It was curiosity that took me to Atican Beach. A friend who recommended it had spoken glowingly, belting a rhapsody about “clean white sand and beautiful Caribbean style layout make it a great destination for romantic getaways, group hang out and family outings.”
A check on the internet also turned up rave reviews. Experience, however, has taught me to always lower my expectation until I have a personal experience of a place, especially if it is in Lagos. For me, seeing is believing. This rule I applied, and Atican Beach Resort passed the test.
Following the friend’s description, we found it at Abraham Adesanya Estate Road, Eti-Osa, Lekki. It was heartwarming to discover that the beach is easily accessible from the Lekki-Epe Expressway. Just follow the Ogombo Road and join the Okun-Ajah Community and you are there. We arrived at its gate, a few minutes past 10 am and gain entry after paying a gate fee of N1000.
When we found ourselves at the pristine oceanside resort, the picture before us hugely impressive. And my mind whispered: An ultimate TGIF place!
A few years’ ago, there was no such thing as Atican Beach, especially when the Bar beach and Oniru beach were all the raves on the island and along the Lekki peninsula. Atican beach is one of the newly-found beaches. That is why it may not immediately ring a bell. However, it is a complete package of beach experience. The resort has beach houses, a hotel, a beach club, restaurants and a host of other appurtenances of beach fun.
Trust Lagosian, as early as 10 am on this Sunday, the beachgoers were already there. But the dynamics at the Atican beach differs. Unlike a regular beach that empties at dusk, fills up the next day, Atican has residents “beachers”. These are beachgoers who spend the nights on the beachfront by taking residence at the resort’s hotel.
Lot Katung was one of them. I met him sitting quietly on the sand, Atlantic waves lapping at his bare feet. He was listening to music from his iPhone.
The Southern Kaduna native had traveled all the way from Abuja to Lagos to see a ‘girlfriend.’ They had been long-distance friends (whatever that means) for close to four years until they decided it is high time they met face to face. He had arrived on Friday evening and taking her direction had traveled to Atican beach where she had booked ahead for him.
“I came here by Uber,” he said.
Coming from a landlocked state, being by the Atlantic ocean was heavenly for him.
“I wake early morning around 6:30 and I come out to the beach here to chill, that is the best time to experience the beach when it is quiet and serene. I enjoy the sounds of waves splashing and birds singing. It is calm, it soothes me.”
We stayed a whole day and it was time enough for us to discover the charms of the beach. If you are seeking robust fun and frolicking, the weekend is the best time to storm Atican beach and evening is when the fun gathers momentum.
The beach club opens on weekends, from Friday. That is when the in-house live band serenades the evening with refreshing entertainment.
However, you can choose to host your own parties there, be it a stag party or girls-wanna-have-fun get-together or a family social.
The beach club is also a great venue to watch football matches especially historic matches, if I may suggest, for instance, diehard Liverpool fans who are on the verge of winning another Champion’s league title, who want to watch the epic final in style, could try the Atican beach club
The bar, a cornucopia of drinks of all types, is an additional incentive to spend quality time there.
The most outstanding feature of the beach: it seems to be custom-made for family. Its private playground gives the little ones a playing space that guarantees both safety and fun time.
A variety of games and entertainment that appeal to fun seekers, include horse riding, beach volleyball, basketball, and snooker. Those who love swimming but have a phobia for the sea can make use of the hotel’s Olympic-size swimming pool.
The big impression, however, is that Atican beach resort is clean and well managed such that it is devoid of the ubiquitous beach bums, urchins, overcrowding and the associated vices that are prevalent at the average Lagos beach. It fits the picture in your mind when you think of a relaxed beach experience; a good idea of a two to three-day budget getaway, to a place where you are sequestered from the buzz and bustle of the city and its attendant warps, warts, and worries.
Guess what, the hotel rates are comparatively reasonable.
You may have to put up with slow service, from the front desk to the restaurant, but the hotel’s good facilities––nice pool, clean beachfront, vast playing ground, good hotel amenities––more than makeup for the deficiencies.
Probably the best run beach in Lagos. This I can vouch for: It is a place that guarantees a decent timeout.
Blue skies, turquoise sea, white sand, swaying palms, cool breeze, a drink in your hand, sand between your toes, whatever romantic dreams that come into your head, at the end of the day you will find out that Atican beach experience is a fantasy that is real.
By 6 pm, it was time to call it a day. We dialed for Uber.