For ten years, Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra has been at the fore of providing unparalleled hospitality services making it one of Ghana’s finest accommodation facilities. The hotel has begun celebrations of its tenth anniversary with the launch of activities and anniversary logo.
At a media briefing today, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal impressed upon management and staff of the hotel to continue to be a beacon of excellent customer service delivery, saying that it is only when service exceeds guests’ expectations that Ghana becomes a competitive tourism and hospitality destination.
“Let the discipline that has brought you this far, permeate the next 10 years. In this regard, I want you to pay attention to customer care. We are in a global village competing for the same customers so how we differentiate your hotel from others is how you treat the customer. Customer care, training and building capacity of staff should be paramount for the next ten years and beyond.
“May the next ten years and beyond bring more creativity, excellent service, profitability and care for everyone within this company,” he said.
The Movenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra Story as retold by General Manager, Deborah Siversten
A vision once sold in the late 90s (1998), along with one man’s willingness to pioneer the government’s desire to restore the once vibrant Ambassador Hotel, has today become a genuine success.
The year 2011 is a significant milestone in the history of the Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra. When the Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal Al Saud re-opened the hotel under the global Swiss brand, a national landmark, once graced in splendour, was reborn. And like the phoenix rising from the ashes, continues to serve as a beacon of excellence in the tourism and hospitality industry of Ghana. Indeed, our history is deeply woven in the fabric of Ghana’s Independence and our heritage continues to link our past, present and future.
Mövenpick Accra Hotel History
Gifted to the government of Ghana upon attainment of its independence in 1957, the once vibrant Ambassador Hotel stood tall with 150 rooms, 4 floors and beautiful gardens graced with several colourful birds. The hotel played host to several high-level social events at a time the country was filled with hope and aspirations to not only attain political freedom but economic liberation/progress. Today, we are honoured to have in our midst, Mr Joseph Hammond, who not only worked studiously for the grand hotel then but fought for this country and the welfare of staff as a leader of the union.
A number of the paintings, crafts and artefacts from the Ambassador Hotel have been lovingly restored and are currently on display at the hotel. This mural on the right is one such treasure. Although the original succumbed to deterioration over time, this replica was repainted by students of the original artist, Kofi Antubam – people who knew him best and believed in him as an exponent of Ghanaian culture and of international repute.
Swiss heritage, yet Ghanaian at heart. With over 1500 pieces of Ghanaian and West-African art, we are proud to tell the tale of this country’s rich culture and its vibrancy.
Ghana is famed for its genuine and warm hospitality. Being my first time in Ghana, I’ve witnessed and experienced the undeniable authenticity through the personalities of our staff, our HEARTISTS. These values are what define the Mövenpick brand; demonstrating quality, reliability, care for guests, partners and fellow HEARTISTS, and doing it all with a personal touch. We are proud to have achieved sustained excellence over the last 10 years, serving as market leaders with standards others aspire to attain and being driven to attain higher heights.
For the late Ueli Prager, the founder of Mövenpick, the key to a successful business was a simple idea. “We aren’t doing anything extraordinary,” he was fond of saying. “We are simply successful because we are doing quite normal things in an extraordinary manner.” It was a philosophy that revolutionised the European restaurant business and inspired a completely new generation of hospitality.
It has been an astonishing journey that started when Prager and a friend were strolling the shores of Lake Zurich more than 60 years ago. He had been searching for a name for his new restaurant concept. It was another simple idea, serving the highest quality food at affordable prices in the fastest possible time. As he considered possibilities, a seagull (or Möwe in German) swooped down to skillfully pick up food mid-flight. That one elegant movement encapsulated everything Prager was working towards and Mövenpick was born. It was the right idea at the right time. Prager’s first restaurant Claridenhof opened in Zurich in July 1948.
Today Prager’s words continue to resonate throughout Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts as the company balances a portfolio of upscale properties in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Represented in over 24 countries and over 16,000 staff, the hotel brand was in 2018 acquired by Accor, a world-leading travel & lifestyle group offering unique experiences in more than 4,500 hotels, resorts and residences across the globe.
Commitment to sustainability
We are intimately involved in the lives of our guests and have a long-term commitment to sustainability and environmental awareness. Under SHINE, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts’ global sustainability initiative, we have successfully maintained our Green Globe Certification over six consecutive years with initiatives tackling waste management, energy conservation, among others. Green Globe is an international independent non-profit organisation that audits sustainability in the tourism and travel industry.
Under our Corporate social responsibilities, we have been privileged to serve our local community in partnership with some amazing organisations such as Chance for Children, Kinder Paradise and Shelter for Abused Children. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful guests and corporate societies for supporting our annual global charity campaign, a Kilo of Kindness. You have always shown generosity by donating kilos of food, clothes and non-perishable food items when we called on you in September of every year. Together, we create moments and jointly contribute to making this world a better place for the underprivileged.
A year ago, unforeseen circumstances brought most global businesses to a halt, including ours, but we are thankful that today, we can take a minute to celebrate together, virtually holding hands under masked and hidden smiles, 10 years of doing the ordinary in extraordinary ways. Most importantly, we celebrate our HEARTISTS, who have dedicated 10 years of their lives to this hotel in service, loyalty and truth.
We shall also unveil our anniversary logo which will be key in our communications throughout these celebrations till our climax in November.
Donations, clean up exercises, food festival and corporate soiree are some of the activities earmarked from now till when the celebrations come to a head in November.
Story by: Samuel Obeng Appah