Lansdown resort

A unique resort that brings you close to nature, with facilities that won’t make you miss the city life, is less than an hour’s drive from Accra, Ghana. Demola Ojo writes from the hills of Aburi…

There are so many reasons why the Lansdown Aburi Resort in Ghana is the ideal destination for your next getaway. Nestled in the hills more than 1,500 feet above sea level, Lansdown is secluded, serene and scenic; as close to nature as you can get but with access to luxury that would make leading 5-star hotels green with envy. As green as the forest I’m staring at as I write from the patio of one of the villas at the resort, the Jacuzzi to my left staying warm for when I need a relaxing, inspirational dip.

It is rare to be up in the mountains, so far away from the hustle and bustle of city life, yet still only 45 minutes away from the centre of Accra by road, and another 45 to West Africa’s commercial capital (Lagos) by air.
The commute up here was in itself, memorable. There was a welcome team from Lansdown waiting at the airport, and complimentary transfer to the resort with a Cadillac Escalade that ate up the road with ease and handled the track up the hills effortlessly.

The route passes through the centre of Accra, goes past the University of Legon and heads for the hills, with a red toll booth signaling the winding ascent to the town famous for hiking, cycling, mountain climbing and its botanical garden.

Lansdown is at one of the highest points of Aburi, a large expanse set aside from the rest of the town, a secret only the discerning and well-connected discover, exclusive yet affordable. The affordable part is hard to believe at first sight. There is a mansion available to top executives on request, eight villas, each of them with three spacious rooms and a living area, and a few single rooms.

The villas are spaced out, separated from each other by lush vegetation and the terrain. The resort is built around the topography, the landscaping ingenious. The construction complements and enhances the surroundings: stone for the villas, walkways, steps and embankments; wood for the clubhouse and most of the furniture. The expansive living rooms are tastefully furnished, the regal feel heightened by white walls and white leather sofas.

The Lansdown has a few recreational facilities for guests to enjoy. Top on the list has to be the infinity pool with breathtaking views of the forested hills. There’s a tennis court and loads of board games; scrabble, monopoly and my favourite, chess.

Still on the subject of enjoyment, it would be a travesty not to mention the quality and variety of food at this resort. Everything from traditional Ghanaian food (Waakye and Shito I’m certainly in love with now), Nigerian cuisine and dishes from other West African countries, Lebanese, Chinese, Italian, American, French… The menu is diverse, and tailored to individual guests’ tastes, made from scratch and can be had anywhere from the clubhouse to the poolside, candle-lit dinners by the stream or room service.

I could go on and on about how mind-blowing Lansdown is but that would be less time for me to swim, or see Barcelona make history with a 6-1 comeback win over PSG (apologies if you don’t watch football), or see a movie beamed on the wall by a projector while lounging in the Jacuzzi, or hike.

Many would give an arm and a leg to be here right now. Those who love adventure and the outdoors will certainly have a field day with hiking trails that snake through the undulating hills, crisscrossing streams under the canopy of trees where brightly-coloured birds tweet all day long.

Couples who need quality time together with no one in sight would also appreciate the privacy. To propose perhaps. Or for a honeymoon. Or maybe for the wedding itself.

Lansdown should be great for family retreats too, with the alone time encouraging bonding. It’s certainly an ideal venue for corporate organisations as the resort staff assist in organising team-building activities. The conferencing facilities help in this regard too, with a modern conference room accommodating between 25 and 40, depending on the seating configuration.

To be candid, conferencing is the furthest thing from my mind. I could make do with a phone call which initially seemed far-fetched when we commenced our ascent into the hills. Or better still, take advantage of the superfast internet and video call.

And there’s more to come as Lansdown keeps evolving. With so much space, it is no surprise that another hilltop structure is under construction for conferencing purposes. It would be accessible by cable car. A golf course is in the works too. A sauna and a spa. And a couple more projects.

I’m back to staring at the forest which starts a few feet from the patio, glad I only have a few more sentences to go. Now I notice the shrubs close to me. Red flowers, yellow flowers, purple… swaying gently, dancing under the light rain shower.

My friend describes Lansdown as a little piece of heaven. If only I didn’t have to come back to earth.