By Michael Effiong Pix by Ken Ehimen & Marriot
The hospitality industry in Nigeria is about to witness a boost and attract global buzz as the luxurious and tastefully-decorated Lagos Marriot Hotel, opens its doors on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 in upscale GRA, Ikeja.
Owned by McFolly Hospitality Ltd, a subsidiary of Sifax Group and managed by Marriot, the 5-star hotel offers guests an opportunity to enjoy world class service at a facility that has a homely, African feel, according to Mr. Chike Ogeah, MD, McFolly Hospitality Ltd.
In his words at an interactive session with select media personalities anchored by Mr. Muyiwa Akande and Catherine Abuah (both of SIFAX Group), Mr Ogeah stated “I assure you that Lagosians and indeed Nigerians will be very proud of what we have to offer. The excellent service, the wonderful ambience, the classy and luxurious décor and the authentic African feel.
“We are very happy to have partnered with Marriot on this project. We wanted the very best and now we have it right here in Nigeria. We are indeed very excited about what the future holds for this facility and our adventure in the hospitality industry.
“Apart from its age-long track record, Marriot is a cosmopolitan brand that allows each facility to develop its individuality and that is one of the reason they were chosen as our partner.The culture and the class are effectively combined to give guests a wondrous experience at every visit”
Mr Ogeah noted that it was the idea of Sifax Chairman, Dr Taiwo Afolabi to work with Marriot from the get go. “It is a testament to his tenacity, vision and industry that we have arrived at this destination. I told him that this will be his biggest legacy. And when you go round you will see why”.
He said that Dr Afolabi, who is also Chairman, McFolly Hospitality Ltd contributed to the express delivery of the project with his expertise in the ports. “This was important in terms of bringing container load of equipment. The project cost is in the region of N45billion if not for his know-how, even N100billion would not have made this facility ready at this time”
He revealed that getting the Marriot partnership was no easy feat recounting how the inspectors checked and ensured that even the minutest of details were not overlooked.
He noted that GRA Ikeja was strategically chosen because “We want to create that nexus between the aviation and the hospitality industry. We are located close to the airport on purpose, we want to make this place a hub. We are the only hotel I know that has a purpose-built Crew Lounge. He also noted that the hotel creates an opportunity for employment and knowledge transfer for Lagosians and Nigerians in general.
Also speaking at the event, Rudi Janse Van Rensburg, General Manager, Lagos Marriot Hotel, Ikeja revealed that the hotel is a magnificent property that has taken almost seven years to build.
According to him, the hotel, with 11 floors, has 250 bedrooms made up of, 206 rooms, 41 (Junior & Senior suites ) and 3 (Vice Presidential and Presidential Suites).
In his words “The Presidential suite is on the top floor, it is 400 square metres in size and has a terrace with an amazing view of the Lagos skyline.
“The whole hotel is designed with the original African drum theme and thus, in terms of fittings, furnishing and art pieces, there are lines all around and you will see different gele style arts too”
“Sticking with the Marriot Philosophy of traveling brilliant, the Lagos Marriot Hotel boost of four wonderful outlets. The Idapo Lounge is one of the signature facilities in the hotel. It is what others would call a lobby but we have converted that space to a great room that creates conviviality for guests who would not like to stay in their rooms all day but also give them some privacy and alone space”
He also revealed that “the hotel has the Koriko & Ko Restaurant, which is an all day dining buffet restaurant, Azure Grill and Bar which is conceptualized like the typical local “point & Kill” joint where customers can enjoy the fish experience of eating with hands, Suya, other grills and Nigerian cuisine and the Wakame, an Asian Restaurant that will serve Thai, Northern Indian, Chinese and Japanese delicacies. This section in terms of the interior design, has a different look and feel from other parts of the hotel.
The General Manager also revealed that the Pool side terrace is another wonder to behold and is open for outside guests and parties while also stating that the gym and fitness centre is topnotch. In addition to parking space for 400 cars as well as valet parking.
That is not all, the hotel has meeting rooms, board rooms and a 1000-capacity ball room that is second to none in the area.
Mr. Van Rensburg also stated that loyalty members (Marriot, Bonvoy and Starwood) will have super pampering at the M Club adding “ We are waiting anxiously to open and give each of our guests, excellent service the Marriot way”
The event, also attended by Executive Director, Business Development & Strategic Planning, Sifax Group, Mrs. Wunmi Eniola Jegede was rounded off with a thank you message by Executive Director, Corporate Services, Sifax Group, Mr. Bode Ojeniyi.
Mr Ojeniyi began by reacting to a question on pricing “The best things are not necessarily the cheapest. Here, we are offering value, we are offering premium quality and we offering class, not about the price but how we would make you feel”
In ended thus: “This is the best Marriot in the whole of sub Saharan Africa, come and enjoy it. Thank you”