“Keeping prices high and tourist numbers low could be the way to preserve the Serengeti and make it profitable. The new, luxurious Bilila Lodge Kempinski is part of the plan” reports The Independent on Sunday in an interesting (and funny) article about the opening of the newest and most luxurious hotel in the Serengeti last week. During the formal opening of the US$ 50 million Bilila Lodge Kempinski by President Kikwete, he sounded a curious note by calling on the country’s tourism authorities to go slow on building more hotels in the Unesco World Heritage Site.
The East African Business Week reported that the UAE owner Ali Saeed Albwardy of ASB Tanzania Limited, promised that there is more to come: “We promise to build more hotels in Tanzania. We are ready to invest in more hotels because the investment atmosphere is right. We have been in Tanzania for five years and already we have invested in Kilimanjaro Hotel, Kempinski in Dar es Salaam and Zamani Hotel in Zanzibar”.
We had the privilege to meet Ali Albwardy who came for lunch at Onsea House and revelealed his plans of the luxury 178 rooms Kempinski Hotel Saba Saba in Arusha with 3 restaurants and 2 bars, conference facilities for up to 800 guests and spa with 8 treatment rooms in late 2010. Now it is also official that Kempinski Hotel Stonetown is in the pipeline with 57 rooms and suites, 2 restaurants and a bar, conference rooms and spa with 4 treatment rooms in late 2010. Last but not least the Kempinski Ngorongoro Crater is foreseen for opening in 2012. With this expansian plan, Tanzania will take the lead with 6 properties in all Middle Eastern and African locations and even come globally in the top ranking after China, Germany and India.
Onsea House was invited for a familiarization with the Bilila Lodge Kempinski which was a throughly fantastic experience. While staff got trained to soon welcome up to 160 guests in 74 rooms, suites and villas, we had the luxury to discover the property with just 12 guests. The lodge facilities include a beautifully decorated restaurant, lobby lounge, bar, boma, wine cellar, art gallery and gift shop. The infinity pool and Anantara Spa provide for the ultimate relaxation after an exciting day of a game drive. Bilila combines the height of through 5 star luxury with romance in spectacular African wilderness surrounds.