Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) has announced that it has signed an agreement with Century Park and Hotel Residences Ltd. to open a new Sheraton hotel in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. Scheduled to open in 2018, Sheraton Kigali will mark Starwood’s entry into Rwanda and will be the company’s 50th hotel in Africa. With this signing, Starwood is on track to increase its African portfolio by over 30% with more than 15 new hotels to open over the next five years.
“We look forward to partnering with Century Park and Hotel Residences on this milestone entry into Rwanda as we continue to expand our presence in Africa,” said Michael Wale, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa and Middle East. “Our innovative approach to managing lifestyle brands continues to set us apart from the competition and, with the signing of this agreement, we are proud to debut Starwood and the Sheraton brand in Rwanda’s economic, cultural, and transport hub.
“The hospitality sector is one of the main industries driving infrastructure development in Rwanda and is also a key foreign exchange earner for the country. We seek to tap into Rwanda’s rapidly growing real estate and hospitality markets, which growth has been spurred on by a rising demand for hotel accommodation resulting mainly from a conducive business environment,” Billy Cheung Yiu Tung, Chairman, Century Park Hotel & Residences Ltd. commented. “With this objective in mind, we are delighted to secure a strategic partnership with Starwood Hotel & Resorts to operate our first hospitality project in Kigali.”
Situated in the prestigious Gasabo district, Sheraton Kigali will be located seven kilometers from Kigali International Airport and offer easy access to the city center, key government offices as well as the lush surroundings of Lake Nyarutarama and Nyabarongo River wetlands.
The 136-room hotel will feature signature Sheraton experiences, including the all-white Sweet Sleeper® beds, the Sheraton Club Lounge and rooms, the Link@Sheraton® experienced with Microsoft® and the Sheraton Fitness® by Core Performance™. Guests will be able to enjoy relaxing treatments at the Sheraton Shine Spa, inclusive of an outdoor swimming pool, as well as easy access to adjoining retail shops.
Sheraton Kigali will also include 62 serviced apartments available to guests for extended stays in the capital, as well as an all-day dining venue, a specialty restaurant and a lobby lounge. With 900 square meters of meeting space and a business center, the hotel will be the new gathering place in the capital for international business travellers and their local counterparts when it opens.
Starwood in Africa
“Starwood has a long history of being first movers in Africa and around the world, and our entry into Rwanda speaks to Sheraton’s strong, global brand recognition and Starwood’s reputation as a leading hotel operator,” said Bart Carnahan, Senior Vice President Acquisition & Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East. “Our development strategy is focused on working with the right partners on the right deals in the right locations and this new hotel will strengthen our growing portfolio of properties on the continent.”
Starwood has a long history of being first movers around the world and this holds true in Africa where Starwood first opened the Sheraton Cairo in 1971. Currently, Starwood operates 37 hotels in 15 African countries, representing more than 10,000 rooms in Algeria, Cameroon, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Libya, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda. By 2015, Starwood plans to have nearly 50 hotels in Africa with new hotels opening in Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Senegal and Mauritius.