Investing in the global hospitality sector is a lucrative venture with the potential to attract billions of dollars in revenue, contingent on the standard and rating. However, the hospitality industry in Nigeria has grappled with challenges over the years, hindered by the prevailing economic downturn in the country.
Before economic challenges took hold, the sector witnessed significant progress with the establishment of world-class hotels, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. Yet, one major hurdle facing investors in this sector is the sustainability of the high-quality service that typically accompanies the launch of most world-class hotels, especially in Nigeria. Many businesses have faltered in keeping up with modern trends, leading to the collapse of other brands in the industry.
One notable exception is the multi-billion-dollar Wells Carlton Hotels & Apartments, which continues to set the standard in the hospitality industry. This architectural marvel is perched on the serene hilltop of Asokoro in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. It is renowned for offering high-quality luxury services and was the brainchild of the late Nigerian business mogul and philanthropist, Dr. Capt Idahosa Wells Okunbo.
The pursuit of luxury, lifestyle, and comfort drove the founder’s vision to embark on this massive six-star hotel project over a decade ago, effectively redefining the face of hospitality. Little wonder it’s often referred to as a ‘smiling hotel’ by its guests.
Wells Carlton Hotels & Apartments has maintained its status as an enviable brand, consistently delivering world-class services to a high-profile clientele. It has become one of the most sought-after destinations for holidaymakers and luxury enthusiasts.
Since its inception, the hotel has garnered several awards and accolades, including the Archibuilt Award of Excellence in Hospitality (2019), the International Standard Excellence Award for Reliable Hotel (2022), the Nigeria Entrepreneur Award as Hotel of the Year (2019), Jumia Travel Hotel of the Year (2019), and most recently, the Richard George Foundation Award (2023).
A recent visit to this global brand confirms its commitment to enhancing and adding value to its services, despite economic challenges resulting from fluctuating foreign exchange rates.
Speaking about the milestones achieved, Jerry Opiughie, the Marketing Director responsible for ensuring the brand’s success and quality, attributed Wells Carlton’s achievements to the wisdom and leadership of the present chairman, Osahon Okunbo.
“Our current chairman, Osahon Okunbo, is a visionary leader who has demonstrated remarkable strength and wisdom, not only at Wells Carlton but in other businesses he is involved with. The signature is also a part of the brand, and the chairman is also looking at expansion because we can’t keep up with guest demand.
In addition to fulfilling its mission, Opiughie highlighted that privacy and the serene environment are some of the hotel’s greatest strengths.
“People are enjoying our food; we upgrade our rooms yearly to meet customer expectations. The brand has immense potential in the international market, with clientele that spans not just locally but also internationally.
Organizations like the United Nations, the World Bank, ECOWAS, and other international NGOs choose Wells Carlton as a venue for their meetings and accommodations. Wells Carlton is renowned for hosting high-net-worth individuals.
As the Christmas season approaches, Opiughie noted that it is a time when the management rolls out innovative plans for customers and engages in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities to support the less privileged.
“Our culture is to come up with promotional packages for families and individuals. Our promotional activities will begin in the first week of December, featuring giveaways and promotional activities. We also plan to give back to the community as part of our CSR by visiting IDP camps, making donations, and spreading love.”