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“A PLACE TO STAY IN ACCRA ON BUSINESS TRIP”
Review of The Congress Hotel

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The Congress Hotel
Ranked #50 of 90 Hotels in Accra
Reviewed 19 June 2011

This is my second stay the congress hotel since doing business in Ghana. I love it. It is friendly, service is quick compared to most other places i have lodged. Room rates are average and the facility is very clean. My colleague whow was traveled with me for the first time in Ghana was so impressed that he's taken pictures of the place all day long. If you need entertainment, you probably need to find some place in town. From our understanding, this place is only open to guests and their guests. No walking to drink beer for non guest. So it is very quiet place. We highly recommend this facility. Rooms are spacious and very clean.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled on business
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Thank tomsweny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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10 - 16 of 20 reviews

Reviewed 16 June 2011

I initially booked for 5 days and ended spending 34 days at this great hotel. Staff is very friendy and I enjoyed their meals every single day I was there. I also enjoyed a nice discounted room rate, which was so helpful to my budget. Management and staff have promptly attended to my needs contrary to all I have heard about this beautiful place. Going forward, I plan to stay here anytime I am in Accra. The place is very clean, rooms are large and worth the price. In Ghanain terms, they say Ayeeko, meaning, well done or bravo.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled on business
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Thank nikiajose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2011

I had read poor reviews of this place before checking in, but figured I'd just be on the lookout for additional bill charges and a bit of sloppy service. I've stayed in various types of hotels all over the world, so thought for sure I could handle it. I was very wrong.

There are a number of reasons I wouldn't recommend this hotel under any circumstance, but read down to #4 if you want to hear the story to end all stories - manipulation and false imprisonment. It's long, but please hang in there and read it -- you will be glad you did!

1.) The place was an absolute ghost town. Felt cold, unwelcoming, and stagnant, which is a huge oddity, especially in West Africa. I had stayed at another Accra hotel (Airport View Hotel) which was bustling (though not noisy), friendly and warm.

2.) Prices were double every other nice hotel with absolutely no merit for it. The curtains were broken and my room was dimly lit with just two lamps, both of which were broken.

3) The food was alright, but the service was terrible. Disinterested, untrained staff who were unfriendly, took their sweet time to serve you, even though we were literally the only guests in the dining room or on the patio each time.

4) OK, this is a ridiculous story that starts with a very routine issue that every restaurant and bar must deal with -- a customer's changed order:

My colleague and I from the US had been there four days. We were two of just a few guests I saw at all - the place was totally quiet. Our Ghanaian colleague, a very well-respected professional in Ghana, came by to have a drink and a business meeting with us one evening.

We were the only people there for drinks or dinner - at all. I ordered two beers and a glass of wine from the blase staff. Ten minutes later, the beer arrived, but no wine. When we inquired where it was, they said it was coming. Ten minutes later, we saw one of the waiters amble off toward the market to buy some wine. Already, their lack of transparency and the delay had bothered us. If they didn't have wine, they could've told us and we would've easily ordered something else.

We called out to the waiter and asked instead for a Guinness. Another ten minutes went by and he brought the wine, no Guinness. My colleague, politely, stated that she had ordered a Guinness instead and did not want wine any longer, apologizing.

That was it - that was the "offending incident." Three minutes later, the Manager (whom I'd read terrible things about on Tripadvisor) storms up to us and immediately starts in on us. He was angry at a wasted glass of wine. This guy escalated from zero to sixty in about three seconds. I have never seen anything like it.

He began to insult my Ghanaian colleague. He called him terrible names and began threatening to harm him and have him removed forcibly from the property. When my US colleague and I began to object to his behavior, he started in on us. As a hospitality professional, he actually uttered these words to us: "If you don't like it than you can get your things and get the (bleep) out!"

The rooms cost $189/night, mind you, and we'd been eating all of our meals there. We were both due to stay for one week longer, so he was willing to lose at least $2,500.

We agreed we'd pack up and leave immediately. My colleague and I went upstairs to pack hastily while the Manager continued to berate my Ghanaian colleague.

I asked them to prepare the bill very quickly so we could leave immediately. They took about 20 minutes to prepare the bill, which was $1,400 for me (for 3.5 days) and $1,600 for my colleague. They had not taken our credit card information when we checked in as they were supposed to, so I knew it would take a few minutes to run our cards now.

As we handed them our credit cards, though, the Manager comes in and says the machine is broken. Mind you, they had a giant Visa sign hanging behind the desk, and this is a high-end hotel that serves business people from all over the world.

The Manager tells us we have to pay $3,000 cash on demand. Who has that kind of money on-hand? We also could not access such cash because even if we were allowed to leave to go to an ATM (which we were not) we couldn't have taken out that much.

We offered to have the bill sent to us at our office in the morning, leaving behind some cash deposit (whatever we had) or our credit card information. No, he wanted cash in full! When he learned we did not have $3,000 cash on-hand (obviously), he had the security guards close and lock the gate so that we could not leave the parking lot/vicinity.

He kept the gates closed for two hours while my Ghanaian colleague was forced to scramble and call all sorts of high-level friends and connections (at 8pm on a Monday night), trying to get $3,000 dropped off in cash, delivery by delivery.

It was degrading and incredibly frustrating.

About an hour into this, while we continued to be stranded, the Manager drove off in his brand new pick-up truck. His wife stayed behind, who is the Co-Manager and was just as unreasonable and abusive to us. She also looked totally unprofessional, in sweats -- unacceptable for a hospitality manager, I think.

At about 9:30pm, 2 hours after the ordeal began, we scraped the cash together and were finally free to go. It was a scary.

I have traveled all over the world, and stayed in all types of places - I know how to roll with the punches and particularly in developing countries, hotel experiences can be...interesting, shall we say. This was of a different breed. This man should be run out of business entirely. He was abusive, belligerent, unreasonable, and deceptive to paying guests.

In sum: There are so many great hotels in Accra that offer excellent service and value, and are well-priced and still really nice. There is absolutely no reason to stay at the Congress Hotel and I really warn you never, ever to do so. Please spread the world.

Other Accra hotels I do recommend:
1. Airport View Hotel
2. Travel Xpress International Hotel

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled on business
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5  Thank GlobalGal17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
junior21602, Manager at The Congress Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 27 April 2011

This guest and her respected ghanaian friend were completed rude, bully and unwelcome to our premises. First, how do you get charged $1,400 for 3.5 days stay at $189 per day. According to our records, the total charges for this guest were only $897.12, including all food and beverage. Guests changed all the time, but guests do not insult hotel staff just because they are paying as our respected ghanaian doctor did. Additionally, the reveiwer and her friend said they spent 4 days here before their respected ghanaian friend arrived for a business meeting. While we appreciate the opporpunity to have them to stay, our facility is not a ghost town as described or we have closed down a long time ago.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2011

I am kicking myself for not reading the previous reviews more closely before using this hotel. The owner consistently plays with the hotel charges. Do not trust this hotel with your credit card, and do not trust the owner at all. He may seem seem nice at first, but he's a monster.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank bsedg2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
junior21602, Manager at The Congress Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 27 April 2011

How much were you overcharged? How did we manipulate the number. You have agreed to pay $200, a day for a party of four for 5 days and spent 3 days, after which you and your spouse decided to check out. These guests wanted to be refunded $400, without taken in consideration, all other additional expenses, they have incurred. Where in the world, do you feed your two children with adult food without paying for it. NOt at the congress hotel, please.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2011

Beware of this hotel. We had a terrifying experience where we raised a credit card charge dispute with the owner (he had charged us twice for only one night's stay). Screaming and verbally abusive, he locked the parking lot gate and refused to let us leave unless we paid him in cash for 2 nights-- even though those 2 nights' charges were still on the credit card. Only after the police arrived were we able to reach a compromise where we withdrew cash from an ATM to pay him and immediately left for another hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank aller20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2010

The hotel appeared new and clean, but had the following issues:
- cold water running from showers
- hotel safes were non functional
- unavailability of staff and management
- extremely poor customer service
- change in terms upon arrival (after booking) - e.g. was promised taxi to and from airport, but hotel did not deliver
- rate quoted during booking was changed upon arrival

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Nicki27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2010

A colleague & I stayed in the Congress Hotel for one week in early February. There was a conference in Accra & all of the big hotels were full. We were surprised with the cleanliness; great included breakfasts; a reasonably-priced & totally reliable internet; and the Manager who went out of his way to make our stay perfect in every way -=- what a delightful man! We were happy that we selected this hotel -- the cleanest hotel I have stayed in West Africa.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled on business
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Thank talkingbeer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Congress Hotel

Address: A25 Patrice Lumumba Road | Airport Residential Area, Accra 0233, Ghana
Region: Ghana > Greater Accra > Accra
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #50 of 90 Hotels in Accra
Price Range: £62 - £142 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — The Congress Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Congress Hotel in Ghana is a modern hotel conveniently located in the midst of business and residential centers in Accra, at A25 Patrice Lumumba Road and White Avenue in the Airport Residential Area. The Congress Hotel provides top quality accommodation and go the extra mile for their guests. Staying at our facility turns your trip into a fantastic vacation or business trip. The Congress hotel is a perfect choice whether you are traveling for business or pleasure. Guests also enjoy The Congress Hotel’s Sweet Sleeper bed, with its plush mattress, warm blanket and comfortable pillows. It will be hard to separate dreams from reality. With a choice of Single or King size rooms, you are guaranteed a comfortable and relaxing stay. ... more   less 
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