I’ve been watching a lot of BBC lifestyle these past few months. I find myself watching many programmes that I never cared for when I lived in UK. Today, I am an avid viewer, Come Dine with Me is my favourite. Then anything with Gordon Ramsay (people say he’s a bully, I think with narcissism, there are people willing to be pushed around for 15 minutes of fame. Maybe I’m being nostalgic. To get away from sentences which end with “ooo”, or “ahaaaa”, but my TV set is permanently on that channel.
Speaking of Sir Ramsay (you know its only a matter of time), he’s been going around the UK and US sorting out hotel’s in Ramsay’s Hotel Hell. Had I had the capital, I really would want to pitch this idea for him to put Ghana on the map, or even give myself the mantle. Even so called high star hotel’s could do with a lick of paint and a decent menu. I have been saying this for a while now, and coming to Cape Coast has reinforced this.
I am in Cape for a funeral. A good friend of mine’s, mother passed away at the age of just 59. This death has really affected me as just a week before I was sitting with her. She had had issues with diabetes for a while, one leg had to be amputated and she had been experiencing complications ever since. The day I met her she was in tears as she felt she was a burden on her son. His wife has a baby on the way, and she felt that he didn’t need to be buying drugs and well she was really depressed. I think she was just tired, unfortunately she gave up the ghost. The day I heard, all I could do was give my own mum a hug. She’s a smother, but I would be devastated if she went right now. I pray to God that it is not for a few years to come, I pray that God grants me a husband and a few babies first so she can enjoy them.
I really feel for my friend, a wedding, a baby on the way and now a funeral. So we are all here to give him support (which sucks when you have outgoings and no incomings).
So we are all here. The last time I was in Cape, we stayed at Coconut Grove Hotel, the previous time it was Elmina. Those hotels were on the company. This time, it is on my own dime, so have had to go down market. So last night I slept at the Matlan Hotel. It is on the road going from Cape Coast to Elmina. A B&B under the guise of a hotel. Is it value for money? Let us discuss.
For 70 GHS you get the executive suite and for 50 GHS you get the standard (which I am in). For your buck you get a fridge, TV (which was bought in the early 80s, you know the small box with a screen). A shower and toilet which could do with a blu block and some bleach. A bar of soap which has been used by every passer by know to man with only God knows what fungal problem (the soap is not wrapped). They have an A-C but I am not sure if you have to pay extra to switch it on as I didn’t find the remote so I switched on the fan. On the plus side, the bed is quite big, on the downside, I don’t know if detergent was used during washing. Normally I would bring my won blankets and lay them down but for some reason I took it out of the bag (what was I thinking). So this morning at 5.30am when I woke up and remembered where I was I jumped up and out to the gardens.
From the outside it looks OK. The grounds however are beautiful. If you like to jog there is more than enough space. There are two Gazebos and a seating area. The owner has made some effort to make the place look modern, sliding doors and a bit of paint, I would say maybe 5 years ago.
The service, good but slow. I ordered a cup of tea about 15 minutes ago, and I’m not really too sure if they have gone to the estuary to fetch the water but I am still waiting. The restaurant and bar looks like my old canteen back in primary school (some of the chairs are probably for small kids they are that low).
Outside there are 4 flags, UK, US, Ghana and Swiss, they looked like they’ve been through the war, maybe they were put up pre-revolution, I’m not too sure.
I am about to brave the shower. I am hoping that the water heater switch is not just for show and that I actually get hot water. I have a feeling that it will be the quickest shower I have had looking at the state of the bathroom. But I shall not complain. This is Ghana, and we don’t complain. We take it like it is. Why? Because that’s the nature of the Ghanaian, and this hotel will continue to take money from paying customers, the owner, rather than re-invest, will buy his car and dine in places like Elmina. The workers will continue to try and find a way of making an extra buck because they aren’t being paid that much, and after all it is not their business.
The rooms will still be maintained for 50GHS because really, it is not worth anything more than that, and the customers will continue to pay. Because it is what it is, and they have no choice. It’s this or an over priced stay at a hotel with only a few better facilities than this.
So Gordon, what do you say, fancy turning your charms on the hotels of Ghana? My country really needs you!