3A's Guest House (Akosombo)

I've stayed in a quite a few Ghanaian guesthouses and hotels over the years.  Most of them, in my opinion, are not fit for international patronage.  So I wanted to dedicate part of this blog to highlighting those I come across which actually are.

These aren't 5-star hotels I'm talking about here.  Maybe one day, if GHexpat really takes off, I'll start hitting up some of the swankier joints and writing about them, the ones that are specifically designed to cater to foreigners.  But for now the hospitality venues I visit in some instances, such as with 3A's, may be a pricier than average but still, in the grand scheme of the Ghanaian economy, affordable.  And being knowledgeable of such places can be advantageous because not every visitor or expatriate to GH is coming over which a bunch of money in their pocket.  And as an expatriate, even if you do opt to live amongst the people, there will be times when you want to get away from it all, in a manner of speaking.

A pic from the entrance of 3A's Guesthouse in Akosombo

3A's Guest House is found in Akosombo, a significant town in the Eastern Region I spent a month or two at late last year.  The makeup of Akosombo - or at least certain parts of it - is very reminiscent to that middle-class America.  So the reason I stayed there was to find out if it is a viable place where an expat could settle long term.  I'm always trying to convince Mom Cheese to come over, and I also have a brethren who's considering migrating to GH with his family.  So I wanted to find out firsthand if Akosombo would be accommodating, because on the surface it looks the ideal place for the likes of newcomers, senior citizens or those who desire a quiet yet developed environment to live in.

Out of the two months I spent there, I only stayed at 3A's for the first couple of weeks, which is a decision I later regretted.  I was on foot, and the guesthouse is a up a hill, not a very steep one but with a rough road that can be annoying if you don't feel like walking or need to go to town for something.  One thing I learned in GH is that there's plenty of places in the bush which are beautiful and sometimes relatively quiet.  But the caveat is that getting to and fro these locations often sucks.

The video above sorta illustrates how hilly the area is.  I took it walking from behind the guesthouse, and you can see 3A's on the left.  So that small road leading to the facility is on an incline.  And then the road it leads to, i.e. the main road going back to town, is also on an inclined and currently quite rough.  But as you can also see, this is a very-beautiful and sparsely-populated area.  That house there on the hill that I zoomed in on near the end, like it'd be so cool to live in a crib like that.  But even traversing that small distance to get up there, the reality is you'd have to be in really good health to be doing that regularly.

This next video was taken on that same small road but with me stationary behind the guesthouse.  You'll notice that a small portion of the forest back there has been weeded.  That either means that someone is coming to farm or build on it.  There's also a footpath leading into the bush, i.e. up the mountain, that you may notice early in the clip, if you have a keen eye.  That's most likely utilized by hunters, and there's probably some farms and maybe even a small house or two up there amongst the trees.

The reason I'm talking so much about the surrounding area rather than 3A's itself is because I took a bunch of pics inside the guesthouse itself but have since lost them.  The only two I was able to salvage that are actually worth posting is that found at the beginning of the article and this one...

...which is of the guesthouse's outdoor lounging area.  But you can see that the place is neat, with cleanliness, in my book, being the first and foremost consideration when it comes to guesthouses/hotels.

And based on my experiences there, inside the rooms are also a lot cleaner than the norm (though I did have some minor issues with the bathroom).  But besides that, what I really liked most about 3A's is the level of professionalism.  The people managing the place weren't particularly friendly but did do what they were asked when requested.  And more to the point, you could tell that the person who owns the place understands true Ghanaian hospitality, like the type dating back to the Rawlings' and Nkrumah eras.  I didn't meet the owner personally (I don't think), but whoever he is, he obviously recognizes that receiving someone into a guesthouse you own, reputation wise, is the same as welcoming them into your home.  For instance, there's other hotel owners whose facilities are dirty AF, and they don't seem to give a damn, which really isn't a good look (nor conducive to the development of the nation as a whole).  And secondly, it's like you never know who's going to show up at your place, so it's always ideal to have your best foot forward.

I don't know the history of 3A's, but I would imagine it has a rich one and that the person who founded it rubbed elbows with dignitaries, if not being one him or herself.  To reiterate, Akosombo itself is relatively upscale, being the town tasked with housing the Volta River Authority (VRA), which is an important institution in Ghana.  And I could tell that many of 3A's customers were supervisors from the VRA, who skipped over the other, less-kept guesthouses to come there instead.

3A's Guesthouse isn't budget.  It's slightly though noticeably more expensive than the average guestroom these days.  But at least I walked away feeling as if it was worth the money, which is a rare sentiment, even for those priced significantly less.  And if it weren't for its remoteness and a couple of other factors, I would have stayed longer.


But as for settling in Akosombo as an expatriate, I personally wouldn't recommend it unless you're a seasoned one who knows how to handle such farawayness in general.  For example, access to Western foods is virtually nonexistent, and the town as a whole, which isn't directly connected to any other, is by and large asleep by 9:00.  But it is a cool place to visit and an example of how Ghana could look if other communities were able to take cleanliness and organization as seriously as the VRA does here.


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