It is just over two years ago that Alphonse Kioko left Precision Air and returned to his native Kenya. He did not waste any time, and what was a retirement from the aviation sector made way to turning himself into a hotel owner.
This coming week will see the official opening of the Gelian Hotel in Machakos, seat of one of Kenya’s major counties. The ten-storied building will offer visitors 89 rooms and 6 suites and claims a four-star ranking, though it has not been officially graded and rated as yet by the relevant hotel authority. The new hotel is only a few minutes’ drive from the golf course in Machakos, adding another reason for. in particular. local visitors to come stay and play.
Besides conference facilities, the hotel also offers a fully-equipped spa and health club and a swimming pool for its resident guests and members.
Only last week, Wrigley’s announced a multi-billion Kenya shilling investment in a factory to be built in Machakos and the opening of the new hotel, the tallest building in the town at present, which will no doubt add to the magnetic pull the county has generated for investors.
County Governor Alfred Mutua has at the beginning of his term of office pledged to uplift the county and indeed, Machakos is one of the few Kenyan counties in the good news column with a number of newly-paved roads, a new recreational park, and now new job opportunities in manufacturing and the hospitality sector.
In spite of the challenging times Kenya’s tourism sector is undergoing, the owner of the new hotel has also shown that local investors have retained confidence in the market and found niches to invest in, with county government towns high on the list for quality two-, three- and four-star hotels.
The first three TripAdvisor reviews on the hotel appear overwhelmingly positive, although it has been noted that the reviewers have only 1 and 3 reviews respectively to their credit. It is hoped that the hotel management team, led by veteran hotelier Gabriel Kipsang, will continue to offer service levels as described by these novices to TripAdvisor and that future guests with greater review experience will match those first impressions.