By Samson Echenim
In Uyo, capital city of Akwa-Ibom State, south-south Nigeria, there was the LeMeridien Hotel, with its golf resort, biggest in West Africa. The hotel was a rendezvous for politicians and it happened to have given the city its heartbeat. Traveller & Hospitality was back in Uyo to check out the new look of West Africa’s biggest golf resort after the big change and it was amazing to discover that the hospitality centre has kept its cool.
In 2017, when LeMeriden left, Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort became the new name. Since that time, the hotel appears to have continued to define the city under its new name, winning Jumia Travel’s “Best Leisure Hotel, 2019” in March this year.
For the hospitality industry in Nigeria, a lot still has to do with name. Little wonder many Nigerian hotel owners go for foreign franchises that often put them in difficult situations.
With Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort, Traveller & Hospitality observes nothing much has changed, except that the trees have grown taller since 2015 when we were last there and the golf field now even greener. Also, more business guests have found new love in the hotel, compared to 2015, when most conferences were political.
“After the departure of the LeMeridien-brand, everybody said that there would be a complete breakdown of the facilities and service. Our staff, after initial hesitation, remained focused on service delivery and continued to be proud of the product and services they deliver to the guests,” said Ronald Stilting, the hotel’s general manager.
“We will continue to work hard to improve the facilities and motivate our staff, as the success can only be achieved by happy and motivated staff,” he added.
Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort is a location for both business, conference and leisure. Located in the safe environment of Akwa Ibom State with excellent infrastructure and only an hour flight from Abuja, Nigeria’s political capital or Lagos, the country’s commercial hub, conditions for a pleasant and successful stay are best from the start.
Located on 147 hectares of well-maintained landscape amidst pristine palm-tree forest and rivers, on Nwaniba Road, one of the city’s longest roads, one feels immediately relaxed and invigorated. It offers excellent accommodation in 163 rooms and suites on 5-star level, and several restaurants and bars. The Marina, located directly at the river with an art-gallery and serving Akwa Ibom specialties and best pizza in the region, is surely a highlight.
The fact that it is considered a top-destination for leisure is not a surprise: aside from the world-class 18 hole golf course, Ibom Hotel Golf Resort offers a large swimming pool (with children’s pool), large gym with pool-view and personal trainer, tennis and squash courts, hair- & beauty salon, spa, sauna, bicycle rental, pool-table, games room, football-pitch, volleyball course, guided tours, daily live-music and a night club. During the holidays special children and family programmes are offered.
With seven meeting rooms and a large banquet hall with a capacity for more than 700 persons, Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort is also an excellent choice for corporate events, conferences, AGM’s and team building sessions etc. Due to the location there will be no distractions for participants, so results can be achieved.
Ibom Hotel& Golf Resort has put up two golf events this year and is still venue for several other golf tournaments by companies and organisations.
What’s up for Christmas?
Now, as Christmas nears, the hotel is offering 50 percent off across its rooms categories – Deluxe, executive rooms, junior suites, executive suites and diplomatic suites. Guests can also get a free room night when they book 6+ nights. Ibom Hotel is also offering 30 percent discount on Executive Room and a free upgrade to Executive Suite on availability, according to information on its website.
There is a chill line up of leisure activities right after Christmas beginning on December 27, with the Candy Cane Hunt. Family Picnic Hangout is mapped out for the next day, while Christmas Craft fair reigns at the hotel on December 29. EA Sport Competition is fixed for the next day before the New Year’s Eve.
“We have put a luscious twist to this savoury dish of Italian origin, traditionally known to have round, flattened base of leavened wheat-based dough topped with tomatoes, cheese, and various other ingredients baked at a high temperature, in a wood-fired oven. The “Na Wao” Pizza comes with various varieties such as: Seafood, Vegetarian, Ham & Pineapple, Pork, Nigerian Pizza,” the hotel enthused.
Indeed, at Ibom Hotel & Golf Resolt, discoveries could be endless for a first timer. Special offers await newly-weds and it is just the place to have the best of honeymoons in Nigeria.
Offer for couples includes complimentary movie tickets at Ibom Tropicana; free golf and tennis lessons for spouses; complimentary buffet breakfast for two adults; access to golf, lawn tennis, gym and, of course, high speed internet access and lots more.
The hotel also features spa, biking, night club, marina club, squash court, swimming pool, business center, Elyzee Night Club, lawn tennis courts, exotic restaurants & bars, helipads, 18-hole golf course, 24-hour fitness centre and more.
Looking to the future
To capture the local market and other guests, the hotel is improving on its facilities alongside offering of new products. From a strong focus on increasing golf and leisure offerings, which really has not been marketed that much, Stilting, the hotel’s GM says the resort is also focusing more on family and children. To do this, the new management is planning to improve on the existing facilities with additions such as soccer pitch, themed park, swim and dine and Sunday brunch. While the product and service offerings are looked after, the new management is also keen on improving the physical look of the entire property with planned upgrade of the facilities which, according to the general manager, is due after 10 years.
What’s more? Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort, the pride of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, welcomes you with open arms.