The Coco Ocean resort is a well maintained luxury hotel. We stayed in one of the delightful luxury detached Beach Villas. However issues arose which mean we will not be returning. One event in particular destroyed the last three days of our holiday
On Sunday 20th January at 05.45am, 3 days before our departure we were burgled whilst asleep in our villa. I awoke and almost caught the burglar however he slipped out of my grasp and escaped through a small sliding window located behind a full length curtain. I was unaware of this window. The burglar took the two Kindles we had been reading in bed, as well as a watch and phone. I tried ringing reception but the phone was dead. I ran through the grounds to reception to get immediate assistance. However the receptionist refused to contact management saying he had to wait for them to report to work. I asked for security and found that he was sleeping on a sofa outside the reception. He had to be shaken awake. The guard refused to ring the police saying we had to wait for management. I then telephoned Joyce of our travel agent, Gambia Experience, and despite the early hours she immediately drove to the hotel via the police station where she collected three officers to investigate the crime. Joyce acted as intermediary and we were very grateful for her professional assistance. On returning to the bungalow I found that the window lock of the hidden window was broken/tampered with and therefore although having the appearance of being locked it was not. This lock can only be accessed from within the room giving rise to the possibility that one or more of the Coco staff could be involved. This suspicion was also shared with me by the Coco management during a subsequent discussion. Our beach villa had become a crime scene and so the Management who had then arrived transferred us to an inferior room having a faulty safe so we then had to wait in the room with our valuables until it was replaced instead of trying to relax in the sun. During this dreadful day the hotel owner who previously appeared to be very hands on failed to make an appearance and check on our personal situation. On Monday 21st January I eventually met up with the owner and asked what he was going to do about our financial loss taking into account the possible participation of his staff or the negligence relating to the window lock and lack of security. He advised he was looking into it but failed to make us any concrete offer of recompense. Despite expediting a response to my claim from several of the management team, in the end I was forced to deduct the value of the stolen goods from the final bill with an offer that any payment from our travel insurance would be returned to them less the excess. We were not offered any credit for having an inferior room for the last two nights of our holiday. The hotel staff all offered profuse apologies for this terrible event however when it came to taking financial responsibility the hotel was conspicuous by their absence. The hotel Owner should have immediately offered to make good the £420.00 loss and transferred us to a secure room of at least the same quality; we could then have moved on and put this distressing experience behind us. However their financially defensive attitude dominated the last three days of our holiday making us wish that we were back in freezing Britain. During this period Coco did belatedly offer to pay for the Spa treatments we took that day.
Finally I understand from new Guests that the welcome speech starts with “We must tell you we are not responsible for any loss of valuable no matter what circumstance”. If this is the only lesson learnt from this burglary then management of this so called best hotel in the Gambia are failing in their duty of care to future and current clients. Finally well done Gambia Experience but shame on the Coco management who made no attempt to reduce the negative impact on us of this criminal event.
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- Also Known As:
- Coco Ocean Hotel Bijilo
- Coco Ocean Resort And Spa Gambia/Bijilo