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“Perfect spot to relax and refresh” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kairaba Beach Hotel

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Kairaba Beach Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   PMB 390, Serekunda, Gambia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Serekunda
Leeds, England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
123 helpful votes 123 helpful votes
“Perfect spot to relax and refresh”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

This hotel has a great position by the ocean, splendid and well maintianed gardens, and excellent and friendly staff. The hotel is well run,and service is efficient and effective. The breakfast has all that you could wish for. The beach is narrow(coastal erosion) but there are still plenty of spaces, and the gardens are good for sunbathing as well. Wider beaches are a moments stroll away.
Right outside the hotel there are bars and restaurants. The people are so friendly, and the safe and peaceful location made for a really memorable holiday. The best rooms are the superior ones in the houses in the gardens. As this is Africa, there are a few rough edges to the decor, but this didnt spoil my stay.

Room Tip: Garden rooms(superior)
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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639 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (193)
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English first
Falkoping, Sweden
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

Visiting now at Kairaba Hotel in Senegambia and travelling with Ving/Thomas C Travel. Shall be a 5 star hotel but in my opinion even a 1 star is better. We arrived yesterday and they did not had a room for us. After 40 minutes they showed us our room 1510. I can tell you my wife and I were chocked. They gave us a room where somebody have had diarrea and there were human ( you know what) on the floor! The hotel staff told us to wait for cleaning and if we wanted to change room for 20 euros extra/night. My wife and I refused to stay in that room of course. We took contact to the Ving travel agency. The Ving guide was very helpful and talked to the manager. We got a another room for one night and was then by her and the Kariraba hotel manager promised to upgrade us to a what he said luxury room on the second floor and a dinner for free at the fine dining restaurant. Next morning we were told to take our bag to the reception... on a 5 star... and by 1 o´clock should we get our luxury room for the disadvantage and the chock we have had when presenteted a room in disaster. When it was time to get the room that we were promised luxury room , just happened to be 1512 in the basement floor next door to our horror experience the day Before and the fine dining dinner was changed to a buffe in the pool bar. The reception manager just shook his head and told us that he did what he had to do. We have traveled a lot all over the world and stayed at all kinds of hotels from 1 to 7 stars ( Dubai) and usually when we pay for 5 stars we got what we pay for. We are not people who complains for small things but in our opinion human diarrea on the floor isn´t a small thing.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Doncaster
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

we a re reasonably well traveled and didn't know what to expect of Gambia and/or the quality of hotels. Accepting the fact that a 5star hotel in Dubai and a 5 star even in the UK is different class !.
This hotel is comfortable, clean and a terrific base for exploration, the staff are helpful and friendly. This hotel is certainly one of the best in this area.

On the beach, ( no hassle to walk at all from the friendly bumsters ) only a short walk to bars and restaurants and a bit of nightlife. We felt very safe out walking both locally and away from the complex. Crime is not an issue given that you take normal precautions and this is to Gambia's credit.
We will definately go back, guaranteed sun half decent restaurants most friendly and safe environment and cheap !

Room Tip: its perhaps worth paying a little extra and taking a garden suite.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
London
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014

This is our second time here, and our fourth visit to The Gambia (one of us is a bit of a bird watcher!) and I think this is the best hotel in the area for lots of reasons. These include; the staff - they are lovely, the breakfast which is very good and always on time (unlike a lot of things in Africa!) which is good when you are going on trips etc, the pool is excellent, the gardens are lovely and very well kept and although the hotel is a bit dated is doesn't really matter at all because its charming and generally quiet. I recommend the following: for something interesting to do (and you don't have to be a bird fanatic) go to the little kiosk just inside The Senegambia Hotel and speak with them - its run by Modou Jarju and he is friends and helpful and Modou runs (a) the 11.30 Vulture Feed in the Senegambia Hotel (free) and the 5.30 garden walk which is very cheap and very good. They will even lend you binoculars if you need them and organise great excursions to see birds if you want a bit more. To eat try Scala Restaurant - its very good, quiet and well run. The Gambia is a great bolt hole if you want a bit of sun and not too much else. We have stayed in two other hotels there - one cheaper and one more expensive, but the Kairaba is really nice and gets under your skin in a nice sort of way.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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suffolk Britain
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014 via mobile

We arrived on 27th December 2013, booked holiday in January 2013, was informed that our room had been double booked.
We had upgraded our room as we had stayed here before, and have been to The Gambia many times.
I was very unhappy to learn other people who had taken a late booking received a nicer room, and was very disappointed at the way the manager ( landing) handled the situation.
We were down graded at a dirty room that was really not nice and I feel we were only moved when I sent an email back to Gambia experience in England and made a complaint.
We were moved after a big upset!.
The breakfast area is not large enough to cater for all the guests, the tables are not cleared quick enough, more staff are needed.
The wait at the pool bar for lunch is far to long, ( food ok)
The biggest problem for this hotel is the beach, it is being washed away, but left dirty with all sorts of things floating! The hotel have put up defence walls but not very successfully.
The gardens to the hotel are well looked after, and the pool area.
This hotel is looking tied and needs a lot more attention than it's getting. The biggest complaint from people are the rooms so if you are going here upgrade to what you can afford, or you will spoil your holiday.
Do only book B&B as so many nice places to eat outside, and yes you are very safe.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ayr, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

We first visited the Gambia more than 20 years ago and have returned several times since. This hotel was and, from what I have seen in other reviews, still seems to be one of the best, if not indeed the best, hotel in the Gambia.

It is in a great position at the bottom of "the Strip" (a collection of shops, bars etc.) in Serekunda, which is cordoned off by police so you no longer get the hassle from "Bumsters" (street touts) that can be such a feature of the Gambia.

The hotel grounds are immaculately maintained (see photo attached), the food was good and the staff were most helpful but the hotel looks just as we remember it from 20 years ago. This is either part of its charm or makes it look dated, depending on your point of view.

The rooms are not all the same and some of the basic ones are very shabby indeed but we had a deluxe room on the first floor which was better - though even here the bathroom was very old fashioned and some tiles were missing from the wall.

Some reviewers complain about not having flat screen tvs in their room (although ours did) but I don't know why since, apart from the BBC World Service, there is almost nothing to watch, Al Jazeera, a French channel and occasionally the Gambian tv. The latter is an absolute hoot since most of the programmes seem to be about their President and what he has been doing. There was even one in which he told viewers that he had decided that Christmas Day should be on 25th December and a holiday!

The biggest negatives for me are:

* the lack of a Smoking Policy so people smoke everywhere, on the beach, in the gardens, at the poolside and even in the outdoor dining areas (would you like someone lighting up beside you at breakfast time?) Disgusting!

* loud live music, especially drumming, being played in the restaurants during meals. Imagine someone firing a machine gun in the room while you are eating and you will get the idea.

To sum up, I would give the hotel 3.5 stars rather than 4 if I could but I still think it's the best place to stay in the Gambia and with a little TLC and some attention to the points raised above it could be really superb

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 5 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.
Guildford
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

Stayed here over New Year, our third visit to Gambia over 10 years, it is still the same, everything happens very slowly in this part of the world - but you are on holiday.
Rooms are tired but beds are comfortable - the breakfast is good always found a table outside, the main restaurant in the hotel is also good for the an evening meal, actually one of the best meals we ate during our 7 nights, but also the most expensive.
The beach belonging to the hotel is not in good shape and the erosion has certainly taken its toil, it is worse than other hotel, and the only real draw back its not pretty and the space can be limited, but it has not put me off the hotel, i will return

Room Tip: we were in room 922 and would recommend peaceful and you woke up to the sound of the birds
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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 Kairaba Beach Hotel

Address: PMB 390, Serekunda, Gambia
Location: Gambia > Banjul Division > Serekunda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Serekunda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Kairaba Beach Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 160
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Also Known As:
Hotel Kairaba Beach
Kairaba Beach Serekunda
Kairaba Beach Hotel Gambia/Serekunda

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