Chinese firm splashes out Sh5bn on Kilifi holiday homes

Sultan Palace Beach Retreat in Kikambala, Kilifi County
Sultan Palace Beach Retreat in Kikambala, Kilifi County. PHOTO/COURTESY
Chinese firm Sultan Palace Development Ltd. has pumped Sh5 billion into a beach resort in the Kenyan coastal county of Kilifi in a bid to cash in on the growing demand for holiday homes in the country.

The development, known as Sultan Palace Beach Retreat, sits on a 43-acre beach-front in Kikambala – 25km from Mombasa, and has attracted wealthy Kenyan investors seeking to acquire holiday homes.

The resort that is scheduled for completion by December comprises a mix of apartments and beach homes that will cost between Sh9.95 million and Sh72 million.

It will also include a five star hotel, resident club, café, gourmet restaurant, beach bar and a health club.

“We felt the need to venture into this market as Kenya has proven to be the world tourism destination with beach retreats as one of the most sought after destinations worldwide…Our choice for the north coast was informed by huge appetite for holiday homes,” said Liu Tiancai, the firm’s general manager.

The firm recently said it had sold over Sh1.6 billion villas and maisonettes under construction, underlining renewed demand for luxury homes at the coast.

Sultan Palace Development Ltd., which boasts over 20 years’ experience in real estate, has completed similar developments in countries around the world and has used its cash reserves to finance the Kikambala project.

The development was conceived by the globally renowned Wimberley Allison Tong & Goo (WATG), with Nairobi-based Planning System Services as the project architects.

It joins a host of other high-end properties in the county including Kilifi Creek Villas, Kilifi Bay Beach Resort, Bofa Beach Resort and Baobab Sea Lodge.

Cash-rich developers are setting up multi-billion-shilling projects in the Kenyan coastal region despite the slowdown in the local tourism industry following a string of terrorist attacks in various parts of the country.

Shanzu Beach Resort, a local developer, has – for example – completed construction of a Sh1 billion beach resort in Shanzu, Mombasa, which comprises 76 two and four-bedroom apartments and duplexes targeted at wealthy owner occupies and buy-to-let investors.

The project, dubbed The Shaza, sits on a five-acre beach-front in Shanzu and is touted as the “most exclusive” holiday homes resort in the region.

The developments are in line with the Kenya Vision 2030 whose flagship projects include the construction of resorts in Kilifi, Lamu, Diani, Isiolo and Turkana, which are aimed at optimising the tourism potential in these areas.