Over the past five years Ghana has experienced an oil boom like no other. Explorers have flocked to the country since the first viable well was found off the shore of the western city of Takoradi in 2007. Now the country has exploded; in 2011 the GDP grew by 13.6 percent and the results for 2012 are expected to be even more impressive. Ghana has quickly risen to become one of the top business destinations in Africa, and as such its business facilities have had to develop quickly.
Holiday Inn Accra Airport is situated just one kilometre from Kotoka International Airport, and only seven kilometres from the city centre, making it an ideal location for the business traveller or adventurous tourist.
Widely acknowledged as one of the premium hotels in Accra, Holiday Inn Accra Airport played host to the US first family during their stay in Ghana in 2009 − the first by US President Obama to sub-Saharan Africa. More recently Hillary Clinton resided in the hotel, along with high-profile personalities from within the business sector, royalty and some famous names from film and music – all attracted by its impeccable service and reputation.
Leisure facilities at Holiday Inn Accra Airport are extensive and include a swimming pool, a fully equipped gym and a health centre. The seven-storey hotel has 98 standard rooms, 48 executive rooms, 14 deluxe rooms, six executive suites and two presidential suites – including Suite 509, of Obama fame. All are luxuriously appointed and equipped with high-speed wi-fi internet access, satellite television, coffee- and tea-making facilities, 24-hour room service and in-room safety deposit boxes.
The hotel prides itself in offering that home-away-from-home experience. Upon arrival the guest relations team are available to assist visitors either with the hotel’s facilities or with advice on Accra and beyond. The hotel works hard to provide the discerning business traveller with important home comforts, such as first-rate internet access, space to work in peace and an impressive selection of foods from around the globe.
The Holiday Inn Accra Airport offers some of the most sophisticated cuisine to be found in the Ghanaian capital. The Wiase restaurant, open for a buffet-breakfast, lunch and dinner, boasts a terrace overlooking the swimming pool and is one of the most impressive hotel restaurants available.
The hotel also offers a more relaxed dining experience at the La Cabana Pool Bar and Restaurant, where guests can dine al fresco, either enjoying their food beneath the Ghanaian sun or by the light of the stars. At the weekends a live band plays through the night and traditional entertainment is offered on Sundays.
Alternatively, grab a cold beer or cocktail in the Safari Bar, where the atmosphere is business-like during the day, but becomes a meeting place for leisure at night. Choose from the à la carte menu, served all day and ranging from finger-style snacks to a fillet steak.
As a conference venue, the Holiday Inn Accra Airport is unsurpassed in exceptional conferencing facilities. These are matched by the skills of the dedicated conferencing and banqueting manager, whose team can cater a reception for up to 450 people. The hotel also provides for private meetings or dinners in a choice of three boardrooms.
Business travellers enjoy full use of the business centre – open all day to assist with the secretarial requirements of the modern age. Corporate guests can maximise working time during their stay, as the location is only five minutes from the airport aboard the hotel’s own courtesy bus. The hotel attracts many business travellers familiar with the Holiday Inn brand, as the priority club loyalty card can be used here and across the IHG portfolio.
An ambitious expansion
Following the success of the Holiday Inn Accra Airport, owner Patrick Fares has invested in another ambitious franchise, this time in the prospering seaside town of Takoradi. The town is booming with business and tourism, and new developments pop up every day, but none like the Best Western Atlantic Hotel.
Two years ago, the idea of a luxury hotel in Ghana’s Western Region was a distant prospect, but since striking oil the seaside town has experienced accelerated development, with beach resorts and businesses proliferating along the coastline. Expansion looks set to continue, making Takoradi an increasingly important business destination, and one that deserves an exquisite resort to accommodate its new business contacts.
Due to open in 2013, the five-star Best Western Atlantic Hotel will come complete with a golf course, two swimming pools, tennis courts and a completely separate business centre, all overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The main hotel will have 96 executive rooms equipped with high-speed wi-fi, wide-screen televisions, and generous bathrooms. The hotel also boasts 12 chalets, six suites, two presidential suites and three luxurious penthouse suites.
The 56 business class rooms, located in an exclusive business wing, will be fully equipped for the corporate guest. Living areas have been designed with both meetings and relaxation in mind, and come complete with computer and printer access. The corporate wing, one of a kind in Ghana, features a business lounge for strategic meetings and its own concierge. Whatever the length of the visit, it will be a convenient and welcoming workspace.
Eight suites, including two presidential suites, are located on the sixth floor. Each room has a king-size bed, a well-apportioned living area and a jacuzzi in every bathroom, for optimum comfort.
Above these, the rooftop consists of three spectacular penthouses. Far from the chalets and fountains below, the exclusive suites are accessible only via individual glass elevators. Panoramic glass walls reveal a mesmerising horizon and every penthouse leads on to a balcony and terrace where guests can expect complete privacy.
The Best Western Atlantic Hotel will present its guests with one of the most mouth-watering selections of bars and restaurants to be found under one Ghanaian roof. There will be seven different catering venues in total, all open for guests to enjoy.
Visitors will be able to relax in a modern setting with an international à la carte menu offering everything from afternoon snacks to three-course meals, or choose a quick bite to eat with a treat made fresh in the daily bakery. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will also be served in the buffet area, where guests can sample the best of local Ghanaian cuisine in a relaxed and accessible setting. Finally, guests will be able to enjoy cocktails at the African Bar and Restaurant, surrounded by the hotel’s magnificent infinity pool.
The hotel has all the necessary elements to make it an appealing business destination. Driven by its attractive seaside location, it is perfectly placed for Accra residents on visits to the coast and business travellers dealing in oil. It will play host to the largest conference facility outside the capital of Accra, seating up to 700 people, and the centre offers two other banqueting and conference halls, two boardrooms and a business centre.
Business guests and tourists alike will be able to choose whether to wind down and relax in the spa, work out in the well-equipped gym, or compete on one of the two tennis courts. After dark, activities continue in the nightclub and casino, both situated within the hotel grounds.
At the Best Western Atlantic, the sheer variety of facilities in and around the hotel ensure that individual business travellers, conference groups and even families will be well catered for throughout any length of stay. Guests will find entertainment and fine dining to suit all tastes, available every day, around the clock, in a perfect setting for business conventions, wedding functions and relaxing breaks.
There is no question that Fares’ hotels offer the best of Ghana to international visitors. Guests can relax and enjoy the friendly service, or carry out productive meetings; all manner of activity is catered for at the Holiday Inn Accra Airport and the Best Western Atlantic Hotel.