This is probably not a four-star hotel, but I'm rating it as such because I found it a comfortable, clean, and safe place with decent service and a nice setting and location. I'm very picky about cleanliness and this is one of the few hotels where I've felt comfortable unpacking and putting clothes directly on the (immaculate) shelves.
The lobby, like the rooms, is small but tastefully appointed. There is a little gift shop off the lobby where I was able to buy a local sim card for my phone for 10 cedi (about $7.50) that lasted me for about 10 days of local calls and data (yes, included getting and sending emails on my unlocked iPhone).
The service was average. Perhaps people at the front desk were trying to be helpful, but three people gave two different answers to the question (e.g., how much do I owe for 2 nights at the hotel).
I wish the hotel would provide maps of the surrounding area (just 1 sheet of a xeroxed map would be fine). When I asked if they had one, they didn't seem to understand what I was asking for. I told the two people at the front desk that I wanted to take a walk and wanted a small map to take with me. One of them then walked me over to a wall in the lobby where they have a huge map of the city hanging on the wall. I asked if they sold this map so I could buy it. Answer is no. No map at the front desk, no map at the little gift shop. Before you go to Ghana, get the Bradt guide to Ghana. It's great and has decent maps -- so I tore out the pages for Accra and was fine.
Breakfast was included in the room rate I got and it was quite good -- included pancakes, omelettes and eggs made to order, beans, sausages, and regular breads, yogurt, etc. The fresh fruit platter was not refilled often and I found I usually had to find a server to ask for coffee. Room service was okay; the pizza seemed to be the best bet altho if you haven't had a chance to try Ghanaian food elsewhere, where it's better (try Maquis Tante Marie in the Accra Mall -- great selection and good food), it's worth trying it here. Service was forgetful, with 2 of the 3 times I ordered requiring the server to go back to get a forgotten item. Nothing terrible, just inconvenient.
So, the room. Newly renovated and altho they are on the small side, they are very functional with a great desk and good lighting. There is a safe, coffee maker, and small fridge. One large bottle of water is supplied daily, a nice touch as often hotels put one in the room when you check in and that's it. I particularly liked that they provided both European outlets and the British/Ghanaian outlets. There is satellite TV with BBC, CNN, Euronews (captions were in English, audio was French) and a couple of Ghanaian stations, a couple of other African stations (not sure which countries), and one or two movie stations. Wifi was good (and free) for email and internet, but not always adequate for using Skype.
The bed was comfortable, linens clean. The bathroom was spotless, except for the tile floors which are new and apparently are staining badly so that there are water marks on the floor that make it seem that they've not been washed. Nice amenities are provided. The shower was fabulous -- great water flow and rain shower heads, but with a half glass shield on the shower leaving half open to the room. You have to be a bit careful about how you shower. The toilet is in a separate room, very convenient for 2 people sharing a room.
The A/C was not up to par in either room I had (was in and out of Accra during my trip to Ghana). In both rooms, I turned it to the max of 5 degrees Celsius and it never got close to that. In the other hotels I stayed at outside of Accra, I set the A/C between 21-22 degrees and I was fine -- so I assume the A/C at the Novotel does not get down to 22 degrees. I asked about this and was told that they'd remodeled and "perhaps" they needed to look into the A/C.
In addition to the remodeling glitches with the bathroom floors and the A/C, the new curtains in the rooms require patience and strength. They neither open nor close without considerable effort and I was sure I would end up bringing the whole apparatus down on me (I didn't and didn't even rip them, which I also thought might happen -- they seem made of some strange plastic/nylon fabric).
I would recommend this hotel altho there is a new Movenpick almost across the street that looks huge and may be worth trying. I've heard the prices there may be double the special rate I got at the Novotel ($135/night with breakfast). I do hope the Novotel can get some of the renovation mistakes taken care of as it is a great option in Accra.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Novotel Accra City Centre is a 4 star hotel ideal for a holiday or business trip to Accra. 7 km from the airport and close to the conference centre and major banks, the hotel provides WiFi internet and six meeting rooms for business travellers. Guests on holiday in the Ghanaian capital will find the Makola Market, museums, theatre, golf and the beach all nearby. The hotel features a bar, restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre, business centre, onsite parking and a tennis court. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Novotel Accra City Centre Hotel Accra
- Accor Accra City Centre
- Accra Novotel