Celebrating 50 Years of Hospitality Excellence: Sarova Hotels & Resorts Marks a Milestone

Sarova Hotels is a brand woven into the very fabric of the nation’s tourism industry and Kenya’s vibrant heart beats anew in celebration, as this beacon of homegrown hospitality commemorated its 50th anniversary in April 2024. More than just a milestone, this golden jubilee is a testament to a rich legacy of service and deep values that have shaped the journey.

The vision for this indigenous hotel brand was born in 1974 when its founding patriarchs, G.S. Vohra, Mohinder Singh Vohra and John Ngata Kariuki demonstrated their love for family in an interesting yet befitting act. The name SAROVA was coined, an acronym derived from their wives’ first names;

SA- Swaran Vohra (Mohinder’s wife) RO- Rose Kariuki (John’s wife)
VA- Varsha Vohra (G.S’s wife)

Soon after, their first venture in the hotel industry took place with the acquisition of the Ambassadeur Hotel on Moi Avenue, owned by the family until 1998.

Leisurely Delights, Each Location an Experience

Over the years through bold and spontaneous moves, Sarova has expanded its footprint across Kenya with a portfolio of 9 properties, each proof of a firm commitment to quality and innovation. These properties include Sarova Stanley & Sarova Panafric in Nairobi, Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa in Mombasa, Sarova Woodlands Hotel & Spa and Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge in Nakuru,
Sarova Shaba Game Lodge in Samburu, Sarova Mara Game Camp in Masai Mara, Sarova Imperial Hotel in Kisumu and Sarova Maiyan in Nanyuki. This evolution has continued with the launch of the first standalone speciality restaurant, Thai Chi by Sarova launched in 2023 in Nairobi, an extension of Thai Chi Restaurant at Sarova Stanley. Each hotel is a microcosm of Kenyan culture, with a legacy that extends beyond bricks and mortar.

Investing in People for Shared Growth, Sustainable Practices for a Brighter Future

A key highlight for this indigenous brand is a dedication to nurturing talent, fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace, and empowering local communities through employment and skill development. Sarova recognizes that its heart lies in its people. A range of sustainable practices, from responsible waste management and water conservation to community-driven economic empowering initiatives have been implemented. A commitment to renewable energy is also evident in solar-powered properties and eco-friendly building practices. By treading lightly on the land, Sarova ensure Kenya’s natural beauty endures for generations to come.

“Achieving 50 years of operation is not merely a milestone but a hallmark of resilience, adaptation, and enduring commitment to quality and innovation. It places Sarova Hotels & Resorts in an elite group that has withstood the test of time, evolving with technological advancements, economic shifts and changing consumer behaviours. This achievement reflects a blend of tradition & foresight—a testament to the enduring legacy and forward-thinking approach that Sarova Hotels aims to embody as it celebrates its own half-century of excellence.”, remarked Jimi Kariuki, MD Sarova Hotels, during the anniversary celebrations at the Sarova Stanley.

“Sarova Hotels is a heartwarming story of family and friendships coming together to realize a dream in hospitality. Celebrating this milestone of 50 years is a tribute to our founders and all of you, our partners, who have anchored and supported us through the decades. With each passing year, India’s future looks brighter than ever.” Speaking on the occasion Mita Vohra – Director Sales, Marketing, Revenue & Distribution for Sarova Hotels & Resorts said, “Sarova’s story is one of unwavering dedication to showcasing the best of Kenya, offering guests not just luxury, but a connection to the land, its people and its soul.”

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