No sun loungers, beer, salad or fries

1032 Reviews

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Date of travel

January, 2024

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Mekandi Riverside Resort

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Whilst touring Ghana we stayed for two nights at the Mekandi Riverside Resort, located on the outskirts of the small town of Akosombo.

This was a relatively large hotel with 19 standard and premium rooms, and two suites. They were all ground floor and arranged in blocks, surrounded by substantial lawns and grounds overlooking the River Volta.

A young girl greeted us with a delicious hibiscus and ginger drink, and then accompanied us to room 4. There was no information about meals or facilities, and as there was no room telephone, I had to trudge back to reception when we failed to get the AC to work, realised we needed a WiFi password and couldn’t unlock a door leading onto the rear gardens.

Our large room had a rather firm double bed, with lots of pillows, and a thick duvet, bearing in mind it was 30 degrees. There were two bedside lights and tables, but the plug points didn’t work, and neither did the two near the desk, chair and TV and we had to unplug the fridge to gain a working socket. In addition, the wardrobe was small, and there was only one comfortable chair and a coffee table. There was also a small safe and bottled water and whilst there were glasses, mugs and a kettle there was no tea or coffee.

The bathroom was dark and according to my husband, useless for shaving, particularly as the basin water was only tepid. In contrast the shower was good with plenty of powerful hot water and towel rails. There was no space for our own toiletries, and none were provided.

The grounds had a lovely square swimming pool, but disappointingly no sunbeds, and only six wooden, cushion less chairs which were a little uncomfortable.
In Ghana, Club beer is ubiquitous, but in Mekandi the only beers were Guiness or expensive imported Heineken, although we enjoyed our first bottled South African Savanna cider. Fanta and coke were the only soft drinks available.

Our meals were included, with the option of eating in the restaurant, or a covered outdoor dining area. We chose the latter, despite a TV blaring out football: our trip coincided with the Africa Cup of Nations, so this was not a surprise. Despite an extensive range of dishes, many included chillies, and several were unavailable. Both potato and yam fries were off, as was fresh salad, so all our meals were served with rice and coleslaw.

The Volta shrimps had little legs on, so took some peeling, and having asked for a finger bowl, I was presented with a washing up bowl, liquid soap, and a recently boiled kettle. A rather chewy beef tenderloin, which should have been accompanied by a peppercorn sauce, was served with spicy shito sauce on the side. The following night we fared slightly better with two reasonable, but absolutely huge pasta dishes with carbonara and arabbiata sauces. Generally, the food arrived in Ghanaian time i.e. around 50 minutes after being ordered.

We were asked to choose our breakfast time the night before, and preordered coffee and orange juice. This was served with a no-option tasty vegetable omelette, two sausages which we could have done without, the ubiquitous coleslaw and two slices of toast, without spread or jam. A flask of hot water came with sachets of Nescafe, and a brown, slightly sweet Carnation evaporated milk.

On the first of our two nights, we were the only guests in the hotel, and having returned to the hotel after a day of sightseeing, found our room had not been serviced, because we hadn’t left the key, although no one had told us we needed to. On our second night, which coincided with a weekend, there were three other couples, so it was a rather solitary experience.

The only three members of staff all appeared to be under the age of 20, with the two girls being extremely shy and hesitant. However, Ebenezer was a star, and as we’d not been asked to sign for drinks, he’d kept an accurate tally of how many bottles of cider we’d drunk. When we wanted to pay our drinks bill, he got out two reporters notebooks, added up various numbers and we paid in cash, with no paperwork exchanging hands. For what is a relatively large hotel, accounting and stock control must be a nightmare.

The hotel had a huge conference centre, and in the grounds were two table tennis tables, a volleyball net and outdoor darts set.

Helen Jackson

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