One of the best hotels in Lagos, Nigeria, the Southern Sun Ikoyi is one of those places that when you drive up to it you know you’ve arrived at the right place. The front exterior is modern in design – the outside feel is “first world” rather than a play on one or other African theme as you might anticipate. Tall walls all round, huge glass windows actually.
The forecourt and surrounds of the hotel building are lined with greenery, flower pots and palm trees. The Southern Sun Ikoyi also has some water features out front, fountains of gurgling water – in case you have any doubts about having arrived at one of the oases in Nigeria’s busiest city. And as you pull up onto the shaded forecourt you can already start to appreciate the inner workings of the hotel, the reception area warmly lit in the evenings in a way that is both inviting and indicative that this is a smart address.
On passing through the front entrance, inevitably there will be a senior member of the Southern Sun Ikoyi staff to give directions or answer any questions you might have about anything to do with your stay or services you might want to use after or before checking into your room. Gleaming marble floor. High ceilings. And the check-in counter itself is smart but functional – friendly faces but business-like, computer monitors and people in uniform to make sure your first experience of the hotel is one of efficiency and professionalism.
In the bedrooms the emphasis is on comfort. Double and queen-size beds, soft blankets and throws. Air-conditioning, carpeting and wooden trim. Nothing over-the-top; functional and equipped as you’d expect a good hotel to be. And the Southern Sun Ikoyi’s en-suite bathrooms are all well fitted-out.
Chill-out spaces include a lounge with leather furnishings – huge sofas to recline in, a TV screen to catch up with what’s going on in the world between appointments or when just passing the time. The swimming pool is oasis-like in its own kind of way: blue tiles beneath the crystal clear water and sunbathing recliners set against a khaki backdrop.
One of the areas where there is an African theme somehow incorporated into the design includes the dining room. Here Southern Sun Ikoyi Nigeria presents a sophisticated layout of high-back chairs in white contrasting with black and chrome tables designed to cater for medium- to large-size gatherings as well as romantic meals for two. The menu is extensive and the winelist international.