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“Good hotel one significant problem” 4 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
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Good hotel one significant problem”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

We have stayed three times at Coco Ocean and our last stay in January was the best yet. There have been significant improvements in service due primarily I suspect to the appointment of Kim in charge of food and beverage, Hadi, reception and Sarah in guest relations.
Sarah is always around and never fails to stop and talk, resolves problems quickly etc. Kim has brought much greater focus on service which whilst not perfect is much closer to European standards now.
Breakfast is outstanding with a very varied menu, prepared to order and served by a cheerful team of young men, particularly Touray.
Lunch at the beachside restaurant is excellent and very reasonably priced considering they have a pretty captive clientele.
Dinner at either the Thai or Courtyard restaurants was variable but only between good and excellent.
The problem is mentioned in an earlier review and that is security. We got to know the people who where robbed and their account of what happened and the hotels response is 100% accurate. The management response to their review does not inspire much confidence either.
On the morning of their burglary they told me what had happened and I went back to check the windows in our room and sure enough the same window, hidden behind curtains and never normally used was also unlocked. I guess it had been that way for the whole of the time we where there. that may be coincidental but somehow I doubt it as there is no reason why a guest would ever unlock it.
What is needed is not platitudes about CCTV which will remain ignored for most of the time but somebody in charge of security who can bring the same rigour to the operation as the new appointments mentioned earlier have done in their areas.Gambia is a safe friendly country but this leads to complacency.
We stayed in a beach villa which is roomy and has great outside space but they are that bit more vulnerable than rooms in the main building.
Generally in pretty good condition but the curtains either need a good clean or more probably replacing.
All in all a great holiday we will probably return but would want some reassurance from the hotel and/ or Gambia Experience that they have got on top of security.

Room Tip: Beach Villas are good, don't bother paying for a sea facing one as you can hardly see the sea fo...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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260 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (53)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Bristol, England, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
20 helpful votes 20 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
141 reviews 141 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
118 helpful votes 118 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
299 helpful votes 299 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.
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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*
Number of rooms: 89
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Coco Ocean Hotel Bijilo
Coco Ocean Resort And Spa Gambia/Bijilo

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