ACCRA NO. 4 ON NY TIMES TRAVEL 46 PLACES TO GO IN 2013 LIST

Posted on January 13, 2013

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Wonderful that Accra appeared on The 46 Places to Go in 2013 list. Scroll down and read the item for yourself….But…

I guess none of the editors at the NY Times Travel Section reads FOREIGN POLICY magazine where the 5 star Movenpick was slammed in a recent article for receiving funding through the World Bank’s financial arm The International Corporation which was originally set up to fight poverty. Not only is the Movenpick mentioned in the short NY Times Travel blurb describing the glories of Accra, but there is also a mention of the rollerblading pool attendants. The hiring of these kids was quoted in that same F.P. article as part of the Movenpick’s social responsibility agenda to fight poverty! HA!

And I guess the editors of the NY Times Travel section do not subscribe to this madinghana. wordpress blog, nor have they gone to the website of FOUR VILLAGES INN, Ashanti, Ghana. Throughout both, madinghana/four villages (that’s me) recommends that the tourist gets out of Accra as quickly as possible. Accra once held the ignominious distinction of being the most expensive city in Africa on the Mercer Index. It lost its title to Luanda; but I believe it will soon regain its title. Question for you-what do Angola and Ghana have in common?

So, Accra is expensive. Just checkout the room rates for the Movenpick and the other luxury world-class hotel chains that are establishing themselves in Accra. Soon the Shangri-la chain out of the Far East will commence building in Accra. What’s happening though is that the more modest Ghanaian hotels in Accra have been matching suit by jacking up their room rates to keep pace with the foreign-owned hotels. Accra does have a high cost destination reputation and it’s a result of business executives, and, I might add, the aid/N.G.O. business as whose personnel travel on expense account. Sad, when so-called development victimizes a people oriented industry, ie tourism, that provides so much employment and foreign exchange earnings in the country.

Then there’s the vehicular traffic that has nearly brought Accra to a halt. This is the result of the wholesale, unchecked importation of cars. This is particularly visible at this time of year when DVLA, ie licensing offices are swamped with cars getting permanent plates. Needless to say, the road system, a colonial remnant, can’t handle the volume so going from point A to B within Accra can literally take hours.

And lastly, there isn’t that much to see or do in Accra….but let me take the opportunity to plug one must do activity and that is to take Charles Sablah’s tour of Nima

And oh yes, if you want a recommendation of a great place to stay while in Accra, that consistently gets great reviews from Four Villages Inn clientele for its accommodations and food, then check out Afia African Village. You will not be disappointed.

To conclude, follow the NY TIMES TRAVEL page recommendation. Go to Accra, but get out of there and experience the real charm and vibrancy of Ghana away from its capital city.

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