Pulse Ghana's Portia Arthur visited one of Ghana's first boutique hostels
In 1994, while the coastal settlement of Kokrobite was still a remote location lacking electricity and other basic amenities, a British woman named Big Milly arrived with her Ghanaian partner and immediately fell in love with the area's soothing serenity. So much so that an idea occurred to her. It was to establish a home where her fellow travellers could find some beach hospitality anytime they were in the area
And she acted on it.
Fast forward 22 years later and that idea has grown into what has now become known as Big Milly's Boutique Hostel, a beach resort of sorts that has gained international recognition due to its refreshing African setting and world class services.
According to its current manager, Idiaru Eweka, all the houses here were built with clay and roofed with palm branches because Big Milly loved the traditional African feel of that originally characterized the settlement's architecture and decided to maintain it.in order to let the African setting for other generations who will pass through Ghana someday.
“To be in an African village it is good to have a setting like this. Most foreigners are used to the posh lifestyle and so to offer them that within this local feel is what we've managed to do," Eweka explained.
Eweka: “Big Millys established the hostel boutique for backpackers like herself who are passing through West Africa or the Sahara Desert and also for travellers looking for an affordable beach accommodation ".
Initially there were no toilet and bathhouses attached to the rooms, but due to modernization, that has changed. “The whites tended to love the outside bathrooms because it isn't that much of a culture where they come from," she added.
They have a restaurant - similarly African-themed - that has a menu offering fresh and sumptuous continental and local dishes.
“Some of the foreigners like their ‘omotuo and groundnut soup as well as their fufu!" Eweka joked.
Weekends are fun packed: Friday nights at Big Milly's come live with drumming and dancing, live band music parties on Saturdays, while Sundays feature high life music. There is cocktail and coffee bar that serves a wide range of drinks as well.
Accommodation packages, Eweka said, are in the form of camping to dormitories through to a Sahara-themed hut for locals and foreigners.
Prices start at Ghc 60 and goes up to Ghc 280, Eweka added.