On this Labour Day, 5-star-rated Sankara Nairobi acquired a new name when it joined a 92-year-old heritage at Marriott to become part of the brand’s exclusive Autograph Collection.
Marriott’s Autograph Collection comprises over 171 hotels around the world that form a small but luxurious part of its much larger global portfolio spanning more than 7,000 properties spread across over 130 countries.
Founded by J. Willard and Alice Marriott back in 1927, the Marriott collection has been a family affair that today carries 30 brands to its name. This is what Sankara Autograph, as it will be known, has now become a part of.
This is the first time the Autograph Collection is coming to Kenya and Sankara Autograph will be its first. Marriott has however had a Kenyan presence through its Sheraton brand represented by 2 Four Points by Sheraton outfits in Hurlingham and the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport which opened in October 2017 has 172 rooms while Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Hurlingham, which is a conversion, has 96.
Hotels under the Autograph Collection acquire the Autograph brand name while still maintaining the autonomy of ownership. Sankara Autograph also wears the equally important hat of being the only one in Africa with a Safehotels Executive level accreditation which means all its 168 rooms and other amenities are safe and secure for guests.
Marriott International plans to invest about KES 31 billion (USD 310 million) in Nairobi in the coming years under the Protea Hotel brand. The 250-room Protea Hotel by Marriott Nairobi, for instance, which will be located about 5 KM from JKIA, is expected to open its doors in 2021.
About 20 major international hotel brands, including Wyndham, CityBlue, Hilton, Marriot, Radisson, Accor, Dusit, Swiss International and Sarovar are lined up set shop in Kenya over the next 5 years. According to a 2018 Hotels report by Knight Frank, Kenya already has about 68 global hotel brands, topping Nigeria and Tanzania.