Nigerians’ love for ultra-luxury destination has been on the rise. In this interview, ROCHELLE VAN ROSENVELDT, director of sales for Africa, One&Only Resorts, tells FUNKE OSAE-BROWN how the hotel group is positioning itself to have a share of the local market.
Seated in the well decorated lobby at the Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos, her white skin glows under the white light with the rays playing a glistering trick on her face. She stretched forth her hand for a hand shake.
“I am pleased to meet you,” she tells me. It is her first time in Nigeria. Rochelle van Rosenveldt is the director of sales for Africa, One&Only Resorts, a company seeking to redefine hospitality in the world. It consists of resorts set in some of the most beautiful locations in the world.
She tells me each of One&Only Resort offers guests a distinctive style and personality borne of its local culture, a genuine hospitality and a lively energy that is unrivalled. “The resorts are ultra-luxury but not ‘buttoned-up,’ boring or staid,” she says, as soon as our interview began. “Properties include One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives, One&Only Le Saint Géran in Mauritius, One&Only Royal Mirage and One&Only The Palm in Dubai, One&Only Ocean Club in The Bahamas, One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico, One&Only Cape Town in South Africa, and the newest resort in the collection is One&Only Hayman Island in the heart of The Great Barrier Reef in Australia. One&Only also announced last November that the award-winning Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa would be managed by One&Only in Q1 of this year, which we are very excited about.”
In addition, she says there are three new One&Only resorts in development, in Sanya, Hainan, China; in Montenegro, which will be the first property for the collection in Europe, and in the city of Seef in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
And so observes that One&Only is seeking to redefine the hospitality business in Nigeria. Hence, she wants Nigerians to have a taste of the resort’s unique and exquisite offerings.
“Nigeria is a strategic market in Africa,” she explains. “One&Only caters to an international audience, attracting some of the most influential and interesting people in the world, while also reaching those who are a bit more aspirational. There is a ‘tribal’ aspect to these global citizens who appreciate that there is a difference between another resort or hotel stay and the One&Only experience.”
According to her, she is in Nigeria to begin the process of laying the foundation of showcasing the incredible world-renowned One&Only resorts to Nigerians as well as inviting them to come experience and relish the ultra-luxury experience.
“At the moment, we are working closely with our partners,” she explains further, “high-end Nigerian travel agencies to package tailor-made One&Only experiences for the Nigerian market, ranging from family holidays to special romantic moments including weddings and honeymoons. Also, in the near future, we will also be looking at partnering with some major events in Nigeria.”
Rosenveldt says One&Only is offering the Nigerian market out-of-this-world ultra-luxury. “We are continuously striving to ‘Blow Away Our Customers’ every day in order to remain one of the world’s leading resort brands. We are continuously innovating across the collection so guests can always discover something new at our resorts.”
According to her, what distinguishes One&Only resorts from other hotel groups is ultra-luxury ambience. “One&Only resorts are located in the world’s most magnificent locations and are designed to reflect the uniqueness of their surroundings. Each ultra-luxury resort has an authentic sense of place, an unrivalled energy and each guest experience is individually crafted.
One&Only is true to warm, personalised, thoughtful and attentive service, bespoke experiences tied celebrating the destination, stunning architecture and interiors – all while creating memorable One&Only moments.”
One&Only also offers special packages for ultra-luxury weddings celebration and honeymoon. “All One&Only resorts have a specialised celebrations team to carefully handle weddings and honeymoon details, thereby ensuring perfection. The locations of our One&Only resorts make One&Only the perfect place for such lifetime romantic events. Also, we are looking at partnering with a renowned wedding planner in Nigeria to vividly give Nigerians that special romantic package of a lifetime, and ensure we are providing a bespoke experience.”
Already, One&Only Cape Town is increasingly capturing the interest of Nigerians as the resort records a significant number of Nigerian guests year in and year out.
“We are coming to the market to ensure Nigerians have a taste of the One&Only collections across the globe. Our mission is simple. We want the One&Only brand to be the number one place to stay for Nigerians whenever they travel. We look forward to having more guests from the market discover One&Only.”