Norfolk hotel set to reopen in April after 21-month shutdown over Covid crisis – Business Daily

The front view of the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE
The doors of Nairobi’s iconic Fairmont The Norfolk will reopen next month after the establishment shut down for over 21 months amid the coronavirus crisis.
A dispute over salary cuts forced the owners of the property to close its doors indefinitely and sack all employees nearly two years ago in a row caused by the disruption and revenue loss arising from the pandemic.
The hotel, which is run by French hospitality giant Accor, said it will reopen next month and is now ready to host guests in a boost for its employees.
“We are pleased to announce that Fairmont the Norfolk will reopen on April 1st 2022 to welcome guests and visitors,” said Accor Kenya country general manager Mehdi Morad in a notice seen by Business Daily.
“The hotel and Accor regional team have worked closely together to reopen the hotel and its facilities.”
Kenya’s coronavirus cases have been dropping steadily amid a rise in the number of people who have been vaccinated.
The positivity rate is now at 0.6 percent as the country’s daily coronavirus case count continues to decline amid increased mass vaccinations.
Most five-star hotels rely on tourism, events and conferences which are slowly resuming normal operations.
Mr Morad, who doubles up as the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts country manager, said the hotel’s operations will be within Covid-19 protocols.
“Rest assured that the safety of our guests and employees is our first priority, and our team will continue to follow official recommendations and guidelines from the local authorities,” he said.
In an earlier memo to staff dated May 27 2020, Mr Morad, had then said they had closed the Nairobi hotel together with another outlet in the Mara because reduced business in the wake of the pandemic had made it difficult to meet employee pay demands.
The workers protested the move, arguing that the layoffs were in breach of the law and the earlier agreement between them and management.
The hotel’s ownership has change hands several times since the 1980s, eventually coming under the Fairmont brand which was later taken over by France’s Accor Hotels.

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By Kwetu Buzz

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