miriam Obegi, assistant general manager Allan Kimani, junior assistant general manager Wycliffe Shavanga, and the full complement of staff, including front and back of house and the maintenance team. This is an all Kenyan team of 42 staff, a proud moment for the group.
L-R: David Jakaiti, Chris Kirubi, Miriam Obegi, Andrew Widegger, Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo
Widegger says, "We have been very satisfied investors in the Nairobi hotel market, with our first investment coming in 2012 with the purchase of 50% of Fairview Hotel and Town Lodge Upper Hill (formerly Country Lodge). We subsequently acquired the remaining 50% in 2014. City Lodge Hotel at Two Rivers Mall marks our newest investment. We provide direct employment to over 300 local Kenyans between the three hotels.”
He adds, “Our foreign direct investment has been warmly welcomed in Kenya and we’re very excited to be able to make a contribution to the tourism sector, and we look forward to growing together.”
One of the hotel’s very first guests, Bishop Stanley Mwalili from the Green Pastures Tabernacle Church in Nairobi, gave the hotel a special blessing. He has been a regular since first booking a dinner for 80 people when the hotel partially opened on 15 January 2018.
L-R: Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, Dr Chris Kirubi, Miriam Obegi
The City Lodge Hotel Group has three hotels in Nairobi: the 171-room City Lodge Hotel at Two Rivers Mall, the 127-room four-star Fairview Hotel and the two-star 84-room Town Lodge Upper Hill, which share a property.
Sangweni-Siddo concludes, “We look forward to the many feet that will walk into this precinct, drive into this precinct, need to go shopping, need to play in the casino, children on the Ferris Wheel, entertainment for families, and also to put their tired heads on our soft, fluffy pillows as they come and sleep here at the City Lodge Hotel at Two Rivers Mall.”
L-R: Miriam Obegi, David Jakaiti, Chris Kirubi, Andrew Widegger
Specials currently on offer at City Lodge Hotel at Two Rivers Mall:
- Comfort Without Borders: Save up to 25% on your stay at City Lodge Hotel at Two Rivers Mall, now available for USD135 bed and breakfast midweek and USD120 bed and breakfast on weekends. Valid until 31 December 2019.
- Team Scheme – Bookings of four rooms or more, exclusive for weekend nights only (Friday and/or Saturday and/or Sunday night) at USD90 per room per night.