Former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan and her hotel
Former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan and her hotel

SIMON UTEBOR, who was at the Aridolf Resort Wellness and Spa, said to be owned by former first lady, Patience Jonathan, writes about the luxury in the edifice

From afar, the sheer magnificence of the Aridolf Resort Wellness and Spa, strategically positioned in the heart of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, draws a first-time visitor into a lavish embrace.

Arguably the most prestigious hotel in the oil-rich state, the edifice is located in Okaka Estate, along Isaac Adaka Boro Expressway, which is close to a popular night club, Bolex.

The five star hotel sprawls over a large expanse of land complementing the surroundings of the residential estate which boasts of the choicest edifices and castles in the whole of Bayelsa.

The Hotel
The Hotel

Before May 2015, beyond the opulence oozing from the impressive building, Aridolf was also like a presidential fortress, with the presence of soldiers and members of other security agencies, apparently on sentry duty, manning the gates and other strategic areas.

But it all changed when Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party lost the 2015 presidential election, which saw the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as President and the All Progressives Congress as the ruling party.

While the imposing Aridolf still retains its grandeur, the air of presidential security and protected serenity has since disappeared, as only private guards and plainclothes security personnel are seen around the area.

A first time visitor or guest would still marvel at the sprawling architectural masterpiece spread across four buildings with a fountain strategically positioned for aesthetic effect. The fountain is encased with bulbs of different colours shining from beneath it, producing a colourful shade of glamour and extravagance.

One of the least expensive rooms in the hotel
One of the least expensive rooms in the hotel

Inside the compound, tarred with interlocking tiles all round, is a spacious car park that can conveniently accommodate hundreds of vehicles. Other facilities offered at the property include a nightclub, meeting facilities and a shared lounge.

Established to mainly cater for Nigeria’s elite, the Aridolf offers indoor pools, a spa and wellness centre as well as free WiFi access for visitors and guests. Its opulence is further showcased in the hotel’s reception area, with expensive artworks, gold-plated furniture and imposing landscapes on display. There is also a chandelier providing artificial lights from the Plaster of Paris ceiling and walls.

The hotel’s lobby has a strong, sweet-smelling fragrance which gives the impression that it has a style, taste and class exclusively preserved for the rich and famous.

The Aridolf boasts of about 200 rooms including suites. The price of the rooms ranges from N15, 700 to N367, 500.

According to the hotel’s room rates, a standard room costs N15, 700; deluxe room costs N31, 500; a junior suite is N56, 700 and the executive room is N75, 600. The Presidential suite goes for N315, 000 while the price of the Royal suite is N367, 500. All the costs are inclusive of value-added tax charges.

Most of the categories of rooms are fully furnished with air conditioners, fridges, TV sets with satellite channels, good toilet systems, cold and hot water facilities, WIFI, among others. The only significant difference between the classes of rooms is essentially the bed and space. They all have similar features.

patience-jonathan

The hotel serves local and intercontinental dishes with prices from N2, 000 upwards.

At one of their bars, christened Paradise Bar, different variety of drinks such as beer, wine, whiskey, gin, fruit juice, among others, are served. Our correspondent learnt that the management had to reduce prices of the drinks because of the economic recession in the country. The price of beer now goes for between N500 and N600 against their initial N800 and N1, 000 price tags.

A guest can enjoy a view of the city’s skyline from almost all the rooms. In addition, the hotel has a beverage centre, business centre with full Internet access, fitness centre, kitchenette, restaurants, wheelchair access and airport transportation.

One of the workers in the hotel, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the former first lady was involved in the running of Aridolf, despite the fact that the hotel has a general manager, as well as managers and supervisors.

The source noted Mrs. Jonathan was always available in the hotel to provide effective supervision.

“When she came here last week, she ensured that she put everything in place before she left,” the source said, adding that while the former first lady also owns another hotel in Otuoke, her husband’s country home, she frequents Aridolf more.

A bed in the room
A bed in the room

The source said, “Aridolf is a hotel after the former first lady’s heart. She is the super supervisor. At times, she holds meetings with the employees. At such meetings, she usually teaches us about business relations, how to woo and retain customers, among other things.”

Our correspondent also gathered that despite the price of the rooms, the hotel enjoys high patronage from guests, who are mostly politicians, oil and gas workers, businessmen, foreigners and some middle income earners.

A royal suite which cost almost N400, 000 per night is often occupied, said another employee, who noted with pride that “Aridolf has everything one can think of. It is a place for recreation, wellness and all what one desires in a hotel.”

Despite its opulence, some parts of the hotel seem to have suffered some deterioration due to the topography of Bayelsa State.

A restaurant in the hotel
A restaurant in the hotel

At the balcony in the Paradise Bar, our correspondent noticed a leaky roof after a downpour during the week. The rain also flooded some area of the bar, soaking some portions of the synthetic rugs decorating the place.

A guest blamed the development on poor architectural and structural designs of the building.

The guest, who did not give his name, said the building was suffering from an assemblage of expensive fittings but lacked proper finishing.

He said, “The chairs and other furniture at the lobby are very expensive. They were imported. But those who supplied some of the materials cheated the owner. Some of the materials are only shinning but they are not durable. That is why you see that some parts of the hotel are deteriorating.

“The saving grace for the building is the tiles used to design the hotel structure. The tiles are the ones covering the defects in the building. Remove the tiles and the building will have serious problems. It is suffering from architectural and structural defects.”

Source: Punch

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197 COMMENTS

  1. and then, u all crucified the president’s wife for carrying a bag of 4million. you guys are shouting, there’s nothing wrong in owning 10bn hotel just because you think ministers have hotels too, and we think buhari is the cause of our problems. we can’t afford to buy a bag of rice, a night in that hotel will buy more than enough. president’s wife owning more than what we can afford.
    all of them are mad and the thunder that will fire them will be like drug prescription.

  2. Is a big lie why are you guys trying to spoil this lady’s Name, is only the presidential suit that’s 37,000 with four rooms and pallor, please mind what you upload stop creating awareness..

  3. This is absolutely not true, saying from the point of view of a direct witness – there is no room in this hotel that cost that amount. I have stayed here for months. Come to think of it, even if it cost so much, what about it? People are saying she stole public money to build the hotel – and I say well done ma’am for investing the money in a Nigeria by building the hotel in Nigeria and employing people in Nigeria to work there. You people should leave her and her family alone, they deserve respect please.

  4. Some bornified looters will keep up surpporting this looter ,because they are genetically modified money Mungers. One is even saying there is noting wrong in owning 10bn hotel for god sake .is she d president.

  5. Some ppl don’t see anything wrong simply because she’s from their tribe, but imagine if all president wives take this much, what will be left for the poor masses, but come to think of it., 10bn means u have to spend 100million a year for 100 years before it finishes.

  6. Whether Na one naira, whether Na one million, mummy P did less work during her tenure for the country and more embezellment… Political appointments are sweet but it’s better to do things that would favour the common man while eating undisclosed funds by the side, it’s simply not fair. We are tolerant and patient in this country bcos survival is our everyday goal… It is well

  7. How can I believe this rubbish even if it is true is better because there is money in circulation compared to Buhari n Aisha who are spending there own abroad, all this they have bn gathering since where are they spending them, they are breaking the law of currency which is spend n circulate so that it will reach everybody if there is money in circulation people will not surfer much .

  8. nothing justifies stealing but for niger anything goes just go thru some comments and u go weep for niger in other countries even if u steal 1 dollar or u hv money u can’t account for hw u get u are in trouble but for niger pple defend stealing cus theives are made deacons in churches cus dem dey pay tithe and in their villages they are given cheiftancy titles no one cares to ask d source of income dats hw low niger has degenerated wen it comes to money

  9. Which one is this woman’s offence? Is it investing in Nigeria or building a luxury hotel? What of the people who embezzled our money and took it abroad to better outsiders? In my opinion, we should apply wisdom in all we do. The hotels that were seized from Dasuki and locked up rendered so many citizens jobless and in turn had a very negative effect on the economy of the nation at large. Another loss of jobs looms!!!

  10. Jonathan has been deputy guvnr,gvnr,vice presi,president,dnt u think they have been exposed to money,uf his wife can have all these,they have worked long in govt to own all these,so stop blaming them for their investment,wot about Buhari former old sch president nw present govt wit such bag that cost a fortune,a beg leave Patience alone

  11. Nigerians can judge people sha ,is it everything u see u can talk ,can’t u just comform before talking bad about her, go Google type d name of d hotel and check HW much to spend a night there haba no wonder d country is not moving forward ,people just open mouth and talk anyhow without confirming if it is true or not . good luck to Nigeria

  12. I don’t know why Nigerians especially our journalists likes magnifying issues. Why are u giving us this info.?what value does it add to our life? The fact that she’s been investigated by our so called EFCC is not enough reason for us to start digging. Let he who is without sin cast d first stone. The herdsmen are everywhere killing innocent citizen,nobody is saying anything about it,companies are closing down and ppl are losing their jobs and so on,no one is saying anything about it. We just derive pleasure in prying into other ppls aware and our own house is on fire. If we can stop judging other ppl and concentrate on building our own life, Nigeria will be a better place.

  13. Let these woman be, what of oriental hotel in Lagos own by tinubu which cost 500,000# per night, y is EFCC not after buhari wife who was seen carrying a bag worth 40millon and expensive jewelries Worth millions of naira, barely a year and six month his husband became the president. During Jonathan time money was in circulation and no complains, why must buhari and his family enjoy in secret while the whole Nigeria suffer in hunger

  14. Una no go go check other people property na patience own una like look abi mtcheeew abeg make una leave her oh at least she build the hotel for naija and has created jobs for a few how about those that won’t even invest in Nigeria but can take our money outside the country

  15. Dear John Etim, I totally agree with you cos, the money wasn’t stolen and spent outside Nigeria like others did. Na only she get sense to Waka pass because she knows that there’s is God o! She worked for the Government and she got paid while working for the government. Make una rest for our matter. Just trying to make common sense! Thank you!

  16. This country country does not like good things that’s there is Boko Haram etc., full of envy and jealousy. They should leave Mrs Jonathan alone, she has made there is nothing they can do about it. Probe the likes of Dambazu, Amaechi, Burutai etc

  17. All the past leaders of this country are criminal’s and corrupt. Imagine every past leaders of this country has oil blocks. So what are we talking about. If Mr president cannot retrieve all the oil block back to this nation, it means he is there for interest I mean oil block as past a leader who was forced out of office and corrected everything from him. Pls read history before you talk

  18. 367,000 per night.what is so special in that Hotel.hmm!Nja because she is from the south, you guys are defending her.can she worth such money with her sweat?why must you show sentiment so clear.haba!

  19. So what? At least she provided employment and tried to make her future secure so that she won’t have to go stealing ,begging or borrowing there after.if she stole to get there forgive her she just did what others did. All Nigerian politicians are thieves it just the magnitude…

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