In the heart of the Black Star’s bustling capital city, Accra, sits a stunning boutique hotel that has been turning heads since its inception in 2011. Villa Monticello is a luxurious oasis that combines modernity with a hint of African heritage, providing guests with an unforgettable experience that is unrivalled in the sub-region.
The idea for Villa Monticello was born out of Laurie Awotwi’s desire to replicate the intimate and bespoke experience she had encountered on her travels staying at boutique hotels. These properties offered an experience that she hoped to replicate in Ghana.
Matilda Mikekpor, General Manager at Villa Monticello
Since its opening, Villa Monticello has been the go-to destination for discerning travellers who value personalised attention to detail and a one-of-a-kind experience. From its elegant decor to its unparalleled service, the hotel exudes luxury and sophistication at every turn.
But what sets Villa Monticello apart from its mainstream counterparts is its focus on creating a truly Ghanaian experience. The hotel’s architecture and interior design are a perfect blend of modernity and African heritage, with beautiful artwork and traditional African emblems adorning the walls and furnishings.
With its top-notch amenities, breathtaking views, and unrivalled attention to detail, Villa Monticello is more than just a hotel; it is an experience that will stay with you long after you leave. Join us as we take a closer look at Ghana’s first boutique hotel and discover what makes it such a standout destination.
Taking it back
Ghana has consistently stood out among its peers for its warmth and hospitality. Prior to interactions with persons from other continents, it was famed as a trading destination and has always provided adequate reception. The story is no different today. While this a theme that runs the length and breadth of the country, its capital cities – Cape Coast, and now Accra – have led in this regard. Consequently, there has been no shortage of accommodation and related services for guests.
Over the years, the nation has seen the emergence of grand edifices built for this purpose. From the nation’s first hotel – the Sea View Hotel, which hosted the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, during her historic visit in 1961 when Ghana became the first country south of the Sahara to achieve independence – to other smaller guesthouses and lodges, there has not been a shortage of abodes for guests, particularly in the capital.
Over time, however, cracks began to emerge. The palatial chain hotels, while offering many services, became increasingly ceremonial. Guests were often greeted and treated with the same broad brush, irrespective of their peculiar needs. The economics also ensured that the modest guesthouses also struggled to keep up with the demands of their guests. Simply put, there was a gap, particularly at the upper end of the market for warmth, without sacrificing quality.
Enter Villa Monticello
Villa Monticello is located five minutes from the Kotoka International Airport, ensuring unbridled accessibility for patrons – a key component of its standing as the touch-bearer for bespoke luxury hotels in the country. From the moment you arrive, you are transported to a world of comfort and refinement.
The idea to rewrite the script of the nation’s hospitality industry emerged over a decade ago, when a number of frequent travellers noticed the afore-mentioned gap and decided to introduce the concept of boutique hotels into the country. Boutique hotels have been described as “small-inventory, design-driven, unique hotels with their own character, personality and story-telling at the heart of their concept”.
Founding member Laurie Awotwi explains that on her travels, frequenting major brands like Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton, she realised that discerning customers wanted more personalised experiences in hotels.
15 years ago, we decided to build Ghana’s premier luxury boutique hotel, Villa Monticello. Our product is unique because we focus on providing personalised service and a homey feeling to guests. It’s different from staying at other places where you’re just another face in the crowd. Our guests receive a warm and welcoming experience that makes them feel like they are at home.
And 12 years since it opened its doors, Villa Monticello has achieved this as evidenced by its decade-long monopoly of the gold-standard Ghana’s Leading Boutique Hotel at the World Travel Awards.
Villa Monticello has attained and maintained standards through its prioritisation of the guest’s experience, investing in its people, advancing ethics and motivation for its staff, and commitment to sustainability; and these have no doubt been influenced by the balance of its women-led leadership.
Prioritising customer experience
“The customer is king is no longer mere rhetoric in most business circles; and for us, it has never been,” says newly-appointed General Manager, Matilda Mikekpor. She stated in an interaction with the B&FT that Villa Monticello’s biggest selling point is its emphasis on the consumer’s experience.
The boutique hotel’s success in the luxury segment has been due to its ability to create a memorable experience for its guests. This has been achieved by paying attention to every detail, from personalised welcome amenities to anticipating and actively enquiring about guests’ needs and preferences as well as a customer-centric approach that has created loyal customers who will return and recommend the hotel to others. “Most of our guests have come in through referrals,” she adds.
One of the hotel’s key strengths is its Koncierge (concierge) and membership services. The Koncierge team is made up of highly trained professionals who were dedicated to making sure that every guest’s stay was personalised and unforgettable. From arranging airport transfers to organising city tours and recommending the historic sites to visit, the concierge team go above and beyond to ensure that every guest’s needs are met.
The hotel’s membership programme is another standout feature. The programme was designed to provide frequent business travellers with a range of benefits, including discounted rates, complimentary upgrades, and access to exclusive facilities and services. The programme is highly valued by the hotel’s loyal customers, who appreciated the extra attention and personalised services that came with being a member.
But, perhaps, the hotel’s greatest strength lays in its focus on bespoke services with a personal touch. Every aspect of the hotel, from the meticulously designed rooms – it boasts a collection of 16 custom-themed luxury suites – to the locally sourced ingredients served in its intimate restaurant.
Recruitment of the right staff
“Hiring the right staff with the right attitude and skill set is critical to the success of any establishment,” its General Manager adds. “Staff should be passionate about hospitality, empathetic, and have the ability to anticipate guests’ needs. Our recruitment process includes a thorough training programme to ensure that staff members are knowledgeable about the hotel’s offerings and services,” she states further.
Chronicling her journey through the ranks – from Front Desk Executive while juggling school to her current role as General Manager, Ms. Mikekpor said Villa Monticello is acutely aware that its people are its most important resource; as such, it strives to give equal opportunity to deserving persons while promoting a robust corporate and ethical culture that motivates its staff, leading to a positive work environment that benefits both staff and guests.
“Providing a safe and healthy work environment, offering opportunities for growth and development, and ensuring fair compensation and benefits can motivate staff to provide exceptional service.”
Although women make up more than half of the workforce in the hospitality industry, they hold less than 30 percent of leadership positions worldwide. Despite some progress being made, the process has been slow and challenging. However, the benefits of having more diverse leadership in the industry are becoming increasingly apparent.
Villa Monticello is leading the way in this area as well. The hotel has been a champion of women’s leadership, and has provided opportunities for women to excel in various positions, from the boardroom to the kitchen. This commitment to gender diversity has yielded positive results which are evident to all.
Women in leadership positions at Villa Monticello have brought unique perspectives, expertise, and creativity to the table, contributing to the hotel’s success in delivering exceptional service and experiences to its guests. Through its dedication to gender diversity and inclusivity, Villa Monticello is setting an example for other hospitality establishments to follow.
Commitment to sustainability
Villa Monticello’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in its holistic approach to responsible sourcing, energy conservation, and waste management. Through its sustainable practices, the hotel is able to minimise its environmental impact while also offering its guests a unique and memorable experience that is both luxurious and eco-friendly.
The hotel supports local suppliers and farmers, offers fresh and seasonal produce, uses solar power, and has an energy-efficient design. The waste management programme focuses on reducing waste, recycling, and responsible disposal while eliminating single-use plastics and using eco-friendly cleaning products and room amenities.
Villa Monticello is undoubtedly the benchmark for exclusive luxury hotels in Ghana. The hotel’s dedication to perfection, meticulousness and unparalleled customer service makes it the ideal choice for discerning guests in search of the ultimate in sophistication. Whether you are seeking indulgence or refinement, Villa Monticello promises an experience that is unmatched in the realm of bespoke luxury hotels in Ghana. So why not book your stay today and experience the magic of Villa Monticello for yourself?