Apo Apartment… Home away from home
A British and former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Grand Central Hotels in Kano, David Cook is currently the General Manager of Apo Apartment and Apo Hotels in Abuja. In this interview with MATTHEW OGUNDE, he revealed why Apo Apartment and Apo Hotels has remained the most convenient and secured place for Nigerians and expatriates.
Could you please tell us about Apo Apartment?
Apo apartment is a three star hotel; presently we have about 58 available rooms in different categories. While we call ourselves apartment, we have single rooms with kitchen some fully equipped, we have fully equipped apartment, which is two bedrooms of good qualities. In the process of renovating, we will open some of our rooms; we are building more rooms as well. We are looking forward to having about 70 single rooms in the process with bedrooms as well.
Other facilities we have is standard swimming pool with a pool bar, within the process of finishing our roof top bar, which is also next to the conference hall, the conference hall that is somewhere in the region will take more than 200 people and our meeting room will take 20 people. It’s a very nice and quiet environment, which has 24 hours security.
What’s your unique selling point as a hospitality outfit?
Our unique selling point is the secured and quiet environment; the quality service delivery with comfortable rooms, nice beds, comfortable pillows that will guarantee you a good night sleep. Besides, we are trying to improve on it daily.
How do you manage your staffs?
Financially and economically, we are managing to keep the business going, because we saw a high and good staff on time. Even if we have a bad month, we always make sure we get a lot of money to pay our staffs on time because if you stop paying your staffs like it happens in government agencies and other hotels, you end up getting poor services, which reflects on your customers.
What’s the major challenge in this line of business?
Infrastructure, light problem… everybody in Nigeria obviously want the best service, but they don’t always want to pay for it. Another thing is making sure you get the people that are willing to learn and not remaining stagnant in their jobs and not wanting to have ambitions.
Do you have other apartment under you apart from Apo?
We do have other apartment, which is the Grand Central Hotel in Kano, a long established hotel. It is a very big hotel with about 190 rooms and they got annexes as well; we are hoping to improve on the standards of the grand central hotel as well.
What’s the way forward?
There are lots of things to be done because we lost a lot of our customers; there use to be a lot of experts coming here from South Africa, UK, US, but we are hoping to get them back. Certainly, people are going to be coming here regularly because they are noticing that the standards are going up and the services is becoming a lot better.
The service is improving not just because of me, but the staff’s that now have more confidence and are ready to work with me to make Apo Apartment a better place and we are willing to make foreign experts that are coming to the country enjoy the nice services.
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