Accra's top 5 hotels with swimming pools

Where to swim in the capital - for guests and non-guests alike



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Dan Neilsen

Deciding on a hotel in Accra? Bear in mind that the city can get hot. Really hot. And while exploring Ghana's capital is incredibly rewarding, sometimes all you'll want to do is laze by a pool in your swimsuit. Take a dip, keep the kids entertained and relax with Time Out's round up of the city's best hotels with pools. And if you're just looking for a place to visit for the day, these pools are available for the use of hotel guests and members of the public alike.

Make a splash


Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel

  • Critics choice

Backed by palm-studded grounds and a sweeping azure pool, Accra’s newest luxury bolthole is certainly living up to its hype. Waiters on roller blades glide across the gleaming patio, supplying fresh snacks and icy drinks to holidaymakers stretched out on loungers around the pool; the onsite luxury shopping centre is filled with high-end goods, from bold fashions at Nonterah to Afrocentric homeware at Joe’s Perspective; Sankofa restaurant pleases with an array of international flavours, and the cocktail lounge expertly whips up any favoured tipple. At the time of writing, the only slight downside to Mövenpick is that it feels a little like a new pair of shoes – shiny and impressive, but ever so slightly stiff. But with the stream of visitors surely on their way, its edges are set to be softened very soon indeed.

  1. Independence Avenue, Ridge
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Labadi Beach

Labadi Beach is a well-maintained high-end resort that retains its colonial cool –the lobby is all ceiling fans, dark leather sofas and gold-coloured standing lamps. While tropical gardens, a turquoise pool and spotless rooms do come at a cost, this is has long been the top spot for quality accommodation in Accra, but competition is becoming fierce – especially given the eye-watering rack rates of these rooms (keep an eye on promotions). Labadi’s pristine rooms and luxury suites, all renovated, each come with a private balcony, and the outdoor area features a sizeable swimming pool, with a smaller children’s pool and fountain. Sporty types will be more than satisfied with the gym, floodlit tennis courts, volleyball court and table tennis equipment; sauna and massage services are also available. The resort has two bars and a restaurant to choose from. A new health centre will be opening in August 2013.

  1. Labadi Beach
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La Palm Royal Beach

The pool is the star of this beachside retreat, with its deep expansive waters, a separate children’s pool and a wet bar shaking up icy cocktails. At the weekend, manicured Accra residents flock here to cool down and socialise amid the 30 acres (12 hectares) of landscaped gardens. Hotel guests find La Palm an attractive complex of chalets, with a striking beachside location that makes for an accomplished stay. The rooms are clean, air conditioned and spacious with comfy beds. Overlooking the beach, the thatched setting of the Ghanaian Village restaurant is also a highpoint, and a great place to sample Ghanaian dishes such as red red (bean stew with plantain).Bar (4). Concierge. Business centre. Disabled-adapted rooms. Gym. Internet (wireless). Parking. Pool (2 outdoor). Restaurants (4). Room service. Spa. TV.

  1. By Labadi Beach
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Golden Tulip

The Golden Tulip is one of the most popular hotels in Ghana, thanks to its sizable rooms, conference facilities and location near the airport. The pitched roof lobby is one of the most spacious in the city (there’s a life-size wooden giraffe greeting arrivals), the staff are more alert than most and the pool area is seriously inviting. Its stylish lower ground floor restaurant, Branche, is a further selling point – dining spots this tastefully designed are rare in Accra. It’s an unpretentious space, with unpretentious pricing too – it’s not cutting-edge cuisine, after all. There are five meeting rooms and the hotel has wireless throughout, as well as a business centre. The accommodation comprises suites, apartments, chalets and regular rooms. And if US$435 for a double seems not enough money to be ridding yourself of in a day (in the last issue a double was $240), there’s a large casino (open Sun-Thur 1pm-4am; Fri, Sat 1pm-5am) immediately next door. It’s a pretty grand affair – one of the two biggest in Accra, along with the one at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel – and has roulette, stud poker and blackjack set over three adjoining levels.

  1. Liberation Road, Airport
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Holiday Inn Accra Airport

None other than President Barack Obama stayed here in 2009, and while you may not be looking to splash out US$2,000 nightly for the presidential suite, the hotel does a decent job of making all its guests feel like VIPs (or at least IPs). It’s a cut above what you might have come to expect from the Holiday Inn brand elsewhere in the world, and the cluster of expensive suits usually found milling around in the bar area is an accurate sign of the property’s popularity with the business world. The lobby is a stylish, airy space full of floral displays and modern African wood sculptures, but from a leisure aspect it’s perhaps the Med-style pool – a ridiculously inviting sight on a hot day – that’s the main draw (despite the building site of the new Marriott just behind). The hotel enjoys a quiet location given its proximity to the airport, and the upper floors give great views over Accra. This is a pretty classy option. Bars (2). Business centre. Gym. Internet (wireless, free shared terminal). Parking. Pool (outdoor). Restaurants (2). Room service. TV.

  1. Plot 19 & 20 Airport City
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