A 61-storey luxury residential hotel is set to be built in Watamu Kilifi County, once final approval has been given by the National Environmental Management Authority.

The hotel will be funded by a group of Italian investors, which includes veterinary doctor-cum-property investor Giuseppe Moscarino, career private funds manager Oliver Nepomuceno, and Rome-based architect, Lorenzo Pagnini.

Palm Exotjca is expected to be 370 metres high, 50 metres higher than the current highest building – The Pinnacle – in Nairobi, which is still under construction. It will have four basement parking areas, with a further five floors of parking bays earmarked to accommodate the expected high number of shoppers and patrons. There will also be an expansive ground floor reception area, with the remaining 56 floors reserved for various businesses. A 270-bedroom five-star luxury hotel will be operated by a global hospitality chain, with several hotel floors reserved for presidential suites. The top floors will be reserved for exclusive private apartments and penthouses.

The hotel plans to build a 24-hour casino on the third floor.

“This mixed-use development is for the discerning traveller who appreciates life’s finer things, including a sky rooftop restaurant and swimming pool, as well as a spa and fitness room,” says the hotel.

The hotel has a 1 500 sqm meeting area, adjacent to a ballroom and exhibition centre, both covering 500 sqm; while the lower floors will accommodate retail shops, food and beverage outlets.

The hotel is a 20-minute drive from Malindi Airport, 90 minutes from Mombasa Airport, and 45 minutes from Vipingo Ridge Old Club.

Watamu County has attracted major tourism investments, such as the luxury hospitality operator Hemingway’s Collection opening its Sh2bn (€17.62m) Watamu Luxury Resort and residences for occupation after a two-year closure for renovations and an upgrade.