Radisson Blu Anchorage Divan in room

By Demola Ojo

For a coastal city with so many inland waterways, Lagos does not have as many waterfront hospitality establishments as you would expect. The Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel in Victoria Island is one of the few that offer views, as well as access to the aquatic lifestyle of West Africa’s premier business destination.

Sitting on the edge of the Five Cowrie Creek that runs between Victoria Island and Ikoyi, the hotel draws inspiration from its marine setting. This is evident from its name (Anchorage) to its linear design, which evokes images of ship. Horizontal length trumps vertical height, so despite having only three floors, the hotel has 170 rooms with up to eight different configurations.

They include standard rooms, business class rooms, superior rooms and five classes of suites. In an interesting twist, the elevators don’t need key card access. However, each floor has a door that needs one; keys are programmed to only allow access to the floor where your room is.

Rooms are either lagoon view or city view. The lagoon view rooms ae non-smoking. All rooms come with tea and coffee making facilities as well as free wifi internet.

In the case of the lagoon view rooms, there is a divan with pillows right by the window overlooking the creek. It is demarcated from the rest of the room with white curtains and is a unique touch you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else in Lagos. It’s a relaxing spot and the next best thing to a balcony. From this spot, you can see the hotel’s jetty and the boats anchored there.

During the day, different types of boats come into view, while at night you can see the guests at the Surface Bar bathed in blue, as music from the live band (or DJ depending on the day) floats upwards. I found myself spending most of my layback time on the divan, rather than the large king size bed.

The bathrooms at the Radisson are spacious and include both bathtubs and walk-in showers.

The seagoing-theme of the hotel extends to the restaurant name (Voyage Restaurant) as well as the bar and lounges; there’s the View Bar indoors and the Surface Bar and Grill on the terrace. All of them offer ample views of the busy creek.

It doesn’t take long to notice the Radisson’s artistic bent. While the lounge umbrellas at the Surface Bar are predictably blue and white (aquatic colours), the décor within the hotel is anything but predictable. It has a wide array of colours; some complementary, others contrasting, all tasteful.

The Radisson is big on design, and if you’re an art lover, you can’t help but be transfixed by the metal sculptures in different poses, some of them climbing the walls.

Cuisine at the Radisson is a blend of international and local cuisine. Everything from Caesars Salad to the local beef or chicken suya is available at the different restaurants. You should try the peppered snails. For the uninitiated, make sure you have the stomach for it. It is very hot! It’s also an opportunity for Westerners to tell the difference between giant African snails and escargot.

The Radisson Anchorage has a fitness area for those who need to stay in shape while on the move. There’s the gym, the massage and steam rooms and an infinity edge swimming pool. The pool is beautiful and apart from those who get in to burn calories, there are the others who organise themed parties here, just to take advantage of the ambience.

It is one extra reason the Radisson plays host to revellers who come to soak in the atmosphere and knock back drinks at the tastefully designed and furnished bars. Add to this the possibility of having drinks in your boat or on your Jetski (there’s a floating jetty by the Surface bar) and you understand why the hotel is rated highly by the Lagos “in” crowd.