African Sun to shut down Kingdom Hotel in Victoria Falls after 23 years
African Sun Limited (AFSL) is closing its Kingdom Hotel in Victoria Falls in January next year after 23 years in operation.
The company in July this year announced that it had failed to agree on a fresh lease agreement with the owners of the hotel property, First Capital Bank.
The bank insisted on a two-year lease term while African Sun wanted 10 years ‘sufficient to return’ its investment.
African Sun chief executive Peter Saungweme, in a letter to partners, said the Kingdom Hotel which was built in 1999 would close for business with effect from January 5 next year.
“Further to the formal announcement which African Sun Limited (African Sun) released to the market on 4 July 2022, we would like to inform you that the Kingdom at Victoria Falls Hotel (“the Hotel”) shall be closing for business with effect from 5 January 2023,” read the letter.
“We would like to thank you for your past business and support over the years and look forward to continuing working with you at our other ten hotels, which include the Victoria Falls Hotel and Elephant Hills Resort and Conference Centre which are also situated in the city of Victoria Falls.
“Please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned should there be any matter you wish to clarify.”
Veteran broadcast journalist Ezra Tshisa Sibanda said the development was sad.
“One of the most beautiful and state of the art hotels in Zimbabwe Kingdom Hotel is closing down,” he said.
“The decision to shut down the Kingdom Hotel in Victoria Falls is so sad. The largest hotel group, African Sun Limited (ASL) the owners of the Hotel announced the closure of the 294-room Kingdom Hotel in Victoria Falls effective 5 January 2023.
“This is bad for tourism. I really love this hotel. Please save it Zimbabwe Tourism l hope it gets new ownership ASAP!”
The architectural masterpiece is designed in the style of The Great Zimbabwe Ruins. It is within a walking distance from the Victoria Falls, the country’s main tourist attraction.