It was about 35 degrees Celsius on a Thursday afternoon when the vehicle I was travelling in pulled up to a gate in Aberdeen, West of Freetown. I chuckled and said to my drive “we don reach sef?”, which translates as “are we here already”. Either I was too busy on my laptop to notice the drove from IMAT (where I was stayed for my holiday), or the journey was much shorter than I anticipated.
By the time the gatekeeper opened the gate to let us in, I was already out of the vehicle and trying to figure out where the reception area was. I absolutely dislike sitting in a vehicle waiting for gates to be opened, drivers to park properly or even being held up in the Freetown traffic. In fact I do not like to be chauffeured around but as someone who cannot drive, I have very little choice in the matter. As a result, I try to spend as little time as possible in any vehicle. The minute I sense there could be a slight hold up, I am out of the vehicle walking towards my destination.
I was greeted with a big smile by one of the receptionists as I walked into the air-conditioned waiting area. Good afternoon sir, greeted the polite young lady behind the desk. Good afternoon ma, I replied with an equally big smile. I am here to see Kuku. Sheku Kamara or Kuku as he is know by his family and friends is the manager of Hotel Barmoi. I have never met Kuku before and was there to see him for business purposes. He was introduced to me by a mutual friend Bimbola Carol (manager of Visit Sierra Leone).
Anyway long story short, my meeting with Kuku lasted for about 30 minuets and was about to leave when he offered to give me a quick tour of the hotel. And of course I accepted and before long, we were snaking our way through the hotel lobby out onto the pool area. It was love at first sight. The view from the balcony overlooking the pool area and beyond was breathtakingly beautiful. As I raise my gaze from the quite pool towards the Atlantic, couldn’t help but take out my phone and snap away. Oh there are better views than this one said Kuku. He then took me to the south block or Bai Bureh wing of the hotel which is much closer to the sea. We must have walked past about 4 to 5 rooms when we finally came to a door which was opened for us by a housekeeping staff member. Kuku then opened the curtains to reveal a door leading to the room’s private balcony. Standing on the balcony, I could see why he said there were better views. I mean the view from the balcony was just vast and turquoise and jaw dropping beautiful.
To the left of the hotel is a beautiful tree line with rocks jutting seamlessly into the sea. The ocean pounding itself against the rocks formed an irregular but rhythmic and I must say soothing sound to my ears made me really wish I did not have to leave at all. I could sit here and look at this all day and not get bored, honest, I said to Kuku who laugh heartily as if to say I have heard that before.
I kind of knew staying a night or two Hotel Barmoi was not an option as my mother wouldn’t be the least pleased. I was in Freetown to see my mother and of course I am staying in her house, my home. This is when I decided to arrange to spend a whole day at Barmoi.
Yep, I came back a couple of days later and spent the whole day at Hotel Barmoi. I got there first thing in the morning to take advantage of the breakfast then went for a long walk on the rocks. Came back and sat by the pool with a cocktail in hand. Before I knew it, lunch was being served. I mean I could easily get used to this life.
Here is a quick summary of my experience at the Hotel Barmoi in three points.
As far as I am concerned, the hotel could not have been situated in a better part of the city. It is nicely tucked away in a remote and quite area of Aberdeen where the pounding of the waves against the rocks is all you will hear. Perfect for quiet and romantic getaways. You can stand on any of the balconies and watch as the sun goes down
The food was absolutely divine. As you can tell from the photos, I spent more time with food than humans or anything else for that matter lol. They have a great selection and the chefs are very keen to cater to your specific taste.
I have always struggle with hospitality in a lot of establishments in Freetown and its not because I am hard to please. I generally find that customer service is lacking and no one seem to be that bothered. With Barmoi however, the staff members were all eager help wherever they can.
So there you have it, my little slice of paradise. My experience at hotel Barmoi was spectacular and would do it again in a heartbeat.
Photos – Cuts for Hi