BY MATHIAS RINGA
The iconic Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa at the South Coast is set to undergo expansion in a bid to create more room for holidaymakers.
According to the resort’s managing director Bobby Kamani, plans are underway for the construction of 114 additional rooms to boost the five-star hotel’s bed capacity.
The construction of the new rooms at the 40-acre beach property in Diani is expected to be completed in December, in readiness for the peak holiday season.
Upon completion, it will bring the total number of rooms to 257, making it one of the largest hotels in the Diani destination.
The expansion will improve bed capacity from the current 300 to 500 when the new wing of rooms is unveiled in December this year.
At least 250 new jobs will be created thanks to the hotel expansion project. Currently, the resort has 200 employees.
Mr Kamani said: “We are very excited as the expansion plan goes a long way in ensuring that we are able to accommodate more visitors during this festive season.
“All the raw materials for the expansion of rooms as well as for the renovation of the existing rooms have been locally sourced to support the local communities in the region.
“I am also confident that the expansion will assist in creating jobs for youths, who are interested in working in the hospitality industry.”
Mr Kamani noted that the hotel’s 143 existing rooms were renovated during the low season in June and July this year to provide quality accommodation to guests.
He added: “The expansion will help boost the conferencing business for the hotel, as it will have the capacity to accommodate more delegates.
“We invested heavily in building a state-of-the-art conference facility, which can accommodate up to 1,000 delegates.
“Therefore, there was need for us to expand our accommodation facilities so as to create more room for delegates, as well as holidaymakers, who prefer to stay at our five-star beach hotel.”
Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa has also partnered up with airlines and the Standard Gauge Railway services to provide affordable holiday package rates to domestic tourists.
In July, the hotel partnered with Silverstone Air to enable the domestic traveler to save up to 30 per cent on the normal flight fare and accommodation rate.
The package included a two-night stay on half-board, return flights from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to Ukunda’s Diani Airport, return airport transfers, as well as a 15 per cent discount on beverages and spa treatments.
The package will end in December this year.
Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa in Kwale County is popular to both local and international holidaymakers.
The Diani destination has gained global fame due to its palm-fringed white sand beaches, the turquoise waters, lush green surroundings and clean environment.
For several years, Diani has been crowned Africa’s leading beach destination by the World Travel Awards.
The sun-kissed holiday destination has been attracting international tourists from markets including Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom, the US, France, Italy, China, India and from across the continent.