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“very nice place to stay” 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
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Rossendale, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“very nice place to stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Well were to start the flight out to Gambia was ok but nothing special we arrived at the airport in Gambia (porters very good and polite always carry a few pound coins to give them) to be met by the Gambia experience rep who took us out to our taxi which was driven by a guy called Yoro Bah what a great bloke took us out 1 night down the strip i reccommend this cab guy he knows everybody the Hotel is very grand our room was fantastic(penthouse) even though it could with a bit of tlc it was kept spotless by the cleaners who came in twice a day the food was a bit of a let down i had to send a few meals back as they were cold and no rack of lamb, duck, spring rolls all week we dined in the thai restaurant 1 night i couldn't eat the beef (tough) although my wifes food was lovely the staff are fantastic they can't do enough for you albeit at their pace which some times can be a little on the slow side but when on holiday i'm not in a rush the pool areas are good always plenty of beds and towels beach area good didn't encounter any problems with locals on the whole will be going back again we thought it was a brill place to chill out ;-)

Room Tip: take one of the Penthouses no one above you nice and quiet
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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291 reviews from our community

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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 (59)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Malaga, Spain
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

After returning home almost 6 weeks ago.....the Hotel has only just replied with a short e-mail saying that it is not being held responsible for a break-in which we endured on the 12th January...whilst sleeping. We lost several valuable possessions....including two cameras, two telephones , money , and medications as well as other personal belongings.
However....the Hotel did put us through all the trouble of obtaining invoices and obviously some copy invoices (which took valuable time of ours).....only to now tell us that their Insurance policy does not cover losses from guests' rooms, and that there is nothing more they can do .
I read from various reviews...some dating back to November 2012....that there have been many problems with break-ins and money going missing from guests' safe boxes.....including a review advising guests to change their code number daily . However.....no-one enters these Hotel rooms with enough time to "crack codes"......suggesting that there is a BIG possibility that staff or someone uses a key to open a safe .....
I think that it is going to take serious injury or worse to guests in their rooms...before the Hotel take this GRAVE lack of security seriously.....something which guests are paying for....and ceratinly expect from a 5 * hotel....which is charging 5 * prices.....
We definitely would never return to this Hotel.....it's expensive enough as it is...without adding on costs of stolen possessions !!!!

Room Tip: It appears tht most rooms have terrible security....so really it doesn't matter which ones you c...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambs
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

Firstly you have to remember that this is a 3rd world country and the standards can not be compared to western standards.
There is no question that the staff try their very best and there's certainly enough of them working in the resort but they frequently make errors. My husband asked for grapefruit juice and he got pineapple. We asked for scrambled eggs on toast, the scrambled eggs came and the toast 20mins later. I asked for potatoes with my meal not rice which again was no problem but you've guessed it I got rice. I didn't like to complain as the staff were lovely and were trying their best. The food in general was ok but not great, there was no rack of lamb for the whole week nor duck or vegetable spring rolls. It appears that they do have some difficulties sourcing ingredients. After a while the menus do come somewhat repetitive. On a very positive note the hotel did not rip you off for beers, soft drinks and water, yes the wine was a a little more than we would pay for at home but it probably costs them a lot to import it in the first instance.
The beach had a lot of litter on it, we saw staff one day during the week raking it up but was then amazed to see them just dig a hole and bury it which defeated the object somewhat. The bumsters on the beach are a pain, turn right for your walk you are far less likely to get the hassle than if you turn left.
Always plenty of sunbeds with guys laying out towels, however the grass area leading onto the beach is a little untidy, with edges desperately in need of trimming. This property is beautiful but some areas including our suite were in need of a little maintenance.
I believe that this is the best hotel in Gambia but we could have gone back to Dubai for a week for the same money where the standards are better.
Sorry Coco Ocean I had a lovely holiday still but Gambia is not for us.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Goring-on Thames, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

Having been home for 6 weeks I am still raving about this wonderful hotel to friends. The Coco Ocean came highly recommended by many friends and I can't imagine why it has taken us so long to go there. The Gambian experience were highly efficient at booking stage and indeed in The Gambia. After a 6 hour flight and no time difference we arrived and were welcomed by the wonderfully efficient Mary. From then on apart from a few dull days we could not have wished for more. Great accommodation and the beach villas are seriously special, fantastic food and we are serious foodies. We had lobster better than I have eaten any where else in the world served by the friendly locals. A gorgeous garden and wonderful sunbathing overlooking both the garden and the sea. Miles of sandy beaches to walk on when you get used to saying politely " No thank you " to the locals and great Sea to paddle in as swimming is not safe.
The Spa too is very special and thanks to all who helped us to unwind and relax completely.
Thank you to all the staff, we will most definitely be back.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Fuengirola, Spain
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

This being my first written review,and after 20 years of travelling all over the world,I have to say our stay at the Coco Ocean Resort and Spa, Bijilo (9th - 24th January 2013)....to be by far our WORST experience ever !!!
Having read so many reviews of the Hotel and it's lack of Guest Security,I feel that I also have to put forward our "disastrous experiences".
In the early hours of 10th January 2013...we were allocated suite 6,which after being asked the following morning by our Luxotour Rep (Kalifa Camara) if everything was satisfactory...we had to say "NO". The room was so small that you actually had to walk sideways down one side of the bed so as not to knock the lamp to the floor !! Also you were able to sit on the bottom of the bed and actually put your feet out onto the balcony !!
The Management told us that we would have to spend one more night there...before we could be moved...which we did .
The following day we were moved to suite 20.....and that is where DISASTER struck !!
Someone climbed over the Hotel wall that night (even though we were only 5 mtrs away from the so-called 24 hour security) and entered our room whilst we were sleeping !! (Thank goodness we didn't awake) . However they stole 2 Telephones,2 Digital Cameras,my Watch,my Handbag,my Hand-luggage Holdall and 2 weeks Medication for Diabetes and High Blood pressure. We knew at about 06.45,and immediately telephoned reception,who arranged for the Police and also our Luxotour Rep to come to the scene....more or less within an hour....taking finger and footprints from the window and the sofa . (I have to say it all looked good!!!) A Police report was made ...and all signed etc.,....and later that day we were moved....YET AGAIN !!!
However....the downside was....on Questioning the German manager about the 24 hour security only 5 mtrs away....his response was simply..."he was probably sleeping !!!"
This time to the "Royal Suite"...hahaha....A large apartment really...with Dining table for 6,seating in the lounge area for nearly the same,2 bathrooms....BUT....just sleeping for 2 !! (Amazing) and an equipped kitchen ??...well in that it contained a sink , fridge/freezer , hob and microwave . Only problem....you certainly were not expected to use it !!! NO plates , bowls , saucepans or kitchen utensils whatsoever !!
HOWEVER......our main problem was that the 2 patio doors didn't lock.....and we had a ladder permanently against the patio wall (What a surprise !) Open access to our room by anyone !!
And that is how we spent our remaining 11 nights in the Coco Ocean Hotel.....always on our guard and expecting the worst!!
But for us worse was to come......now the Hotel are "washing their hands" of all this...saying their Insurance Policy doesn't cover "losses" from guests rooms...never mind the fact that someone entered the room whilst we were sleeping ...and who know's what might have happened if we were awakened....the e-mail we received 2 days ago from a Mary Dymore-Brown only showed the Hotel's attitude of ..."just be grateful you are still alive".
And "thank God we still are"....only to say here...that we definitely would never return...to an "infierno" of a holiday...not to mention expensive !!
It can only be said that they behave in a Gambian Manner (Third World)...but certainly don't charge Gambian Prices....
Definitely doesn't deserve a 5* rating....and really doesn't deserve future guests...because they don't know how to look after or treat them !!! SAFETY and SECURITY are Foremost...that is what people are paying for...but at this Hotel....you certainly don't receive either !!!

Room Tip: Try to get a room that is secure....i.e. with doors that actually lock !!!!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cirencester, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

There is a first time for everything including a trip to Gambia, but it will definitely not be the last! We left London at 0900 (2 degrees) and we were on a quiet beach (28 degrees) by 1700. The journey was completely hassle free and at the end of it a wonerful hotel, an oasis in Gambia. The staff could not have been more helpful or welcoming. We stayed in a Beach Club Villa and slept each night with the terrace door wide open listening to the Ocean, no need for air-conditioning and at no time did we feel insecure, there was a guard around all night and plenty of CCTV, the room staff ensured that the room was secure when we were out and about. The hotel is exceptionally clean and well-maintained with decorators painting all the white bits (the whole hotel is white) all day every day. The Beach Club Pool is fantastic, never too busy and there is always a member of staff on hand to supply you with cocktails and extra towels, worth the supplement!! The beach is clean and I swam in the sea everyday, as long as you don't swim too far out there is nothing more exhilarating than being bashed about by big waves. For 10 days we did not switch on the TV or look at a computer in fact even my phone was switched off too, it's the sort of place that promotes proper relaxation even without having to go to the spa, which is also very good with an amazing choice of treats. Breakfast is special, seated around a huge water feature with dishes from all over the world to suit every taste and entertainment supplied by the numerous exotic birds (who prefer bacon to bits of bread) and cheeky monkeys running across the roof. Who cares if it is sometimes slow you're on holiday, things are supposed to be slow, I don't want to see staff running around in a frenzy of activity. I've been back now for 10 days and can still feel the benefits, I would recommend a stay at Coco to anyone and I can't wait to get back there!

Room Tip: There is a huge selection of rooms it depends on what is important to you, but paying that bit extra...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Hampton Hill, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

Hotel has to be seen to be believed, built in a kind of colonial style, buildings well-maintained, lots of visually stunning aspects and perfect sea views, fantastic beach frontage.

Staff service can be slow and lacking in warmth and friendliness, at other times great, but lacks consistency suggesting some lack of training and motivation.

Servicing of our (fantastic) beach club villa was poor/sloppy, e.g. shower gel, loo roll, and tea/coffee not replenished unless phone reception, basic bed making done but no real attempt to tidy.

Breakfast pretty good, but restaurant food both unimaginative and lacking skill in preparation. Prices are approx two to three times prices outside the hotel, but the food is not particularly better.

Crunch question: would we stay there again? Well yes, it's a perfect and relaxing setting, best hotel in Gambia. But it with a bit tighter management and a top class chef, it could be, well, perfect.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 3 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.
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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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