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“If you can avoid it, do so by all means”
Review of Chelsea Hotel

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Chelsea Hotel
Ranked #45 of 86 Hotels in Abuja
Reviewed July 21, 2013

I was trying to come up with something good about this hotel but the only thing that I can think of in that regard are the friendly staff. Most of them were very courteous, friendly and eager to help. I particularly like to mention Agatha, one of the receptionists. Her friendly attitude and smile could actually convince you to stay in this otherwise mediocre place.
The place is plagued with a myriad of problems. To start with the carpets in the corridors as well as the rooms do not seem to have been cleaned for a long time. As a result the whole place has a stuffed atmosphere and the odour in the rooms as well as the corridors is repelling. Of course you will get used to the odour after a few minutes though it is the same thing all over again once you stepped out and came back. They would do well to get the carpet the hell out of that place and replace it with tiles. The rooms are definitely spacious so that is a plus but the wash basin in the bath room is so high that if you are shorter than six feet you would find it awkward and even challenging to brush your teeth or wash your face. Then there was the air conditioning. This only has one control, on and off and whatever you select is a problem. I stayed there in July so the weather in Abuja was not very hot and it is possible to stay in the room without the AC. However when turned off the AC has a continuous disturbing cracking sound. It wont help if you turn it on as the noise is even louder. You may also find it to be too cold in the night but since you cant turn it down you have to turn it off and that means back to the cracking sound. There was also a problem that I did not face anywhere else. The duvet cover and bed sheet were damp and one particular night they were practically wet. I asked them to change, which they promptly did but the problem was actually not solved. They say this is because they steam dry the sheets instead of ironing them. That might well be true but what I need at the end of the day is a warm bed. Not a damp duvet cover and sheets.
I could go on about the breakfast which has a wide selection but is more or less the same every day for 12 mornings and the Nigerian scrambled eggs and the fresh fruit are the only two things that I could say were any good. I want to keep this review short but I have to mention their laundry service which could actually be called cheating. Since the hotel does not supply iron and ironing board I sent two shirts to be washed and pressed. Came back two shirts terribly pressed but not washed. That meant I am now 1100 Naira poorer with two shirts which are in worse condition than when I gave it to them. I think this gives you a good picture of a hotel which charges USD 240 per night and has pretty much nothing to show for it. However, I observed that other similar hotels were also either the same or worse so this practice of charging incredible price for mediocre service is the norm and not the exception in Abuja. My advice is stay at the Hilton if you can afford it or go for the smaller places that charge around 130 USD for reportedly better service.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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Thank MGH2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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46 - 52 of 72 reviews

Reviewed July 19, 2013

I stayed for 12 nights at the Chelsea hotel from 2nd July till 15th July 2013. Staff are generally very friendly and respond quite quickly - so my check-in (rather late in the evening) went very smoothly. They gave me a wi-fi ticket, but the strength of the wi-fi was very, very poor! Throughout my stay, practically speaking the wi-fi only worked in the breakfast room and the lobby and just stumbled along during late evenings. However, I had a LAN cable in my room - and that, once connected to my laptop was quite good - good enough to do Skype calls to SA and to India. So, all you tablet, i-device and handheld freaks - be warned! Carry your trusted laptop in case you cannot live without the Internet (an extra LAN cable may be good to carry too). In terms of rooms - they were clean and large, although I thought the lighting should be better and the bathroom fixtures better maintained. Hot water has to be turned on by a switch by your bedside table - but supply is plentiful. Food is okay - but on the spicier side; even continental fare may be sharp on the palate. If you are trying Nigerian fare - it is quite good, but very hot...Breakfast was middling but good enough for starting the day. I just wish they'd serve filter/proper coffee instead of instant at breakfast though. If you are booked to stay a Friday night - please do not miss the Abuja Jazz Club which plays a set at the bar from 10:00PM onwards - the music is nice and the Jazz Club members are always ready for a quick chat. In terms of security and etc. the hotel was okay. However, as other reviewers have noted, they need to pull up their maintenance - the AC in my room (a window job) grumbled all the time and one could not adjust it: no remote and the set was too high on the wall.
In terms of guest policy - the hotel has a strange way of asking you to pay: they block your access card to your room, and when you come down to the reception hot and bothered - they insist you pay an advance or pay up. This is oftentimes not the best and kindest policy as we were under grueling work schedules and to go through such an exercise when you want to hit the sack does not dispose one kindly towards the hotel and its staff. Lastly, the hotel is located very close to government buildings other hotels and key conference venues in Abuja - but has virtually no shopping or restaurants in its neighborhood. So shopping or eating out needs to be planned. One thing about the city though: 'green taxis' are plentiful at the hotel gate, and once you have negotiated a rate, are safe. In conclusion, while The Chelsea was okay, I would think twice before re-booking there on my next (quite soon) trip to Nigeria/Abuja.

Room Tip: Check if your room has a LAN socket and a LAN cable, if you cannot do without the Internet.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank A S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2013

Where do I begin?
First I get to my room and the wi fi isn't working. It was late so I thought i'd leave it till morning. Which is when a really helpful IT guy came up and said the wifi didn't work in my side of the hotel (I was on the 5th floor), so he hooked me to the wired internet, which meant i could only use my laptop on the table.
Room Service was terrible, ordered extra bread rolls with dinner and it came an hour after dinner. It took them nearly 24hrs to bring fresh towels into the room, I called almost half a dozen times and they kept saying they would send someone up with them, i got so frustrated waiting i ended up using a small hand towel to dry up.
The bed was springy and was probably 2 twin beds stuck together.
The AC socket kept coming off, so we had to hit it hard a couple of times to get it to work
The location was good though as it was central Abuja and easy to get around, but there are many more hotels in the same area, plus the bathroom was clean.
There is a free breakfast buffet every morning on tuesdays to fridays. It's alright food, certainly not great
I would not be staying here again. That's for sure.

Room Tip: Maybe stay on the top floor cos they have events on weekends and it can get quite noisy especially i...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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2  Thank Abi W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2013 via mobile

Hotel is well located on the CBD with easy access to most of Abuja.

Rooms are of good size and are well equipped. Lots of TV channels to chose from.

Dining at the hotel is also good. Breakfast is average with a variety of options to choose from. Other meals are also good with a fair amount of variety.

The gym and swimming pool are however very small. The gym has only 2 treadmills and no equipment for belly exercises.

There is however a tennis court and this is not very common in most hotels in Abuja.

I will certainly recommend a stay in this hotel. It is not the best Abuja has to offer but is fairly okay.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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1  Thank Dupri00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2013

I'm currently staying in the hotel's CBA location. If one is here for pleasure, then the location is ideal. The staff are friendly and the food is okay.
However, if one is here on business, better look for a hotel with a more reliable internet connection or carry your own modem. The wireless network doesn't work now and when it did, it had very poor signal strength. The wired one is better but the network firewall blocks sites at random e.g it would block some forums but not others. It would allow access to some sites but block all embedded images. It disabled some JavaScript pop ups so if you are at a site that you need to change your location, good luck to you. I've been so frustrated.
This is why I cannot give then a very good rating and even the average one is because the staff are mostly very nice.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Thank CNNU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2013

This is a fairly new hotel, but you wouldn’t think so. The problem with this hotel, as with many things in Nigeria, is the complete absence of a proper maintenance programme, or when it is carried out it is more like an act of vandalism, with bewildering unnecessary holes made and damage caused to finishes, and nothing is ever finished off properly or cleaned up afterwards. Let me be clear, most finishes and equipment were of high specification when new, not Chinese, but there is a limit on how long equipment will continue to operate without any servicing or maintenance.

Outside; pleasant modern appearance to the front elevation, high security including bag & body scanners, undersides of cars are checked with mirrors, which give some reassurance.

Entrance lobby; bright and pleasant, with a bakery outlet on the ground floor and a Business Centre at 1st floor level.

Reception; better not to dwell on reception other than saying the staff are oh so miserable, who consider customers as a nuisance and take great delight in delaying your checking-in and checking-out. It seems too much to ask to get a smile or a friendly welcome or goodbye.

Lifts; two lifts which have not been maintained. I have been staying regularly over a 3 month period and they have not been repaired, so one lift remains out of order because the doors will not close fully, and the other is so busy it takes for ever to arrive, so it’s quicker and healthier to use the stairs. I always get the feeling I could be stuck in one for days and nobody would bother to check.

Corridors; filthy carpets due to lack of cleaning, I think they were red once, but are now black.
Dismal because a lot of lights are not working and the ones that work are low wattage.

Bedrooms; reasonably new and a good size, lounge chair and a desk, again let down by lack of maintenance and downright dangerous in some respects. For instance I had a room where live wires were left hanging out of the wall where a shaver point had been removed and not replaced, yes, in the bathroom! I asked for maintenance to send someone to tape up the wires, but was told it would be dealt with at his next visit in a week’s time.

Smoke detectors; there are smoke detectors fitted, but I’m not sure they are connected as there was flashing no red light, you can usually see these at night.

Air conditioning; wall mounted aircon units are fitted and are very noisy. These have the room temperature pre-set at cold and not adjustable, so you either freeze or toast depending on whether you have it on or off. Windows open and have fly screen panels, but may be noisy if there is a party in the pool bar below.

Hot water; it is odd that there is a switch to turn on/off the water heater included with the bank of light switches for room lighting next to the bedhead, so it is easy to accidentally turn it off at night and have cold water to shower with next morning.

Coffee station; good, just lacking coffee and milk, so bring your own. The kettle comes with a US flat pin plug and requires an adaptor to fit the socket, which is the same type as in the UK. The adaptor isn’t usually in the room when you arrive, so you have to ask. It appears there are just a few adaptors in the hotel to go around, so it’s a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Changing the plugs on the kettles would require some intelligence and planning, but there again, with the quality of the electrician it’s probably wise of them just not to bother.

Mini bar; stocked at the start of your stay and then never replenished. A packet of peanuts left by the coffee point was mouldy and running with ants.

Safe; there are safes provided, but with no batteries fitted as they have all gone dead and been removed, but not replaced. I had this in 3 rooms, so it’s not just a one-off event. Bring 4 AA batteries with you if you want to use it and don’t forget to remove them when you leave. Don’t bother thinking that the hotel will deal with it, you’re wasting your time asking.

Cleanliness; room carpet is brushed, not vacuumed, so it builds up with dirt. Carpets have balls of pile as though still new, obviously never been properly cleaned since the hotel opened.
Otherwise the cleanliness was pretty good and better than most hotels in Abuja. They send around a guy with a clip board to check the rooms after they have been serviced. I mentioned to him that there was no coffee, about the peanuts and the wires, but nothing was done about them during my entire stay. I don’t know why he is employed as he does nothing but knock on the door, walk in and walk out again.

Restaurant; breakfast is a buffet affair, but not very appetising. Evening meals are best avoided. It should be noted that the hotel runs a background sound system which repeats the same tracks over and over, day after day on a loop, which is very annoying. In the restaurant they play CDs or a local radio station which competes or clashes with the hotel’s background track, so they turn it up loud. I have never seen so many plug extension leads all daisy-chained and all outlets used at once, at least 20 outlets. If you want toast in the morning, something has to be unplugged first to allow the toaster to be plugged in.

Pool and Fitness Centre; both good as well as a pool-side bar. The fast food served up there appears to be superior to the food served in the restaurant.

Noise; the hotel has a function room and a pool area where many parties go on into the small hours. The main banqueting suite is fairly well soundproofed, but noise is an issue to rooms overlooking the swimming pool area. You can accept some disturbance during a party as you must appreciate people like to enjoy themselves, but a lot of noise comes from the staff clearing up afterwards, chatting and shouting to each other and scraping chairs and tables across the hard surfaces. Don’t bother to shout at them as they will make more noise. Remember the clients are just a nuisance.

Conclusion; probably one of the better hotels in Abuja and well priced. As long as you can live with the shortcomings it provides adequate and modern accommodation. Don't expect the 4 star service and facilities which this hotel touts and leave plenty of time to check-out. But do make sure there arent any live wires hanging out of the walls!.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Trevor E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Patrick C, Director of Technology and Business at Chelsea Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2013

This review has been circulated around the board. We value all our customers and we want you to know that by the next time you visit us, all the problems mentioned would have been taken care off.

We are currently undergoing a total maintenance of the entire hotel, meaning that there would be some nooks and crannies that haven't been taken care off but we want to assure you that you are in the best hands with us.

We wish to apologize for the lack of the high standards our customers have come to expect and hope to serve you better.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2012

IN SUMMARY – DON’T STAY HERE
In brief my reasons for recommending you try elsewhere are listed. More detail if you want is listed below:
• Misleading description of facilities on the hotel website.
• Wifi does not work
• No hot water in the bathroom
• Very slow and poor service in the bar and restaurant
• Unhelpful staff
• Noisy at night.
• Mould in bathroom
• The worst breakfast bar I have ever seen

BUYER BEWARE
Aubja has two hotels named “Chelsea Hotel” both owned by the same company. Their marketing (both printed and on their internet site) deliberately misleads you to think that both hotels have the same facilities. They categorically do not!
The first Chelsea Hotel is on Muhammadu Buhari Way (to the South of the city centre).
The second Chelsea Hotel is on Adetokunbo Ademola Way in Wuse II district and is the more central.

I had the misfortune to stay at the Adetokunbo Ademola Way branch. This hotel bears no resemblance to the description on the website (no pool, no gym, no garden and they don’t accept Mastercard as stated). I have no comment to make about the Muhammadu Buhari Way hotel.

INTERNET & WIFI
My hotel room had a network cable, and access to the internet over it was fast and efficient. However the wifi did not work at all, despite repeated attempts (by myself and at reception, who blamed it on a “network error”.

LACK OF HOT WATER
For 3 of the four mornings I stayed at the hotel, there was no hot water in the bathroom.

STATE OF ROOM
The main problem in my room was the mould in the bathroom. Not only did the mould look unattractive, it smelt (and probably wasn’t healthy to breath in, if you suffer from asthma). The room itself was tidy, but decorated with far too much gold for my taste (very tacky). The minibar had a tendency to leak over the floor. At least the room safe worked.

NOISY ROOMS
The air conditioning in my room was very noisy. The only reason I kept it on, was that the hotel is on a busy main road, and the air conditioning drowned out the erratic noise from the road. Double glazing would really help. Additionally for some bizarre reason the hotel pipes music very loudly in the hallways and common spaces; it can clearly be heard in the room. The music is played all through the night. I was very grateful I brought my ear plugs.


UNFRIENDLY RECEPTION STAFF
When I arrived, the only greeting I received was a demand for up front payment for all rooms. The manager even tried to demand that I should pay upfront for any food and drink I might order from the restaurant! Her manner was rude. As you can imagine, if this was how she spoke to customers, she was even worse to the staff. I guess the staff learned their manners from their boss, as they were equally unhelpful.

RESTAURANT / BAR
The service here was worse than basic. The staff spent most of their time hidden in the kitchen and you had to seek them out to get served. On my first night I ordered a pizza; after 45 minutes they arrived with a salad which I had not ordered. When I explained I had ordered a pizza, I was told that pizza was off the menu, so they had made me a salad. I told them to take away the salad, and bring me fish and chips. Another 45 minutes passed, and then a pizza arrived! No apology, no explanation. Luckily the food was edible, but given the quality of the service, and the depressing surroundings, I decided not to eat there again.

BREAKFAST
The breakfast bar was awful. The poorest selection of food I have ever seen. One very sweet fruit juice. Instant coffee in sachets. Manky looking fruit. No pastries. Only hot milk available. Hot dishes looked very unappetising.

LOCATION OF HOTEL
The hotel is centrally located, and it was quick to get around from there. Luckily the Hilton, with a decent choice of bars and restaurants is only about 400m away.

SECURITY
Security at the hotel seemed reasonable. Cars were checked on entry to the premises.

LACK OF GYM
As the gym was advertised on the website, I asked staff for directions when I arrived. First I was sent to the 5th floor. When I found no gym there, I asked another staff member, who told me the gym was at the first floor. When I found no gym on the first floor, I checked with reception. There I was told “We don’t have a gym”. Why two staff wasted my time on a fruitless search for a non-existent gym I do not know. At least I got some exercise running up and down the stairs!

Room Tip: If you are going to stay, then ask for a room at the back of the hotel (not facing the noisy road).
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank callumx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chelsea Hotel

Address: Plot 123 Cadastral Zone A0, Central Business District | PO Box 7069, Abuja, Nigeria
Location: Nigeria > Abuja State > Abuja
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #45 of 86 Hotels in Abuja
Price Range: $126 - $162 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Chelsea Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 180
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chelsea Hotel Central Area-Promoting the essence of exquisite style in the capital of Nigeria. Located 40 mins from the Airport in the Central Business District of Abuja. It offers a touch of African style to its already celebrated International appeal. Its facilities include - kitchenettes, suites, swimming pool, gym, 400-person conference hall, free wireless and many more.Chelsea Hotel Wuse 2 - New boutique hotel for business travelers located in the city center. It's facilities are limited but it compensates for this with its higher service standard and cheaper rates. ... more   less 
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