Luxurious five-star hotel Hemingways to retain all 400 staff even as it shuts down over COVID-19

Hemingways Nairobi. [Photo courtesy]

Luxurious five-star boutique hotel Hemingways maintains it will not lay off its 400 staff over disruption by COVID-19 pandemic.

The 400 staff are spread across the hotel’s facilities in Nairobi –Hemingways Nairobi and Ol Seki Hemingways Mara which will remain closed until May 31.

Hemingways Collection chairman Dicky Evans insisted that the closure will not precipitate the sacking of the workers.

“The closure will be effective from March 27 for Ol Seki Mara and March 29 for Hemingways Nairobi.

“Following the temporary closure of the two hotels, the group’s number one priority during this crisis is to look after their staff and as such, Hemingways Collection will not be making any redundancies,” Mr Evans told Business Daily.

Hemingways collection has world-class cutting edge services in Kenya’s hotel industry in its collection which also includes Hemingways Watamu. The collection prides in offering services tailored to meet the African feel whether in the city boutique hotel or the Mara with the Big Five or Watamu.

In the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, travel restrictions have been imposed forcing the hotel industry to bear the brunt of the pandemic with a string of cancellations.

This could potentially lead to the loss of jobs in the industry which is one of Kenya’s leading foreign exchange-earners.

“We were at 88 per cent, right now we are at 7 per cent. It does not look as if it is growing, and 7 per cent (is) because of the cancellations we had this week,” Victor Shitaka, general manager of Flamingo Beach Hotel, told Reuters.