Entertainment of 2013-12-19

No Xmas at Akosombo

This Christmas, there will not be activity at the Volta Hotel in Akosombo, more popularly known as Akosombo Hotel, one of Ghana’s most preferred tourism destinations.

With barely five days to go for the Yuletide season to swing into full gear, the Akosombo Hotel is virtually lifeless.

Last Tuesday when Showbiz visited, the facility was locked up and no one, except a lone seemingly bored security staff, was on duty.

Earlier, calls that Showbiz placed to the hotel, seeking information about reservations for the Christmas period went unanswered on all the hotel’s four telephone lines.

In the Akosombo township, Showbiz learnt that the closure was a very unexpected action that occurred last Friday when simmering bad industrial relations between the management and staff of the hotel came to a head.

Showbiz learnt that the shut-down was so sudden that guests who were in residence, had to be evacuated to nearby hotels or simply sent away. All reservations were also cancelled immediately and staff sent home.

The Volta Hotel is noted for its fun-filled activities and programmes at Christmas and certainly its closure at this time is likely to affect many of its patrons especially travellers from outside the country and those who usually patronise their boat ride on the Volta Lake.

The Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority in Accra whom Showbiz contacted, Mr Ben Ohene Ayeh, expressed surprise at the news and said that the Authority would investigate the issue and take appropriate action.

Meanwhile, efforts to get the Volta River Authority (VRA), owners of the facility to comment on the issue did not yield results as the Corporate Affairs Manager who was said to be the only one competent enough to talk on it was said to have travelled outside the country.

The hotel, which was originally built to accommodate Ghana's first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, while he supervised the construction of the Akosombo hydro electric dam, is strategically located on a hilltop overlooking the dam which incidentally is the second largest man-made lake in the world.

The natural beauty and serenity of this location provides the needed ambience for relaxation and an escape from the noise and pollution of the cities of Accra and Tema which are close by and thus make it a location of good choice.

As part of its attractions the hotel features top-drawer recreational facilities including a large outdoor swimming pool, a discotheque and double lawn tennis court. It also has cruise boats; MV Dodi Princess I which is under rehabilitation and Dodi Princess II which is under construction and near completion, as well as an executive yacht.

Additional pleasure attractions are water sports equipment for beachfront activities like kayaking, canoeing, jet skiing and fishing among others.