By Demola Ojo
The Transcorp Hilton Abuja recently reopened its executive floors and lounge following their complete renovation. The upgraded floors can now be truly described as a hotel within a hotel as it improves dramatically on the rest of the hotel, which still maintains its place ahead of the competition.
The rooms and suites, redesigned by award-winning Swedish interior designer, Living Designs, have been upgraded with an extra touch of luxury to the furnishing, fixtures and equipment.
The design and furnishing concept – strong bold and fresh with a certain softness, harmony and comfort – is inspired by the resilient Nigerian spirit.
From the moment one steps out of the elevators onto any of the executive floors, the difference is clear as oval leather sofas welcome you. The tan sofas donâ€™t just add to the aesthetic appeal, but are comfortably supple, offering guests the option of lounging outside their rooms in relative solitude.
The executive lounge is more exclusive than before, with access through its glass doors only granted via a key card. Once through the doors, tasty meals, choice wine and numerous networking opportunities await.
The lounge and rooms have been fitted with the latest world- class amenities and technology to ensure the ultimate comfort of guests and is best experienced than imagined.
However, regardless of the glitz and the innovations, the true test of any hospitality outlet still boils down to service. Little things count. The Hilton does not disappoint.
For example, there are push bells outside the doors which turn red when the DND (do not disturb) switch is activated. I didnâ€™t figure this out so I mistakenly switched it on. (Itâ€™s placed close to the master switch and a couple of others).
I only realized after I got a note under my door. My room would have been cleaned but I had indicated I didnâ€™t want to be disturbed. I should please say when Iâ€™m ready. Discreet but effective.
Another was when I placed calls to the concierge requesting a copy of THISDAY the moment it hit the stands. It came soon after, with my room service order, evidence that different sections of the hotel work in tandem to provide seamless service and satisfy the customer. Big deal, you may say, until you realise this is a property with close to 700 rooms, most of them occupied.
Regarding room service, all meals come with complimentary chili sauce. Many Nigerians love their chili (myself included) and this, certainly, is one of the ways the Transcorp Hilton effortlessly blends its local roots with international standards.
I also appreciated how my clothes were washed, ironed and delivered under six hours on two different occasions without having to pay extra. This left an impression because a couple of days before, I had to pay a hundred per cent surcharge for wanting fresh cloths at double quick time when I stayed at another internationally branded hotel in the city.
Speaking during the reopening a few days earlier, CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc, Valentine Ozigbo said, â€œOur guests have grown to expect nothing less than the very best from us. That includes the pinnacle of customer service, overall comfort, and a level of aesthetic appeal rivalled by no other hotel in Nigeria. The complete overhaul of the Executive Floor and Lounge is a testament to our commitment to delivering extraordinary experience to our guests. â€
While sharing his first impressions, Chairman Transcorp Plc, Tony Elumelu said, â€œI am extremely proud of the commitment and attention to detail of our team in getting the job done. Our well-travelled and discerning guests will quickly come to realize that Transcorp Hilton Abuja is delivering quality that can rival any 5-star hotel anywhere in the world.â€ True words.
And thereâ€™s better news to come as the unveiling of the new floors is just one phase of the on-going $100 million renovation project at the hotel.
All 667 rooms and suites will be upgraded innovatively and aesthetically with a variety of new features while the restaurants and bars are being redesigned for an upgraded experience in the hotelâ€™s food and beverage offerings.