Nestled the booming metropole of Lagos Island, is the affluent Ikoyi neighbourhood, where houses retail in the millions and corporations dot their offices. Traffic can be a nightmare here sometimes, but it isn’t as bad as the mainland, hop over one of two main bridges and you are on the mainland or over to Victoria Island. This is where Tsogo Sun decided to situate its Lagos hotel — a good choice. The Southern Sun in Ikoyi is indicative of every South Sun you have ever been to expect it’s different.
The hotel’s golden exterior with its red and chrome finish and glass revolving door welcome you into a cool lobby, a needed sanctuary from the heat and humidity of Lagos. It’s marbled floors and glass walls gives you sense of calm from the concrete jungle that resides outside.
As I walk over the reception, I am greeted with many “welcomes” and “do you need help with your bag” – all I have is backpack but I guess for them a guest is guest no matter the luggage size. The hotel doesn’t try to be pretentious, every guest is equal and treated like the awe-like reverence that I suppose celebrities are often accorded.
The beauty of the hotel is obvious and its staff exceptional courteousness can be pegged down to a level of professionalism that the parent company refuses to compromise on. However there is more to staying at a hotel than just professionalism and beauty, for me at least.
As someone who is never home, the comforts of home are incredibly important to me. When you are in a foreign country, those comforts are even more important. So hotels intend to be my save haven when I am away from home, I trust hotel staff far more than I should perhaps, but I feel if someone is going to have to bare witness to my bad judgement after a night on the town, they deserve some trust.
I did feel at home here, I fell into the feather soft bed with ease and drifted off into a dreamless sleep, a rare occurrence for me. I felt comfortable here, the space is warm and inviting and the bar is lively. SSLagos tries to keep its Nigerian traditions while catering for its Western clientele. Perhaps the staff can get to friendly but I was interested in getting to know them and the hotel’s work ethic better.
The food is amazing, a mix of Nigerian and the mundane. I ate, a lot then I ran a lot both in the gym and the hotels surrounds much to the staff dismay. I think they would have preferred me not wonder off too much on my own. Friends and family sent me texts trying to make sure I saw safe but truth be told I couldn’t even trip here, because someone will magically wheel around and catch me.
If I can say one thing or two about my stay at the Southern Sun in Lagos, it is that I felt at home and I had the luxury of escaping my life for a few days. The hotel staff is attentive and interesting. They were willing to indulge my questions and eager to help make my stay a better one. They even helped me cross the road, you do not want to mess with traffic in Lagos, crossing the road is its own version of The Hunger Games.
I do think the standard rooms could be a tad bigger just because I like a lot of space! This is a vast improvement on my previous experience with the Tsogo Sun.