Radisson Blu (Kenya) Gets German Manager As Opening Nears

A German has been appointed to head the upcoming Radisson Blu Hotel located in Nairobi’s Upper Hill district ahead of its planned opening in June.

The new Radisson Blu Hotel, Nairobi

The Brussels-based Carlson Rezidor Group, which owns Radisson Blu Hotel, rated five-star has hired Jens Brandin as general manager.

Mr Brandin, a career hotelier, will be tasked with setting up Carlson Rezidor’s first hotel in the region and woo holidaymakers and business travellers visiting Kenya to the facility.

“The key remit for this appointment was to ensure we brought in someone with not only great commercial expertise but also a person committed to other key elements of the role such as people development,” Mark Willis, vice president Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa for the Rezidor Hotel Group, said in an interview with the Business Daily.

Mr Brandin has worked with Carlson Rezidor for about 16 years in Germany, Ireland, UK and was the general manager at Radisson Hotel Kaliningrad in Russia for nearly four years before his Nairobi posting. The hotel, is set on a two-acre plot.

The incoming boss will have to fight for market share with established five star hotels in Nairobi including The Tribe, Serena, InterContinental, Villa Rosa Kempinski, Crowne Plaza and Hemingways.

The Sh7 billion Radisson Blu Nairobi is owned by businessman Michael Kairu backed by four Nordic private equity funds namely Swedfund, Finnfund, Danish investment fund IFU and Norfund.

Mr Kairu holds a 58.7 per cent stake in Elgon Road Developments Ltd – the special purpose vehicle behind the luxury hotel – followed by Swedfund (21.3 per cent) while Finnfund and IFU each have a 10 per cent stake.

Norfund does not own an equity in the hotel but provided part of the €7.85 million (Sh811.8 million) loan advanced to the project through Afrinord, a joint venture fund backed by four Nordic countries.

The 271-bed Radisson Blu Nairobi also features conference facilities, three restaurants, pool bar and grill, outdoor swimming pool, spa, sauna, fitness centre and an underground car parking with 800 spaces.

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group plans to open a three-star facility dubbed Park Inn located in Westlands, Nairobi.

– Business Daily