The iconic Sapphire Hotel in the heart of the coastal city of Mombasa is set for reopening following a Sh.50 million renovations.
The hotel in the Central Business District (CBD) near Mombasa’s Old train station was shut down in 2014 for extensive multi-million shilling refurbishment.
The city hotel’s new General Manager, Eustus Mutua said in an interview that the renovations are almost complete and the hotel will soon be ready for business.
Mutua said the massive renovations sought to transform the hotel that has been a fixture of Mombasa life for decades and revitalize its amenities.
He said the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Madaraka train service is attracting more domestic holidaymakers from upcountry due to its cost and time efficiency.
Mutua said the 112 bedroom hotel that has undergone a complete refurbishment that, includes a pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and massage palour would be a great pull for clients.
“We are currently on soft opening prior to having a grand reopening ceremony ahead of high tourist season,” he said on Friday at the hotel’s lobby.
He said local hoteliers have a ‘lot of expectations’ of a brisk business in the forthcoming tourism high season starting November to April next year.
The veteran hotelier said long-time patrons to the cosmopolitan hotel will note the rooms and suites makeover designed to improve their functionality and comfort following the overhaul.
“The renovations are almost complete and we believe the revival of the hotel will make for a successful operation,” he said.
He said, “we are approaching the Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA) for standardization and classification and we can’t wait to share the new look facility with our guests and visitors.”
The Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers Executive Officer, Sam Ikwaye welcomed the renovations saying the new look hotel will enhance the profile of the CBD which is the hub of business activities and recreational splendors.
Ikwaye expressed optimism that tourism in Mombasa, a key tourism location is doing well, saying domestic tourists from Nairobi, Kisumu and Nakuru have been patronizing hotels in the seaside city.
By Hussein Abdullahi