A Chaka Experience

5:20 AM

Imagine this:

There’s a beachfront property where your bedroom faces the waves, you can actually hear the waves swooshing and splashing all day long as you sleep, wake, eat, sip, play and lounge. There is a rustic village that houses this beach, with its traditional charm, lack of electricity, rough-hewn housing, unfettered palm trees, freshly caught seafood, and very welcoming locals who closely guard this beach as their best kept secret. 

Imagine this place exists in Lagos just a few miles down the Lekki-Epe expressway. You can drive to it or cab it, no fancy boats shuttling you to the resort that run the risk of leaving you stranded, nothing that exotic. It’s just an hour drive from the Lekki toll gate. Imagine this is where you could spend the weekend perhaps to get away from the hustle of Naija life, the traffic, blaring horns, the smog, oh that smog and the excessive inexcusable noise. You can escape all these cacophony of sounds to a place where the sounds are justified, soothing and tranquil and nature-tinged. You wake up with swishing waves instead of blaring horns. In other words its like your village, except there’s a beach and you get to order room service. If you can do that (and more), why wouldn’t you? When I heard this I thought it was too good to be true so I took the long drive to find out for myself.

The place is Chaka Resort and the beach is Eleko Beach. I chose to call it an "island", because I wanted to believe this was an isolated experience from Lagos state. When a friend recommended it to me as a way to ease me into the new year after my somber solo Christmas I was glad I took them up on their offer.  

There are 2 sections of Chaka Resort. There’s Chaka Resort proper which houses the pool, jacuzzi, island bar, lots of cabanas, volleyball net, and gazebos overlooking the ocean. Chaka Resort is a few steps from the beach with 16 rooms, ranging from compact standard rooms to deluxe suites to the penthouse suite that sleeps up to 4 guests, all with private baths. Each room has a different unique African themed furnishing and rates start at N20,000, unrestricted access to the beach included. There’s a glimpse of the ocean from the rooms with lots of peace and quiet to boot. Then, there’s my personal favorite Chakaville - 8 rooms, all overlooking the ocean. It is literally on the ocean, you open your window and bam! the beachfront is at your doorstep, with a small patio just so you can sit with your thoughts while the waves washes away all the deep dark ones.

There are only 4 tv stations per tv in Chaka Resort, but who really wants to sit on a beach resort watching TV. Ocean front views, long walks on the beach, cabanas and hammocks for that lazy afternoon nap and music...lots and lots of music blaring from the speakers filling the grounds with rejuvenating energy. Like most beach resorts, this is a no frills resort. No stainless steel, marble floors, mahogany paneling anything to distract from the calm...the main attraction is the ocean, the beach front, and the sound of the waves everything else is just secondary.

If you're solo, even better, no accompanying noise to distract you from the escapist environment. What better way to retreat into yourself than at the beach.

However, I’ve said too much. I’ll illustrate this beachside haven and my fabulous retreat into this hideaway with a few pictures just to give you an idea of how picturesque this oasis is. 

View from the gazebo. Glimpse of the sunset

View from the penthouse lounge. Palm trees lining the ocean

Yours truly, escaping on the leather lounge at the gazebo

Sunset on News Years Day. Perfect way to start the year!

Penthouse Lounge. Shot of the ocean and those palm trees again.

Lounge overlooking the deck at Chakaville

Bedroom suite with ocean front view

Closer look of the ocean view from your bedroom window

My favorite piece from the penthouse suite

Everywhere you look in Chaka there are little scintillating tidbits to keep you interested, like this one above that looks like me on my "Let's be African" day. 

Me lounging in the Penthouse suite, thinking, "Life is good" Excuse the dusty beach toes.

I contemplate having breakfast on one of these lounge chairs. I chose yoga instead.
Breakfast is served on News Year's Day at the Penthouse Lounge

Any activity you undertake in the resort — strolling through the beach from Chakaville to Chaka Resort, sipping a cold beer on the penthouse lounge or gazebo, or swimming in the expansive pool — will leave you feeling pampered and a little envious of the tranquil lifestyle to which the locals and visitors to Eleko Beach have become so accustomed.

After the tumultuous Christmas this single gal had this “island” haven was just what the doctor ordered for New Years. Miles and miles of beachside strolling, acres of white sand between my toes, and natures' sounds to soothe away my hurt. I felt complete after my weekend. Nothing bothered me anymore, not even the fact that there was some slight traffic on my way home. I was cured from all my hangups - at least for a little while.

I felt rejuvenated and reactivated to start this life again, this time in 2015.

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