Five Tips For Choosing the Right Hotel to Stay in Lagos – Nigeria

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Five Tips For Choosing the Right Hotel to Stay in Lagos – Nigeria

I offer these ideas drawing on more than one decade of experience in running a prominent events management and hotel business operation here in Lagos-Nigeria. Finding the right hotel to stay can be a daunting prospect for a new visitor to Nigeria. This article is the first in a series that I will be writing to provide useful guidance to intending business and/or leisure travellers to Lagos-Nigeria.

1. Service: Whether you are a business traveller or holiday maker or tourist, it is crucial that you choose a hotel where the management and staff will give you the personalised service you will be paying for. The last thing you want is to have your departure for a business meeting delayed because your dry-cleaned attire fails to come in on time, or your ordered meal never arrives!

A good hotel will have well trained staff who readily respond to your requests – even when you make them by phone. If you have friends or relatives who have visited Lagos-Nigeria before, asking them their opinions of the best place to stay, in line with your needs would be a good way to start.

This is because they may have personally experienced service provision on offer, if they stayed in a hotel during their visit, and would therefore be able to give you their opinions and ratings. They might even know people that could offer useful information in this regard!

2. Location: Today, air travel is the predominant mode of travel or transportation. Therefore most tourists and business persons, who have to travel, find it necessary to choose hotels that have ready access to major transportation routes – particularly those leading to airports.

At the same time, you would also like to be reasonably close to other destinations of choice – such as your planned meeting venues or leisure event locations. Any hotel that is strategically situated to allow you conveniently move around places of interest and benefit will definitely be worth paying more attention to.

3. Facilities: This is the 21st century. The information age. Information technology – such as access to the Internet via broadband connection is becoming more often a necessity. Any hotel lacking it will be very unlikely to qualify for your attention. In addition, you would expect standard comforts such as air-conditioning, reliable power supply, functional telecommunication infrastructure etc.

The success of your business or leisure visit would greatly depend on the availability of up to date facilities like those mentioned above and more. Be sure to check and confirm they are available and in “good shape” before you check in! The last thing you want is to have to endure heat/humidity and mosquitoes at night in your room, even as you battle to make phone calls on uncooperative phone networks!

4. Security: This is a most important consideration. Once you are not staying in your own home where you can control who comes and goes, as you please, it becomes imperative that you ascertain the reliability of whatever arrangements are made by those you will be depending on to do this for you, while you stay on their premises.

Ask questions about security provision for you as a guest and for your vehicle and other belongings. There are places where parked vehicle side mirrors and other parts get “stolen” in broad day light even when supposed security operatives are on ground. By asking questions about this, you may even help alert those in charge to a need to re-sensitise their personnel to be more diligent while on duty.

On your part, avoid giving out your personal information unnecessarily especially while you are still searching, and yet to make up your mind where to stay.

5. Price: The truth is that by the time you have been able to find the above outlined features in ONE or more hotels, you are likely to be looking at a fairly standard hotel – ranging from 3 to 5 stars in rating. It goes without saying that the prices would not be cheap – but some could be reasonably affordable.

Generally for the kinds of hotels discussed here, room rates will vary from between $100 to $300 per night, especially for hotels on the Lagos mainland. On the Lagos Island, room rates generally tend to be on the higher end of that spectrum, and can get up to $500. There are of course exceptions as some offer decent boarding at rates closer to $150 per night.

Take your time to compare the offers from each hotel. You may be surprised to find that you can negotiate lower rates compared to those “published” – depending for instance on how long you will be staying, and possibly some barter exchange options you can offer in return.

For example, in my hotel, we have (mutually beneficial) arrangements with some media houses to barter accommodation for their staff, in exchange for advertising space and prime time advertising exposure in their TV, Radio and Newspaper media.

Summary

Look out for the tell tale signs that can help you make up your mind using the above information, when making enquiries at hotels you are considering. Of course, you can also ask others you know or people you meet. And there are the review sites on the Internet that could offer useful information.

Regarding the last point however, it is instructive to note that such review sites often do not cover all the available hotels in a place like Nigeria for instance. And those missed out sometimes could offer bargain prices for excellent services. Having said that, I believe you can find useful reviews to guide your decision making at travel dot yahoo dot com and tripadvisor dot com.

Visit their websites: Some of the hotels have websites you can visit. If the review site does not offer a link, to reviewed hotel websites, you can Google each hotel’s name and see what you come up with. Quite often, if a website exists, it will turn up in your search results. It will however be wise to keep in mind that whatever you see on the website is likely to be the best they have to offer – which in certain cases may not represent the reality you may be confronted with on arrival.

This above is by no means an exhaustive listing. But I do believe it will give you a sense of direction as you go about looking for a hotel to stay in – especially when you are in an unfamiliar environment, as a foreigner visiting Nigeria.

Visit http://www.nigeriagalleria.com/Travel_and_Tourism/Hotels_and_Guesthouses.html to see a detailed listing of hotels in Nigeria – including those based in Lagos.

It might also be useful to ask any friends you have, who have been to Lagos, or who have trusted contacts there, if they have contact details for any hotels – including flyers, brochures, handbills and even website addresses.

Note: I have repeatedly encouraged you to explore using personal contacts you have, where possible, to aid you in getting started in your search for the right hotel to stay. This is because RECENT personal experience remains probably the most reliable way to ascertain the reliability of hotel services on offer, especially here in Lagos-Nigeria. My checks on the net reveal a number of reviews available on some sites are actually dated, and by implication may not be reliable.

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