There is no denying the fact that River Niger is West Africa’s major river. It runs across a distance of about 4180 km (2600 miles) beginning from Guinea Highlands in the Southeastern Guinea down to Mali, Niger, and Nigeria, where it blesses the country with large deposits of oil, palm trees, raffia, and many other natural resources before emptying into the Gulf of Guinea. The Niger is the third-longest river in Africa, exceeded only by the Nile and the Congo River. Its main tributary is the Benue River. The Niger had so much engaged the interest of Europeans that in June 1786, the Scottish explorer, Mungo Park, became the first European to set eyes on the river. Since then, the few places from where the River Niger could be viewed or approached have been favourite spots for both local and international tourists.
One of the few hotels with standard facilities where the beauty of the Niger could be viewed is the Grand Hotel at 112 Nebisi Road, Asaba in Delta State.
Various options are available to the guests at Grand Hotel. They could perch on one of the rooms on the last floor of the tall hotel building and feed their eyes on the exhilarating views of the Niger. Alternatively, they could also go waterskiing, jetskiing, or one of the numerous boat rides arranged on the river.
And for those who are scared stiff of venturing into the head-swelling width and breath of the River Niger, but still desire to get a feel of water on their body, then the Olympic sized outdoor swimming pool, in a garden equipped with sun loungers, parasols, and three floodlit tennis courts, will satisfy your desires.
It is not surprising that Mungo Park has a place in Grand Hotel, Asaba. The recreational centre in the hotel is in fact, named after him. The Mungo Park Leisure Centre is equipped with a gym manned by personal instructors who give daily classes on aerobic exercises. The Olympic-sized swimming pool is of course, part of the Mungo Park Leisure Centre.
The hotel’s vantage position on the west bank of the Niger with its sweeping views of the landscape combine with these other wonderful facilities to make Grand Hotel a holiday resort. True to the name of the hotel, the rooms are grand, comfortable, and go for about N34, 000 per night.
These comfortable rooms come with 24-hour room service and are fitted with king sized beds, satellite TV, perfect air-conditioners, and mini fridges. The restaurant, called Planets, comprises of a nightclub and casino. It serves both Nigerian and continental dishes. However, the Jetty serves Chinese cuisine, Barbecue Garden grilled meat and seafood. Both the Bar and Restaurant all overlook the river. There are also large conference rooms and an open-air amphitheater.
The Niger, as a river of waters of life that feeds and replenishes the harsh lands of West Africa, does the same to Grand Hotel and everyone who stays there. Like a ribbon winding its way across the land, it enters and nourishes some of the most remote areas including the environment of Grand Hotel.
Surely, the Grand is one of the best hotels to chill out when you are on vacation or business in Delta State. It is truly a paradise with great views of Onitsha and the Niger Bridge