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“Beautiful hotel!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Coco Ocean Resort and Spa

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Coco Ocean Resort and Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   1 Bamboo Drive | Kombo Coastal Road, Bijilo, Gambia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 5 hotels in Bijilo
Bristol, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Beautiful hotel!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

The hotel is beautiful, very relaxed and serene. So peaceful, lots of space & sunbeds for all the guests, and with around 2 staff members to every guest you really do get the special treatment. The Gambian staff do run on 'Gambia' time which means nothing is done in any great rush, but that fits with the ambience of the place. Having said that we never had to wait for the stunning food made freshly to order so the chef's muct run on normal rest-of-world time!
The thai restaurant was fabulous, dinner next to the beach listening to the sound of the ocean, bliss! The owners & managers are also very hands on as they are always around & very happy to help should you have any issues. The front desk manager Hadi was particularly good & always there with a smile ready to help.

If you venture out, the guide books do recommend you find a guide to show you around & look after you, it is difficult to know who is legit but we very luckily found a particularly good guide who has a tourist business out there now called Checkpoint Charlie. Anywhere we wanted to go, he picked us up at the hotel in a green tourist taxi & stopped us getting hassle while we were out. As 2 females alone we were particuarly prone to getting hassle from the locals but he made us feel really safe & sent any trouble off with a flea in his ear! He has a price list of trips that he can do which include the Roots trip, the crocodile pool, Tanji fishing village, craft markets & plenty more and will also meet you at the airport free of charge - I would recommend contacting him if you want a very knowledgeable and articulate local to guide you round. His name is Mamadi or Mams (or he's happy with Checkpoint Charlie!) phone +2207049758 or 9802472 / email checkpoint58@hotmail.com

The spa was lovely, not quite central London prices, more the suburbs but who would complain about a £25 massage?!

We were B&B but found that breakfast (cooked freshly made to order) was filling enough that we didn't tend to need lunch. Overall, I was expecting the hotel bill to be more, but actually the prices in the complex are reasonable for the quality, service & atmosphere.

I will definitely be going back & can't wait. Enjoy!

Room Tip: Room 24 was lovely, with an ocean view! My cousin had room 32 which was next to the main pathway so...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
Date | Rating
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English first
london
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

In many respects this hotel offers a perfect winter retreat for those who want to get away from it all, relax in comfort, and read a book. Its location next to a great expanse of beach is perfect. the lay-out and architecture of the hotel grounds is very impressive. The staff are friendly and numerous. The Spa is world class. The rooms clean and well appointed. The chefs and restaurant staff have been well trained and although breakfasts and lunches were good I found the evening meals did not taste quite as good as they looked on the menu. But maybe that is the fault of local ingredients. The other drawback was the lack of a fast internet connection, but that is a country wide problem not the hotel's. All in all I would rate this hotel just short of five stars but I definitely would like to return another winter.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms near the hotel entrance or next to the main restaurant courtyard. They can be noisy.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Antwerp, Belgium
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

Lovely hotel, with friendly people
Great food for lunch & evening , Thai restaurant in the evening is excellent
The rooms are big and very clean
A real pleasure to stay here ! I can recommended it to everyone
Thanks Coco Ocean for everything

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
129 reviews 129 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

We decided to end our three week holiday in the Gambia by having a day pass to Coco Ocean, we had the most wonderful day ever. We took a cabana overlooking the sea, the towels were provided and the D250 it cost us for the day pass (about £5) was used towards our food and drink. The grounds were lovely, as were the pools, all the staff excellent and attentive, a wonderful place to spend a day in peace and quiet.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

We travelled to The Gambia with our teenage daughter. We have been a number of times in the past but have always stayed at Ngala Lodge, but as we had our daughter we had to stay elsewhere.
On our arrival we were met by Mary and given a welcome drink and talk. The first thing she said was that the hotel would take no responsibility for anything that was stolen from our rooms - comforting! During our 7 night stay two couples were burgled whilst they slept; one couple woke to find a bloke rifling through their nightstand. Terrifying. The other couple had three men in their room. Perhaps if the hotel did take responsibility they would take their security a little more seriously...
After hearing about the break-ins we found it difficult to sleep properly.
The hotel is very pleasant, rooms are lovely, restaurant not bad, but if you are worried about being broken into its hard to enjoy the experience.
The staff are very nice, but could do with more training to bring them up to 5 star standards. There were three of us in our suite and we usually only had towels for two, the body lotion was empty the whole week, we usually had two robes (usually without a tie belt!) the service by the pool is virtually non existent, our phone didn't work for four days which was a pain when we came down with Banjul belly and had to keep walking to get hot drinks.
This all sounds very negative, but on the whole the hotel is lovely, but until the security is seriously upgraded we wouldn't go back to Coco Ocean, which is a shame.

Room Tip: For better security try to get a dome room, although I have heard that they are rather noisy because...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
298 helpful votes 298 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

Stayed here for two nights. The services at the reception and front office could be improved. We were not given any welcome drinks or given an explanation of the facilities. The hotel is great and it is managed well. The décor is Moroccan. The suite was nice but quite small. They gave us a twin bed instead of double although we had requested that in the booking. They put the two single mattresses together and then they bought a king size mattress and it was sticking out of the bed and it was not at all comfortable. The room also faced the east and the curtains were so light, that by early morning you are up!

The breakfast was nice and the staff were very friendly. Very good service. We used the spa quite a bit and it was really nicely designed. The treatments were average and not the best we have had.
You can easily get taxis outside. But make sure you bargain. The prices are of course better than the hotel taxis.
Overall, it was a nice stay and we enjoyed our break.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

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.

Room Tip: The Beach villas are well designed. However they are vulnerable to burgalary so do check window and...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coco Ocean M, Owner at Coco Ocean Resort and Spa, responded to this review, February 8, 2013
May I firstly offer our sincere apologies that you were a victim of a burglary whilst staying at the hotel. Whilst we realise this does not diminish your distress, we would advise that an incident of this nature remains an extremely rare occurence.

We note you were unhappy in the manner in which the matter was handled by the Management team and we can only say how sorry we are. Please rest assured that following this incident we have undertaken a review of training for Management and a review of our security. Measures have been put in place to increase security in vunerable areas and some of the CCTV cameras have been re-sited.

We would ask you to understand that we are unable to offer you any compensation without the police completing their full investigation. With regard to any refund due for the last two night's of your stay, we will ask The Gambia Experience to contact you directly.

We will update you with any results from the police as soon as we receive them to your private e mail address.

May we again apologise for this incident. We are extremely sorry that this should have occured at our hotel, particularly after installing the CCTV and carrying out extensive training of security over the summer in order to be ready for the Winter season and ensure that an event of this nature would never occur.

us
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Additional Information about Coco Ocean Resort and Spa

Address: 1 Bamboo Drive | Kombo Coastal Road, Bijilo, Gambia
Location: Gambia > West Coast Division > Bijilo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 hotels in Bijilo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Coco Ocean Resort and Spa 5*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Coco Ocean Hotel Bijilo
Coco Ocean Resort And Spa Gambia/Bijilo

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