Beach holidays are a popular escape in Ghana and there are plenty of remote getaways along the country’s more than 500 km of coast. But the Maaha beach resort in Eastern Nzema is in a class of its own. Maaha beach is the perfect hideaway for leisure located within the Atuabo community also known as the rich oil and gas hub in Ghana’s Western Region. On approach from the tarred entrance, the resort looks deceptive, but while inside, you are suddenly ushered into an exclusive haven that needs to be discovered, indeed a paradise by the Atlantic. Although before our departure from Accra, the buzzword was Nzulezo, the village on stilts, we were not prepared for the surprise that greeted us on arrival from Nzulezo to Maaha, less than 15 minutes drive from Beyin. On arrival, we were welcomed by Mr. Jean-Jacques Mass, acting general manager, who promptly ushered us into an expansive dinning hall, for lunch. And we ate with gusto, like hungry lions, we devoured everything in sight. The meals however came with top notch service, it was a delicious lunch buffet, especially the ‘banga’ soup, native to Nigeria. Yes, a Nigerian chef is in-charge here.
With lunch over, the general manager invited us on a tour of the facility, according to him, to see things for ourselves. And we saw quiet a lot, pleasant rooms overlooking the beach and beautiful sea view, we were informed the rooms come with extra cost because of the enchanting ambience, and a night club for die hards. The resort sits on a much bigger space than we had imagined, hence the presence of motorised golf-type buggy to ferry guests to their rooms planted at strategic angles throughout the beach.
It’s a most attractive resort with a distinctive African feel – thatched roofs and raffia walls, high quality woods in tow, lawns dotted with local carvings and sculptures and live peacocks strutting around. Lovely bar and pool area with fountain, where guests are served special cocktails and fresh coconut water as warm welcome.
Asked why he built the resort, Mr. Frank Buah, an indigene, said he wanted to provide shelter for visitors to Atuabo and open up the community to tourism. “Most people who come to this place to work, stay at Takoradi. They come in the morning and return to the city in the evening to sleep. Apart from the risks, stress also compounded their woes, so I made up my mind to build the resort. I’m into construction, a professional builder. I felt it was needful to cater to these workers who were constructing the Atuabo Gas Plant, and those visiting for tourism and leisure. Now Maaha beach is a critical piece of infrastructure to aid growth in this area.”
Mr. Buah who is chairman of the resort explained that his choice of raffia and other local building materials was to make a serious statement about local content. I grew up in this place. In those days, people used to mock those who lived in raffia-thatched houses, saying they were too poor to buy blocks, cement and zinc. “In this place raffia is called ‘Maaha.’ But since I built the resort with 70 percent local materials and named it Maaha, the reaction has been awesome, people saw the beauty of raffia and now it is the rave of the moment. Raffia is durable, it lasts more than 25 years if properly maintained,” he said.
During the tour, Jean-Jacques Mass, disclosed that Maaha beach resort which opened in 2017, “is the meeting point of traditional and modern design. The buildings and surroundings of the resort are beautifully crafted to those of a traditional village setting with eco-friendly bamboo wood exterior designs, comfortable interior finishing, clean and tidy sandy beaches, traditional mosaic, as well as neatly landscaped gardens with local coconut trees standing at attention all day long. The resort is a secure oasis of peace and tranquility, a luxurious place to stay, efficiently backed by our dedication in personalised services.” According to him, Maaha beach has 135 rooms including comfortable and spectacular sea and garden views. The resort also offers guests with quiet and well-designed spaces as well as large and comfortable beds.
He said the resort has plenty of activities on offer, such as walking or jogging in the lush tropical grounds, kayaking or paddle boarding, playing beach volley or taking a walk. There is a beauty Spa centre, a gym, buffet and a la carte restaurants, Spanish bar and pool bar for relaxation, snooker, tennis court, children playground, a 30-seater movie theatre and variety of indoor games. There is a boat cruise, and one can enjoy water sports activities including jet ski, banana boat, balloon boat, water mat etc including fun games at Maaha village. There is no direct connection from Accra to Beyin. However, you can take the drive to Accra airport, fly to Takoradi, then take the drive to Beyin. Alternatively, you can take the bus to Takoradi then take the drive to Beyin.