Ikeja GRA leads Nigeria's hospitality sector recovery

…as big hotels scramble for its space


The hospitality industry in Nigeria has continued to recover apace, with Ikeja Government Reservation Area (GRA) leading the way.

Set up as a purely residential neighbourhood by the British colonial government after the creation of Ikeja Local Government in1927, the enclave, reserved for top colonial and Nigerians that served in the colonial government, has since grown to be, not only residential, but also a commercial centre.

However, the government reserved area, located in the heart of mainland Lagos, is in the running to become Nigeria’s new tourism and hospitality capital with iconic hotel brands springing up daily in the city.

Business Hallmark findings revealed that the popular area has become attractive to top hotel brands from all over the world that daily compete amongst themselves for presence in the neighbourhood.

Checks revealed that in the space of five years, several top hotel brands had set up shop in the area.

Some of the top hotels now lining the streets of Ikeja GRA include Lagos Marriott Hotel, Radisson Hotel, Radisson Blu Hotel, Safron Hotel and Shoregate Hotel, all on the popular Joel Ogunnaike and Isaac John streets; Reli-On Hotel, 37, Oduduwa Crescent, Ikeja GRA; BON Hotel Ikeja Residence on 51, Sobo Arobiodu Street; Providence Hotel on 12A, Oba Akinjobi Way and Amber Residence on 16, Esugbayi Street, Ikeja GRA, Lagos, amongst many others.

Radisson Blu

Officially opened in 2018, the five-star 155-room Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja GRA, Lagos, is the third Radisson hotel in Nigeria and second in Lagos.

Owned by Avalon Intercontinental Nigeria, the hotel is under the management of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, owners of the Radisson Blu brand and one of the largest hotel and hospitality companies in the world with 1,440 hotels in operation spread across 115 countries.

Reli-On Hotels, 37, Oduduwa Crescent, Ikeja GRA

Strategically tucked away in the belly of one of the most exclusive areas of Ikeja GRA, Oduduwa Crescent, Reli-On Hotel is the choice of many lodgers and fun seekers fleeing from the insane disorder synonymous with many Lagos neighbourhoods.

Unlike the madding hustling and bustling activities noticeable in high-end business centres in the GRA like Joel Ogunnaike and Isaac John Streets, the tourists’ enclave is totally devoid of noise and distractions.

Its unique selling point”, an impressed customer told BH, “is its serenity. Apart from the chirping of birds, you won’t even hear a hoot. You have to be there to experience the heavenly bliss of the oasis of serenity”.

Relying largely on referrals, the hotel and conference centre, which is about 7-minute drive from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, offers great services at reasonable prices to customers.

Customers have arrays of luxury accommodations to choose from, starting from the Deluxe Suite, to the Deluxe King Room and the Standard Single Room.

Facilities in the hotel include, but not limited to room service, wake-up service, airport transportation, executive lounge access, private entrance, inner courtyard view, a fitness center with various equipment and gym devices and many others.

Its clientele include local and foreign airlines crews, members of the diplomatic community, staff of multinational companies and Nigerians in the Diaspora visiting the country.

Lagos Marriott Hotel

The Marriott Hotel, Ikeja. GRA, which officially opened for business in May 2021, is a 251 room edifice built on 7,000sqm.

The 7-story upscale hotel developed by Sifax Group can be accessed from Oba Aladejobi Street and Joel Ogunnaike Street.

Sifax Group hosted the groundbreaking ceremony for the Marriott Hotel in August 2014 and it was completed seven years later by the main construction firm. Dori Construction and Engineering.

Providence Hotel

Providence Hotel is a 5-star hotel in the Government Reserved Area, Ikeja, Lagos. Set in a sprawling suburban neighbourhood, far away from the chaotic excitement of Lagos, the hotel has a modern design, elegant lines and bold colors. The hotel consists of 79 luxury rooms, 3 of which are Pent House Suites situated on the 5th Floor.

Facilities in the hotel include a lobby with retail outlets, ballroom, and pre-function catering for 800 – 1,000, executive lounge, business center with meeting, seminar, board rooms, 3 – 4 food and beverage outlets including all-day dining, specialty restaurants, and a rooftop club/bar. Other leisure features include a spa, gym, fitness club, as well as an outdoor swimming pool, and deck area.

Sources in the hospitality industry informed our correspondent that other hotels are in the pipelines and would soon come on board.

They include the Hilton Hotel, which will be the tallest in the whole of Ikeja after its completion and commissioning in 2024 and Hyatt Hotel on Ladoke Akintola Street, Ikeja GRA, which is being constructed by Hyatt Group.

Construction works on these hotels and many others, BH further learnt, have reached advanced stages.

When completed, the edifices, it was learnt will change the face of the city.

The rush for presence on the highbrow Ikeja GRA, BH learnt, is fuelled by several factors, including its proximity to elite security institutions, which guaranteed to a very large extent adequate security, as well as closeness to the local and international wings of the Murtala International Airport, Ikeja.

An investment lawyer, who spoke to our correspondent on the development, Barrister Tunde Ojo, attributed the rush to set up shop by hoteliers in Ikeja GRA to several factors.

“One of the reasons big hotel chains are setting up in Ikeja GRA is that it’s a very secured neighbourhood.

“Ikeja GRA is surrounded by elite police and military institutions like the Lagos State Police Headquarters on Oduduwa GRA and the Police College on Oba Akinjobi Way.

“The reserve area is also bordered by the Ikeja Military Cantonment at Maryland and the Sam Ethan Airforce Base, located close to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport.

“The general consensus among real estate investors is that the presence of these elite security institutions in the area have made it to be relatively secured than most part of Lagos”, Ojo stated.

Apart from the assurance of been secured, Ikeja GRA is also attracting the attention of investors because of its gateway status to many parts of Lagos.

“Ikeja GRA is preferred by many wealthy Nigerians because it afford them ease of commuting to and from home and work.

“From Ikeja GRA, you can access the Lagos-Abeokuta Road to get to Lagos Island or Agege on the mainland by exiting through PWD.

“You can also easily get to the island by bursting out at Maryland, and then link it to Ikorodu Road, Onipanu, Yaba, Ebute Metta, Oyingbo and Ebute Ero on Lagos Island.

“To crown it up, Ikeja GRA is very close to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport. Barring a traffic jam, you can leave your home or hotel room in Ikeja GRA 45 minutes to one hour and still meet up with your flight at the Lagos airport, which is about five kilometres away.

“I think this is one of the reasons hoteliers are shifting focus to the place. I have a client, who normally leaves his Ikoyi house on the eve of every trip abroad to either lodge at Sheraton or Radisson Blu Hotels to avoid any unforeseen delay.

Also, high demand by customers that require proximity to the airport, such as airlines crews and transient guests, checks revealed, is also fuelling the rush by hotel groups wanting a cut of the windfall to build hotels in Ikeja GRA.

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