Accra is probably not the first destination that springs to mind when planning a holiday. And while it's true that the city's notorious traffic jams, relentless street vendors and pumping music might take some getting used to, the Ghanaian capital's eclectic mix of cultures is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. A full day out in Ghana's most vibrant city requires a certain amount of repose, which can be found at none other than luxury boutique hotel Villa Monticello. Just ten minutes from Kotoka International Airport, located in a prestigious and tranquil neighbourhood, lies one of Ghana's most outstanding hotels. Peace and TLC are as guaranteed as the sunshine.
Villa Monticello has been recognised for its world-class service by design industry heavyweights; it has swept up a number of awards as well as being voted Ghana's Leading Hotel almost every year since its opening in 2011. The hotel prides itself on combining modern luxury with rich traditional culture, reflecting the growing hospitality industry in Accra and the entanglement of the city's roots with a new entrepreneurial spirit.
…are not rooms, but suites. The hotel offers 16 of them and as the old saying goes, quality over quantity. Each luxurious suite has been inspired by an international city or famous figurehead - think the grand archways of Marrakech and the dreamy pastels of Lake Como. Prices range from just under £350 to around £800, depending on whether you opt for the slightly smaller but nevertheless opulent junior suites or one of the three extravagant presidential suites.
What's for breakfast?
Everything you need to start your day right. Wake up to freshly baked pastries, tropical fruit, stacks of fluffy pancakes with maple syrup or a full English. Not a morning person? The hotel offers brunch from 10AM to 4PM at the weekend so fear not, you won't be missing out on the most important meal of the day.
How about lunch and dinner
Villa Monticello's restaurant, Chapter One, is headed by internationally recognised executive chef Ruby Paintsil, so you've barely got to step out of your suite for exquisite cuisine. The lunch and dinner menus are pretty extensive - whether it's seafood, curry, traditional Ghanaian food such as cassava and yams or a leg of Scottish roast beef that you're after, Chapter One has got it covered. Wash your meal down with a glass of the strong stuff; the restaurant has a carefully curated wine list, offering guests a chance to sample rich flavours from South Africa and beyond.
Is there a bar?
Yes - if you aren't tempted by the extensive wine list Chapter One offers, head to the hotel's intimate cabana-style cocktail bar and lounge, where you can indulge in some of Villa Monticello's signature cocktails.
The hotel offers a state-of-the-art gym and even a personal trainer if you're one of those people who insists on working out on holiday. If the idea of spending hours on the treadmill doesn't really appeal to you, relax outside in The Courtyard, or take advantage of the in-suite spa treatments available. The hotel also offers a concierge service called, helpfully, Koncierge, a team of experts on Accra and the surrounding region should you need any information about where to go and what to do.
Things you should know
The hotel has three floors but no lift so prepare yourself for a daily leg workout.
Within a short walk you can find…
Some good areas to shop till you drop. The location is one of the many selling points of Villa Monticello - it's a ten minute drive to the centre of town, a 20-minute drive to the beach and is round the corner from the airport, though you may find that the hardest journey of all.