Last weekend, the Lagos hospitality market witnessed the addition of yet another property to its burgeoning numbers. Of course, it was with great delight that Kenneth Otagba welcomed guests that Sunday evening to Leawood Hotel, a brand new boutique hotel in town. The guests came to experience for the first time, the unique bouquet of offerings that was being launched in the Nigerian hospitality market, especially personal touch and five-star experience that is localized in a boutique offering.
Explaining the facilities at the brand new hotel to guests at the opening ceremony, Otagba who doubles as the vice president and country director, Elmeyor Premier Limited, the managers of Leawood Hotel, noted that the hotel, which is strategically set on Kilometer 23, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos, offers 43 well-appointed rooms amid other world class facilities.
Besides the comfy room offerings, other facilities and offerings include; bar, restaurant, lounge, gym, free internet, 24-hour concierge service and car hire service, complimentary breakfast and more.
As well, the hotel vicinity hosts See Centre, a world-class event facility that complements the hotel offerings, and ability to host group events, conferences, weddings among others.
Speaking on the difference the new hotel is bringing to the table, Otagba said that Leawood Hotel is focused on personalized services, which are tailored according to the individual guest’s needs and also bringing five-star experience to its guests in a boutique setting.
However, Leawood is realistic and very specific in its target market. Rather than go after people with business across Lagos, the new hotel is targeting guests who have businesses around its environs-Lekki- Epe axis. It also tailored its offerings to attract lots of well-placed residents within the area.
“Like every other good business, you start by targeting your key market. Our target market is those who have business within the Lekki, Ajah and Epe axis. The Free Trade Zone is coming up soon around here; Lagos Business School is close door and a couple of businesses and a handful of well-placed residents and locals around here”.
Bearing the economic downturn in mind, Otagba explained that all the 43 rooms inclusive of 11 exclusively furnished suites styled in Mini and Diplomatic suites, and other room categories ranging from Classic to Superior rooms are affordable.
“A room of N10,000 that allows guests to enjoy all the facilities including complementary breakfast is truly affordable. Our least room is from N10,000 per night, while our highest room is Diplomatic Suite and it goes for N35,000 per night”, Otagba said.
But one interesting thing about the hotel is the confidence of the owner on indigenous hotel managers. Unlike most Nigerian hotel owners, the owner of Leawood insisted on well-trained and homegroomed hands, hence he went for the services of Elmeyor Premier Limited, a reputable Nigerian hotel management company with international standard.
On the choice of a Nigerian manager instead of foreign brands that earn expatiate salary in hard currency, yet delivering same service, Otagba explained that, “Our track records speak for us. We don’t believe in foreign experts coming to do the hotel business for us in Nigeria, because we know the economy better than them, we know the needs of the average Nigerian and even tourists and we can deliver”.
Beyond that, the huge mileage is the hotel owner’s strong believe in Nigerians and their ability to deliver values too. “The owner had the option of handing over Leawood Hotel to foreign brands and managers, but he believes so much in the African concept. He believes that there are people in Nigeria who are competent at managing hotels like their foreign counterparts”.
Having confidence on our niche, which is the ability to give and sustain that five-star service that will make guests stay here rather than visit hotels elsewhere, the owner, according to Otagba, “Engaged Elmeyor Premier Limited, an indigenous hotel management company, to manage this hotel.
What Elmeyor basically does is to bring five-star experience to smaller boutique hotels. At Elmeyor, we believe there is no need to bring foreigners here to manage our hotels when there are competent hands around.
“ Elmeyor has a group of experts in each unit to expertly handle things or rather deliver the five-star service that every guest is looking for-from the front desk, F&B, kitchen, housekeeping to security.
We are bringing a signature to every boutique hotel that we manage. It is also about local content because Nigeria is in recession today because of much reliance on imported products, including expatriate services. But I think we have come of age with good knowledge of the local and foreign content of the hotel market. We deliver and will continue to deliver value for money offerings and services to guests”, the country director concluded.