Once known as Akuma Village, Rising Phoenix is now the new name and is owned by new owners, but it is in the same unique place very near down town Accra. There are not many beach front hotel properties in Accra, but this is one of the more interesting ones. It is located just east of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum. After exiting the main road and driving towards the beach the views are not that great with the high poverty levels in the area and the amount of trash and debris around. But like an Oasis, Rising Phoenix lives up to its name rising out of all of this for a nice place to stay in central Accra along the beach.
This place is not your standard beach hotel though and that is clear immediately upon entering the gate. Rising Phoenix is a living art gallery with trees growing up through the cement, and the spacial organization is aided by fences of bamboo. Some trees are even transformed into fixtures for art, there trunks painted, and limbs holding poetry. After going through the entry way you will immediately enter a performance area with a stage and large sitting/dancing area, with the bar at one end. This is where you will probably meet the owner or his Ghanaian wife who will help you with a cold drink or to find a room.
The whole resort is built on a cliff overlooking a little cove beach, from the bar you can either head down the hill and down a rock staircase to the beach; or you can head east along the top of the railed cliff to the rooms that overlook the little beach. Along with the art, astrology is dominant theme with the Rising Phoenix. Each room has an astrological theme with a placard explaining it at the entrance. The rooms are pretty simple contianing a bed, with a nice welcome message painted across the head-board, and a bathroom.
This is a great place to stay to get to know central Accra better; it is literally steps from the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and not too far of a walk to Makola market and the downtown commercial district.
Ecotourism and the environment is not the primary concern of Rising Phoenix but they are doing more than they give themselves credit for. When remodeling the place care was taken not to remove any trees. Throughout the place the value of the trees are apparent in how they are living art fixtures. They also try to keep the beach clean and maintained. The amount of trash in the neighborhood is definitely a concern to the owners, and they are working to try to raise awareness about this issue in the community (update on this). They are also constantly working on the erosion issue in the area to keep their resort and land around it from sliding into the sea.
The stage area has become a sort of community center for arts and drumming in the community and their doors are open to the everyone for this. There is also some development of a community and tourism networking group, One Love Network which focuses on Ecotourism by one of the managers that is evolving out of the Rising Phoenix.
Within 10-20 of walking there are a number of sites, attractions and services:
Accra Commercial Center
Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum
The Cultural Arts Center
The National Theater
The National Museum
- The football stadium
- Works with and hires locally owned businesses and services for transportation or rental services.
- Buys the majority of their supplies locally from food and craft vendors, avoiding products made from endangered or threatened species including bush meats.
- Competitive wages above the minimum wage is paid.
- Recycles what they can.
- Bio-degradable and food wastes are composted.
- Liquid wastes including chemicals, cleaning waste, and human waste are disposed of responsibly.
- Gray water is used in run off planters.
- Use approved trash services.
- Use low energy CFL lighting.
- Little use of AC systems
- Staff and guests are encouraged to use ventilation and ceiling fans rather than AC
- Staff and guests are encouraged to turn out lights and other appliances when when not in use.
- Staff and guests are encouraged to conserve water.
- Rainwater is collected and used.
- Hot water is kept at a conservative level.
- Guests are encouraged to use towels and bedding for more than one night.
- Laundry is hand washed.
- Native plants are used in landscaping
- The aesthetics blend into the surrounding environment.
- Organic fertilizer is used, and no pesticides or herbicides.
- Structures are built using locally sourced and recycled materials.
- Employees are provided training about the surrounding environment.
- Not entirely locally owned.
- Guests are not reminded or encouraged to bring back or dispose properly of their their trash while on day trips to natural areas.
- CFL bulbs are not disposed of properly.
- Do not have solar panels, wind generators or any other sort of alternative energy sources.
- Do not provide energy friendly activities like candle light story telling or bonfires.
- Do not use environmentally friendly or bio-degradable cleaning products.
- Do not provide access or sale of interpretive/educational materials to guests like, field guides, videos, pamphlets, or checklists about local natural areas, and tourists sites.
- The bar area is visually clean and comfortable.
- No signs of mold on the bed, pillows, window seals, bathroom sink, shower, or anywhere else.
- The sink was clean.
- All Rooms have locks
- There is a night watchmen.
- Fire extinguishers are available.
- The restaurant is visual clean.
- Impressions of safety of online reviews if good.
- First contact with staff could be more helpful and inviting.
- Staff can be more friendly and helpful in general.
- There are not the best reviews of customer service online.
- Over all cleanliness and visual appeal of the property can be improved upon.
- The beach is not clean.
- Hallway floors, walls, and doors are not as visually cleaned and well maintained as it could be.
- There is some dust on surfaces and rooms.
- Floors, walls and windows in rooms could be cleaner.
- Shower/tub, and toilet could all be cleaner.
- Impressions of cleanliness on online reviews could be better.
- Exits are not clearly marked or seem easy to use.