Whatever it is that draws you to Nigeria – wanders through Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove, a lush rainforest home to alligators and monkeys; or scales up mountainous Olumo Rock, a granite outcrop with spiritual significance – the right hotel will take your trip from good to great. Here’s our pick from the capital, Abuja, to the coastal hub of Lagos – bookable on Culture Trip.
Book into a boutique stay and you’ll get a real sense of place, with local design, intimate vibes and personalised service to welcome you back after a day exploring a countryside nature reserve or hitting the shops in Lagos.
Set in swish Ikoyi, the most exclusive neighbourhood in Lagos, the George is a stylish pick for business travellers looking to combine the corporate essentials – meeting rooms, private dining room, breakout lounge – with a little bit of luxury. Spacious rooms are dressed in steely greys, with juicy pops of red; the largest, a two-bedroom penthouse, comes with a kitchenette and a terrace overlooking the city. If you don’t want to head out for meals, buffets dish up the likes of saucy ribs and crisp spring rolls.
The understated capital of Nigeria, Abuja, plays host to this upmarket hotel, sandwiched between national embassies in the Central Business District. Bold pops of colour – think gold button-back chairs and striped throw cushions – join a contemporary fusion restaurant and a serene al fresco pool area lined in foliage and loungers. Work up a sweat in the on-site gym, then pile the calories straight back on with fruity cocktails and snacks from the ZanziBar.
A short hop from Landmark Beach with its boardwalk and umbrellas, Maison Fahrenheit is all about the good life. A rooftop bar and lounge, Rue80, attracts a chic set after a clubby vibe and free-flowing bubbly, while a pool provides cooling respite from the relentless summer heat. Every room is styled differently, from crisp whites with rainbow colour pops to sleek charcoal, so put a request in with staff if you have a preference.
Glowing in hues of blue, red and purple, the mood lighting at the Mayhill brings a dash of slick urban atmosphere to this Lagos pile – a winning feature for disco-loving night owls. Classically styled rooms with crisp white sheets and flashes of red are a great place to crash after an evening on the town, but this hotel is also a prime pick for business travellers, given the rambling events spaces and on-site fine-dining restaurant. Sundowners are taken at the Sky Bar, an al fresco space overlooking the city.
It may be conveniently located in the heart of Lagos, minutes from Ikoyi Bridge, but there’s no real need to leave the Wheatbaker – it has everything you need. Tummy rumbling? Take your pick from an all-day deli, an African-inspired grill restaurant or a chilled-out bar with wine and snacks. Fancy a bit of downtime? The boutique spa treatment rooms, a slick gym with floor-to-ceiling windows or the outdoor pool, kissed by the Nigerian sun, are all at the ready.
When coming to Ibadan, one of Nigeria’s most populous cities, it pays to book into the Adis Hotel. It has a leafy outdoor garden terrace, lined in palms and potted blooms, and the friendly staff will make sure you want for nothing, whether you’re after a chicken escalope in the eclectic restaurant or freshly laundered sheets to cover your cushy memory-foam bed. Rooms are simple but comfy, with whitewashed walls and tiled floors.
If you couldn’t guess from the name, a Scandi-style sleekness pervades this Abuja hotel, a cosy 15-room pick just 10 minutes from the city centre. Expect blond woods, cool charcoal and light-blue tones in rooms, and shared spaces with statement pendant lights. Free daily laundry (up to four items) is a major perk, as is guest access to a nearby pool, gym and spa.
The big sister hotel to the Nordic Villa, this larger-scale hotel – it has 46 rooms – is set in peaceful Mabushi, and comes with private balconies, rainforest showers and sleek Scandi-style design. A sprawling gym, the largest in the city, and a pool fringed in umbrellas will give you plenty of opportunity to unwind, though business travellers will also find plenty of tranquil corners to check emails or sip coffees with a colleague. Let the front desk sort your airport transfer to make your stay extra breezy.
The outdoor space at this Lagos outpost is the top reason to choose the Blowfish: a sapphire pool, with tanning deck and comfy seating, plus a covered bar area, means you can spend every waking minute unwinding outdoors. That’s not to say that the interior isn’t enticing: classic rooms with wooden furniture and warm lighting have everything you need for a tip-top stay. Ask staff to book you into one of the hotel’s neighbouring sister restaurants – La Veranda turns out Italian cuisine, and you’ll find Japanese nibbles at Izanagi.
Bogobiri House has been welcoming guests in Lagos for nearly two decades, and it’s still one of the best places in the city to experience proper Nigerian culture. Colourful local art dots the walls, sculptures grace the outdoors and a traditional wooden roof covers public spaces – there’s a distinctly Lagos lilt here that you won’t find in many of the city’s more contemporary pads, and it feels as much a gallery as it does a hotel. Plan your stay to coincide with one of the popular live-music evenings.
This is an updated version of an article originally by Cynthia Okoroafor.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.