If we had to pick one thing that affects guests’ happiness the most in the hospitality industry, it would be the architecture and design of a hotel with its internal equipment. Any hotel’s layout and design conveys a tale and entirely shapes the guests’ experience while they are there.
You can get this experience at Four Palms Residence, which is situated in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory. The hospitality sector is experiencing a new era of comfort thanks to Four Palms Residence.
You will discover when you enter that it is more than just a hotel—it is an experience. Its interiors expertly meld artistic elements for a minimalist design with the ideal amount of color splashes. Each room is a visual treat with elegant art accents that are unique to each one. Everyone can appreciate well-curated paintings, sculptures, and woodworks that are on exhibit in public spaces.
Sir. Charles Dennis Oguamanam, the Chairman and CEO of Four Palms Residence, spoke passionately about the hotel and what motivated him to enter the hospitality sector in an exclusive interview with Business Review Africa Magazine and team.
May we meet you?
My name is Sir Charles Dennis Oguamanam. I am a pharmacist, builder and presently hotelier. This is my first hotel that I am putting up. The hotel is such that I needed something different. I am well-traveled; I have been to places and seen so many things. With this, I have a creative mind. I told myself that whenever I was going to set up my hotel, I was going to do something different, something not usual, something that will keep people thinking and wanting to return. I am a very creative person by nature. I do not do regular things. I think outside the box.
Take us through the history of Four Palms Residence
The Four Palms Residence is surrounded by a variety of things. I refer to it as my passion. It’s something I built for enjoyment, and I had pleasure creating and constructing it. I didn’t construct it for financial gain or profit. It’s more engaging because I was able to bring what was in my brain. Even so, I had a hard time connecting it to the architect.
It is something everybody wanted to be part of. I tell them what direction. It is something that was in my head I needed to let out
By chance, Four Palms Residence got its moniker. Because I adore art, nature, and the color green, it just so happens that we had four palm trees during the reconstruction. I urged the engineers to avoid torching the four palms and the flowers. We continued to work around the plants until we needed to construct a fountain. At that point, I had my workers place specific items around the plants as protection, and I then began a scuttle thread, claiming that nothing should happen to my four palm trees I adore the idea of being greeted by it as you enter. As a result, everyone made fun of this situation.
I overheard one of my employees’ remark to the man fixing the fountain, “Please whatever you will do, make sure nothing happens to the boss’s four palms because the boss loves them so much.” Since my car was tinted and I was riding with a friend, he was unaware that I was in the vehicle. When I heard that, I hurriedly put my glass down and requested him to say it again. He said, “I’m just telling my colleague to be extra careful and not let anything happen to your four palm trees because you love them,” with fear in his voice. So I said that was it right away.
Without wasting any time, I took up the phone and called my lawyer, telling him that this place’s name is Four Palms Residence. This is how the name Four Palms Residence came to be. Four Palms Residence has been around for about three years at this point
What makes four palm unique among other hotels in Abuja?
Our hospitality includes a warm greeting. Guests will immediately see the deliberate care we take with Four Palms Residence. They will notice right from the entrance the attention to detail. I could spend so much money on things others see as a waste. For me, I do it because of my love for art and the environment; for me, those expenditures are just a little part of the adventures. I have friends that have hotels, and I tell them if you don’t give people something to think about when they leave your place, you have done nothing. You have to give them a reason to return. Something that, when they compare it with other places, they will also want to come back to. When I was designing the Four Palms Residence, I started from the gate, even from the number of the building. I invested time and effort into creating a space that is as unique as a person’s imagination during the planning, design and construction of Four Palms Residence so that everyone who visits would feel at home and have a memorable experience. There is nothing too formal about Four Palms’ Residence.
The hotel’s entryway serves as the first point of contact for guests. Since the entrance determines the guest’s first impression, it is essential to set them up for success right away. We make sure that the entrance’s aesthetics match our vision So, from the moment you enter, comfort will take on a new meaning with our blend of art and luxury.
I designed Four Palms Residence, which is to say that I worked on its architecture as a hobby and a passion in my own art. In addition, I want to let you know that before the pharmacist swallowed me whole, I used to sketch.
My goal was to provide my guests with a lavish lifestyle and comfortable accommodations while also letting them take in the surrounding art scene. I make sure that every room and corner has a touch of art and a purpose.
The arrangement and architecture of the reception area provide a feeling of closeness, which, when paired with the friendly welcome from our team, reassures the guest that choosing the four palm residence was the right decision.
We turned the lobby into the main attraction of Four Palms Residence. Guest frequently congregate in this area, and the distinctive aesthetics inspire them to take photos and post them on social media, giving us free publicity and drawing in more customers.
We consider every small detail when developing and constructing Four Palms Residence. Because of our architecture and design, guests have great experiences that result in positive reviews and increased sales.
The socializing and recreation areas at Four Palms Residence, including the restaurant, the pool, and the breakfast and lounge rooms, are crucial components that enhance the overall experience of our guests. The common rooms showcase Four Palm Residence’s trademark, giving guests a joyful and exciting experience.
There is nothing too formal about Four Palms’ Residence. We therefore say, “You can check out whenever you like, but you can never leave.” You prolong your stay at Four Palms Residence, not your wallet.
In the course of building this place, I visited somewhere in Lagos called Nike Art Gallery. When I got in there, I could not leave. I spent three hours at that place looking at every picture and every detail, and I asked myself, “Why can’t a place this big have some rooms so that we can lodge in them so that when we come out we can keep enjoying this scene?” This is not something we just see and leave. I love that place so much. So, since I love it so much, I could actually achieve it with Four Palms Residence. So the theme here is a blend of art and luxury living. The whole thing is that we are going to give you a luxury lifestyle while you are here, and at the same time, you will be enjoying the whole art effect.
I was able to send that message to people. We spent quite a fortune buying art works here. So, whoever loves art and nature that walks in here, is not possible for you to walk in and just go. And you can never see enough of it because there is just too much to see. It is not just the outside of the reception. I took it all the way in.
It took me three years to build this place. On a good day, it would have taken me less than a year to build this place, but it took three years because I made sure every room had my touch, every corner had a purpose, and every lane had a reason. I could actually answer questions about this place, letting you know why we let go of a portion of it. It is all about that dream and passion. I am happy that so far we have been able to send that message. We built the pool bar with Wrought and Bricks, so when we were done with the pool bar, whoever came in there was like, “Wow, this place is amazing. What do you call this place?
When I was looking for a perfect name for the pool bar, my friend kept asking me what it will be called, I told them I had no idea. So, in the course of having a chat with a friend, he said this place is filled with Wrought and Bricks and I immediately said that is the name.
So, it’s just a passion, and when you have a passion for something, answers just naturally come out.
What services do you offer?
The whole idea of this place is that when you are here, you do not want to leave. Like I said before, the idea of Four Palms Residence was not all about the money. For me, it was a passion. You see, the kind of people I relate with here are the kind of people I want to be with. I am a pharmacist; I import my brands; I do hospital equipment; and I do my site building. I am just content with that.
The idea and inspiration for Four Palms Residence came from love rather than purely financial considerations. However, the passion finally became what I would refer to as a bonus.
During the planning stage, I decided not to fill up the place with rooms.
So, we also have offices for rent. We have a gym for exercise, a spa, and a café that give you the Hawaiian experience. We have a coffee shop, a pool bar, and a restaurant where people do come to eat, and because of the atmosphere here, intending couples do come to propose to their spouses. We also have a hall with room for 75 people that can be used for conferences, birthday get-togethers, and other small celebrations. In order to maintain our standard, we are very particular about the events we accept in our hall.
What kind of food is served at your restaurant?
We provide a variety of cuisines, including native foods from Nigeria, because many of our guests are from other countries. So, our guest consumed the soup and fish from our Nigerian dish. This guest was astounded; he claimed that he had expected something more formal and continental. Our regional cuisine is excellent.
In addition to the buffet, we also have a saxophone concert on Sunday evenings. Sunday night is a time for unwinding. Enjoy some tasty food and music while you relax.
I want you to talk to us about the overall idea behind the red piano.
You’ll concur with me that music is all art, and you already know that life is art and that the way we talk, walk, and dance is all art. If you enjoy good music, you’ve just lived a year longer. Like I said, I do not like the regular.
We decided to place the red piano there because guests frequent the café by the waterfall. We also have people frequent the lounge, and I thought it would be nice to enhance the lounge with something.
So, I continued searching for the ideal piano until one day, while driving, I spotted this red piano and thought, “Yes, this is what I’ve been looking for.”
Everyone wants to take a picture in front of the red piano because it is a symbol of Four Palms Residence. Therefore, it serves just to enhance the music and the whole atmosphere. The red piano cost us dearly. Again, that is exactly what we wanted to enhance in the lounge. The red piano is now synonymous with the Four Palms Residence
At Four Palms Residence, how many rooms are there?
We have roughly 22 rooms even though, as I’ve already mentioned, this place wasn’t established for the sake of profit but rather out of passion. Seven (7) single rooms, all suits for the remaining spaces. We also have this exact apartment, which has two bedrooms, an indoor dining area, a kitchen, and an enclosed yard. I spent a lot of time planning that specific apartment. You require an individual who comprehends your idea when you have one. That person was someone I found. The individuals who were going to work on the furniture needed to see something, but they were not understanding it from my descriptions. But with this guy, we were able to achieve our objectives. You might find it interesting to know that a majority of the Four Palms Residence’s furniture were made by Nigerians.
While creating the last room’s design. I told my staff to leave because I needed to think about the layout of the space. I was at the pool bar when I suddenly had a flash of the idea, so I rushed up and drew it. That is how I developed the layout for the previous apartment.
I observed there was no sign board on the way to Four Palms Residence, so how do people find this place?
When we started, we could have gotten up to forty rooms or fifty if we wanted, but that wasn’t the deal for the Four Palms Residence. Recall that I told you we have living rooms, kitchenettes, and seven single rooms. When we finally opened, I invited friends of like minds. At the time, we had just one wing ready for business, while the other wing was not ready due to cash constraints. We did not allow that to affect our operation. The first thing we did was get the reception, the wall wing, and the poolside ready. With the perfect ambience, we were set to go.
Wing A was completely occupied in days with the people I brought. We started work on Wing B using the advancements we made in Wing A.
I noticed how much people enjoyed the interior décor and atmosphere because they kept mentioning it. I had to schedule a discussion with my team.
I discovered that if we advertise like others do, we will lose quality guests because of the volume of individuals arriving even without the sign board. We are going to run into trouble because there aren’t many rooms available here, so I suggested that we refrain from posting signs to let people know. Despite this, we still have a steady stream of guests
A second Four Palms Residence outside of Abuja is planned, right?
Yes, we have ambitions to grow in Abuja as well as in Lagos, Anambra, and Owerri
How have you managed to uphold the norms, the corporate culture and the desired outcome?
Sincerely, managing people can be quite difficult, but I will admit that I have probably been fortunate in identifying talent, which has helped to keep us going. We are truly fortunate to have good hands. If there is a problem, we make sure to fix it right away so it doesn’t affect tomorrow. I’ve been able to instill this culture in my staff as a result. Also, I make sure that I end my evening here, which encourages them to always give it their all. I’ll just add that our personnel are excellent.
READ MORE :https://www.fourpalmsresidence.com/
Phone:+234 913 563 4046
Address: 38 Libreville Crescent, Wuse 2 900288, Abuja,Nigeria