Lagos, Nigeria

A prediction: You’ll start planning a trip to Lagos soon. Why? It’s the largest city in not only Nigeria but all of Africa. It’s home to an interesting mix of European colonial and ultramodern architecture. It’s a creative hub for foodies, musicians, and film buffs. Its sandy beaches overlook the Gulf of Guinea. Plus a new national airline is about to make travel to the West African country a whole lot easier.

So where should you stay in Lagos? The easy answer is Ikoyi. The affluent neighborhood sits at the edge of the Lagos Lagoon. It’s home to government buildings, boutique-filled Awolowo Road, the Nigerian headquarters of Google, and some of the priciest real estate in Africa. It’s also where you’ll find three comfortable boutique hotels.

Photo: The George Lagos

The newest hotel is your first option. The George opened three years ago and quickly became known for its impeccable service. Its 60 rooms feature marble floors, sleek gray tones, and pops of red. The red accents extend into the furniture of the Da Vinci Bar. Chandeliers and pool views add to its elegance. The attached Da Vinci Restaurant is famous for its afternoon tea and Sunday brunch. But your favorite spot will be the Otium Terrace for classic cocktails back by the pool.

Photo: Legacy Hotels

If you’re attracted to sleek, modern spaces, you’ll also want to check out the Wheatbaker. The similarly sized hotel has a spa in addition to its pool. The whirlpool tub in your room will help keep you relaxed long after your massage ends, as well. Instead of red, the rooms have purple and gold accents around their black furniture and sitting areas. The minimal rooms make the artwork downstairs—the current mixed media, photography, and sculpture exhibit is Wanderlust—stand out even more. Plus you shouldn’t miss the bean porridge for breakfast in the Saraya Deli and a glass of Champagne at the Eko Bar.

Photo: Bogobiri House

But, if art is truly your focus, you might prefer Bogobiri House. This casual, quirky spot is more than just a hotel; it’s a creative hub. It has a picture-filled library. The Nimbus Gallery, across the street, has wooden sculptures, an outdoor restaurant, and a stage for live music. Orishirishi TakeAway, as well as Bamboo Restaurant, serve authentic Nigerian food, including edikaikong (vegetable soup), egg mondial (a mixture of green pepper, red pepper fish, and prawns), and seafood okra. While each of its 16 rooms was individually designed by a local artist. It’s a true taste of African heritage. Now you just have to book that flight.

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