• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Lagos Airport Hotel: Looking back at 80 years in business

Lagos airport hotel commences investigation on fire incident

In 1942 Lagos witnessed the opening of one of the first hotels in Nigeria, then under colonial rule.

That year, the Lagos Airport Hotel opened its doors to guests, as well as opening Eko city to more business connections, especially among the trading colonial business moguls and their partners in the country.

Interestingly, the hotel, which started as an owner-managed hotel with five rooms in 1942 under the name Grand Hotel Lagos, grew to become Ikeja Arms Inn in 1956, under the ownership and management of Joseph Harold, a Briton.

Today, after 45 years, the hotel has grown from the initial five rooms to 277 sellable rooms.

Of course, credit goes to the Odu’a Investment Company Limited, which acquired it through the indigenization Decree of 1976, and made the hotel its subsidiary.

Meanwhile, surviving the economic headwinds and still in business for 80 years this year is among the reasons the management of the indigenously owned and managed hotel is rolling out colourful drums to celebrate its 80th anniversary.

Speaking at a recent media parley at the Ikeja-based hotel, Funke Olugboji, Chairperson, Board of Directors, Lagos Airport Hotel, noted that the hotel, which is one of the oldest in the country, will be celebrating its 80th anniversary with an array of exciting activities that will culminate on October 25, 2022.

The chairperson, who doubles as a princess, noted that despite the many decades in business, the hotel is still home to many guests because of sustained and exceptional hospitality services to its numerous customers, as well as the unrelenting support from Odu’a Investment Company Limited owned by the six South-West states of Oyo, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, and Lagos.

Unveiling the lineup of activities to herald the eight decades of hospitality services, she said the anniversary will be kicking off on Friday, October 21, 2022, with a Jumat service at the Lagos State Secretariat Mosque, Alausa, Ikeja, with guests retiring to the hotel’s poolside for entertainment.

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On Saturday, October 22, 2022, the hotel staff and the public will enjoy free medical services and a novelty football match between Eko Hotel and Suites and the Lagos Airport Hotel on the hotel’s football pitch in the evening followed by entertainment at the poolside.

The novelty match, according to her, will be followed on Sunday, October 23, 2022, with a Thanksgiving Service at Archbishop Vinning Memorial Cathedral Church, GRA Ikeja, amid entertainment at the poolside on the evening of the same day.

The grand finale will come up on Tuesday, October 25, 2022, with an Anniversary Lecture titled “Culture, Tourism, and Hospitality as Agents of Economic Growth in the South West Region”.

The lecture will be delivered by Taiwo Owokalade, president, Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria at the Oranmiyan Hall of the hotel, which will be attended by the six governors of the owner states as the special guests of honour.

Speaking on the rationale for the celebration, the princess said, “Lagos Airport Hotel Limited, hotelier of Distinction since 1942, has weathered the storm and remains standing despite all odds, even when all its contemporaries have gone into extinction.

“It has remained the hotel of choice serving generations through professionalism, personalized services, accessible location, security as well as courteous and friendly staff, which make the hotel a perfect home away from home.”

She gave credit to the owner states, for appointing a crop of technocrats with vast experiences in business management to the board of Odu’a, who in turn, “are doing everything possible to ensure the turn-around of the fortune of the conglomerate through sustainable returns to stakeholders by enhancing the legacy for future generations.”

The chairperson noted further that the hotel continually makes guests’ satisfaction its priority, while the management supports the upgrade of facilities, improved service delivery and repeat patronage from valued guests.

Beyond the anniversary, she disclosed that there are concerted efforts at increasing the hotel’s market share, as the Odu’a Investment Company Limited is working hard to put its hotel arm on the international stage amid partnership with investors and international brands.

Also commenting on the lengthy years in business, Folashade Awe, acting general manager of the hotel, said hotel has many selling points that woo guests, especially its central location in the heart of Ikeja, its 277 sellable rooms, comprising many categories, amid modern-day hotel facilities that make guests’ stay memorable.

She noted that the hotel also offers corporate guests a platform to excel with several meeting halls with capacities ranging from 10 – 1500, a Marquée, among others.

Awe disclosed further that the hotel parades the best cuisine courtesy of the innovative chefs, while guests can also enjoy the gym, Olympic standard swimming pool for wellness and leisure, Casino and games, bureau de change, and banking among other facilities and services.

The management led by Olugboji is urging the public to visit and celebrate with the hotel on its huge milestone of 80 years in business this month.