Nyeri’s famous White Rhino Hotel has been put up for auction.

Nyeri’s famous White Rhino Hotel has been put up for auction.

As the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic
continue to bite, Nyeri’s famous White
Rhino Hotel
has been put up for auction, joining a growing list of
hospitality establishments that have
been shut down.

Garam Investments Auctioneers is planning
to sell the 11
2-year-old facility in the heart of town on June 2.

The auctioneers stated in a notice
published in local papers that the facility, which sits on a three-acre plot,
has outstanding land rates arrears of Sh1.2 million as of July 2021.

The leasehold property has an annual
revisable ground rent of Sh146,400, according to the auctioneers, for a term of
50 years beginning September 1, 2008.

“Before being allowed to bid, bidders
would be required to pay a bidding deposit of Sh10 million in cash or
bankers check,” Garam said.

Legend Hotels Limited manages the facility,
which was created in 1910. After white settlers shot and killed a rhino at the
site, it was given the name ‘White Rhino.’

The hotel was originally designed for large
game hunters and only accepted white guests. But that changed in 1965, and it
became one of the region’s largest hotels.

Europeans Berkely Cole, Lord Cranworth, and
Sandy Herd were the first owners. When Kenya got independent, they sold it to
Ramnic Bhadrese, an Asian businessman, who eventually sold it to Amos Wamuyu in

Mr Wamuyu removed a ‘whites-only’ sign that
had been up at the entrance during his renovations.

After fifteen years, the hotel was sold to
the current owners, the family of former Kieni MP David Munene Kairu, who run
it through Legend Hotels Limited. In 2001, it was designated gazetted as a
national monument.

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A bar, restaurant, staff quarters,
administration block, coffee shop, butchery, gatehouse, basement parking, and a
borehole are all part of the multi-story hotel.

The facility will be the region’s fourth
famous hotel to close due to the impact of Covid-19 on the hospitality

In October last year, the
1920s Outspan and Treetops hotels were put up for sale. From 1938 to 1941,
Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scout movement, lived at Outspan.
Following the death of King George VI, Elizabeth II went to bed as a princess
and awoke as a queen at Treetops, a hotel that has gained worldwide reputation.

Serena Mountain Lounge, on Nyeri’s Chaka
Road, closed in March last year.The Hotel in Mt Kenya was known for its
forest adventures.

Since the outbreak, the Green Hills
hotel, which is linked to former President Late Mwai Kibaki, has shut and
reopened twice. It closed its operations on March 2021.

It was founded in the 1970s by the late
Kibaki and has since grown to be one of Nyeri’s most prominent hotels,
particularly for business travelers.

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