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Rahul Sood, Group MD & CEO Middle East & Africa

Mr. Rahul Sood is the Group Chief Executive at Sun Africa Hotels and is an experienced Passionate Hotelier, sound marketing hospitality specialist EBITDA driven. With over 16 years of global premium corporate hotel experience with sound promotions positioning, talented multi-level communicator, engaged group facilitator whilst offering anticipative service process centricity in order to retain prime market position resulting in an improved EBITDA.

Sun Africa Hotels is an award winning regional hotel company whose goal is to offer unparalleled service & consistent commitment to excellence. Sun Africa Hotels create epic, confident and refined hotels in most attractive destinations by blending with local cultures. It dates back to 1927, being one of the first establishments in Africa offering the perfect combination of bush and scenic safari holidays with varies choices. Sun Africa Hotels is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts as well a member of the Eco Tourism Kenya, with a collection of seven properties with a balloon company.

Overseeing operations as CEO for the management company charged with  operating 7 hotels and Hot Air Balloon Company with a USD 38 million Annual turnover & 729 Employees.

The various properties have previously received accolades in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016 under the World Luxury Hotels Awards, Trip Advisor and Booking.com awards. Sun Africa and its brands have a total of 45 wins since its 2010 undertaking as management. Sun Africa Hotels was voted the best Hotel Management Company in Africa for the third year in a row.

 

Sun Africa Hotels Management Company was also honored by being awarded the prestigious Haute Grandeur Awards for Sovereign Suites which is an All-Suite luxury hotel located in Nairobi.  Sovereign Suites Hotel, was recognized for the exemplary service extended to their guests.

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Sun Africa Team

Our Firsts

Sun Africa Hotels is one of the first hotel companies to bring hospitality to Kenya. Our long history going back into the early first half of the last century,when the palatial homestead at the shores of Lake Naivasha originally opened as a ‘guest house’ with only 3 rooms available for guests. Those were the days ofthe ‘flying boats’ by British Imperial Airways, the predecessor of what became the famous BOAC before emerging as British Airways. These – for those days at least – giant aircraft took off from the Thames in London and then made their way across the Mediterranean Sea to Egypt, up the River Nile with a stop in Khartoum and on to Kenya, where they ‘landed’ at Kenya’s first international aviation entry point on Lake Naivasha. The trip, which took several days to complete, had passengers then undertake an arduous journey from Naivasha to Nairobi, up the winding road of the Great African Rift Valley, and the Lake Naivasha Hotel, now the Lake Naivasha Country Club, was swiftly becoming ‘THE’ place to take to before and after flights when Lake Naivasha country Club was opened as a result of Imperial Flying Boat Services between Durban to Dublin which was then called.

Over 1700 square miles of lush, sun-drenched plains encircle Keerorok Lodge, the first property in the heart of Masai Mara Game Reserve.

Lake Naivasha Country club, one of the gems in a necklace of Rift Valley, emerged in the 1930’s as the first staging post for Imperial Airways Flying boat service from Durban.

Lake Baringo Club hosts the first african paradise for bird lovers with over 800 species of birds and a highlight of the ornithology circuit.

The first all inclusive upscale luxury camp on the shores of lake Naivasha.

Sovereign Suites is the first all suite aristrocratic colonial building with two acre private fist dam surrounded by lush tea and flower farms..

Experience enchanting view with Sun Africa’s very first air balloon in the Maasai Mara National Game Reserve.

Mission, Vision and Core Values

Vision Statement

To be the most preferred hotel company within Africa for each segment of the market.

Mission Statement

To create & dazzle the guests with superior quality of products & services.

Our Core Values

One Team, Customer Focus, Integrity & Innovation

Corporate Video

Corporate Social Responsibility

Sun Africa Hotels (SAH), has premier tourist facilities in various locations within the country. In each of this place, the group has designed a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program aimed at uplifting the wellbeing of the community, socially, financially, and environmentally. It is no longer acceptable for a corporation to experience economic prosperity in isolation from those agents impacted by its actions. SAH has focused its attention on both increasing its bottom line and being a good corporate citizen. Keeping abreast of global trends and remaining committed to financial obligations to deliver both private and public benefits have forced SAH to reshape its framework, rules, and business model. SAH has revised its short- and long-term agendas, to stay ahead of rapidly changing challenges through CSR programmes.

1. Investment in local producers and their products

The Masai communities are the major inhabitants of Narok County and they have a rich culture that has impacted positively to the tourism sector in Kenya. Apart from the Maasai Mara National Reserve, the Maasai (Masai) boost of beads, masks, carvings and the unique lifestyle and dance which are major tourists’ attractions. As part of our CSR, we have ensured that the Maasai sell their beads, masks and carvings to tourists who visit/reside in our lodges. In addition, the Maasai's perform various dances and other cultural activities to tourist audiences in our lodges. It's also worth noting that tourism helps the Maasai (Masai) to retain and enrich the Maasai (Masai) culture through business transformation.
For instance, Keekorok Lodge a premier hospitality facility located in Maasai Mara National Reserve has contributed immensely towards the wellbeing of the Maasai community, especially women and morans (young men) through the CSR program. The location of the lodge gives tourists an option to visit Business premises or Manyattas that sell art facts. Equally, it has a gift shop in partnership with the local community within its premises where tourists can easily access the Masai products.

2. Community support and outreach

SAH is geared towards improving the Masai peoples' quality of life through various initiatives. The education of the children from the surrounding community has been boosted through the support plans in place such as provision of educational resources and tools and infrastructure.
SAH has been working with the local health care providers to assist in medical clinics. The remoteness of some of the Maasai Manyattas prompted SAH to be arranging with health care providers to provide medical camps for basic health care needs. Similarly, SAH has been sponsoring health camps in remote locations and arranging for medical teams, medical supplies and medicines to benefit the local community.
SAH together with the county government are in discussion on how to support health care facilities in the county. Well equipped clinics in the county will motivate the local community to seek medical attention.

3.Provision of Water and Roads

Through its corporate social investment, SAH has sank boreholes to provide local communities with clean water that is used for drinking and other domestic chores. Furthermore, SAH has partnered with selected schools and health facilities to provide boreholes and tanks for rain water harvesting.
SAH has partnered with other relevant stakeholders like the Narok County and the local government to ensure roads leading to the park are improved/ repaired through combined initiatives.

4. Employment and training to the local communities

SAH has ensured that the living standards of the local communities are improved through apprenticeship programmes in its facilities across the County government of Narok. The graduates from our apprentice programmes are normally given first priority for employment opportunities. The local people have been trained in hotel management and thereafter employed. Similarly, the local men have been employed as security guards.
Visits to Masai cultural villages are offered to tourists by Masai driver guides from the communities and villages around in partnership with SAH. SAH has also ensured that the authentic and fully functional Masai villages are not interfered with commercial activities and instead Maasai's are motivated by the need to keep them appear traditional in order to be more appealing to tourists. Tourists are normally exposed to people's homes and exposed to the reality of how the community live and operate on a daily basis. In so doing, the local people get some income, paid by tourists as entrance fee.

1. Environmental conservation
SAH has been very instrumental with the designing and implementing of various types of environmental conservation activities, such as the development of an ecologically sound method for sewage treatment and then use the very water to irrigate grass around the camp. Wild animals have been feeding on this grass during the dry season. SAH has also successfully embraced a tree planting program {indigenous trees} to replace the few lost trees around the lodge. These trees act as wind breakers but also act as a habitat for various bird species. To sum up, the ecosystem around has been protected.

2. Environmental training

In order to keep with the continuous need to understand and protect the environment in which the lodges operate, SAH has been offering capacity building programmes on environment both to the communities around and the staff in a bid to create understanding of the importance of environmental responsibility. Besides this, SAH has naturalists who are based at the lodges to provide training to all staff members on environmental policies and practices

3. Conservation Initiatives

The Lodges have employed direct funding to proper waste disposal, water conservation and monthly environmental cleanup. These initiatives have ensured proper waste disposal and management by sorting waste at the source and recycling of glass and plastics

4. Climate Change adaptation and mitigation
Climate change is both a global threat and a development issue. Tourism contributes to human induced climate change. In order to develop sustainable tourism, adaptation and mitigation strategies should be accepted.
Therefore, the lodge has adopted renewable energy sources such as electric solar energy, water solar heaters, energy saving bulbs and rechargeable solar lamps. The solar energy is used to facilitate less energy consuming demands such as lighting, water heating and pavement lighting. This initiative has minimized the over reliance on fossil fuel sources [petroleum energy]

Corporate Governance

Sun Africa Hotels believes corporate governance is an essential part of a culture that enables us to meet our short-term objectives while striving to realise the long-term vision of the group. Good corporate governance ensures that company is run as efficiently as possible in the interests of management, board and investors. This in turn promotes greater confidence within the company and creates better conditions.

Our goal has therefore been to foster a culture of good governance, recognising that it is key to the sustainability and integrity of the group and central to the health of our economies and their stability. Our approach focuses on the four pillars underpinning corporate governance:

  • Group Compliance
    • Complying with governance and regulatory standards across our footprint needs a sound professional compliance function. This established function offers sound guidance and advice to the group, and its monitoring activities ensure that any improper conduct or failure to comply with regulatory requirements is immediately addressed. Group compliance policies and guidelines are aligned to industry best practice.
  • Group Internal Audit
    • Continual and rapid changes as well as the complexity of our business, organisational dynamics and the regulatory environments in which we operate require an established, effective internal audit function. Our group internal audit function consistently evaluates the efficiency of control systems and contributes to ongoing effectiveness through sound management reporting.
  • Enterprise Risk Management
    • Corporate scandals and diminished confidence in financial reporting among investors and creditors have again emphasised the need for a structured and disciplined approach to understanding and managing business risks. Integrated enterprise risk management addresses this need and the group risk committee is responsible for entrenching this culture throughout the group.
  • External Audit
    • Our primary focus is to ensure our accounting records are accurate, complete and compliant with International Financial Reporting Standards. We rely on PKF’s superior functional capabilities, in-depth industry knowledge and experience in meeting this essential requirement.
  • Delegation of Authority
    • The group has adopted a delegation-of-authority framework that sets out the authority levels and responsibility allocated to board committees, executives and management. This framework strengthens corporate governance as responsibility and process for all levels of activity within the business are clearly identified and controlled. Although privately held, the group conducts its business in line with international corporate governance best practice.