Jonas Schwarz Lausten, a Danish entrepreneur is one of the founders of Nordic Villa, a private boutique hotel in Abuja, Nigeria. Lausten and his partners decided to build a boutique hotel with a Scandinavian theme because they saw a gap in the hospitality industry.
Hotels in Nigeria are rather expensive. Service is horrible, there is no internet and bed linens are not clean. Nordic Villa has 4 rooms, two offices and a meeting room. Walls were painted white and furnished with furniture from IKEA. The founders did not think twice about purchasing expensive internet connection because they wanted to be the first in Abuja to provide online booking.
The rooms that were named after Scandinavian capitals cost about $100 per night a third of what a visitor will pay on the more decent Nigerian hotels. After two months in business, Abuja Villa was rated number one by Trip Advisor in Abuja, ahead of Sheraton and Hilton Hotels. When Lausten knew that their boutique hotel made it to the top, they realized that there was really a big gap in the market they entered.
Since then, the Nordic Villa has expanded with the Nordic Hotel as the newest. For the 4th year in a row, the Nordic Villa has won the Traveller’s Choice for Best Service. However, there are still challenges that have to be overcome like constant power cuts. Everybody needs a backup generator to provide power during a power outage.
Air conditioners are also indispensable because of the warm weather in Nigeria which means using more energy. In order to minimize the carbon footprints of Nordic Villa, plastic bottles and metal cans are collected and recycled. Rooms do not include refrigerators because they consume too much energy. LED bulbs are used and indoor plants are everywhere to make air better and cleaner.
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