Compared to Lagos and Abuja, Benin City offers a better choice of hotels...in terms of variety and value for money. That's probably because Benin City buzzes with life around the weekend...it seems people from the surrounding area come over to Benin City on the weekends for a bit of fun and frolic.
From all accounts, the Randheki Royal Hotel is probably Benin's best hotel. The Sage Hotel surely takes the second spot. Small boutique establishment with 30 odd rooms and exquisitely decorated with Nigerian arts and crafts all over. Its like a museum. Please see the pics I have uploaded. The hotel's website www.thesagehotels.com has many more pics and the rooms, pool, restaurants etc look exactly like they show on the site.
Location: Conveniently close to the airport...just about 5 mins drive. Its located within a green, leafy, gated secure area with bunglow type houses, parks and grounds.
Safety & Security: I have visited Nigeria several times and have traveled extensively around. People will constantly caution you about security. I have personally never faced security issues but it makes sense to be cautious. Quite safe to walk around outside the hotel during daytime. But best to be driven around by a local driver after dusk. Within the hotel its absolutely safe.
Rooms: The standard rooms are not large...but adequate. One does not feel cramped. The suites with a separate sitting area is value for money at just about 50% more than the standard rooms. During my recent stay with colleagues, we paid about Naira 18K (USD 120) for the standard rooms and Naira 25K (USD 170) for a suite. But rates vary wildly depending whether its a weekday or weekend. On weekends, rates shoot up!
Eat & Drink: The restaurant has limited choice but service is good, quality excellent and portions large. Hugely enjoyed their Prawn preparations. But at breakfast times service might get a tad slow. But the best part is...restaurant open 24x7. All items on the menu available round the clock.
Service & Facilities: Small but lovely pool in a shady green surroundings. Nice to sit out after dusk by the poolside with a drink. You can hire reliable and dependable cars from the hotel. For safety reason, would strongly suggest using hotel cars rather than hire vehicles from outside. Unless ofcourse your local partners have made transport arrangements. There are smoking as well as non-smoking rooms. Check-in and check-out might take time. The front desk staff are friendly and helpful but systems and processes are a tad slow. Room service is good. Housekeeping is erratic so you might need to remind a couple of times. Free and reasonably fast internet access in all rooms.
Negatives...The hotel does not have a lift. Luggage has to be hauled up the stairs to the first/second floor. But bell boys are there to help you. Other than that...nothing else except that Benin City by itself is hardly an appealing sort of place! And the airport is in crying need of a makeover.