On a recent visit to Ghana, JECKONIA OTIENO found out that the hotels and hospitality there are just as good as our very own
Stepping out of the plane at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, I approach the Customs Desk with the same trepidation that a first time visitor has on arriving to foreign country.
“Akwaaba,” the lady at the customs greets me at the airport and I am momentarily confused, but I look up; written in bold on the wall are two words, side by side, Akwaaba / Welcome. It is a word that I have to get used to the few days I am in Ghana just like getting used to the word karibu in Kenya. The response to this is midasi meaning ‘Thank You’ to which many of the locals reply eeyooo.
The humid atmosphere over the Ghanaian city of Accra is quite overwhelming as we head to the hotel where we are to stay.? After some traffic jam and a dual carriage way, just one like the Thika Road of the early 2000 we branch off to the five-star facility — at Labadi Beach Hotel which is one of the best in Ghana beside the Atlantic Ocean.
On the reception area there is pleasantly dark-colored wall washed by fountain water. It resolutely stands opposite the reception with the roof above the entire exhibiting hardwood roof beams that shade the space in front of the reception.
The heat is almost choking as we amble up the brief staircase to the reception. The moment the door is swung open, there is a complete change of the atmosphere since the lounge area is air-conditioned, a stark difference from the exterior. There are also overhead fans that whirl softly on the wooden beams that make the roof.
The use of wood is extensive at the reception — actually all over Labadi. From the many seats spread around the lounge, the bar area and the dining room, even the veranda, the main raw material is wood.
Over the tables at the reception area are all artifacts’ that seemingly have withstood the test of time. Some of them are wooden bowls and pots with a few seashells inside them and local nuts from the native trees.
The sculptures of animals like the elephant are stationed in the corners of the reception and there is also a piano for entertaining guests in the evenings after the sun kisses the horizon.
The antique lampshades make it all more beautiful with the twisted porcelain trunks on which they are perched. This is replicated in the rooms of residence, which in themselves are just a class exquisite.
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