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The Vanguard Lounge in Nairobi closes, 1 year after grand opening

The Vanguard Hotel, a establishment in the heart of Westlands, has announced its closure until further notice

The Vanguard Lounge in Nairobi

In a heartfelt message to its esteemed clients and friends, the Vanguard Lounge expressed its gratitude for the support and trust it has received over the one year it has been in operation.

"Please be informed that we are closed until further notice. Your trust and patronage have been immensely appreciated, and we are thankful for the journey we've shared together," the short statement read.

"We will keep you updated on any developments and look forward to serving you again soon," the message continued.

The hotel opened its doors in June 2023 as a lounge style restaurant with a special chef menu that would change every single week.

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The closure may come as a surprise to many guests. The reasons behind the temporary closure have not been disclosed.

The temporary closure marks a pause in its operations, but the team's message indicates a hopeful return in the future.

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The hospitality industry in Nairobi has faced a series of high-profile closures in recent years, with some of the city's most iconic hotels shutting their doors.

After over 50 years of operations, the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi's central business district (CBD) closed on December 31, 2022.

The cylindrical tower, opened by President Jomo Kenyatta in 1969, had become a landmark and reference point in the city.

However, the hotel's strategic location in the congested CBD, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, contributed to its declining fortunes in recent years.

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The closure of the Hilton follows the earlier shutdown of the InterContinental Hotel in August 2020, which the Kenyan government had a 33.83% stake in.

The InterContinental cited financial constraints and the effects of the pandemic as reasons for its permanent closure.

Radisson Blu also halted operations at its Upper Hill outlet in Nairobi, sending most of its staff home due to low bookings.

However, the hotel resumed operations in May 2022 after a 16-month closure.

These high-profile closures reflect the broader challenges facing the hospitality industry in Nairobi.

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The once-iconic Laico Regency Hotel, known for its discreet luxury and exclusive clientele, also shut down, though renovations are underway for a potential reopening.

As Nairobi continues to undergo rapid urban transformation, with a proliferation of high-rise buildings in other neighborhoods, the closure of these iconic hotels leaves a complicated legacy.

While the city's skyline may be reaching new heights, the disappearance of these landmarks reflects the evolving dynamics and challenges facing Nairobi's hospitality and urban landscape.

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