MEA Business Awards 2022

MEA Business Awards 2022 41 Dec22433 The luxury market is a vast goliath, playing a role in almost all economies on the planet. While many people want a piece of this pie, it’s a notoriously challenging environment to find success. Of course, some make it look easy – and that certainly applies to our dual award winner The Wheatbaker. We spoke with General Manager Simon Grindrod to find out more. “The Art of Hospitality.” The Wheatbaker has become synonymous with excellence in the luxury hotel space. Aimed towards the corporate traveller, it offers a premier experience in the residential heart of Ikoyi, Nigeria. Competitively positioned in the Lagos business districts, it has become a mainstay and stalwart of the city, renowned for its boutique approach to hospitality. For Simon, the boutique approach has served to distinguish the hotel in the global market, as he explains in more detail. “The Wheatbaker is, primarily, an art hotel. Art is an intrinsic part of The Wheatbaker, and as such, we have art works on display throughout the hotel – the reception and lobby areas, restaurant and pool side, as well as the Grill room terrace. We run art exhibitions every two to three months, which has cultivated a strong reputation among the greater art community.” For the hotel, being boutique means offering a level of care, consideration, and creativity to the expected and usual hospitality experience. This isn’t just a hotel, it is a gallery, a place where art and function meet in glorious equilibrium. The Wheatbaker stands as a statement, then. An idea for what the hotelier experience could be, the potential of it. Of course, this only works if the aforementioned expected luxury qualities are present, and guests can rest assured that this is absolutely the case. “We have a full-service spa, an outdoor pool, a fitness centre, a steam room, pool bar, conference centre and business centre – we aim to fulfil every need, every requirement of our guests,” Simon adds. Across its 63 rooms, The Wheatbaker maintains its trademark luxury through small, personable touches and choices. All of the standard amenities are present, plus luxury private bathrooms, electronic safes, a doctor on call, airport shuttle, valet service, concierge desk, and delicatessen, among many other options. For all of these reasons, and many more besides, the hotel was recognised in the MEA Business Awards. Its future is certainly promising, with a firm foundation already in place it is sure to become a leader in the luxury space. Behind the Name “Amos Stanley Wynter Shackleford was born in the Maroon community of Charlestown, near Buff bay, Portland, Jamaica, in 1887. His father, Edwin Shackleford, was a saddlemaker. In 1903 he got a job with the Government Railway, starting at 15 shillings a week. By 1912 he had worked as agent at various stations across the island and was earning 45 shillings a week. When jobs on the Nigerian Railway were advertised in Jamaica, he took the opportunity offered and left for West Africa in 1913. About that time there was a downturn in the economy , Shackleford , with his wife’s help, went into business on his own, setting up a bakery on a small domestic scale. This business flourished, and Shackleford introduced new production and marketing methods. The business expanded into other Nigerian towns, and in the 1930s into the then Gold Coast and he became known as the ‘Bread King’ and the bread as ‘Shackleford’. He eventually sold out and retired in 1950. He was also involved in transport and gas retailing businesses, and the importation of Jamaican rum. He was an important pioneering industrialist and entrepreneur. The spirit of Amos Stanley shines through in defining the essence of The Wheatbaker . He was an outgoing personality who loved to entertain and a noteworthy stylish dresser . Shackleford was one of the only expatriates who completely integrated into Lagos life even becoming an honorary member of the political party that was fighting for independence from colonial rule. Amos Stanley Wynter Shackleford built his home here at 4, Lawrence Road in 1950 but never lived here. Over 50 year later, the building served as an inspiration to develop the hotel. Inspired by the story of Mr Amos Stanley Wynter Shackleford we coin the name .. The Wheatbaker in his honor.” The Wheatbaker Website: Telephone: + 234(1) 277 3560 / + 234(1) 9067 100 / + 234(1) 9067 199 Address: 4 Onitolo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria Luxury Boutique Hotel of the Year - Lagos & Hospitality Excellence Award - MEA