Make a splash
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.
Good things come to those who wait.. Well, finally, the much-delayed Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City has now opened to compete for top billing with Ghana’s very finest hotels. The Gold Coast City Hotel is from the Kempinski group that has a global reputation for doing things in style, this is no exception. It marks the brand’s West African debut and is a dazzling addition, with a complex spread over 35 hectares and comprising numerous buildings, including commercial and residential towers organised along a ‘broad boulevard and esplanade’. The hotel itself will have 269 rooms, all at least 50 sqm in size, including a pair of seriously snazzy presidential suites. Guests can also enjoy an extensive spa with 10 treatment rooms, a hammam, yoga studios and a fully kitted-out beauty salon. Other hotel features include an organic food bar, a cocktail bar, tennis courts and a flashy outdoor pool. In addition, there will be seven meeting rooms with the latest audio-visual equipment, a number of outside meeting areas and a conference centre measuring 1,750 sq m. The Papillon Restaurant is a vibrant Mediterranean-inspired all day dining restaurant. Offering and showcasing flavors that travel the Mediterranean region from Spain to the Coast of Southern Italy in a casual and contemporary atmosphere. The daylight flooded restaurant got its name from the butterfly shaped roof and is located at the 3rd floor adjacent to the Pool and Cedar Terrace. A wood fired pizza oven welcomes th
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.
The newly opened Tang Palace Hotel is handily located six km from Independence Square in Accra. The hotel has a year-round outdoor pool and terrace, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink at the bar. Features include free WiFi access and free private parking. All rooms come with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Certain units include a seating area where you can relax. Some units feature views of the pool or city. Rooms come with a private bathroom fitted with a hot tub. Extras include slippers and free toiletries. A TV is featured. You will find free shuttle service and hairdresser's at the property. The hotel also offers car hire. Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park is seven km from Tang Palace Hotel, while Accra Sports Stadium is six km away.
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.
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.
Previously called Novotel, this four-star family-friendly hotel might lack some of the pizzazz of the newer places – the outside could do with a lick of paint – but the Accra City Hotel's selection of restaurants and facilities provides ample entertainment for holidaymakers of all ages. The walls are covered in local art (as part of a project to encourage arts in Accra) and sunshades and loungers line the small outdoor pool, while tennis courts and a fitness centre keep exercise fiends happily active. The hotel has several mealtime options, including an international menu and buffet, and its 190 air-conditioned rooms range from standard and superior rooms to larger suites with two bedrooms. The lobby’s Sangaw Bar has some interesting historical flags from Ghana’s colonial past.