• Monday, December 11, 2023
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Paying less for more


 A look at some of the world’s best hotels reveals the breathtaking features that welcome guests to the gracious elegance and choice of luxurious experience. The rooms and their services, most travellers say, are worth the dollars that go for their exchange.

While you may not get the best in some of the over 200,000 supposed standard hotel rooms in Nigeria, which at present are really not enough for guests, there are still a few hospitality outfits that replicate such luxurious experience in the country.

Sure, you will experience more than just a good night rest in any of the 670 rooms of the 10-storey Transcorp Hilton Abuja. A few reviews by most of the hotel’s guests, especially foreigners, reveal that with rooms that mean everything right, the hospitality outfit in the heart of Nigeria’s capital seems to offer great rooms at great rates.

Of course, the hotel is very exclusive even in charges, but the quality of services and rooms seems to correspond with that of other hotels of its kind around the world.

While in the bright, airy and art deco-style rooms with city view, you can catch up on work at the desk, check your emails with high-speed internet service, recline on the mini chaise lounge or re-energise in the marble bathroom. The Arabian curtains around the elevated bed in a larger room with seating area of the Royal Suite makes the room more romantic and ideal for honeymoon.

With over half a million naira, you are in for a kingly pamper at the King Executive Presidential Suite. The separate lounge, three bedrooms, dining area, kitchen, fruit, private balcony, internet access, among other exclusive services set you apart in your own world of exclusivity.

However, Lagos is glowing with the addition of 358 luxury rooms by Intercontinental Hotel. Of course, the hotel comes with the best offering in the hospitality industry but the luxury is not cheap. A room goes from $500 per night. But the money is worth the services on offer.

Also, while on a business trip, Radisson Blu on Ozumba Mbadiwe in Victoria Island will spoil you with its choice of accommodation offering while the nearby Four Point by Sheraton on the same axis offers the best of rooms for business and leisure purposes. Yet, Lagos Oriental Hotel is also welcoming than ever with its Chinese-styled décor and room. The likes of Southern Sun Ikoyi, reputed for slashing the rates at its inception in the Nigerian hospitality business, still offer rooms worth their price.

Same may not be said of other hotels in the country, but with an ongoing renovation, the 575-room Sheraton Abuja hopes to bounce back with different room flooring, concept and designs that will not only excite guests but also be in uniform with the standard room rates of the Sheraton brand the world over.

If you have ever complained about over-priced rooms before now, you may be right. After the facelift that is almost done, the facilities, décor, services and ambiance might make the difference and set the price right.

Places like Calabar, Port Harcourt, Asaba, Warri, Enugu, and even Owerri are beginning to have quality rooms as more international brands make their way to these areas with quality hotels.

In Lagos, most boutique hotels, especially those run by the Protea chain, seem to be fairly priced. But the ones in Abuja take advantage of their environment and a seeming growing conference for tourism that is berthing in the capital city to shoot their prices up. The emphasis in most of them is on a handful of guests that will get the best of services than running too many rooms that will exert unnecessary pressure on maintenance and quality.

From the range of N20,000, you can get a space in a well-furnished room in any Protea hotel with complimentary room service. But cost of same service in high-rise hotels seems to be quadrupled, leaving impatient guests with the negative impression of being an over-priced hotel.

The entry of brands like Best Western is also making impact as rooms around their locations are becoming more competitive.

The panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean from your hotel room at Eko Hotel and Suites tells why the room is highly priced. That may also be the reason rooms at the newly opened Oriental Hotel overlooking Lagos Lagoon in Lekki are competitively priced. But when its new tower opens in months to come, the competition may be tougher.

For those who expect that when Lagos Intercontinental opens the rate will be crashed, they may be dreaming as the American brand has a standard and rate it will not compromise no matter who is leading the rate-crashing battle.

There is also a wide variation of service charges and room rates at almost all the indigenous brands, whose owners are bent on quick return on their investments. Rooms in any boutique hotel in some capital cities across the country are supposed to be fair rather than cut the patrons’ throat to make up for low patronage.

But for a guest to cough out a reasonable amount for a night stay, the experience must linger a while or else he/she will feel cheated.

The lack of uniformity and right pricing may be attributed to lack of standardisation in the hospitality industry, as it is obvious that one-star outfits charge five-star rates with guests bearing the cost for no cause of their own. No doubt, matching charges with the right services or charging according to the quality of services will go a long way in changing this sad story that foreign guests oftentimes sing about in their home countries.