A recent study and ranking conducted by Vaay, a German firm ranked Lagos State as the second most stressful city in the world for the year 2021. The study considered population density, pollution levels, weather patterns and the amount of traffic congestion in the city, financial stress and social security among others, and Lagos state ended up the only African city at the top of the list.
This is perhaps a good reason for Lagos State to also endorse relaxation outfits like the Jara Beach Resort. Most busy people get to the point of being burnt out, and just looking for some place to take a weekend away from the hustle, the traffic, the noise and the pollution without having to go too far. With the clean and natural environment Jara provides, it appears to be solving this problem effectively.
Co-founder of the Jara Beach Resort, Mark Slade, was a guest on the Nairametrics Business Half Hour show where he explained that the business is designed as a boutique practice to provide relaxation and vacation facilities to customers all through the year.
“The problem we were trying to solve in general was enjoying a beach day out and enjoying unique quality relaxation without having to leave Lagos. For most busy people in Lagos, the thought of travelling out of the state to get a calm place to relax is not an easy decision,” Slade said.
The idea for the resort came around 2017 when Slade and his wife came for a weekend getaway from work in their small beach hut, and stumbled upon what they considered to be a great property by the seaside. As against the regular practice of building hotels with hundreds of rooms, they decided to set up a small structure with rooms facing the oceanfront. Over the next 12 months, the preparations and paperwork were done, and Jara Beach Resort opened in November 2019.
Giving the size of what they had decided to set up, the co-founders had to sink in their savings into the project, alongside support from a family member.
“We were trying to create a place where people could relax, so we thought the risks were way lower than building a big hotel with lots of rooms. We knew that we wanted to set up a place that people could go to and relax and enjoy, and that is what we translated into the business model we now have,” Slade said.
The business had barely been open for three months when the Coronavirus pandemic forced the government to declare a general lockdown, and a specific shutdown of relaxation facilities including the Jara Beach Resort. Despite the strain, the founders kept the energy up on all social media handles, and kept the staff on-site in the hopes of when the lockdown would be lifted.
Being a boutique-sized business did not pay off for the founders because when the government was to lift the restriction, they started with small-sized relaxation outfits and Jara fell into this category.
The word Jara’ literally translates to ‘a little extra’, and according to Slade, this captured the concept of what the founders were trying to achieve. They wanted people to get more value for their money. Jara prides itself on an inclusive offering of value and quality, so the bookings do not just cover the accommodation and scenery, but a lot more.
“Whether for a standard room of 2 adults or a family room of 3 adults, it is an all-inclusive offering. The second you come through our gate, everything is taken care off. You get natural juice, food, breakfast, lunch, dinner, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, popcorn, snacks, ice cream. The only thing that is not covered is champagne and top-shelf spirits, which are available from our Premium Collection,” Slade said.
There are also comfortable rooms, with a working internet connection, maintenance service, beautiful scenery, rides on the oceanfront, sand-based games, volleyball, badminton, and all without having to leave Lagos State. Whether for an overnight, weekend or day-time visit, Jara is open all through the year, and customers continue to make bookings on the website.