Golden Tulip, FESTAC, Lagos
  • World class hotels for sale in Lagos

By AYOOLA OLAOLUWA

The current economic downturn in Nigeria has continued to take huge toll on big companies, with many of them putting up their businesses for sale to avoid ruin. Mostly affected, according to Business Hallmark findings, is the tourism sector, with many top hotels in Lagos and other parts of the country already advertised for sale by their troubled owners.

The hotels that have been put in the market include Golden Tulip, FESTAC; Ibis Hotel, Ikeja; Intercontinental Hotel, Ikoyi; Oriental Hotel, Lekki; The Avenue Suites, Tiamiyu Savage, Victoria Island, and many others.

The biggest casualty is the 5-star luxury Lagos Oriental Hotel situated in-between the Lekki and Victoria Island areas of Lagos. Located at 3, Lekki Road, Victoria Island, the Lagos Oriental Hotel is within proximity of numerous business and tourist attractions.

Rumours about the property’s impending sale has been on for a while, but was only confirmed after it was officially advertised on the website of a leading property website, thenigeriapropertycentre.com.

According to the sales advertisement published in thenigeriapropertycentre.com obtained by BH,  the hotel has a variety of luxurious rooms: The Classic Room, the Classic Superior Room, the Classic Deluxe Room, Junior Suite, Executive Junior Suite, Business Suite, Diplomatic Suite, Ambassador Suite, and Presidential Suite.

Besides their enthralling original artwork and Asian furnishings, the rooms also offer enchanting views of the Lagos Lagoon. Each room comes with a coffee maker, complimentary bottle of water, a free mini bar, a secure safe box, a Bible, a directory and a few mailing envelopes. Additionally, all rooms have flat LCD screens, individually controlled air conditioning units, and en-suite bathrooms. In the bathroom, guests are treated to the following complimentary items including: Sewing kit, shoehorn, a grooming kit comprising of a toothbrush, comb, shower cap, shampoo, shower gel, lotion, and a bathrobe with slippers.  All the rooms and suites feature refreshing drinks in the mini bar free of charge and replenished once a day.

With regards to business and festivities, the Lagos Oriental also has numerous open-plan meeting room and ballrooms for guests who are looking to organise small business meetings, large conferences, weddings, and other celebrations. The meeting spaces are: The Grand Ballroom, Function rooms with sizes varying between 226 square meters and 77 square meters, the Terrace Sky Garden (600 square meters), the African Dance Bar (230 square meters), and the Asiwaju Lounge (200 square meters). The Poolside also has 250 square meters of space and it is very suitable for birthday parties.

With all these facilities, intending buyers must cough out $250 million for the hotel. Interested buyers are expected to write Letter of Intent and would be required to show Proof of Funds (POF) or Bank Comfort Letter from their banks indicating that they have the funds to buy.

BH reliably gathered that the decision to sell Oriental Hotels was due to the current crisis facing its majority owners, Western Metal Products Company (WEMPCO). WEMPCO is reportedly facing a huge debt burden of over N90billion. The unfortunate development has led to the closure of more than 19 enamelware firms, while 250,000 jobs along the steel and enamelware value chain are also about to threatened owing to the company’s financial situation.

A source in the embattled company told our correspondent that apart from its owners decision to put up its flagship five-star hotel in the market for sale, the steel giant is also considering the option of exiting Nigeria and closing its 700,000 tonnes-capacity steel plant situated at Ogba.

The 40-year-old firm is the authorised sole distributor of cold-rolled iron sheet, used in the manufacturing of roofing sheets and annealed iron sheets used in the manufacturing of enamelware. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), it would be recalled, had on June 23, 2015, included cold rolled iron sheet and annealed in the list of 42 banned items from access to official foreign exchange in order to protect the local manufacturers.

Some financial experts, who spoke with BH on the development, said that all the firms that produce roofing sheets and enamelware in Nigeria may have to shut down in the event of WEMPCO’s looming exit. Checks revealed that virtually all the firms manufacturing wheelbarrows and shovels have shut down while others are gradually winding down having run out of stock of raw materials.

BH also gathered that WEMPCO’s trouble was exacerbated by the influx of substandard roofing sheets smuggled into Nigeria from neighbouring African countries. Local firms, it was gathered, were said to have been mandated by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to keep the standard of roofing sheet at 0.015mm in thickness. Unfortunately they could not compete with smuggled roofing sheets which were 0.013mm and 0.014mm. The smuggled versions were also said to be preferred by buyers because they were cheaper.

Faced with low patronage, WEMPCO and its stock of unsold products went bad from staying too long in storage. By last year, the company had closed down almost all its plants as they were no longer producing.

Another luxury hotel advertised for sale is the Ibis Hotels at Toyin, Ikeja Lagos. It is a functional luxurious and tastefully furnished world class hotel with 188 rooms, modern bar and restaurant, conference and meeting rooms, swimming pool and gym, plus gate house, among others.

The hotel with a land area of 8,900sqm is going for N7billion.

Next on the long list of luxury hotels for sale is the Golden Tulip Hotel in FESTAC. According to the property description of the edifice as listed in thenigeriapropertycentre.com, Golden Tulip Festac Lagos, is a 4 star hotel with Conference Centre situated in a large serene environment in the very heart of Lagos, the commercial city of Nigeria. The hotel was built with strong historical and cultural background; Festival of Arts and Culture in Africa ; known across the globe as ‘Festac 77’.

The Hotel is located half an hour drive from the Lagos International and domestic airports which provides easy access to the business district of Apapa and the environs. Business guests also enjoy the proximity to the Apapa seaport, industrial and commercial districts which complement the dynamic environment of Lagos; with 471 rooms and suites.

The expansive cosy lobby creates welcoming environment for leisure and business guests. Located opposite a major upcoming shopping mall and a cinema centre, this gives guests’ the opportunity to enjoy various entertainments in a unique and serene environment with lush gardens. The hotel is available to interested buyer at a princely sum of N12billion.

While the fate of Golden Tulip hangs in the balance as its owners patiently await new investors to take it over, the 5-Star Intercontinental Hotel lying in the popular high-brow area of

Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, is also up for sale at the asking price of $80 million.

The hotel, which is the tallest hospitality building in Nigeria, offers 352 luxury and tastily furnished rooms. It offers splendid views of the Lagos city, most importantly the Lagos Port and Lagos skyline. It is a 30-minute drive away from Ikoyi Club; with its proximity to Silverbird Cinemas and Embassies, it has the right location for guests to enjoy their stay.

Though, no official explanation has been given by the management of the hotel for the decision to sell it off, a source in the hotel who did not want her identity disclosed, said that owing to low patronage and the resultant low returns, its owners have decided to cut their losses and exit the hostile Nigerian hospitality market.

“We (Intercontinental Hotel) have been running at a loss for quite some time now. Most of our rooms are left unoccupied, yet we can’t afford to lower standard, like shutting down power generators. At worst times, we record occupancy rate of only 20%, while we retain the full complement of support staff and services. I know this day will come if things did not improve soon”, said the top finance executive with the hotel.

Another hotel already in the market is the 4-star ‘The Avenue Suites’ on Tiamiyu Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, directly opposite New Eko Atlantic (former Bar beach). The Avenue Suites Lagos, which is a luxury lifestyle hotel designed to provide comfort and world class hospitality, boasts of a swimming pool and a well-equipped gym. Complimentary WiFi internet access is provided for all guests.

It has 65 apartments; that is: 60 standard rooms and 5 royal suites making it 65 apartments altogether. All rooms at the Avenue Suites Lagos are fully air-conditioned, fitted with en-suite bathrooms and wardrobes. Each room features tiled flooring, full-length windows, flat screen satellite TV, refrigerators, a reading table, bedside tables and ornate lampshades.

The Avenue Suites restaurant serves local and continental dishes and complimentary breakfast is provided daily. Guests can also enjoy a variety of quality wines, spirits and cocktails at the bar and lounge. A swimming pool is available to guests at an extra fee.

The Avenue Suites Lagos is 5 kilometer away from Palms Mall, Lekki, in close proximity to the New Eko Atlanta (Bar Beach) and Eko Hotel. Asking price is $55 million.

Several other hotels in Lagos have also been put up for sale due to the dire operating environment in the country. A customer service official at the Ibis Hotel, Toyin Street, Ikeja, who spoke with our correspondent, blamed the current hardship been faced by the hospitality industry on several factors.

“The problem is not only from poor economy, other factors such as insecurity are contributing factors. Some of our regular guests, who we called on to know why they have not been frequenting the hotel like before, blamed it on insecurity.

“They told us that hotels are public places where they could be easily recognized and set up for attacks such as kidnappings. They said they now make discreet travelling arrangements and stay in friends and relatives houses where the possibility of recognition and attack are very low. They only show up in the hotel when their hosts are out of town.

“Despite several mouth-watering offers, as well as assurances on our parts that we always profile our workers in other to identify and root out the bad eggs that have the potential of selling information on our guests to criminals, returns have not been impressive.