My experience at Ikogosi Resort is bitter sweet. The first time I went there was great and I couldn’t understand all the complaints others who had been there before and after me had. On my second visit however, I understood perfectly why people weren’t impressed with the resort. On both occasions I stayed for a night and the experience was definitely a sharp contrast.
The resort is located in Ekiti State and was originally built as a camp site. Now however, it serves as the accommodation for the hot and cold spring. The resort consists of a swimming pool that is fed by the warm spring, a restaurant, a gym, an amphitheater, a chapel and a conference hall.
A Baptist missionary, Rev McGee went to visit the warm and cold spring after hearing about it and decided it would be great to build a youth camp there. When the land was secured by the Nigerian Baptist Convention, he worked with others and went on to build some of the facilities there. The camp continued to do well and attract baptist youths, adults and missionaries alike. It then became known as the ‘Warm springs’ camp
At a point, after the Biafran war, an opposition started towards it because the Rev refused to allow them use it as a military camp. After a while more people outside the Baptist family and military started hearing about the resort and saw the tourism potential. Slowly, the government stared expressing interest and built a guest house by the pool. In 1974, they took control of the swimming pool which was the main attraction for the camp and baptist activities there began to dwindle.
When Rev McGee retired from Nigeria, there was no missionary or convention member that was willing to take over so the Nigerian Baptist Convention sold it to the Nigerian Government for N300,000 ($953).
We all know how the government can be so 10 years later (1985) when Rev McGee came to visit, he noticed the place was in bad shape and there were bushes everywhere thereby discouraging him from entering his former camp.
It wasn’t until 2011 that the state government put in work, sourced for funds and turned it into what it is today.
Fun fact – any building that has stones on the exterior are buildings preserved from the old Baptist camp.
One thing you notice about the resort is how peaceful it is and the plants scattered all around it which gives it a beautiful look. The rooms are also located in different sections of the resort based on room types – deluxe standard, exclusive standard, presidential lodge etc.
You are literally enveloped by nature and the feeling is one that can’t be described.
There are two entrances, the main entrance and the side entrance (made by Rev McGee) which leads straight to the pool.
The first stay was enjoyable, we had minimal complaints about our rooms. The rooms are spacious enough and the beds are quite comfortable. We were able to use the pool till whatever time we wanted, the generator was on throughout the night and there was hot water. It was a real getaway. We also noticed there were quite a lot of other people staying over and it wasn’t till my second visit that I realized the high number was why we had a pleasant stay.
On our second visit, there were insects all over our beds so we had to be moved to a nicer room (I preferred the rooms we used during our first visit), there was no hot water past 10pm, the gen went off at the same time and due to this we couldn’t have an evening swim which left a bad taste in the mouth of my 2 guests. The manager promised that we could use the swimming pool early the next morning. Lo and behold, we got to the swimming pool and it had been drained for treatment. After complaining at the reception, we were informed that it is usual practice for the pool to be drained on Monday mornings and they were unsure why we had been promised we could use it.
When the topic of the gen was raised, we were informed that if there are less than 10 people staying in the resort, they do not put on the big generator and the small one can only stay on till 10pm. Ikogosi resort gets no electricity so this means no light when the gen is off. The receptionist then went on to say if I had called the other operations manager to let him know I was coming, she’s sure he would have made an exception and kept it running a little longer for me based on our previous relationship. I then wondered about the other people who would have had horrible experiences because they didn’t know anyone to complain to. Everyone deserves to have at least a good experience. Everything just seemed to go downhill from there.
On that note, unfortunately my last stay left a slightly bitter taste in my mouth and the only redeeming thing for it are the fun memories we created during my first stay.
Hopefully the government puts in more effort into maintaining it as its an ideal getaway destination. We met a family of 5 that were travelling across South West Nigeria and they quite enjoyed the tranquility the resort offered albeit the many issues that kept popping up.
Check out is at 12.00 pm and extra charges apply if you check out later. I didn’t try their restaurant out so can’t comment on the meals.
Room prices start from N12,500 ($39.7) and you can contact them on +234 803 244 9248 or +234 703 485 6811.
Have you ever stayed there? Let us know your experience in the comments section.
*foreign conversion is based on the current rate of the Naira and is subject to change.
*prices written are based on the time the visit was made and is subject to change by the owners.
*Reviews are based on opinions and personal experiences, and may differ from person to person