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“Jerma Beach Hotel was just what we wanted” 4 of 5 stars
Review of SunSwing Beach Resort

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SunSwing Beach Resort
3.0 of 5 Villa   |   Jerma Lane, Kololi, Gambia (Formerly Jerma Beach)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Kololi
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Jerma Beach Hotel was just what we wanted”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2011

We stayed at the Jerma Beach Hotel in one of the villas for a week in February 2011. The hotel was apparently built in 2006. It actually feels a bit older than that but that's irrelevant. It's a good hotel and the villa accommodation is fine. The kitchen is good - electric hob, big very cold fridge and sink. Not much in the way of cooking utensils - just a frying pan but basic cutlery, cups and plates were provided. So there are lots of empty cupboards! Everything worked fine and it was nice to be able to come back to a few cold beers. There are one and two bedroom villas available starting from ones next to the nice swimming pool to ones probably about fifty yards back which would be quieter.

The bathroom was fine with a shower over the bath and a big tank of hot water which was on all the time. Air conditioning was very effective and we didn't need it on all the time. There are insect screens over all the windows if you want to open them. We didn't bother. In fact we didn't see hardly any insects all the time we were there. Had been led to believe that mosquitoes would be major problem but I think we saw one the whole time we were there! still, best to take the tablets just in case!

The food at the hotel was really good - soups were great, mains were big and tasty and deserts filling. We had breakfast every day there and could not fault it. Very good.

The hotel itself is a little way from the madness of the 'Strip' where the Senegambia and Kairaba hotels are. This suited us just fine as it was quiet - in fact not that many people there at all so nice relaxing time by the pool. They have a music system playing from about 11.30 onwards by the pool which I thought would be a pain but actually the choice of music was pretty good - reggae/African mostly and was never too loud.

You can walk along the beach to the strip which is nice and only a bit hassly. Once you get used to it the 'bumsters' are not a problem but can just be a bit in your face if you wabnt a quiet stroll.

All the staff were great, very friendly, not in the way and could not do enough to be helpful. Excellent team. Our villa was cleaned spotlessly every day.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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128 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 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 (23)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Crewe, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2010

Clean large rooms, comforatable beds. towels changed daily, bedding every couple days. Staff very good, Thomas Cook representative excellend. We wanted a quiet hotel, breakfast very good, basic meals good. They have a self catering bungalow option whcih I would use next time, larger fridge and being able to make tea! would be good. Our air conditioning worker perfectly, an ideal choice for couples not far to walk to restuarants. We stayed for ten days and will be retuning next year.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Southampton
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2010

My wife and I stayed at the Jerma Beach hotel this March. This was our second trip to Gambia, the first was last year where we stayed at Kombo Beach. The Jerma is by far a better hotel than where we stayed last year. The staff were friendly and couldn't be more helpful. Unfortunately due to the downturn the hotel was half empty leaving evening meal times a very lonely experience, (the food was excellent) although I suspect a lot of people went to the Senagambia Strip in the evening, which we hated, (too commercialised), or up the road to the other restaurants, not that we minded a quiet meal! Can't comment on daytime entertainment because we were out most days. Moses, (the entertainments manager) organised a visit by some local tribal dancers...We were the only audience which i thought was a shame. By the way dont trust Moses to organise a day trip to James island (part of the Roots trip), because he himself has never done it!
We had originally booked a single apartment but decided to upgrade to a Villa because it was larger and had a double bed! It seems that only the lower apartments have double beds and they were all booked. Not a problem though we thought it was £56 well spent, a fortune to the Gambians though. The villas are extremely well equipped with fridge, microwave, cooker, kettle, cutlery and free safe. Like many people (not enough unfortunately!) who venture out of the hotel we have made many friends in The Gambia and we can wholeheartedly recommend exploring the local areas and townships. Visit Serrakunda Market or one of the markets in Banjul to sample the real Gambia, but keep your hand on your wallet or handbag! Also Banjul ferry port is an amazing experience...Very African! We plan to go back next year or the year after maybe in September/October, after the rainy season to see how the landscape changes. The poverty away from the main streets is sad, our particular family are living 16 people to a 3 room compound. And out in the provinces it can be much worse. There is also a whole spectrum of wildlife and colourful birds to photograph. The Gambians need our help, and right now tourism is their best bet. So go there and enjoy the lovely people and country of the Smiling Coast.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Thoornton Cleveleys
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2010

the rooms were a bit dated but the welcome from the staff makes up for that tenfold. The salads at lunchtime are to die for and the new entertainment rep Moses was brilliant with my step son.Nothing was toomuch trouble for them. Outside on the taxi rank Ousman was brilliant ferrying us back and forward to town. Lovely relaxing stay we normally stay at the Kombo beach but would stay here again, the only downside was the beach was not very clean

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
hertfordshire
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2010

My friend and I stayed at the Jerma Beach for 1 week early Feb 2010. Previous reports had led me to expect I would need to complain about the room on arrival and insist on a move. The room however was clean, spacious, had two queen size beds (it was a twin room) and everything worked. The only issue I had was poor water pressure (but it was hot), and the light could have been better. However I did fancy a villa so asked if they could do an upgrade and negotiated a very reasonable price for a 2 bed villa. Because the villas are all double beds, I couldn’t book this on my original booking as the brochure price would not have been viable between two people.
The villas are spacious and light, everything worked, water pressure was fine, although the toilet did need two visits from the plumber – who appeared within minutes of my visit to reception to report the problem. I think in a country like Gambia you must expect things to need attention but when the remedy is so prompt I think that is perfectly acceptable.
As on the other reviews, the general service is excellent, and the staff can’t do enough to be helpful.
Breakfast was fine, eggs good, omelettes and fried made on demand, bread variety a little limited (no croissant) but very fresh, fruit selection could have been better – I am being a bit picky here. Lunch in beach bar was nice, and we didn’t eat n the restaurant in the evening so I can’t comment.
The pool area was pretty quiet, which suits me, and there was plenty of space so you were not too close to your neighbour. However the music lacked variety unless you are happy with Bob Marley and Celine Dion on continuous rotation. I couldn’t get my MP3 player to work though their sound system so no easy solution here.
You walk out of the beach bar onto the beach. It could have been cleaner, and you got too much hassle for my liking but the real problem when we were there was it was really rough and not safe unless you were a strong swimmer. I don’t know if this is normal, seasonal etc.

Overall, the hotel could do with a bit of paint and tidy up to improve the overall impression. If go expecting a 3+ rated hotel, you will not be disappointed but it is not 4* as published by some tour agents.

In the evenings, we took a taxi to the Senegambia Strip and used the same driver every night who was reliable and popped up every now and again to check we were OK. It was about £5 round trip, but I think you can knock them down further – but rightly or wrongly I think we all nhave to earn a living! I have to say as two girls (sorry women!), we couldn’t stroll round the restaurants to choose and had to decide where we going when we set off.
The choice of restaurants is excellent. We went to JoJo’s, Scala, The Kora and The Paradiso Pizza. The first three are more expensive but JoJo’s is really excellent and worth a visit. The Paridiso Pizza was our favourite. It is amazing value, has an extensive menu (far beyond pizza), really good food – and we tried all sorts of things. The atmosphere is lively and it’s great for people watching – and there were some people to watch!

I would go back to Gambia, its great value for winter sun, shortish flight, no time difference and weather guaranteed.
I may try another hotel, not because I wasn’t happy here, but just because its nice to go to different places.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2010

Just a great hotel with terrific service. Clean, beds are good. We stayed in a 2 bedroom bungalow which had a lot of room and TV with moviechannel. Swimmingpool was large and clean. Towels were provided by the pool. Breakfast was very good. More than enough choice and of good taste.
The dinners were kinda expensive actually. But you can go to the strip and eat there in a restaurant. Much cheaper and some of them are also very good! (Pizza restaurant I forgot the name of ;).
Anyway great hotel for a 2 weeks stay and absolutely recommendable!!!!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
jersey uk
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2010

Just got back from gambia after a two holiday from thomas cook. This was my 3 rd time in the gambia as we have a charity shop down there . It was the first time we had stayed at the jerma beach and all i can say is a massive thank you to all the staff down there. From the green cab drivers outside, to the cleaners of the villa and especially to the internal staff of the hotel. For a 3 rd world country the manner of professionalism was of a standard some hotels in the west lack.start your day with a breakfast from the meals room, (everything on offer). service with a smile always . Then on exit for your day everyone always pleased to help and didn t seem false in the slightest.
Upon return your room has been given the once over with fresh towels daily and a clean smell. (thank you ladies).
The pool area is very clean and tidy and the view onto the beach at the end puts you in 7 th heaven.
This place is a must............

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled on business
    • 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.
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Additional Information about SunSwing Beach Resort

Address: Jerma Lane, Kololi, Gambia (Formerly Jerma Beach)
Location: Gambia > Banjul Division > Kololi
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Kololi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — SunSwing Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 149
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Also Known As:
Jerma Beach Hotel And Resort
Jerma Beach Hotel Kololi
Jerma Beach Kololi
SunSwing Beach Resort Gambia/Kololi

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