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“Winter sunshine” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ngala Lodge

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Ngala Lodge
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4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   64 Atlantic Boulevard | P.O. Box 4091, Fajara, Gambia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Fajara
london
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Winter sunshine”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

Just back from a lovely, relaxing week at Ngala Lodge. When looking for a winter break I wanted a destination that wasn't too far away. The 6 hr flight was perfect length. The sun wasn't out quite as much as we hoped, but it was always warm enough to sit on the decking or round the pool reading and relaxing.
We stayed in The Rolling Stones Suite, which had lovely views over the garden and out across the sea. When we go back ( which we are already planning ) we think we will opt for one of the cheaper rooms. The only criticism we have was that we were never able to get the jacuzzi up to a nice heat. My husband would put it on an hour or two before we wanted to use it ,but it never got above lukewarm. During the week we had the chance to see a Manor House room and one of the rooms near the pool and these were both huge.
We ate at the hotel 3 nights and had wonderful meals. Each evening the hotel put on some form of entertainment. It was lovely to sit outside, eating lovely food, drinking great cocktails and listening to live music. The band on our last night were really good and made a fantastic end to our holiday.
What really made the holiday special was the staff. The young waiters were super. They all love football and my husband really enjoyed the banter about different teams. Every member of staff was friendly and they always had a smile on their faces.
We ventured out a number of times using Habib as our driver and guide. We ate at The Butchers Shop, JoJos, and Calypso bar on the beach. These were all excellent. We also tried The Clay Oven and this was our only disappointing meal. We booked one trip with GE. We did the Circle of Life trip where you cross the river into Senegal. The ferry was a real experience!! I'm just glad we had guides with us to smooth the way! Part of this trip has the option to walk with the lion cubs. Being a great lover of big cats I couldn't pass on this. It was amazing. We walked with two 9 mnth old cubs. We were able to stroke them and pose for photos with them. This was the highlight of the holiday for me.
I have only been home 2 days and I am already trying to sort out when we can go back.

  • Stayed January 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ngala_Lodge, General Manager at Ngala Lodge, responded to this review, January 16, 2013
Thank you for your review. We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us. I am sorry to hear about the Jacuzzi, I didn't know there was a problem but I am rewriting the instructions/guidance and, hopefully, it won't happen again!. The weather was slightly cooler than expected when you were here but it is certainly warming up now - it's 33C with brilliant sunshine today! We look forward to welcoming you back!
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289 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (101)
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English first
Cheltenham
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

We stayed at Ngala Lodge for our Honeymoon in December and we there for the Christmas period. We can't speak highly enough of this hotel, it was everything we were hoping for and more!
The room are welcoming, well equipped and spotless, real luxury (we stayed in two, rooms 10 and 9), the grounds are tranquil, with relaxing gardens, and the option of catching the rays either by the pool or the lovely and private decking on the beach.
The food is among the best we've encountered, being half board we ate the 10 night in a row and with the fresh and exiting menu and specials every night was a real treat, compliment of an outstanding chef!
However, the best thing about Ngala and one of the main reasons we can't wait to one day return is the people who work at the hotel, never have we met such attentive, welcoming and happy staff, they really do make you feel like you are staying among friends.

Ngala is rightly so highly recommended, and we are thrilled to have spent our honeymoon in such a wonderful place.

Josh and Verity x

  • Stayed December 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ngala_Lodge, General Manager at Ngala Lodge, responded to this review, January 11, 2013
Thank you so much for your wonderful review!! It was great having you to stay and we are delighted that you enjoyed it so much! We look forward to welcoming you back to Ngala Lodge!
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Eastleigh
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

This was our first stay but probably won't be our last. When we booked through the Gambian Experience we had the last room in the hotel but it was still a great room - spacious and comfortable. I loved the art work all around the hotel and in the rooms which made it a unique place to stay. The location, right next to the sea was great, although the steps down could be tricky if you are not firm footed. However you don't need to move far from the small but quiet pool if you don't want to. The staff are so helpful, friendly and there are lots of them.

One of the best features though is the restaurant. It is situated outside, but part of it is covered. The ambience and food was just superb. Breakfast was just what you would expect from a good hotel but the evening meals were special. Local fresh food, wonderful recipes and beautifully cooked. We spoke to a number of people who had especially sought out the restaurant to come and eat - many said that it was the best in the area by far. We were there over New Year and the Gala meal was excellent - lots of delicious courses which just kept coming. The live music that we experienced every night was of a very high standard - both Gambian and more contemporary styles and I would have gladly paid to see these musicians if they were in the UK. The hotel does not allow children and consequently most guests were either honeymooners or middle aged. We met a number of couples that we made friends with over the week. Tips were done at the end of your stay by putting them into a box which takes away the worry. Trips and taxis can be arranged for you if required.

  • Stayed January 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
    • 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.
Ngala_Lodge, General Manager at Ngala Lodge, responded to this review, January 16, 2013
Thank you for your for your review. We are so glad you enjoyed your stay with us and look forward to welcoming you back to Ngala Lodge!
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Loughborough
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

We have never used the same hotel so many times, as we normally like new experiences, but when we found an hotel as good as this, we keep wanting to return! We have stayed in different rooms over the years, but we prefer to pay extra and stay in either one the Manor Suites or the Penthouse Suite (despite all the stairs in the latter!)

Food was as good as ever; and it's great that so many of the staff have been there for years and welcome you back as long lost friends. New manager Jenny is extremely efficient, and runs the hotel well.

In the past, we have always enjoyed the gentle, quiet music whilst we have our evening meal - as it is lovely to hear the crickets and the sea in the background. Some of this year's entertainment included more international music and was too loud for us in such a pleasant setting. But other people have different tastes in music, so you can't please everyone all of the time!

Unfortunately my wife picked up a virus - probably before we came or on the plane - so it was necessary for the hotel to call out a doctor. Dr Hassam Azadeh from the Medical School at the University of The Gambia called three times to check that my wife was responding to treatment, and he was excellent. The hotel staff were really kind, and Jonathan was happy to prepare whatever food my wife wanted as she recovered. It was reassuring to have such support when ill away from home.

With such kind & welcoming people, excellent food, comfortable suites, lovely gardens and warm sunny weather - it sounds boring, but we shall return again!

  • Stayed January 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ngala_Lodge, General Manager at Ngala Lodge, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Thank you very much for your kind words. We are of course, sorry, that your wife was unwell during your stay and we are glad that we were able to help. We hope that she is now fully recovered. I will pass on your thanks to the staff and we look forward to seeing you again at Ngala Lodge.
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

If you want to get away for a little peace and quiet in a beautiful location, Ngala Lodge is the place to go to. The staff are great, the food is lovely and the location is bliss. Having travelled extensively around the world this is one of my favourite hotels. I cannot praise Ngala enough!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Ngala_Lodge, General Manager at Ngala Lodge, responded to this review, January 8, 2013
Thank you for your brief but very flattering review! We look forward to welcoming you back!
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Harrogate, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

Just had out second visit to Ngala Lodge, not at all disappointing the second time around. Beautiful setting, marvellous rooms and fantastic food. The staff make the whole experience a truly great one. One can lie on the decking on the beach, on a lounger in the garden or by the pool, whatever suits you or how hot it is!! If you like birds this is definitely an area to be in, vultures circle above on thermals and then sit in the trees you are walking under. It is set also in a quite area close to various embassies, army barracks and fire stations. However, you are only a short walk or taxi ride from very authentic Gambian villages and towns. Although you do get some hassle when out and about from the locals they do respond to a pleasant turn down.
We also added a three night stay in the Mandina floating lodges which was an altogether different and worthwhile experience. Literally floating in the mangrove swamp, listening to the Baboons in the trees and watching all manner of birds flying past and the occassional fish leaping out of the water. All this and first class accommodation and food. Definitely not to be missed.

Room Tip: All rooms are quiet. There are 10 in the main building then there is the Atlantic suites and the Ma...
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ngala_Lodge, General Manager at Ngala Lodge, responded to this review, January 8, 2013
Thank you for your review. We are pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and look forward to welcoming you back to Ngala Lodge for your third visit!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SURREY
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
173 helpful votes 173 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

A well run hotel with lovely grounds, great food, spacious and comfortable suites and lovely staff. As an amateur bird watcher I particularly enjoyed lying on my sunbed with binoculars in hand spoting a great variety of birds including beautiful sunbird, senegal coucal, reb billed hornbill etc

My only niggle would be that dinner service could be quite slow, two and a half hours for 3 courses, but im sure this was due to the busy Christmas period. Some people enjoy long winded dinners and that is fine, im sadly not one of them.The food is superb and the chef Jonathon is a true perfectionist in presentation and standard.

Room Tip: We had suite number 4 which had a wonderful view of the sea and pool. The room was massive, very cle...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ngala_Lodge, General Manager at Ngala Lodge, responded to this review, December 31, 2012
Thank you for your review. It was fun to have you both here and we hope you come back for longer next time! Everyone here wishes you a fabulous 2013!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ngala Lodge

Address: 64 Atlantic Boulevard | P.O. Box 4091, Fajara, Gambia
Location: Gambia > Banjul Division > Fajara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Fajara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Ngala Lodge 4.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Established in 1995, Ngala Lodge - an intimate, child free, boutique hotel of just 18 unique, magnificent suites, set in tropical gardens, overlooking the Atlantic is the perfect place for a romantic break. Recently voted the 4th most romantic hotel in Africa by TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards, with arguably the best restaurant in the Gambia, our guests find it hard to leave.Ngala Lodge – where romance isn’t just for Valentines Day! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ngala Hotel Fajara
Ngala Lodge Gambia/Fajara

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