Business | 13 Sep 2014 | By Sun International
A Legend of Giants
If you're wondering where to stay in Lagos, the Federal Palace Hotel and Casino is one of Nigeria's premier corporate travel destinations and is located in the commercial hub of Victoria Island. Here, business giants from across the globe meet, work and play in a sophisticated environment that boasts a full portfolio of corporate travel amenities, including a world-class executive business centre and on-site banking facilities.
Besides sharing prime real estate with oil, banking, finance, transport and other major commercial venues, this 5-star hotel in Nigeria also offers 9 fully-equipped conference and meeting venues that are able to host up to 500 corporate guests. For intimate lunch meetings, the Ancestors Spirit and Wine Bar is a great place to close deals.
The Federal Palace not only offers a convenient backdrop for big business, the hotel is also steeped in history and its spirit intertwined in a legend that is larger-than-life. If you're doing business at the Federal, one of the most iconic hotels in Lagos, you're in the presence of the spirits of legendary giants.
Deep in the forests of ancient Africa, there once lived men so tall they could look over the trees. When they spoke, the leaves trembled and the earth shuddered at their every step.
These monolithic men, who ruled over the lush green forests and jagged mountains, are the royal ancestors of Nigeria's children. According to legend, they possessed great wisdom, and carried with them an effigy of Africa's heart, imbued with her true spirit, or soul. Born of the richest soil of Africa and cast by the sun, this monument held the heritage of Nigeria's children.
The giants journeyed from all corners of Africa in search of a haven where this spirit and heritage could be protected for generations to come. They crossed wild rivers and strange tracts of land, until they came upon the Nigeria we know today. Here, with a view of the Atlantic Ocean, they buried Africa's heart.
Upon this sacred ground, the giants erected a proud monument – a palace that paid testament to the spirit of Africa. Anticipating the dawn, when this buried spirit would once again be free to rise from the foundations, the Federal Palace Hotel calls to great men and woman from near and far to walk tall, and stand as giants among men.
Besides being rooted in larger-than-life mythology, the Federal Palace Hotel is inextricably intertwined with Nigeria's history.
Built at the time of Nigeria's dawning independence, the iconic hotel started life as The Victoria Beach Hotel in the 1950s, where, in 1960 it famously hosted the signing of Nigeria's Declaration of Independence.
The years, however, have not always been kind to the grand hotel. The hotel fell into disrepair following its initial heyday, and at one point was beset by so many structural issues that it had to shut its doors to the public for an extended time.
But those days are a thing of the past. After enjoying a multi-million dollar facelift, the Federal Palace has reclaimed its place as one of Nigeria's finest hotels.
In a class of its own, the hotel has been privy to some pivotal historical moments. Besides the signing of Nigeria's Declaration of Independence, the hotel's Independence Hall hosted the official follow-up independence celebrations, as well as the summit of Heads of State of the African Union and the Festival of African Arts and Culture – two historical events hosted by Nigeria in 1977.
Many royal guests have stayed at this grandest of hotels in Lagos, Nigeria, too, including Princess Alexandra – granddaughter of King George V and Queen Mary – who attended the official independence celebrations in 1963.
And in the true spirit of the legend of the giants and the heritage they hoped to protect for generations to come, the Federal Palace Hotel is associated with the Heritage Environmental Programme, which serves to recognise and identify environmentally responsible companies and products in Nigeria.
The look and feel
At its official reopening in 2008, the Federal Palace Hotel and Casino's massive facelift was artfully connected to its equally large history in the destination's new logo. Capturing the property's sophisticated tone as well as its mammoth local personality, the logo depicts Afro-minimalist giants standing as tall as the legend of the hotel's iconic spirit.
Several elements of the original decor remain in place, not least the historic boardroom that hosted the birth of an independent Nigeria, which now makes up one of the main features of the hotel's casino. Staying true to its grandiose past, each of the Federal Palace's luxurious rooms blend contemporary decor with the elements of the hotel's fascinating history.
At the end of the day, when you're toasting your business success while taking in the sweeping view of the Atlantic Ocean, it's easy to imagine you're standing head-and-shoulders above the rest of the world.
At the Federal Palace Hotel, you truly are surrounded by the spirits of giants.