Akwaaba Mansion on DNAInfo.net

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — The owner of a Bed-Stuy bed and breakfast brought home a $25,000 prize after winning the top spot on the Travel Channel’s “Hotel Showdown” besting glitzy lodgings in Long Island City, Times Square and Midtown.

Monique Greenwood, CEO of Akwaaba Mansion, represented Brooklyn in a competition against three other New York City hotels during Tuesday night’s episode.

The show follows four hoteliers as they travel to each other’s properties and judge the spaces based on accommodations, amenities and hospitality. The owner with the highest rating collects the cash.

“This is a real affirmation that I made the right choices in my life to do the work I love,” Greenwood said of her winnings.

The views of Long Island City’s Z Hotel, the rooftop lounge at Times Square’s Sanctuary and the locale of Midtown’s Seton Hotel were no match for Akwaaba’s one-woman operation.

Greenwood, who runs the lodge on MacDonough Street, beat out contestants for her hospitality. “Akwaaba” means “welcome” in Ghana.

Tuesday’s episode featured the Bed-Stuy resident preparing homemade French toast, cornbread and salmon cakes for her guests. The owner also took hoteliers on a local tour, highlighting the neighborhood’s historic brownstones and treating them to Therapy Wine Bar’s monthly paint night.

“It was really important for me because I wanted people to come and see and love the neighborhood that I care so much about,” she said on the show.

Unlike the other hotels, which boast more than 100 rooms and fluctuating seasonal prices, Akwaaba has four bedrooms and sets charges at $185 for a weeknight stay and $195 for weekends. The pricing also includes turndown service, a full Southern-style breakfast and afternoon tea.

Greenwood and her husband purchased the 1860s mansion in 1995 and preserved many of its architectural details, including the home’s 14-foot ceilings, ornate fireplaces, and gaslight fixtures. The couple also operates Akwaaba inns in D.C., New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

“She puts her heart and soul in this place,” Jeremy Poon, owner of the Sanctuary Hotel, said of his stay.

Greenwood said she will use the show’s winnings to make improvements to the bed and breakfast based on feedback from other hoteliers.

Original Source: http://www.placematters.net/node/985