5 Multi-million Hotels Owned by Churches

Despite being spiritual hubs leading a largely Christian Kenya and imparting moral values to the society, the church continues to grow in wealth every day, rivalling businessmen and other companies.

This has sparked conversations on whether the religious institutions are on the right track, some opinions indicating that churches have slowly turned into profit-making organisation while others view these overtures as efforts towards self-sustainability.

The hospitality industry seems to be a favourite for churches with several multimillion hotels having been set up over the years. 

1. Milele Beach Hotels

The hotel is owned by the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) a church, established in the early 19th century by Scottish missionaries and expanded throughout the country.

The prestigious hotel is located along the Mombasa-Malindi Highway around Bamburi Beach area and is only ten kilometres from Mombasa city centre.

A photo of the Milele Beach Hotel in Likoni, Mombasa county. The hotel is owned by PCEA Church.

The PCEA church bought the hotel in August 2007 from the late Eliud Mahihu who was the Coast provincial commissioner in former President Jomo Kenyatta's rule and was also a church elder who later passed on in 2008.

According to a report by Daily Nation in April 2019, the church's management wrote to its specific parishes requesting them to invest in the venture.

The letter also indicated that all funds invested by the parishes over the years would be converted into shares and would earn annual dividends thereafter from the hotel's returns.

According to long-time activist and former head of the church, Timothy Njoya, businesses frees churches from dependency on political handouts for their expansion and growth.

2. Elysian Resort, Nairobi

The hotel, valued at Ksh500 million, is owned by the Catholic Diocese of Murang’a and was opened in September 2018.

The resort is located off the Northern Bypass in Kiambu, about 15km from Nairobi.

The diocese originally intended to build a Christian retreat centre or rental houses, but eventually settled on a commercial retreat and conference centre.

The hotel was built on a five-acre piece of land with an extra two and a half acres adjacent to it and at the boundary of Nairobi’s Runda Estate and Kiambu County. 

The hotel’s initial phase comprised conference rooms with a potential to accommodate over 350 people as well as over 42 rooms elegantly furnished in natural tones and with a distinct African touch.

The resort also has a contemporary restaurant, a bar, a coffee shop, a poolside restaurant, a high-tech gym, and an amazing kid’s park.

A photo of the Elysian resort in Runda, Nairobi county

3. ACK Guest House Mombasa

The prestigious hotel brand was established as a Christian centre by the Anglican Church of Kenya and is located on the South Coast, 400 meters from Likoni Channel in Mombasa along Shelly Beach Road.

The hotel is well situated close to the ocean with the cool breeze from the Indian Ocean and in a quiet area.

The hotel also boasts of spacious accommodation and state-of-the-art in-room amenities that are a necessity for accommodation facilities in the coastal region.

The church also owns the ACK Guest House in Nairobi, located about 4 kilometres from Nairobi National Museum.

4. The Methodist Resort

The Methodist resort is owned by the Kenya Methodist Church and is located in Lavington, Nairobi taking pride in being one of the most sought-after hotels in the city.

The hotel also serves as a main conference centre in Nairobi and is ideally situated at approximately five kilometres from the city centre.

The resort also offers 100 classy designed en-suite rooms, 12 conference rooms that will cater for all the visitors, a 25-metre swimming pool with a kids section and a state of the art gym and spa facility.

The facility also has three beautiful lush gardens that are perfect for events such as weddings.

The Kenya Methodist Church start traces back to the 1860s initiated by the early missionaries.

A photo of the Methodist resort in Nairobi

5. Adventist LMS Guest House & Conference Centre

The prestigious Adventist LMS Guest House and Conference Centre was established and owned by the Seventh Day Adventist Church.

The guest house that is located along Jakaya Kikwete Road in Nairobi City is known for its vegetarian restaurant well known for elaborate food varieties.

The SDA church was established in Kenya in 1903 and boasts to have a number of assets after continuous investments in Nairobi and other regions.

According to a report by The Standard in August 2019, the church also owns the East Kenya Union building that also has shares in a multi-million shilling property in Nairobi’s Lavington Estate and several parcels of land in Mombasa County.

The church also owns Matutu Complex located in Nyamira County.

A photo of the Adventist LMS Guest House and Conference Centre in Nairobi.