Maaha Beach Resort is a class apart. I call it “an inviting expanse of bespoke indigenous hospitality carefully blended with nature.” Located in Anokyi in Ellembele District of the oil-rich Western Region of Ghana, Maaha Beach Resort derives its name from the raffia vinifera or bamboo palm, a tropical plant with hard woody stem, known locally among the Nzema people who live in the area as maaha. Instead of concrete, the property’s exterior designs and construction has been crafted with maaha, giving it a traditional village yet exotic ambience.

I visited the resort as part of a group comprising media and tour operators on a familiarisation tour of the Western Region for the 5th Accra Weizo West Africa tourism expo. The visit was brief, but the impression lingers. We were there for lunch and site inspection after a river cruise to the famous Nzulezo Stilts Village, a UNESCO World heritage Site in Beyin.

Jean-Jacques Mass speaking with the media team

I think what makes this place unique is the fact that it’s very close to nature. When you come around, you will see these high coconut trees that give you the impression of being in some Caribbean country, but we are still in Ghana. …this place should be an example for most African countries to promote what (they) have. Everything was built by local artisans with local materials… I think this is the best destination in Ghana.

Jean-Jacques Mass

The lunch was good, very good and the staff were warm – maybe because they knew who we were. I doubt if that really made any difference. It’s hard to imagine a place like this will compromise its services by employing staff with no proper training. The staff is an eclectic and dynamic mix of highly skilled Ghanaian, Ivorian, Portuguese, and Nigerian nationalities and the multilingual nature makes communication very easy.

The rooms looked cosy and I can only guess what sleep comfort would be like. Again, the property was fully booked and we were only able to see two rooms of the combine total of about 150. It is obvious that business is booming for the resort.


We had a little chat with the General Manager, Jean-Jacques Mass and a while later on we got to meet the owner of the property who gave us some background information about the resort.

Maaha Beach Resort was officially opened in June 2017. The room categories include Standard, Deluxe, and Executive Rooms, Junior Suites, Executive Suite and Presidential Suite. Each of these has either sea or garden views, and is spacious and fitted with modern technological gadgets, Wi-Fi access and the trappings of world class resorts to make your stay both comfortable and memorable.

The resort boasts of multiple outdoor pools, a beauty spa centre and fully equipped gym, buffet and a la cart restaurants, Spanish bar and pool bar, a 30-seater movie theatre, tennis court, snooker, children playground and variety of indoor games, while the seafront is perfect for fun activities like beach soccer, etc. when tides are low.

Conference facilities are available and can be customised to suite client’s needs and requirements.

The resort offers a luxurious boat cruise to Maaha Village, a nearby island where you can engage in exciting water-sports activities like Jet-ski, Kayak, banana boat, balloon boat, water mat etc. There is also an exclusive Party Bus serving drinks and canapés for group merriment.

Nearby attractions include: Ankasa Nature Reserve, Cape 3 Points, Fort Apollonia, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Memorial, Nzulezo Stilts Village, Ghana Gas and Atuabo Gas.

The resort offers car rental services and local tour packages, while it accepts MasterCard and Visa credit cards, bank transfers and cash as payment methods.

With GM Jean-Jacques Mass
Organiser of Accra Weizo, Ikechi Uko meets the owner of Maaha Beach Resort

Maaha Beach Resort is located 30mins from the border with Cote d’Ivoire, which makes it quite a stretch if you’re arriving from Accra by road. The journey could last as long as six hours. An option is a local flight from Accra to Takoradi, and then you take a 1-hr-15-mins-ride from the airport to the resort. Thankfully, the resort offers shuttle services from Takoradi Airport and Kotoka International Airport, Accra. Its 30-seater Party Coach and 10-seater Mercedes bus has toilet facilities and butler services to make your journey extremely comfortable.

Maaha Beach Resort is one of Ghana’s best well-kept secret and it is waiting for you to discover its charms.

For additional information, please visit: www.maaharesort.com

The Sheraton Bahrain, a Marriott Hotel will be shut down until 2021 as the property undergoes a complete renovation that will cost the sum of $40 million.

According to report on the Hotelier Middle East website, officials revealed that the renovation will commence on October 1, 2019; and the entire property including guest rooms, conferences, meetings spaces, recreation facilities and public areas will be renovated.

“The renovation is a key milestone for this iconic hotel in Bahrain and reiterates our commitment towards creating an elevated brand experience for our guests. The project is expected to be completed by 2021 and will require the full closure of the hotel,” a spokesperson for the hotel said.

In a 2015, the website reported that Sheraton Bahrain would be undergoing a renovation soon. The then hotel manager Thomas Flindt said: “There are infrastructure challenges as it is a 33-year-old hotel. Renovation will take place over the next couple of years but whether we are going to do it as a whole where we close down completely or in phases is still yet to be seen.”

According to reports, the renovation is estimated to be around US$40 million.

Sheraton Bahrain features 256 rooms and suites, with the signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Beds and workspaces. 

Source: HotelierMiddleEast.com

December 1, 2019 has been set as the official opening of The Oberoi, Marrakesh — the first property of The Oberoi Group in Marrakesh, Morocco.

The hotel which is located on twenty-eight acres of landscaped gardens, has 84 rooms, suites and villas; seventy-six of which have private pools and gardens.

Announcing the opening of the resort, P.R.S. Oberoi, executive chairman, The Oberoi Group, said: “We are delighted to announce the opening of The Oberoi, Marrakesh. We look forward to extending The Oberoi Group’s presence in one of the world’s most exotic destinations. I am confident that The Oberoi, Marrakesh, will offer the distinctive Oberoi service to travellers from around the world.”

The hotel has three restaurants featuring international and Moroccan culinary experiences. The Oberoi Spa private therapy suites offering authentic Moroccan and Ayurvedic treatments. Guests can also experience Hammam and herbal therapies.

A children’s activity centre is available for families travelling with children. The property also has a 300 square metre function room and smaller meeting rooms for social and corporate events.

Source: HotelierMiddleEast.com

Worn out and pretty tired by the time we arrived at Karela Resort & Hotels, Beyin in Ghana’s Western Region, all we wanted was food and a good night rest – and we were glad we got both. It was almost midnight, having endured a long bus ride from Accra the nation’s capital city. Our journey started late. The Western Region of Ghana shares border with Cote d’Ivoire and getting there by road requires you set out early. We didn’t.

The late dinner was good and sumptuous. Right afterwards, we all retired to our various rooms for the night, and as I walked down to my chalet I could hear the roar of the sea crashing against the shore. It called out to me, but tempted as I was to check it out a stronger pull towards my room and my bed won.

Living room…

I didn’t really get to explore and experience Karela Resort fully. Our schedule was tight and we were already behind. However, I have a good feeling about the place. Like I said, the dinner was very good. In the morning, breakfast was okay although it was limited – there wasn’t much variety, but it was adequate. That’s the much I can say about the food.

The chalet has a living room and an inner bedroom, and both are spacious. The living room has two sofas, a reading table and a refrigerator. There were air-conditioning units in both rooms. In the bedroom you have a TV with digital satellite channels. The bathroom was okay. It has a bathtub, shower, wash hand basin and toilet. Basic toiletries were available.

Front of the chalet I stayed in…
The swimming pool…

In the morning, before breakfast I walked up to the beachfront. I saw the swimming pool being cleaned which is good. The beachfront is lovely and would be convenient for beach activities. I never got the chance to speak with management, so I can’t tell what other facilities are available at the property.


In all Karela Resort & Hotels for me is a nice place to stay. Food and sleep comfort was good. The rooms are spacious and the environment is neat and tidy. The ambience is good for a getaway without breaking the bank, but there’s definitely room for improvement.


This review is based on one night spent at the property in June 2019.

There has been a postponement of the official launch date of Dubai’s first “Hollywood-themed hotel,” Paramount Hotels and Resorts.

According to a report on HotelierMiddleEast.com, the new date for the official launch of the property has been set for September 30, 2019 instead of the initial date of September 1, 2019. 

While the property refused to comment on the reasons behind the delay, the director (general manager) Wael Soueid is said to be “adding the final touches to ensure the hotel’s premier is on top of the ‘Box Office chart.’”

Soueid told Hotelier Middle East, “We are in process of finalising and training our Paramount cast. Our ensemble of executive directors are working in tandem to design, deliver and detail memorable experiences.”

Located in Dubai’s Business Bay, the hotel will feature 823 rooms. The hotel is based on three signature elements, such as its “Hollywood glamour,” the “Californian lifestyle” and the technical entertainment factors.

It will also feature several F&B concepts such as the Speakeasy Bar & Lounge for custom cocktails in a Hollywood setting, complete with moving posters and two private rooms.

The hotel also features immersive video walls in the lobby, Paramount Screening Room, PAUSE Spa, a fitness centre and events facilities as well as their signature co-working work/play suites.

Source: HotelierMiddleEast.com

Nathalie Cockayne has been appointed as the new general manager of boutique polo resort Meliã Desert Palm Dubai.

Cockayne has more than 20 years’ international experience and joins the property from Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

A British national born in Hong Kong, Cockayne moved to the UAE and began her career at the Burj Al Arab, Dubai in the position of guest services executive. Following that, she worked with InterContinental Dubai as their assistant front office manager.

Cockayne has also worked with The Setai, Miami Beach, The Savoy – A Fairmont Hotel London, Fairmont Beijing and Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong.

In 2012 she moved back to the UAE where she took on the position of the director of operations at The H Hotel, Dubai and then St. Regis as hotel manager.

Cockayne holds a bachelor of business degree in hotel management from the Australian International Hotel School, Canberra (Australia).

Source: HotelierMiddleEast.com

Published 08 August 2019

LONDON—Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, posted Africa’s highest average daily rate (ADR), according to the most recent 12-month data from STR. The market will play host to the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) on 23-25 September at the Sheraton Addis. From July 2018 through June 2019, Addis Ababa registered an absolute ADR of US$163.79 when measured in constant currency, which removes the effects of inflation. That figure was a 1.1% increase year over year. The next closest STR-defined markets in Africa were Accra Area, Ghana (US$160.34) and Lagos Area, Nigeria (US$132.51).   

Hosting high-profile international meetings like AHIF is one factor that has helped Addis to maintain its position as the city with the most expensive hotel accommodation in Africa

Matthew Weihs, Managing Director, Bench Events (AHIF organiser)

“Addis Ababa continues to maintain high ADR levels when compared internationally,” said Thomas Emanuel, a director for STR. “The city has multiple demand drivers, such as a growing economy, successful airline and its status as the diplomatic capital for Africa. Air connections and ease of access compared with other cities also factor in the equation for strong demand, which provides hoteliers with the confidence to maintain rate levels.   

“With healthy performance comes interest in investment. The market’s pipeline is strong with 22 hotels and 4,820 rooms in active development. We will continue to monitor these new openings to see how the market reacts once these additional rooms open.”     

Emanuel will present the latest hotel performance and development insights on the Tuesday (24 September) of AHIF.   

“Hosting high-profile international meetings like AHIF is one factor that has helped Addis to maintain its position as the city with the most expensive hotel accommodation in Africa,” said Matthew Weihs, Managing Director, Bench Events (AHIF organiser). “Our delegates will be looking carefully to see if the addition of a lot more high-quality accommodation and meeting space will depress room rates or help Addis become even more attractive as a destination.”   

Addis Ababa’s occupancy over the same 12-month time period was 58.4%, up 6.5% year over year. Cairo & Giza was the continent’s occupancy leader at 74.5%. Cape Town Centre, South Africa (65.0%), ranked second in the metric followed by Accra Area (59.7%).

Source: AHIF

I arrived in Saly around 15:00hrs, disembarking at the fuel station along the main road. The air was dry and cool although the sun was ablaze. It was harmattan season.

To get to Saly, I had boarded a Sept-Place (usually Peugeot station wagons) heading to M’Bour from Dakar and the journey took about two hours. I met with my Senegalese friend, Diallo at La Place des Bougainvillées and a cab got us to the Baobab Belge in about 5mins. Dominique, the Belgian owner of the B&B gave us a warm welcome and Diallo left shortly after.

Saly is a beach resort town and a major tourist hub in Senegal, about 70km east of Dakar, lying on the Petite Côte. It is classified under the M’Bour Department in the Thies Region.

Accommodations on the (beach) Plage de Saly

Compartmented into three areas – Saly Portudal, Saly Niakhniakhal, and Saly Nord – La Place des Bougainvilléesin the Saly Portudal area is the heartbeat of the town. It is where you’ll find the clubs, bars, casinos, restaurants, banks, shops, discos, ATMs, taxi rank, etc. The Baobab Belge was further down along the beach road in Saly Niakhniakhal, about a 5mins drive away.

Dominique manages Baobab Belge with her Senegalese husband, Dudu. She had actually taken time to call me before I left Dakar to confirm my arrival and I was impressed by the fact that she offered to pick me up on arrival. After settling in my room (the Balafon), she made me my first meal in Saly, thieboudienne (rice and fish).

Located on the beach (Plage de Saly), about a two-minute walk from the sea the Baobab Belge is a cute little B&B cottage with about five rooms in a garden-like compound. These rooms of varying sizes are named after local musical instruments and they include: two Koras, one Balafon and one Tam Tam. A two-storey building nestles behind the compound where Dominique stays with her husband, and I learnt there were available rooms there too.

Tam Tam, or Studio Room

There are a couple of raffia shades, hammocks, and a cute little Jacuzzi-like tub in the garden. There’s a sitting area in front of the kitchen, where breakfast is served. The rooms have all the necessary convenience – bathroom with shower and toilet. Each room has a flat screen TV, mosquito nets and fans, as well as air conditioning. Wi-Fi was pretty fast and reliable, and the environment is neat, welcoming and quite relaxing.

Dominique mentioned that she and her husband play with a band most evening at one of the spots at La Place des Bougainvillées, but I never got to go see them before I left. They also organise activities like quad-biking and water sports for guests, and even take people on tours to places like Réserve de Bandia, La Somone, and other interesting places close by.

Staying at the Baobab Belge felt much like home, because I had the keys to the main entrance, so I could stay as late as I wanted.


The Baobab Belge is safe, secure and economical for budget travel. The environment is neat and the atmosphere is peaceful and quiet. Rooms are comfortable and sleep comfort is good. Breakfast is okay, while other meals are usually served on request. Internet connection is fast and reliable.


Disclaimer: This review is based on the writer’s experience at the property in March 2015.

Dubai, UAE – 01 July 2019

Sofitel Dubai Downtown is celebrating five years as one of the UAE’s leading luxury destinations with incredible food and beverage offers across several of the hotel’s restaurants, VIP and poolside lounges, as well as in-room dining. 

Until the 30th September 2019, guests staying at the hotel, where room rates start from AED500, can take advantage of an offer to spend the full amount paid for the room – excluding taxes – in the hotel’s sumptuous array of dinning outlets, including Les Cuisines, La Patisserie, Mosaic Pool and Lounge, Above, exclusive access to the hotel’s VIP lounge, Club Millésime, as well as room service. A range of fantastic discounts on treatments at Sofitel Spa is also available.

Klaus Assmann, General Manager, said: “In celebration of our five-year anniversary, this summer all our guests will have the opportunity to experience the luxury of Sofitel Dubai Downtown in our guest rooms and suites while also indulging in a variety of world-class cuisines. We will also ensure rest and relaxation are in ample supply with several enticing offers in our tranquil spa or by enjoying a swim in our infinity pool overlooking the Downtown area.”

Sofitel Dubai Downtown has garnered a glowing reputation from the Dubai foodie scene since it opened in 2014. Les Cuisines, an all-day dining restaurant serving a culinary voyage of discovery including traditional French cuisine, Asian specialties and Arabic dishes with a twist. La Patisserie, an elegant alternative for those wishing to experience a more traditional French offering, provides bespoke French pastries, delicious handmade sweet treats and a range of refined snacks and sandwiches as well as coffees and teas.

The hotel’s much lauded 5th floor terrace and infinity pool, is home to Mosaic Pool and Lounge where a five-star offering of sumptuous treats awaits guests. Alternatively, Above, as the name alludes to, is a rooftop lounge and the perfect haven to enjoy an array of signature cocktails, international cuisine, and lounge to the beats from resident and guest DJ’s.

Guests will also have the opportunity to enjoy Club Millésime, the hotel’s newly launched VIP lounge which offers indoor and outdoor dining areas, a cigar lounge, a living room, a relaxation area with massage chairs and a boardroom, in a charming old world French country style setting. 

As part of its five-year anniversary celebrations, Sofitel Dubai Downtown has also launched five new products to enhance its world-class facilities. These include Gallery, the latest addition to the hotel’s event space; Luxury Le Petit Prince Family Room which features ample space for two adults and two children thanks to the clever introduction of foldable bunk beds; Le Petit Prince Kids Club which has been recently upgraded and newly designed, VIP Lounge Club Millésime, which offers all club room and suite guests the opportunity to enjoy indoor and outdoor dining areas, a cigar lounge, a relaxation area with massage chairs, shower facilities and private check-in and check-out.

Another new addition launching this summer will be Sofie’s Ladies’ Floor – an exclusive floor for female travellers which will feature 12 exquisite rooms and suites with full-length windows providing sweeping views of Downtown Dubai, Burj Khalifa, and the Arabian Gulf. Rooms will include several elegant feminine touches and a host of amenities to enhance the experience and provide added comfort, service, style and quality. 

For more information, contact Sofitel Dubai Downtown on +971 503 666 or visit www.sofitel-dubai-downtown.com

Global, June 30, 2019 –

Travelers who book a two-night stay or longer will receive daily breakfast for two and a dining credit of up to USD50 

From family meals to romantic dinners on the beach, the Savour Summer promotion is available at all Shangri-La hotels and resorts world-wide for stays until September 30, 2019. Guests who book a minimum of a two-night stay will receive daily breakfast for two and dining credit to be used on property during the stay, including curated dining experiences, Michelin-starred restaurants, iconic bars, beach-side dinners and more. 

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives is located in the Maldives’ southernmost atoll, beyond the equator, with only the Indian Ocean separating the island from Antarctica, the private island resort is quite literally on the edge of the world. Boasting not only pristine white beaches and turquoise waters but also a unique jungle setting. As the largest resort island in the Maldives, spreading across 12 hectares, it offer a host of amazing activities including water sports, a 6 km jogging trail, as well as a nine-hole golf course which is the only one of its kind in the Maldives. 

Early risers can enjoy Breakfast with Nature while overlooking Sabah’s iconic Mount Kinabalu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the unique Borneo rainforest at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu’s 64-acre Rasa Ria Reserve, which is home to numerous plants and animals found only in Malaysia.

Originally built in 1896 as the home of French imperial Prince Roland Bonaparte, the iconic building once again welcomes Parisians and world travellers within its walls, over 100 years later.  With 101 rooms and suites, three restaurants, two of which are Michelin-starred, Shangri-La Hotel, Paris cultivates a warm and authentic ambience, drawing the best from two cultures: the Asian art of hospitality and the French art of living. 

Nestled on the quiet shores of Trou d’Eau Douce, Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa is a luxurious private hideaway embodying the true spirit of Mauritius. Trendy dining experiences, private island retreats and a Bernhard Langer-designed 18-hole golf course are a just few examples of what the resort has to offer. 

Located between the Dolmabahce Palace and the Naval Museum on the European coast of the Bosphorus Straits, the iconic Shangri-La Bosphorus, Istanbul welcomes its guests with an unfolding panorama of the shimmering Bosphorus and green hills of Istanbul’s Asian shores together with the domes and minarets of this magical city.

Asia’s favourite luxury city resort, set in 15 acres of lush greenery just minutes from the vibrant Orchard Road shopping belt, the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore is a tranquil, sophisticated urban retreat whether travelling for business or leisure. It features 792 luxurious guestrooms and suites across three distinct wings, which include unique family-themed rooms, supported by a host of dedicated family-focused amenities.

Kids Eat FreeAt all Shangri-La hotels and resorts, when accompanied by a paying adult, up to two children of registered hotel guests under the age of six can enjoy buffet meals at the all-day dining venues at no additional charge.