By Vanessa Obioha
Stepping into the serene reception of the luxurious Yacht Hotel in Lagos State’s Lekki Axis, one is drawn to the laser-cut art that adorns one of the walls. To the ordinary eye, this lofty art form may be just another interior design, but ‘Grace of the Yacht’, as it is aptly named, is more than just a work of art.
The laser cut piece is shaped like a yacht, representing the symbol of the boutique hotel. With a rust finish, the steel sheet is 20mm thick and is delicately cut so that the back of the piece is not bulky but flat. It measures 250 cm for a width of 360 cm. Interior room lighting adds to the aesthetics, especially in the dark, and gives a detailed look of the laser symbols.
Specially designed for the hotel, “Grace of the Yacht” is unquestionably the most expensive art ever owned by a hotel in Lagos, and its price is equivalent to a luxury car. It is designed by Guangzhou Steel Master Building Materials Co. Ltd., China, the same company that designed the gold panels for the elevator walls of Burj Arab in Dubai.
As a very delicate process of cutting precise designs in wood, metal, plastic or any other material, laser cutting is an evolving trend that is turning art into luxury. But due to the engineering process involved, it also becomes a wonder for scientists. As Eyitayo Fakehinde, the owner of the luxury boutique hotel, “the art and science of laser-cut art is sparking intellectual debate.” Many guests stopped to view the artwork, marveling at the intricacies of its design.
“One of the guests, an aeronautical engineer, couldn’t help but stare at the piece. Indeed, it gives the impression of making the impossible possible.
It kind of mirrors the goals of the hotel which opened in 2020 but was derailed by the coronavirus pandemic. However, when it officially opened last year, it was up to well-heeled guests who enjoyed the tranquility and class of the ambience. The Yacht Hotel prides itself on being a hotel that offers conservative class and luxury. It’s no wonder, then, that Fakehinde was immediately drawn to the “Grace of the Yacht” when the design was sent to him. It looks abstract and ordinary to the untrained eye.
“When you look at the hotel from the outside, it’s so ordinary until you step inside that you start to see the luxury inside. We are conservative, strong with so much beauty to inside. When you come to the Yacht, you come to have a class experience,” he said.
That’s not unexpected from the optician and hospitality mogul who is transforming Lekki’s waterfront. He is the owner of the popular Sailors Lounge and has an uncanny knack for hosting the most stylish events on the water. Like Sailors Lounge, Fakehinde, affectionately nicknamed Captain, adds more panache to the waterfront with The Yacht Hotel. Designed like a yacht, it has 25 rooms with sea and city views, a spa and restaurants. However, its most sought-after service is its exquisite helipad lounge for members of its prestigious club The Admirals. Reserved for people of value and intelligence, the club has a limited number of 100 members.
“The selection procedure for membership is very high,” he said. “Membership is not based on money but on weight. Everything in us is more of an intellectual base. We only have 25 rooms as we don’t want to be seen as a commercial hotel. We attract people who understand class.
According to him, class represents wealth, maturity, style and intellectual ability.
Calling the science-infused artwork a hidden treasure, Fakehinde revealed that he named the piece after his mother because of the qualities she represented. It took about 90 days to complete the work and it was finally delivered to him in 2019.
While most hotels are turning into a major artistic hub, the Yacht Hotel, which also has an art gallery, plans to hold a quarterly art exhibition. At its opening ceremony last year, it featured artwork from Omolayo Gallery. Perhaps “Grace of the Yacht” will appeal to more high net earners with a penchant for a luxury experience and intellectual exchange.