Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja
The Sheraton Hotel Ikeja can lay claim to being the highest profile hotel in the Ikeja axis of Lagos and has managed to maintain its leading position despite being over 25 years old. It’s location close to the international airport and the fact that it is a well-established international brand means it is the choice of numerous airlines for crew members; British Airways, Lufthansa and KLM are just a few of those who make the Sheraton home while in Nigeria. Many other businessmen who value proximity to the airport also make it their leading choice.
From the moment you walk in through the glass doors, you feel the cosmopolitan air especially at the lobby lounge where guests sit back, have a drink and surf the internet. The wi-fi internet is free for guests, a welcome change from about a year ago when fees were charged. Now though, your room number and last name automatically gives you access for a renewable 24-hr period. The access in the rooms is by LAN connection though and not wireless. This partly explains the number of guests who come down to the lounge; the tablet PC is increasingly becoming the device of choice for travelers and they don’t come with spaces for LAN connections.
The lobby is bordered on three sides by the Lobby bar, an Indian restaurant, an Italian restaurant and the wood-themed Crockpot restaurant where daily buffets are served including complimentary breakfast. Food at the Sheraton is tasty and filling (for a la carte); it takes a large appetite to do the Sheraton Burger with accompanying French fries justice. Not far from the lobby is the Goodies Pub (an English Pub), while there’s a nightclub outside the main building but within the confines of the hotel.
An appropriate precursor to the club, especially on a Friday is an evening at the Sheraton poolside. Normally serene and laidback, the poolside is perfect for an afternoon or evening of laying back on a lounge bed, reading a book and taking in fresh air which the noticeable amount of vegetation provides, after swimming laps in the relatively lengthy pool.
On Friday’s however, a live band transforms the poolside to a beehive, with guests- both in-house and without – soaking in the music at the poolbar which is good quality really. It is tagged Wazobia Night. Between 7 and 10pm, drinks are sold at a 20 percent discount, with complimentary barbeque (suya, gizzard and more). The barbeque comes with a distinct flavour due to the Indian spice, tandoori. Hookahs (shisha) in different flavours are also available at a price.
A unique and thoughtful addition to the floors at the Sheraton are upright electric shoe polishers just outside the elevators. Black, brown and neutral are all options available at the touch of a button, ensuring well polished shoes in less than a minute.
The standard room at the Sheraton is spacious. Décor, like the rest of the hotel, is heavy on wood; it is old too but far from shabby. In fact it gives the room an antique feel. The large reading table is finished with polished granite and along with the swiveling leather seat, exudes understated luxury. If there’s a downside though, it is the TV set which is the old, boxy type. Modern, flat screen TVs will surely complement the rooms better.
There is enough space for a glass-top cocktail table in the room too and you almost wonder what it’s for until room service shows up and drops your food tray on it. Another option which further accentuates just how much space the rooms have is the mobile dining table that is wheeled into your room if you order food for say, three or more people. There is room for it to nestle in a corner without it cramping space.