Abuja is not a place you’d expect to find a Scandinavian-themed boutique hotel; generally the minimalist stylings of Denmark and Sweden are eschewed here for something a little more flamboyant. But you’d be wrong because there’s this little gem, the Nordic Villa, which was founded by a trio of Danish management consultants in conjunction with their Nigerian business partner.
The house itself is a 10-room detached residence in the exclusive Jabi district. It wasn’t purpose-built, so doesn’t quite have the clean lines and functional aesthetic of typical Scandi-architecture, but it has unique style: for example, a shaded mosaic tile terrace runs the length of one side of the main building.
The ground floor has a small boardroom (which holds up to eight people), a lobby, and a cafe space for guests with nice touches like Swedish wall graphics, bookstands, plants, and table clusters. The interior space is focused around a central atrium, which makes the atmosphere light and pleasant.
Rooms are spacious and airy, with attention to detail in the design. Nearly all the furnishings have been shipped in from Denmark, from the comfortable grey linen couches, to the clean, white, minimal desk spaces. Lighting, beds, linens, and even the duvets are all unmistakably Scandinavian. All rooms are also equipped with flat-screen TVs, reasonable Wi-Fi, mini fridges, and comfortable lounge areas. Bathrooms, though slightly dated, are large and well equipped, with separate immersion heaters.
Staff are relaxed and informal, yet attentive. I was welcomed with a bottle of water and a cold towel, much appreciated after a day on the road. The only complaint would be the lack of swimming pool or gym facilities.
But that’s not important considering the overall charm of the hotel, especially if you’re the type of traveler who rarely uses either of these amenities and is looking for good value.
The Nordic Villa’s relaxed, light atmosphere is a haven away from the heat of the Abuja streets, and an appealing space in which to relax after a busy day.