The iconic White Rhino Hotel in Nyeri has been put up for auction joining the list of hospitality companies that have shut as effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to bite hard.
In a notice on local dailies, the hotel which sits on a three-acre piece of land will be auctioned on June 2.
The 111-year old facility which had land rates arrears of KSh 1.2 million as of July 2021 will be auctioned by Garam Investments Auctioneers.
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According to Business Daily, the auctioneers noted that the leasehold property for a term of 50 years effective September 1, 2008, has annual revisable ground rent of KSh 146,400.
“Bidders will be expected to produce a bidding deposit of Sh10 million by way of cash or bankers cheque before being allowed to bid,” Garam said.
The hotel has a bar, restaurant, staff quarters, administration block, coffee shop, butchery, gatehouse, basement parking and a borehole.
According to various historical accounts, the establishment was named after a rhino, which was shot at the site during a game-hunt conducted by the white settlers.
The establishment was known as the first segregated exclusive pub for whites and local Africans were kept off with the threat of attacks by guard dogs.
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However, in 1965 after independence, the hotel was sold off to an Asian businessman Ramnic Bhadrese, who later sold it to Amos Wamuyu in 1970.
15 years later, the hotel was sold to its current owner, the family of the former Kieni MP David Munene Kairu, which manages it through Legend Hotels Limited.
At the time, the hotel had only 27 rooms most of which were not self-contained.
White Rhino become the fourth hotel in the region to shit down because of challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Outspan and Treetops hotel, built in the 1920s, were put up for sale in October last year while Serena Mountain Lounge, on Chaka Road in Nyeri, shut down in March the same year.
Also, the Green Hills hotel closed and reopened twice since the onset of the pandemic. It closed its operations again in March 2021.