The Sankara Nairobi hotel has reopened after nearly five months of closure following the global COVID-19 pandemic, albeit with a lean staff of about 100 workers only.
According to the Sankara’s group General Manager, Krishna Unni, the hotel will be fully operational, offering room service, dinning, conference facilities and restaurant services. Furthermore, its Sarabi Rooftop restaurant will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m, while Sankara’s Graze Steakhouse restaurant will be operating from noon to 8 p.m.
Kenya’s hotel sector has been one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with most franchises opting to close shop due to declining business.
Average hotel booking in 2020. Image Courtesy: Central bank of Kenya (CBK) July survey
For instance, InterContinental Hotels Corporation Limited permanently closed its InterContinental Nairobi (the Hotel) and wound up all its operations in Kenya, citing operational reasons. As a consequence, all employment positions within the InterContinental Hotel were declared redundant.
Fairmont also closed its Norfolk and Mara Safari Club hotels and fired all the employees due to the pandemic. The hotel cited the impact of the coronavirus on travel and the uncertainty as reasons behind the closure.