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Where to Stay in Accra
The Greater Accra Area is huge and sprawling, but most of its outer reaches have few hotels and attractions of interest to tourists. The majority of the city’s hotels are located in Accra Central, a semi-circle shaped district formed by the Gulf of Guinea Coast and the Ring Road, the major traffic artery that follows Accra Central’s perimeter. The area’s most prominent attractions like the Ghana National Museum, the National Theatre and the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum are all located in this compact neighborhood.
The dozens of neighborhoods that lie outside of the Ring Road but south of Kwame Nkrumah Motorway, Ghana’s main highway following the coast, contain virtually all of the remaining hotels in the Greater Accra Area. The most diverse selection is located northwest of Central Accra, in the immediate vicinity of Kotoka International Airport and the University of Ghana. When seeking cheap hotel deals in Accra, it’s often beneficial to search around the northwestern periphery first, but don’t overlook the Central Accra hotels unless you’re on an extremely tight budget. While they’re slightly more expensive, most of these centrally located hotels are very affordable by U.S. standards, and the convenience of staying in the heart of the action is often worth the small added expense.
Accra Hotel Tips
Four and five star hotels are available in Central Accra, and their accommodations are comparable to luxury hotels in the United States. Though there is a variety of exclusive properties, luxury hotels are not overly abundant, so you should make reservations in advance if a plush room is important to you. In addition to classic luxury towers, large tropical resorts round out the upscale category.
Clean, comfortable and affordable mid-range hotels are mostly operated by African hotel chains and can be found throughout the Greater Accra Area. Budget options consist of guest houses similar to either B&Bs or hostels.
Accra Hotel Recommendations
The Hotel Novotel Accra City Centre is located in the heart of Central Accra, and is popular among vacationers and business travelers alike. Though it’s not an over-the-top resort, features like an on-site bar and restaurant, outdoor pool, tennis court, fitness center and complimentary wifi put it a step above many other hotels in its price category.
To get closer to the water without leaving Central Accra, look into the Afia African Village. The rooms in its Afia Beach Hotel are simple but clean, and the ocean view suites are some of the best in the city for beach lovers. The on-site Tribes Bar & Restaurant is a charming open-air café with a diverse menu, and there’s even a gallery of traditional African art on the premises.
Near the airport, the Golden Tulip Accra is a large hotel with resort-like features that are difficult to find in that area. The tropically landscaped swimming pool is enormous, and the small on-site casino is a great place to mingle with guests. Among the standard rooms and suites are a few private chalets with kitchenettes and multiple rooms, ideal for extended stays.
East of the city but right on the coast is the Labadi Beach Hotel, the Greater Accra Area’s premier resort. It would be a shame to miss out on Accra’s wealth of cultural sites because you’re spending so much time at your hotel, but Labadi Beach may compel you to do just that with its laid-back poolside bars, 24-hour room service, private beach, spa facilities and other posh features.
If you’re staying in Central Accra, it’s safe and easy to walk to most of the neighborhood attractions, restaurants and shopping centers. While you can rent a vehicle and drive yourself around, many visitors opt not to because hired transportation is inexpensive and some roads are confusing and poorly maintained, particularly as you get farther from Central Accra.
If you’re interested in hiring a personal driver, work with your hotel staff to make arrangements. Most drivers work for very affordable hourly rates, and some offer discounts if you arrange to hire them for an entire day. The cost of fuel is not factored into this rate.
Taxis are also plentiful and can be flagged down on the street throughout Central Accra and most of the city’s outer reaches. Most taxis are unmetered, so you should be prepared to negotiate a fare with your driver before you depart. Taxis are always lined up and waiting at the airport, and are the most convenient way of reaching your hotel after your flight to Accra.
Accra has no formal public transportation system, but its minibuses, called Tro Tros, come closest. These buses travel fixed routes through the city, though schedules and fares can be unpredictable. As they pass through areas crowded with pedestrians, the driver or another Tro Tro employee will shout the bus’ destination out the window. You can signal that you’d like to board by raising your arm and making eye contact with the driver.
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