‘When it comes to maintenance, our scorecard is 100 per cent’
Oyeniyi Matthew Abiodun is the General manager of Le Paris Continental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos. In this interview, he spoke on the hotel and it’s unique selling point and the resolve to sustain the standard.
Tell us about Le Paris Continental Hotel?
Le Paris Continental Hotel is a boutique cum business hotel, purposely located in the residential heart of Lekki Phase 1. Styled and fashioned with the Parisian antiques, coloured themes and tastes, the 40-room hotel is lavishly designed and with mouth watering dishes, superior cocktails, a lively outdoor bar and lounge, spa and gym, with a comfortable venue for exquisite banquet/event hall. It’s value for your money at the Le Paris Continental Hotel.
What do you consider as the unique selling point of the hotel?
The truth is that Le Paris Continental is corporately reserved and it’s also lover’s Hangout arena. Suffice to say is the mouth-watering dishes that make stays worth spending.
What’s the actual rating of the hotel?
Rating in the hotel industry is a major concern and for buyer’s right, the authorities might need to wade in for standard sake. Internationally wise, you rate hotel based on the service it provides. So many big properties do not have some qualities that qualify them for a 4 star (****), but they are claiming to be 5 star (*****). Some of those services include a standard gym, swimming pool, spa, bar, lounge, beauty shop, in room mini bar, self ironing board, perimeter fence equipped with functioning CCTV cameras, business centres, car parking space and others. Then you begin to look into room categorisation, online presence etc; none of these is missing in my hotel. We have not placed emphasis on rating, as there is no clear-cut rating parameter in the state or country to measure. But with afore listed, I leave you to rate us.
How has the experience been so far?
It has been remarkable and awesome. If you have a product that over 35% of your weekly patronage is consumed by the Nigerian Nollywood stars, with constant requests from international business moguls, then the experience can only get better.
What are the challenges involved in running hotel in Nigeria?
Like every other institution in Nigeria and perhaps all over the world, hotel management is not exempted from its supposed but similar encounters, some of which are socio-economic factor. It is pretty expensive running hotel in our country because of power, high cost of importation, continuous sustenance of quality maintenance, engaging industry veterans.
Cheap patronage is also a major challenge; hotel users want to have everything without commensurate value. It does not work like that else no hotel will survive. There’s also the issue of involvement of Travel Agencies in the business; most of the so-called travel agencies are not producing result, yet they get hotel management to crash rate, which in turns damage the hotels ADR (Average Daily Rate) and eventually collapse her REVPAR (Revenue Per Average Room).
Suppliers/Contractors are other problems; you must be on top of the game if you do not want these sets of guys to send you out of business. The advantage reads more for chain hotels that has a household firm managing all these needs. Debt Exposure is another scourge you must battle to survive.
Amongst so many other ones, you must also note that running qualitative on-the-job training for your manpower is a challenge. Forget all those, who go online to copy one material or the other; even those that subscribed for quality materials are not good enough because of the peculiarity of the industry. ‘If you must be a professional hotelier, you must graze it from the scratch.’
How have you managed to sustain the business and maintain your standards?
Ideally, the reason the property remained trendy after five years is because the management and in particular the owning hand are not settling for less when it comes to maintenance, our scorecard is 100 per cent and that will continue to be our passion; I can guarantee you on that.