Following on from our previous post on Virgin Atlantic’s new route to Accra, writer and photographer Kim Wildman – author of the Bradt Guide to Ghana and dozens of other African guides – offers some tips on where to sleep, eat and entertain in the capital.
Where to sleep
Labadi Beach Hotel – Best for Trade Fair Centre and the Beach
This 5-star hotel displays rare attention to detail in everything from the architecture and lush landscaped gardens to the standard of service and quality of its rooms. Adjacent to the lively and attractive La Pleasure public beach and practically opposite the Trade Fair Centre, it’s also only ten minutes by taxi from the city centre. Facilities include tennis courts, a sauna & health club, an excellent business centre, wi-fi in every room and two highly-regarded restaurants. There is a free hourly airport shuttle.
Beach Road, Labadi Beach; Tel: 021 772501/6
Golden Tulip Hotel – Best for a Flying Visit
Located less than 2km from the airport, this well-run 4-star hotel is a very attractive option for the fly-in-fly-out business traveller, with a surprising amount of character for a large chain hotel. Guests can enjoy the use of the tennis courts, gym and mini golf course or take a dip in the pool while listening to live music most weekends. Beyond the smartly dressed suites and rooms, the hotel’s other major draws include a good restaurant, laidback piano bar, mini art gallery and excellent business centre.
Liberation Road, Tel: 021 775360
Where to Wine, Dine and Entertain Clients
Maquis Tante Marie – Best for Local Dishes
While there’s now a second outlet at the Accra Mall out past the airport, this popular restaurant located near Metro TV in Labone is the original and the best. Laid out under high-pitched thatched roofs in the style of an Ivorian maquis, a traditional restaurant in Cote d’Ivoire, it’s one of the best places in Accra to taste Ghanaian and other West African specialties. The Senegalese rice with red-red (bean stew) is particularly good as is the grilled Tilapia with banku (fermented corn dough).
5th Norla St, Labone, Tel: 021 778914
Cuppa Cappuccino – Best for a Meeting Over Coffee
This wonderful suburban café tucked away on a quiet leafy street is a great place for a relaxing business lunch. A favourite with local expats, it’s one of the best places in Accra to satisfy caffeine cravings but also has extensive breakfast and lunchtime menus. There’s a small bookshop and art gallery attached which hosts regular literary recitals.
3rd Close, Airport Residential, Tel: 021 773412
Melting Moments – Best For An Informal Business Lunch
This bright patisserie-come-restaurant in Labone is a great spot for a casual mid-morning meeting or long lingering lunch. It attracts an upmarket crowd with its delicious range of homemade cakes and pastries as well as tasty sandwiches and burgers made with fresh ingredients, and the prices are very reasonable. There’s also a good variety of vegetarian and pasta dishes.
1st Norla St, Labone, Tel: 021 770834
Citizen Kofi – Best for Entertainment
Arranged over five floors, this entertainment complex is one of the swankiest places in Accra. The bright purple multi-storey club has a ground-floor bar, a nightclub (admission around C30) with a VIP section, a theatre and sports bar and a fifth-floor Sky Bar with stunning views over Osu. Restaurant Xango on the fourth floor is the perfect place for a long business lunch – the service is impeccable and the ingredients are fresh.
Off Oxford Street, Osu, Tel: 021 787811
For the very best fares to Accra, log on to www.virginatlantic.com.