© 2008 jim Labadi Beach Hotel bar

Labadi Beach Hotel, Accra, Ghana

This is an old colonial-style hotel.  It is very laid back, with a screen of very scenic palm trees (and a malarial swamp, alas) between it and Labadi Beach, one of the top beaches in Accra (or so they tell me, anyway).  Queen Elizabeth once stayed here, as did Tony Blair and Princess Margaret, though one imagines that they probably did not do so together.

In any case, I’m sure things have gone downhill since Her Majesty stayed here, as the rooms are fairly run down.  The minibar is crammed with about as many drinks as they could fit into it, which means that it spills open occasionally.  The toilet in my room had to be flushed two or three times before it really got going.  There was a nice little balcony from my room with a table and a couple of chairs, which was nice, plus visiting geckos.

In fact, the property is practically overrun with them, and not just the tiny finger-sized ones you see in many places, but many that were longer than my foot (and I’m a size 11). They come in all sorts of colors, and are quite cute.  In all, they are probably the best feature of the place.

The pool area is quite scenic, and there is a restaurant and an outdoor bar overlooking the pool.  The health club is your basic hotel health club with a half-dozen basic exercise machines, some of which actually work.

Internet service is wireless, and fairly expensive.  Six hours worth of internet access will cost you approximately US$11 (10 Ghana Cedis).  The good news is you can stretch the time out by logging in and logging out.  The bad news is you have to log in and log out all the time.  You have to get your login credentials from the business center.

The worst news is that the internet access positively sucks.  Lots of dropped packets and DNS resolution errors.  And very very very slow.  If you value internet service don’t stay here.

Food is so-so.  The bar and restaurant have the same menu, ranging from bar food to full courses, in the $10-$25 range.  Pricey, but so is the buffet option, at $29, though the selections are ok. Generally, however, the food at the Labadi Beach is very so-so. Stick to the bar food (sandwiches and burgers).  Service in the restaurant is African standard, meaning very slow and not terribly attentive.  Breakfast is included, and is not bad, with tropical fruit choices, an omelet station, and some nice pastries.

In all, I would say the surroundings at the Labadi Beach Hotel are very nice, but due to the rooms and the food (most of all) the internet access I couldn’t say I would recommend it.  Her Majesty may not agree, but then again I doubt she stayed in the room I was in, though the Royal Suite was just down the hall. Worst of all: for all this magnificence the cost is a measly $240/night!