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How to Start a Hotel Business in Kenya

ByBizhack Editorial

Feb 3, 2023
How to Start a Hotel Business in Kenya

Last updated on March 2nd, 2024 at 05:44 pm

In this article, I’ll walk you through the process of starting a hotel business in Kenya. I’ll cover everything from licensing and permits to marketing and staffing. So if you’re ready to start your own hotel, continue reading.

What about doing market research?

When starting a hotel business in Kenya, it is important to do your research first. This will help you to know what the Kenyan hotel industry looks like, and understand the competition that you will be up against.

So when doing your market research;

There are a few things you will want to research: the current state of the Kenyan hotel industry, what type of hotels are popular in Kenya, the average room rate and occupancy rate in Kenyan hotels, and so on. This information will help you make the right decisions about your business model, marketing strategy, and more.

Next is;

Finding the Right Location for Your Hotel

Location, location, location. It’s one of the most important factors to consider when starting any business. And it’s no different when starting a hotel business.

You’ll want to find a location that’s centrally located and easily accessible. It should also be close to popular tourist destinations and businesses. The last thing you want is for your guests to have trouble finding your hotel.

Your hotel’s location will also play a role in its overall design.

For example, if you’re located near the beach, your hotel should have a nautical theme. If you’re located in the city, your hotel should be designed with a modern, urban feel.

So it very important to take the time to do your research and find the right location for your hotel business in Kenya.

Securing Financing for Your Hotel

One of the most important aspects of setting up a hotel is securing the necessary finances. You will need to have enough money to cover the costs of setting up your business, as well as the day-to-day running costs.


There are a number of ways to secure financing for your hotel.

For example you can approach a bank or other lending institution, or you could seek investors. It’s also important to remember that you will need to have a business plan in place, and be able to demonstrate that your hotel is a sound investment.

Business Plan Requirements and Considerations

In order to get your hotel business off the ground, you’ll need to create a solid business plan. This will serve as the foundation of your operations and provide key stakeholders with an understanding of how you plan to succeed.


When creating your business plan, make sure you cover all bases. For example things such as marketing strategies, human resources policies, financial projections, facilities requirements and budgeting. These are all key components that should be included in any successful business plan.

In addition, it’s very important to think long-term when planning and considering how you will grow and expand your hotel over time.

Be sure to conduct extensive market research before committing to any decisions or investments related to starting a hotel business in Kenya. Familiarize yourself with the competitive landscape and the local regulations related to tourism and hospitality industry before making any major moves.

It is also important to recognize the importance of creating a brand identity for your hotel that resonates with potential guests. And finally, be sure to include adequate insurance coverage as part of your overall business plan in order to reduce potential risks associated with running a hotel in Kenya.

Necessary Licensing and Permits in Kenya

Almost all businesses require some form of licensing or permit in order to operate legally. Starting a hotel is no different. Depending on the type of hotel business you want to run, you may need to obtain a few different types of permits and licenses.

In Kenya, the first license you will need when setting up your hotel is an operating license, commonly known as a Hotel Operators License. This is issued by the Ministry of Tourism and requires you to show evidence of compliance with Kenya’s tourism laws and regulations, as well as provide proof of ownership or title for any premises used for the operation of your hotel.

You may also need to apply for other licenses such as a liquor license if you plan to serve alcohol at your establishment, or a food handling license if you run a restaurant on-site.

Additionally, if your hotel offers accommodation facilities, such as rooms and suites, health certificates will be required to prove that they are safe and suitable for guests. All this paperwork can seem overwhelming but it’s an important step in launching your hotel business in Kenya.

Keys to Successful Hotels in Kenya

Now that you have an idea of what it takes to start a hotel business in Kenya, let’s discuss some of the keys to success. Finding the right location and keeping your costs in check are two of the most important ingredients for success, but there are a few others you should be aware of.

First and foremost, ensure that you offer excellent customer service. Customers in Kenya expect exceptional levels of service which should include things like friendly staff, cleanliness, efficient check-in/check-out processes and prompt responses to queries.

Second, market your hotel effectively. Whether it’s through online channels like social media, google my business or traditional methods such as print advertising or word-of-mouth, make sure people know that your hotel exists and highlight any unique features or services you offer.

Finally, choose carefully when selecting suppliers and vendors for supplies. Make sure they offer high quality products at a reasonable cost so that you don’t have to compromise on quality while keeping costs low.


If you’re thinking of starting a hotel business in Kenya, you experience some challenges. But with the right planning and execution, your business can be a success.

First, you’ll need to do your research and figure out what type of hotel you want to open. Once you’ve decided on a concept, you’ll need to get the necessary licenses and permits from the government. You’ll also need to find a location for your hotel and start building it out.

Once your hotel is open, you’ll need to market it and make sure it’s running smoothly. You’ll also need to keep up with the latest trends in the hotel industry to stay competitive. With the right planning and execution, starting a hotel business in Kenya can be a lucrative venture.