We spoke to Gerard Moutou, GM at Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence, Nairobi Arboretum and he revealed what’s in store for Kenyans in their newest facility

Gerard Moutou, Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence Nairobi Arboretum general manager. (courtesy)
  • On Friday, the facility held a property introduction and media cocktail event as it gears up to officially flung its doors open to the public on 1st October 2019.
  • The new property is the newest addition to the Radisson brand that already has its’ sister Hotel the Radisson Blu at Upperhil and Park inn By Radisson in Westlands.
  • Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa toured the Kenyan owned modern investment bordering the Nairobi Arboretum forest Park and caught up with its General Manager, Gerard Moutou.

There’s a new kid on the block in Kenya’s hotel industry.

Boasting the first of its kind in Africa, FireLake restaurant, an all-day dining outlet with an American grilled cuisine with an African touch, Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence, Nairobi Arboretum is determined to be heard loud and clear.

The new property is the newest addition to the Radisson brand that already has its’ sister Hotel the Radisson Blu at Upperhil and Park inn By Radisson in Westlands.

On Friday, the facility held a property introduction and media cocktail event as it gears up to officially flung its doors open to the public on 1st October 2019.

Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa toured the Kenyan owned modern investment bordering the Nairobi Arboretum forest Park and caught up with its General Manager, Gerard Moutou.

“Today was important to me having this kind of press conference in order for the media to understand we are opening soon. It has been a long time coming, I arrived here in January and we are ready to open as of October 1st so the Hotel is ready for business,”  Mr. Moutou told BISSA.

Built with relaxation in mind, Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence Nairobi Arboretum does not disappoint in looks, facilities, service and even the ambience. 

“First of all what makes Radisson blu Arboretum special and unique is the location, we are located just behind the state house so we are safe and secure and our customers are guaranteed 100% security. Secondly, we have fantastic big rooms, our rooms are 37 square meters in size, the 1-bedroom apartments are 67 square meters while the 2-bedroom apartments are over 100 square meters and all of them have a balcony. We also have top notch facilities such as signature heated infinity pool, business lounges to mention but just a few,” explained Mr. Moutou

Kenya hospitality industry is in for a boom over the next five years. According to a new report by audit firm PwC dubbed Hotels Outlook: 2019–2023 report it shows that growth in tourism numbers coupled by governments’ efforts to promote MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) infrastructure to attract more business tourists is driving the growth of the hotels industry.

The report projects the hotel industry in Tanzania and Kenya to be among the fastest growing on the continent, with compound annual increases of 8.2% and 7.4% respectively.

Something Mr. Moutou agrees with and keen to exploit.

“Market is booming here, however, we have to be sharp. We have to be absolutely aware of what is going on,” 

As of the target market, Mr. Moutou has his eyes firmly set on upper upscale corporates and locals seeking for a city escape that offers all the packs of luxury not far from the city.

“We know exactly who to target, my customers won’t be the same as Upperhill’s or Park inn because we have a totally different concept. So, what I have learnt here is that we have a huge corporate database and there is a high demand of corporate customers from NGOs, etc. Leisure won’t be too much of my business because I think it would be about 5-6% of my business, so corporate would be my main business and focus.”

Given a chance to invite three people of his choice to come and experience the facility  Moutou who has a vast experience in the hotel industry under his belt knows exactly who he would like to host.

“This is my sixth opening and when you open a property, the first six months are very important. You need to listen to what the customers are saying so if I would have to invite three people of my choice, I would invite three completely different segment of people, one corporate, one leisure and one walking guest as simple as that. Just let them enjoy the property and get feedback on what they liked and didn’t like.” the general manager explained.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and Moutou is fully aware that business won’t pick up immediately none the less he says they are psyched up to flung open the doors and welcome the public for a memorable experience.

“You don’t build anything in a year, it took us about a year to build the property, I haven’t done anything yet except finishing the product now I just need to start working and I am very happy about the response and how the market is receiving our property.” Moutou said.

“For the past two months we have been on sales calls and already everybody is talking about Radisson blue Arboretum and I am very proud of it. I am impatient opening the doors because I can feel the pace, We are already online and we already have bookings and a lot of requests, people popping up at the door, people calling so I can feel that there is something good happening and I can’t wait for it,”

Going forward, the general manager wish the government can up its game and invest in the local hospitality industry in order to give Kenya an edge over its competitors such as Rwanda.

“The government needs to start working on what is to be done to attract more people here. the government should start working on some marketing activities to address the fact that there is less conventional facilities in the country. As of today, whatever is happening in the country in terms of convention most are going to Kigali, Rwanda because they do have convention centers which is not happening here. Having said that we do believe it will be a serious fight between all the actors,” said Moutou.

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