Nairobi Hotels Sold Out Ksh 2 Million Presidential Suites During the Climate Summit

September 8, 2023

High-end hotels in Nairobi are raking in big bucks thanks to the Africa Climate Summit that just wrapped up. They’ve been playing musical chairs with luxurious presidential and executive suites to accommodate all the VIPs who attended.

This summit in Nairobi was a hot ticket, with over 20 heads of state and big shots like European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and US Special Climate Envoy John Kerry in attendance. Over 20,000 other delegates flocked to the event and booked rooms all over the city.

Some of these hotels were charging a small fortune, like between Sh1.03 million and Sh2.19 million per night, per person according to the Business Daily. The Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs had the final say on which hotel the delegates were assigned to, so there was a bit of political wrangling behind the scenes.

Sankara, a fancy five-star joint, had its presidential and executive suites fully booked. You’re talking about rooms that cost around $10,000 (Sh1.46 million) a night. The presidential suite is basically a full-blown apartment.

One hotelier, Mohammed Hersi, who’s been in the game for over 20 years, revealed that there are about a dozen presidential suites in the central business district of Nairobi and its environs. But if Kenya hosts another major global event, like those climate negotiations by the United Nations, we will need more.

And if you’re wondering why all this fuss about presidential suites, it’s because they’re not just regular rooms. A proper presidential suite has its own floor or private entrance, two connected bedrooms, a living room for meetings and interviews, a kitchenette, and a fancy bathroom with a shower and a bathtub. Some even have bulletproof windows. These suites are where the bigwigs get to kick back and relax when they’re not busy saving the planet.

Bookings were made weeks ago, and a hotel like Radisson Blu in Upperhill saw all its 271 rooms taken. That was the same story at Movenpick Hotel in Westlands, and literally all major hotels in the city.

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