While much of the attention goes to the shiny and new hotels popping up in Nigeria, it’s important to take a moment to recognise the ones that have stuck around through it all. History enthusiast or not, there’s no denying that the oldest hotels in Nigeria hold a certain romantic allure.
Nigeria is filled with glamorous, modern hotels, but there is something special about staying in a history-filled establishment that helps tell the story of a destination's local culture.
These hotels have stood the test of time. We have compiled a list of the oldest (or nearly the oldest) hotels in Nigeria that are still worth a booking. After all, their rooms have been reserved by legends, they’ve witnessed the tales in history books first-hand, and their timelessness evokes an overall sense of nostalgia.
Lagos Airport Hotel
Lagos Airport Hotel started as an owner-managed hotel with 5 rooms in 1942 under the name “Grand Hotel Lagos”. It was renamed “Ikeja Arms Inn” in 1956 under the ownership and management of Mr. Joseph Harold, a Briton. In 1961, it was incorporated in Lagos Airport Hotel Limited.
The various halls and syndicate rooms are named to reflect our rich cultural heritage and ownership of the Hotel. There is Oranmiyan Hall, the Banquet Hall, Oyo Hall, Ogun, and Ondo Hall, Osun Hall and Ekiti Syndicate room among others for selected group discussions. The various halls are equipped with public address systems. Other facilities include 3 well secured car parks, 2 restaurants, 4 bars and an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Today, the hotel has 277 rooms comprising of one Monarchical Suite, Presidential Suites, Executive Suites, Business Suites, Luxury Rooms, Classic Rooms Deluxe, Flat 1 & 2, Standard/Executive double rooms. The owners have sustained the brand name, Lagos Airport Hotel and the growth of Nigeria’s foremost indigenous Hotel, through commitment and recognition of all stakeholders including the guests, as important to its corporate sustenance.
Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos
The Federal Palace Hotel was established in 1960 as the country's premier international hotel, it was originally owned by the Victoria Beach Hotel, as part of the A. G. Leventis trading group. Considered "a landmark of the Lagos metropolis" the hotel is notable for having been the setting for the signing of Nigeria’s Declaration of Independence. When Nigeria gained its independence from Britain in 1960, it was in the main boardroom of the newly constructed Federal Palace Hotel that Nigeria’s independence declaration was signed. This boardroom is now one of the main features of the hotel’s casino. The Federal Palace Hotel is associated with the Heritage Environmental Programme that serves to recognise and identify environmentally responsible companies and products in Nigeria.
Golden Tulip, Festac
Golden Tulip Festac Lagos, Hotel & Conference Centre was built with strong historical & cultural background during the 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. For fun seekers, the hotel is in close proximity to a shopping mall and a cinema centre.
Metropolitan Hotel, Cross River
Originally constructed by the government of Cross River State and now privately managed, the Metropolitan Hotel is considered the a hotel for the government in Calabar, because of the sheer number of public officials and bureaucrats staying there at any given time. With nearly 150 rooms, several conference facilities, two restaurants, a beautiful pool and a spacious lobby with free wi-fi internet access, it is easy to see why the hotel is the first choice for guests. Metro is always busy despite such high room rates. The lobby is grand with many comfortable leather couches perfect for impromptu meetings or informal gatherings. The rooms are nicely furnished and come with small in-room safes, mini-fridges, adjustable thermostats for the central cooling system, data ports for internet access, and television. The in-suite restrooms are spacious with plenty of counter space, bottled water and baskets full of the small soaps and shampoos that international travelers expect. The administration of Brig. Gen. U. J Esuene, the first governor of the then South Eastern State (now Cross River), 1967-75, laid ambitious foundation for the hospitality sector and Metropolitan Hotel was one of his achievements.
Premier Hotel, Ibadan
Premier Hotel located on top of Mokola Hill, Ibadan is definitely one of the oldest and the best hotel in West Africa. It is jointly owned by the Odua States namely Ekiti, Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, and Osun states. With 87 bedrooms made up of 80 Double Rooms, 6 Executive and 1 Luxury Suite, and a standard swimming pool, the hotel tourist centre for guests.
Elegantly perched atop the famous Mokola Hill is Premier Hotel, a subsidiary of the Odua Group. Its magnificent structure presents a good sight both day and night while the serene environment and comfortable lodgings are tailored to deliver maximum guests' satisfaction. This 3-Star hotel is strategically situated at Oremeji, Mokola Hill, Ibadan, Oyo, Nigeria, 14km away from Ibadan Airport. This hotel's location also provides easy access to major attractions and business districts in Ibadan, making it a good place to stay for tourists and business travellers.
Premier Hotel's storeyed edifice has an elevator installed and houses spacious and well-furnished rooms. Room types are Classic, Deluxe, Executive Deluxe, Business Suites, Executive Suite B, Diplomatic Suite and Oduduwa Luxury Suite. All rooms are en-suite and equipped with smoke detectors, bedside tables, satellite TV sets and air conditioners. All suites have separate dining and TV lounge area. Complimentary breakfast is provided for 1 occupant. Wifi connectivity is available in all the rooms.
Transcorp Hilton, Abuja
The award-winning Transcorp Hilton, Abuja celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017, having officially opened its door to its first guest on April 21, 1987. The iconic hotel has through the years hosted Royalty, Presidents, Global leaders, celebrities and other dignitaries. The hotel has a legacy and rich history as a pioneer in Nigeria’s hospitality sector.In 2016 alone, the hotel won 11 awards and nominations on customer service and innovation. Transcorp Hilton Abuja embarked on a $100million renovation project to deliver on its promise of customer excellence in 2017.