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Five-star tourism rankings are hard to come by in Kenya

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN Africa Correspondent  Aug 06, 2016

The latest edition of the Kenya Gazette has seen the findings of the Kenya Tourism Regulatory Authority published, in which the results of the hotel, resorts and safari lodges classification at the Kenya Coast and upcountry were published.

TripAdvisor's leader Medina Palms captured the coveted five star ranking, the only five star ranked property between Mombasa and Malindi, while only two resorts south of Mombasa were rated that high, one of them being the Leopard Beach Resort & Spa in Diani.

In Diani, such gems as The Maji, AfroChic and Alfajiri Villas however were left out of the current rankings, raising questions why they were not included in the latest publication by the TRA.

Medina Palms in Watamu has consistently scored excellent marks in TripAdvisor reviews. Only one resort in Watamu, the Turtle Bay Beach Club, was ranked with four stars, again raising the question what ranking the equally if not more popular Hemingways Resort might deserve, which was surprisingly not mentioned in the Gazette Notice No. 6111.

No information could be obtained on what happened to the fancied resorts in Malindi owned by Flavio Briatore, namely the Lion in the Sun and the Billionaire's Resort as they were not included in the latest Gazette Notice of August 5.

Another crowd favorite - the Mombasa Serena Beach Resort & Spa, was in the latest exercise awarded four stars, as was the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa, the same as the latest addition to the Mombasa hospitality scene - the English Point Marina.

On the safari circuit only the Segera Retreat captured a five-star ranking - a vote of confidence for the owners and management team, which has for some time now been given international recognition as Kenya's poshest of the posh.

Oldtimers like the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club however found themselves pegged into the group of four star properties, no doubt a result of not reinvesting enough in recent times to keeping the property in the elite five-star group.

The much less pretentious, but probably more preferred Aberdare Country Club, incidentally owned by a Marasa Africa, a Ugandan based hospitality group, also got a well-deserved four-star ranking.

Five-star tourism rankings are hard to come by in Kenya
Segera Retreat captured a five-star ranking

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