A Nairobi based luxury hotel Giraffe Manor came under heavy criticism from Kenyans during the weekend for allegedly discriminating against locals. Traditionally, the hotel receives more foreign tourists who visit the country and the few locals who try to find their way in suffer frustrations. It started with a poster published by an independent agent Ahnasa Destinations Ltd, communicating on the reopening of the hotel on 1st June 2020, which was closed due to COVID-19.
“Nairobi’s First Escape Opening 01 June 2020. Book now! They are opening just for Kenyans! Giraffe Manor one of the most unique and iconic properties in the world are opening for Kenyan’s from June!,” read a poster on Instagram from the agent.
The advert drew mixed reactions after Anyiko Awoko a PR practitioner shared her experience in the hotel. Anyiko seemed surprised at the management’s change of heart, yet for the longest time, they have had a pricing policy which discriminated on Kenyans. This sparked a debate online with Kenyans calling out the hotel for being discriminating and racist and threatening not to set foot there.
Afraid that their reputation will be tarnished, the management issued a statement distancing itself from the allegations. According to the hotel, the advert was misconstrued to indicate that it previously did not open its doors to Kenyans which was not the case.
“This is factually incorrect. Our mission since we bought Giraffe Manor eleven years ago has always been to provide an unparalleled and world-class experience for all our clients regardless of colour, tribe, religion, sex or nationality. We are incredibly proud to represent the best of Kenyan hospitality,” the statement read.
The hotel noted that due to due to the popularity of the property, it has many requests to visit Giraffe Manor at different times but unfortunately due to its admission policy, they are only able to offer an all-inclusive package which includes a night at the manor inclusive of breakfast. Its management acknowledges that they were saddened by any offence caused by the wording of the advert and had requested the agent to offer an apology to the public for this miscommunication.
The agency in its apology said the intention of the promotion was to inform the public that Giraffe Manor is open to those within Nairobi Metropolitan limits due to current restrictions.