A Night at the Atican Beach Resort Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria
When thinking about where to spend the first few days after our wedding, a few factors came into play. My King and I were going to be back in Nigeria after a while away. We wanted to enjoy it's warmth as much as we could. More so, my flight back to UK was scheduled for November 16, meaning that I had only five honeymoon days before travelling. Furthermore, there were other relevant activities to accomplish, especially my legal change of surname. So we agreed to stay in Lagos.
The day after the wedding, we searched the Internet for resorts to stay in and the Atican Beach Resort caught our fancy. The pictures we saw online were very attractive. When we called to book a room, we were informed that from 12 to 6pm, there might be no power as the generator only came on from 6pm till 12 noon the following day. We were disappointed but figured we could deal with that, so we went ahead to make our reservation.
We checked into our room at 5:45pm with a torch to light the darkness. Expecting power to come on in 15 minutes as said, we went to the restaurant to have dinner while waiting. However, it took 30 minutes for the generator to come on. All that while, we sat in darkness. The food came even later. They said the chicken was frozen, hence they couldn't warm it until power came. As we were famished from our long journey to Lekki we asked to be served the Eba and soup first and for the chicken to come later. Yet they waited till after power came on to prepare our food. I had Eba and Edikainkong. It was okay, but not fantastic as I would describe my lunch experience the next day at The Place, Lekki. The TV in the restaurant wasn't working. The tap in the sink wasn't running.
On getting back to the room after dinner, the air conditioner stopped after about five minutes. We were perspiring. Opening the door of the room did not help as it just blew in warm air from outside. On getting them to check the problem, they said it had to do with the generator. They were running helter-skelter trying to fix the problem for 10 to15 minutes until they thought to move us to another room with a better working AC. After moving our things, I got into the bathroom for a shower. I was still sponging my body, when the shower stopped running. I asked my husband to send for a bucket of warm water. By the time the water arrived, I was already out of the bathroom with the soap dried to my skin as I could wait no longer.
I was sad. Not about the poor service we received that night but about the mediocrity we have gotten so used to in Nigeria. The attitude of "manage it like that", our lack of quality control. This adds to what keeps us poor as a country. God help us. We could not believe that a hotel with a tourist attraction could be so laid back about its services. As if they expected us to "understand" that the generator could not carry all ACs or pump water. There was no attempt by a management personnel or supervisor to apologize. There was no compensation.
Unfortunately, that night's experience is also visible in usual working relationship with artisans or vendors - a tailor who takes your measurements ahead of time but delays delivery or still has major adjustments to make, a mechanic paid to fix a problem in your car but you're forced to return to him the following weekend with the same problem or a vendor paid to render a service who does not pay attention to detail etc. There are many other examples to relate to. In some cases they insist on full payment before service but after the flop, the best you get from them is 'sorry madam' and worst of all, 'abeg manage am like that'. It's pathetic.
Nevertheless, there were some commendable sides to the hotel. The breakfast was on point - toast and fried egg with Nescafé 3 in 1. Egg salad and Mayo sandwich or fried yam and eggs. The building was modern and had very nice surroundings. The beach was a good place to get away. After that first night, there was no power problem except for the expected 6-hour 'no gen' period which we spent on the beach or out in town shopping, lunching or in the cinema.
If I had spent only the first night in Atican, I would rate it 1/5 (Would have been 0, but let's give it 1 for good looks and nice breakfast). If I had not experienced the Day 1 brouhaha, I would have rated it 3.5/5. So combining the experiences from Day 1 to 4, I would rate it 2.5/5. My husband rates it 1.5/5. He says first impression is key. Unfortunately, we don't look forward to going back.
Have you experienced poor service in Nigerian hotels or with your vendor/artisan? Or perhaps you've been to the Atican Beach Hotel, Lekki. Please tell us your experience in the comments section below. Cheers.
Radiant ~ December 2018