Next to travelling, staycations are a great way for me to unwind and relax without leaving my city. If you’re not very familiar with the term, a ‘staycation’ is a holiday spent in your home country. While they may seem like a luxury, they’re actually quite necessary, especially if you live in a city like Lagos.
I am one of those people who has a love-hate relationship with Lagos. I’ll be the first to admit that living here can be quite hectic and so, I was happy to escape, even for a little while, when we got invited to spend a weekend at the Lilygate Hotel in Lekki.
Our stay was sponsored by the Lilygate Hotel, however, all opinions in this post are mine.
We got to the Lilygate Hotel without any hassles – it was very easy to find. All the rooms were fully booked when we first arrived to check-in. So, we had to wait for some guests to check out first. In the meantime, Mark and I drove to a restaurant close by to grab breakfast.
When we returned, our room was ready and check-in was a breeze. This was my second stay at the Lilygate Hotel. I remember noting at the time, how polite and helpful the staff was. I was glad to see that this had not changed.
The reception staff booked us into a standard room on the fourth floor, similar to the one above. It seemed like they had tidied up in a hurry so that we could check in quickly. I noticed that the sheets had an off-white colour and the bed was not well-laid. I also noticed that the vents in the bathroom (and in a few other areas of the hotel) required servicing to get rid of moulds.
Although I was happy we got to check-in early, I would have loved if the staff paid extra attention to making the room and bathroom cleaner.
Once we had settled in, we left the room to walk around the hotel and check out the swimming pool, conference room and the gym. Fun Fact: My least favourite place in hotels is the gym but I found myself here twice during our 2-night stay.
We then went to the restaurant to get lunch. We ordered ala carte and while the staff rendered great service, the wait time to get our food was very long. It took about an hour for it to arrive. We had ordered starters and a main, they both came at the same time and were quite cold (for warm dishes).
To compensate for this, they offered us a free dish which was a nice gesture that we appreciated.
After lunch, we went to see a movie at a nearby cinema. One of the things I loved about staying at the Lilygate Hotel was its proximity to areas of interest. Situated in Lekki, it is close enough to places around Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Lekki environs. I mean, what’s a Lagos staycation if you still have to worry about traffic?
We headed to the Terrace to have dinner after getting back from the cinema. This turned out to be the best experience I had that weekend. It was raining when we got there but that didn’t stop the music.
We all cosied up under an umbrella while Nifemi, the singer, serenaded us with live music. She and her band were amazing, I absolutely enjoyed our time with them. We even had a surprise performance from Kelechi Amadi-Obi. Name dropping, I know, I’m sorry! Then, we had a not-so-great performance by me – the evidence of which will never see the light of day!
PS: We could hear the live music to an extent, from our room which was directly above the Terrace Louge. I’m not sure if anything can be done to filter out the noise more but for light sleepers, this might be a cause for concern.
For dinner, we had chicken wings and barbeque fish. Both were excellent! Mark mentioned that the wings were the best he’s had in Lagos so far and we’ve had quite a few.
I definitely recommend this experience if you’re looking for an alternative way to spend an evening in Lagos. The live music is available on Fridays and Saturdays at the Terrace Lounge and on Sundays at the Sunday brunch buffet.
And speaking of the Sunday brunch buffet, this was another highlight of our stay. The Lilygate hotel offers an all-you-can-eat buffet at ₦7,500 per adult. The buffet spread is very diverse. I’m not sure if it is always the same but I was pleasantly surprised to find very traditional dishes like Nkwobi and Ugba as part of the menu.
Another selling point of this offer for me was the unlimited champagne and chapman. I don’t know about any other place that offers unlimited drinks as part of their buffet menu.
I did think there were areas that could be improved upon to make the Sunday Brunch experience even more memorable. The temperature and taste of the foods should be a priority. And as a chapman connoisseur, I’d say the chapman could do with a little more ‘character’.
We wrapped up our stay at the Lilygate Hotel with a hearty breakfast on our check out day. At ₦5,500 per person, the price may be quite steep for the average budget traveller (or ‘staycationer’). However, if you do decide to give yourself a treat, this will be worth it.
And finally, If you’re looking for alternative ways to spend some of your leisure time in Lagos, Lilygate has a Salsa Night event on Wednesdays, Karaoke on Thursdays (6 -9 pm), Live music on Fridays and Saturdays (7 pm – 12 am) and brunch on Sundays (12-4 pm). They also arrange, based on your request, private dinners (at ₦19,500) and a buffet package for 15-20 guests.
Overall, we had a good time at the Lilygate Hotel and I’m looking forward to visiting again. Hopefully, the hotel will maintain its excellent customer service and work on areas needing improvement.
Have you ever considered having a staycation in your home city or country? Would you consider having one at the Lilygate Hotel? I’d love to hear your thoughts…