Understanding Four Villages Inn: A precursor to an Announcement

Posted on June 4, 2009

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It’s easy to describe Four Villages Inn. Our  motto says it all “Much, much more than just a place to stay”. Click on “Four Villages Inn” under Blogroll to the right to get to our web site. We are particularly proud of our VILLAGE NEWS section. Our permanent e-mail signature says it all too: “Easily the nicest place to stay in Kumasi.” ROUGH GUIDE TO WEST AFRICA, JUNE, 2008.

Since January, 2000, FOUR VILLAGES INN has been providing foreign tourists and in-country diplomatic and N.G.O. staff with a proverbial “home away from home” and  “an oasis”.  The comments in the guest book and the reviews on TRIP ADVISOR where we are the #1 guesthouse in the city and in guide books are testimony to the quality we have maintained over the years. In short, Four Villages Inn has been a labour of love, keeping to its vision of providing four rooms with a whole lot of extras, most importantly, the individual attention provided by Charity and Chris Scott, owner and managers.

In 2001, Mr. Alfred Fawundu, the U.N. Resident coordinator and the U.N.D.P Resident Representative in Accra, came to stay. On leaving, he wrote in the guest book:

“This place symbolizes enlightened individual effort upon which hinges progress.”

Bearing this assessment in mind, FOUR VILLAGES INN could be viewed as providing a microcosm for evaluating the big picture; that is, Ghana’s progress in the 21st century.

No business effort, small or large, can survive without government creating an enabling environment for the private sector, particularly for small business which characterizes most businesses in this developing country. That’s the role of the pertinent public sector agencies. In the hospitality industry, the Ghana Tourist Board is mandated to monitor, support and if need be protect establishments. FOUR VILLAGES INN has not received that support.

In previous posts, you may have read about our predicament, a drinking bar in this first class residential area established in front of a one star hotel no less across the road playing music loudly. Since the bar opened in January, 2009, FOUR VILLAGES INN has protested vehemently to no avail. Not one representative from any one of three departments, the Kumasi Metropolitan Authority, the E.P.A. nor the Ghana Tourist Board, has visited  FOUR VILLAGES INN to acknowledge, investigate or monitor the complaint from here.

FOUR VILLAGES INN, even though it is small, collects a lot of tax revenue and, over almost a decade, as a responsible corporate citizen has paid all its license fees and taxes promptly.  However,  FOUR VILLAGES INN is not valued, valued for its monitory contribution to national development  nor valued for providing a unique accommodation experience thus enhancing Ghana’s tourism industry.

In short, this labour of love feels abandoned   and valueless. FOUR VILLAGES INN expects more. Perhaps that is the problem…

Wait a minute…our guests have expectations and make demands and over the years we have met them and we will protest to continue to do so. Below a recent review that appeared on Trip Advisor posted on April 25, 2009 under the banner headline:

TREASURED HOUSE GUESTS

This is not a hotel. It’s a lovely private home filled with books, photos and ornaments. The bedrooms are all individually and carefully themed and each has a large clean bathroom, a fridge, kettle and a supply of filtered water.
The inn is some distance from the town centre, which is a bit of a nuisance, but taxis are both plentiful and cheap. Alternatively, if he’s around, Chris, the owner, is happy to drive you to the nearby village.

One of the major pluses of the inn is Chris, who is helpful and informative without being obtrusive. He recommended a cultural afternoon at the Institut Francaise, which turned out to be great fun. He told us how to get tickets for the World Football Cup Qualifier between Ghana and Benin and this was a highlight of our trip- not because of the football, about which we knew next to nothing, but because of the crowd- an assault on all the senses- singing, drumming, dancing, colourful and dangerous! What would ‘Health and Safety’ say about letting off fireworks in the crowd? I hasten to add the danger only extended to the fireworks. Everyone was good humoured and friendly- especially as Ghana won.
Chris also arranged for Comfort to take us on a tour of the market. She was fantastic and we can’t recommend her enough. We learnt so much about local customs, traditional dress, food stuffs, etc. I also reckon we saved the cost of the tour in the first half hour thanks to her advice on the art of haggling.

Unfortunately Charity, Chris’s wife, who according to all the earlier reviews is an excellent cook, was away during our visit which was a little disappointing but the staff coped well in her absence.

In summary, if you want an impersonal hotel with all the facilities, you won’t like this- there’s no swimming pool and there is a fixed menu evening meal on offer which has to be ordered in advance. On the other hand, it’s very clean and everything works which is more than can be said about many of the hotels we stayed at in West Africa. We were treated like house guests and the service was superb- lunch, which is not normally supplied, was laid on for us, we were able to use the internet without charge and the supply of CDs and DVDs is inexhaustible.”

So there you have it! Now read the next post please.

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