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“happy hols” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Holiday Beach Club Hotel

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Holiday Beach Club Hotel
Kololi Beach, Kololi, Gambia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 9 Hotels in Kololi
Swansea, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“happy hols”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

first time at this resort, quite impressed. stayed in a bungalow opposite the pool, thanks to fatima clean towels daily room immaculate, clean bedding every other day, and a happy smile. gardens and pool area immaculate and clean. Breakfast could have been better. Restaurant not well used at night, but i ate there and had an excellent meal, although it took its time coming. Overall a lovely relaxing holiday. i would definately use this resort again.

Room Tip: ask for a bungalow
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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385 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (95)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013 via mobile

This are third visit and must admit now all those silly signs are down you feel really relaxed. (Although hiding the kettle last visit was fun) its ideal for the strip were all the bars and resturants are. Staff are so friendly and helpful and welcome you back. Great value for money. Just love it. So safe

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
glasgow uk
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I have just returned from the Holiday Beach Club. Some hard working staff in what could be a spectacular hotel if it had management who actually gave a stuff!!! What can you say really about a hotel who issue guests with one bath towel per day each,and don't dare ask for a hand towel, we did and after much debate with the cleaner fatu, and then with the female member of management at reception we were told that we could go out and buy more if you want them.

Food at the hotel was at best average, but on the few occasions we ate in the hotel it was nothing but awful. I ordered a full English and what I eventually got resembled a paddling pool of grease with some either overdone or partially cook muck. So best advice take the room avoid the £10 per night charge for air conditioning and buy a light weight strong box from eBay or the like to avoid forking out for what to me looks like a not so safe safety deposit box.

As I said this could be a super hotel under the right management, but the current managers are only out to fleece guests at every possible chance, fridges, fans, air con, safe deposit boxes and really poor exchange rates when changing money ( we got a better rate at Manchester Airport). Staff seem to be more intent on being on your shoulder at every chance looking for that all important tip.

If they ever manage to sell this place then I hope the new owners realise that they have a potential gem of a hotel that could really make a good name for itself. But I am afraid not with these owners at this time.

Best advice pay the extra and look at the more expensive hotels who actually provide a proper breakfast not rock hard bread, wafer thin cheese and Luke warm tea or coffee.

It does have. Bit of a misleading name now as there is virtually no beach to speak of due to erosion, small step leading down to where the beach did begin but now are shored up with badly placed sand bags to try and stop further loss of what sand is left. The small sandy area within the hotel is in very very poor condition,including massive sink holes at the rear end of it and loungers older than the sand itself.

We liked The Gambia and for the most part the people are lovely but none of them seem to be employed by this hotel.

Ohh and do look out for the maintenance staff who will willingly take you to see where they live, " Happy Corner" as they call it, this small area of the Holiday Beach Club has quite the reputation all around Kololi with the herbal cigarette crowd!!! Or as they like to call them the Bob Marley Cigarette. So if you fancy meeting the local stoner the HBC is the place to come to. Just look out for the red eyes and I don't mean on the cats or monkeys.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Stockport Cheshire
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

We booked 3 rooms - for 3 single people, Initially my mum and I were put into 2 of the bungalows, 1 facing the sea and 1 facing the pool, but I wanted to be in Block A next to my friend.
Luckily, there were people who wanted to move from block A to the bungalows so swapped the day after we arrived. This meant all 3 of us could be together and nearer the road as the drive is quite long, and was easier as we were out everyday exploring

I was in Room A11, 2 beds, table, chair, 2 sets of draws, plenty of room for cloths, friend was in A9 and mum in A12 - all upper floor rooms. Balcony had 2 chairs and a table. I like these rooms as you could sit out on the balcony without people walking past you

Had no problem hanging towels on the balcony, had not problems from management

Room was cleaned every day by Awa and she did a fantastic job.

Hotel is located on the strip so have lots of bars and restaurants to chose from

Pool is cleaned and is warm, so not a massive shock when you jump in. Would have given 5 stars expect for me, I like to swim early in the morning around 8 but the pool did not open until 10 as it was being cleaned which was a disappointment for me. Never mind.

Monkeys are great and have some great pictures of them.

Breakfast was a perfect start to the day - sliced baguettes, Cheese, Ham, Jam, Marmalade, butter, bananas, Orange slices and Papaya. 3 different types of cereal - Frosties, Corn Flakes and I think Corn Rocks, 2 fruit juices, Coffee which I enjoyed, Tea, Sugar, Milk.

Every day was very hot which was brilliant and did cool down at night, sometimes needed a cardy to cover up

Hopefully going back next year. Well done HBC, hopefully get Block A again when we go back.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

Had a nice room downstairs in Block A, simple clean rooms good cupboard/wardrobe space 2 double beds, decent state of decoration. Shower room typical 3rd world tiling standards but clean. Shower always had hot water. Plug sockets are English 3 pin.

Worried beforehand about comments about noise, Block A is nearest the road where the bars are, BUT is still about 200 yards away from the nearest bar and the one causing most of the noise (Wild Monkey bar) is even further away on the far side of the road another 50 yards further down so it isnt as bad as it's made out. The noise in the room at night is about the same as the crickets chirping, it didnt cause us any great nuisance though you could sometimes hear a constant beat through the night. If you have trouble sleeping if it isn't dead quiet then it could be a nuisance at night. None of our neighbours were was particularly bothered.

About half of the standard rooms at the hotel are in Blocks A and B so if you feel really strongly, book a superior room or a seaview or pay for air conditioning, all of these are in the bungalows.

Plenty of sunbeds both round the pool and down near the beach with nice thick matresses.

All the staff are friendly, particularly the lads round the pool, yes they are upset if you help yourself to the stacked sunbeds - they are heavy solid wood and if dragged the legs start to splinter, if you wait a minute they will deliver the bed to you and bring the mattress and they don't have their hands out or wait for a tip.

You can get a massage from £7 for 25 minutes onsite. And although prices are always more expensive for food and drink in a hotel, a bottle of beer is under £1, tea/coffee 70p, bottle of Vimto 80p, large plate of chips £2, large bacon baguette (good snack for 2) £4. so very reasonable by hotel standards.

We had a lovely holiday with special thanks to Ederis who made a point of getting us involved playing table tennis and kept us amused throughout.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Wallsend, United Kingdom
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

Our fourth year running to HBC and we would not want to stay anywhere else.

Ideally situated for the strip, and all of its bars and restaurants, and located in lovely grounds, tended to daily, the HBC is, in my opinion, the place to stay.

This is Africa, and if you want luxury, then don't stay here. However, in four years, we have never had a cold shower, found all of the staff from the reception to the cleaner, to the pool and restaurant staff to be extremely friendly and are always willing to go the extra mile, to ensure you have a very enjoyable holiday. The rooms are cleaned daily and are of a very good standard - lots of space, and yes, the bathrooms could do with a makeover, but they are certainly adequate.

The pool area is really nice, you never feel cramped, and Lamin and David are always on hand to assist with sun loungers etc. Sherriff is a big miss though, and was far superior compared to Bobby who appeared this year.

I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel and we cannot wait to return next year.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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.
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

My husband and I decided to pay a visit to the Gambia due to the rise in visa costs for India.
We arrived after an ok flight, disappointed to discover our journey was on a short haul plane even though the holiday is classed as long haul and for a 6hr flight it did become a bit uncomfortable in the last stages of the flight.

We arrived in the afternoon to fantastic weather and processed very quickly through the airport and onto our coach to take us into Kololi. You do have the porters trying to grab your bags to take them to the coach but a firm "NO THANKS" works a treat.
It took about 45 mins to reach our hotel and we were again booked in very quick and given the key to our room B11, some ladies we had been talking who have visited the HBC were horrified we we going into this block and described it as a cell block, needless to say I became a little worried. The block we were in was situated near the car park at the top of the resort set back among the palm trees, I have to admit I personally think the ladies were exaggerating as although the room did look a little tired it was far from a cell block. We we in an upstairs room with views over the palm trees and a grassed area and a decent sized balcony with 2 chairs and a table, however it was permanently in the shade (that was a good thing for us as the weather was so hot and it prevented our room from overheating). Our room had 2 double beds that were very comfy and the maid came every 2 days to change the sheets and every day to change the towels and clean up. There is no luxury of TV's or tea making facilities in the room which is ok for us as we don't spend a great deal of time there, we did take a travel kettle as I do like a cup of tea first thing in the morning. Bathroom was in need of a good refit and when taking a shower the whole bathroom and entrance flooded but once we had showered we just mopped it up with the hotel towels and hung them out to dry.

The pool is very nice, quite large with lots of terrace space and shaded areas, one gripe I would have is that sunbeds are stacked up on an evening (fair enough) but not put out again the following day and you are not allowed to take one, you have to wait for the pool guy to bring one to you and depending on what mood he is in you could be waiting a while. On the first morning we obviously did not know this and my husband went and carried the first bed over to where we wanted to sit and was collecting the second when the pool guy (Lamin) started shouting at him and became quite aggressive in his manner, this I found unacceptable and rude and needs to be addressed. Most people did not venture out till past 9 and the pool guys were out and about from 6 so have ample time to put out the sunbeds, instead they sit around till 8 then start cleaning the pool as people are starting to arrive for breakfast.

We were very disappointed with the beach as on the internet it looks fab but these pictures we clearly taken a long time ago as the beach has eroded so much the beach bar has had to be supported by concrete to prevent it crumbling away. They have made an effort to create an area for sunbeds but again it has been built up by concrete, it was very quiet down here and I suppose a nice place to relax if beaches are not really your thing. The sea was very rough with the red flag up most days, we both like to swim in the sea so this was a bit of a let down.

The food at he hotel was very nice although as with most hotels prices were more expensive than the restaurants on the strip and as the hotel was right on the strip we tended to go out for meals. Breakfast consisted of bread with ham,cheese and fruit, coffee and cereal were also available but you could pay and have eggs, bacon etc.

Kololi itself is a nice resort with ample cafes and restaurants, a few supermarkets and surprisingly there are no tat shops selling fridge magnets etc. There are to many money exchanges to count but I would advise you to shop around fro a good deal, rates varied from 48 dalasie to the pound at the hotel to 53 on the strip, we made the mistake of changing some at Manchester before we left and got 41 (bad move) also please take some hand gel and use it every time you have handled the money as it is the dirtiest currency I have ever seen or used, we were also informed by one of the locals that the poorer Gambians keep there money in some very strange places to prevent it being stolen (use your imagination !).

Guides are available every 50 yards along the strip and waste no time trying to persuade you to hire them, this became very tiresome and irritating after the first night and we tried the firm but polite "NO" but they just keep on going until you really have to rather rude to them and tell them to go away, unfortunately this happens every time you leave the complex.

I really did have my eyes opened on this trip and although I think I am quite switched on my husband would beg to differ and I did end up feeling rather foolish, allow me to explain !!

As I mentioned earlier the locals hire themselves out as guides and we did see lots of them with families and groups of students, we did also see some older ladies and gents travelling alone in the company of some very young Gambian men and women, I made a comment one evening during dinner to my husband on how good it was to see some older folk still travelling alone and hope we would still be travelling at that age, my husband nearly choked on his food and told me to have a good look around at these older folk with their young guides. When the penny finally dropped I was to say the least gobsmacked at what was going on. Each to their own and whatever floats your boat and all that stuff but observing these couples (not all of them mind) pawing at each other whilst in restaurants and pubs its just very wrong. On our last evening we decided to go to one of the better places to eat and push the boat out a little, we were enjoying pre dinner drinks when a couple with their hired guide sat at the table next to us. As the evening progressed the wife moved closer and closer to the guide, by dessert she was playing tonsil tennis with him as her husband calmly ate his meal !!

Would I go back ??

Yes probably, it was a very nice trip, decent hotel and very cheap. I would however be better prepared and probably not as shocked at the shenannigans of some other travellers, I would not take an older child there as I think it would become very awkward and hard to avoid a child asking some difficult questions.

But hey if you are an older lady or gent and looking for a bit of companionship go for it just be a little more discreet !!

Room Tip: Blocks A and B are quieter than the bungalows around the pool but not set in as nice an area.
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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
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Beach Club Hotel

Address: Kololi Beach, Kololi, Gambia
Location: Gambia > Banjul Division > Kololi
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 9 Hotels in Kololi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Holiday Beach Club Hotel is a simple traditional African hospitality facility of a Two (2) Star rating, situated on the Golden Kololi Beach. The Holiday Beach Club Hotel Complex features 81 rooms consisting of Superior, Pool view, Sea view, Single storey and Garden View rooms. It also has a swimming pool, Main Bar, Beach Bar and Restaurant. Its mission is to provide a simple but modest Gambian hospitality service of excellence, while aiming to make the Gambia a tourist haven. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Beach Hotel
Holiday Beach Kololi
Holiday Beach Club Hotel Gambia/Kololi

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