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“Nice Relaxing stay” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Coco Ocean Resort and Spa

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Coco Ocean Resort and Spa
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Bijilo
Certificate of Excellence
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Level Contributor
70 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Nice Relaxing stay”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2012

Stayed in the resort for two nights with my wife in late April. It was also a special occasion for us and I had mentioned it during our booking process. However when we arrived at the hotel, there was no mention of it – which I found strange for a 5 star hotel. Also we were not provided with any welcome drink. Not sure whether this is only for people that book through Tour Company.

The hotel is beautiful and is well maintained. We booked a junior pent house. The room was nice but we found it a bit small. Also during booking I specifically requested to make sure that the bed should be with a king/queen double. Although the bed was of queen size, it had two single mattresses put together which was a bit uncomfortable. We complained to the reception and it was changed. The housekeeping staff removed the single mattresses and replaces it with a King size mattress which was sticking out of the Queen size Bed!! The other major issue with the room was the curtains. They were so light that by 5 – 6 in the morning, it gets bright inside the room. They could really do with some thick curtains to block out the light!!

We did not try any of the hotel restaurant so cannot comment on it. But the breakfast served by the pool side was really lovely. Had a good range of selection and some of the friendliest staff I had ever encountered. We did have several treatments/massages at the hotel Spa. The spa was beautifully designed and had several staff from Morocco, India, Bali, etc.. While the treatments/massages were good they were not great (we were more impressed by the spa design, set up and cleanliness). I have definitely had better massages in other places. But this is as good as it gets in Gambia I guess.

We did not use the hotel taxis for anything as they were way overpriced. You can easily get the tourist taxis so I would recommend that to anyone. Also be careful if you are settling your hotel bills in US $ like we did. If it only for room charges then the hotel exchange is close to 31 Dalsi which is same or even better than what you can get outside. However if it is for anything else (like spa treatment, meals) then the rate is 26 or 27. So we paid our room charges in US $ and then settled the rest in Dalsi by changing the US $ outside.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank sriramhary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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422 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (88)
Date | Rating
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English first
Conakry, Guinea
Level Contributor
46 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 16, 2012

We stayed at COCO BEACH Spa resort for a week for a work conference. The spa services were totally amazing, extremely professional and spotlessly clean, the food was of out standing quality and incredibly happy faced service. We will definitely be returning for a romantic get away in the very near future. My only complaint is our room was very light, blackout curtains would had worked a treat.

Room Tip: Ask for a dark room or bring eye covers.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 1307boss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
50 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 30, 2012

I spent the Christmas on my first trip to the Gambia at the Coco ocean and the new year at the sheraton. We arrived late and were met by the extremely courteous and helpful team at Coco Ocean. Gambia is not very big and i spent my time exploring every other hotel of it's class to be sure i chose wisely. Coco Ocean was excellent. Excellent spa, beautiful hotel, very lovely cookies that they leave in the room and give you for free at the bar. I wished they had more activities organized for the season though as well as more buffets. They only one buffet dinner while we were there, which was rather expensive but well worth the selection.
It is better suited for solo couple's or adults as the kid's facilities were rather limited. Good beach. Would make a good trip for simple relaxation. I would visit again but next time with just friends. If you have kids choose the Sheraton. Not as nice but okay.

Room Tip: Choose any of the penthouses. Excellent.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Meeyankee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
105 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2012

We were recommended to stay in this hotel by family and were not disappointed at all.

This is a beautiful hotel and all the waiting staff are very friendly and are happy to offer recommendations regarding the food. The cleaning staff were also friendly but very keen to offer us other services that tourists might be interested in - e.g. visiting a monkey sanctuary with their friend - but we were not.

There are three swimming pools. During our visit they were not used much so we had them pretty much to ourselves which was nice. There is a gym but with very limited facilities. We stayed B&B which was perfectly adequate - we would usually have a snack by the pool late afternoon (before they close the kitchen at 4pm) as breakfast was enormous - you are provided with a menu and can keep ordering/trying dishes until you are full, and this is included in the price you pay. Sadly, a variation on white bread could be hard to come by but staff always tried to accomodate us. We ate outside of the hotel on a few occasions (and used the hotel car, which would then return and collect us later at a reasonable cost) but our best evening meals were in the hotel, and we tried both restaurants. We always had something delicious to eat even though we don't eat meat. The waiters always brought us very sweet mint tea with their compliments at the end of every meal which was very nice. It was more cost-effective to be B&B than HB for us when we looked at the menus prior to booking because the meat dishes we wouldn't eat tend to be more expensive.

The hotel is right on the beach and we enjoyed walking there. There are bumsters around but they weren't very unpleasant, it was just easier not to engage with them if you aren't interested in what they are selling.

The only slight issue we had during our stay was that the car that was due to collect us at the airport did not arrive on time. We had no problems on our return journey. We recommend buying a packed lunch from the hotel restaurant to take with you to the airport which was recommended to us and we were very happy with. Also, if you are not on Gambia Experience - which we were not, as we found it was cheaper to book everything ourselves - there are some treats/offers available to other guests but not to you. On one occasion a member of staff was quite rude about this.

We would not usually be able to afford this kind of luxury hotel and indeed felt very spoilt here and would be very happy to return for another lazy relaxing week in the future.

Be aware on arrival in Gambia all luggage has to be screened before you can leave the baggage area which can result in you being delayed. Don't forget your anti-malaria tablets!!

Room Tip: Our Junior Suite was beautiful.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank sweetgems
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bury Lancashire
Level Contributor
33 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 19, 2012

This is still the best Hotel in the Gambia. This was visit number six (6) in three (3) years. Yes there are problems. We arrived at 8pm and the reception staff were are friendly as "Pit Bulls at a Dog Fight". No welcome drink (always had one on my other visits). We were shown to a room that was small. ( I have slept in bigger cells). After a blazing row with the reception staff, we were shown the room next door to the one we had been allocated and this was fantastic.
. Breakfast was as usual first class. You name it, they have it.
We had booked 14nts 7 on H.B and 7 on B&B. The H.B. meals to be taken at anytime in the 14 nts. We have done this on other visits.
Second night we decided to stay and eat at the hotel.We had a good meal, asked for the bill, its usual to sign for drinks. We were presented with the full bill for the meal. Explained we were on Half Board. Phone calls were made by staff. Eventually we were told in a loud voice that we were NOT on HB and would have to pay. We were then escorted to reception, where another row took place, where we were told we were NOT on half board. We refused to sign the bill or pay. After 15mins a member of staff approached me and in a very quiet voice asked me to sign for the drinks and said "sorry, it was a computer fault".
The President of China (Taiwan) was due to arrive, So the small room that we had been allocated on arrival was changed into a store room for bottled water. (Proves how big it was).
We were then treated to Soldiers on the entrances, walking round the grounds and shouting to each other at 0600Hrs. When the President moved the Police sirens were still going even when they were in the Hotel grounds.
The staff at this Hotel are fantastic, its clean, the food is good, location on the beach cannot be bettered.spar/gym if very good.
The Reception staff are the only draw back. On one evening one was asleep on the desk and a second asleep on a chair. On a second visit three members of staff kept three guests waiting whilst they tried to sort out a problem on the telephone. My room key was lost by the staff after I had handed it in, then found after a search of reception. I could go on and on.
This Hotel is well worth a visit. Please do not be put off by my experience. Problems happen. The Hotel had no control over the soldiers/Police. It does have control of the reception staff, who need to be managed and trained on guest relations.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank NellyBuryLancashire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Diani Beach, Kenya
Level Contributor
55 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2012

From the minute you drive in you know this is one classy joint. The interior decor is extremely Chic with alot of Moroccan influence. The room we were given was really nice. The home made Moroccan shower gel and shampoo was a great touch. The breakfasts were one of the best we have ever had. Love the cascading pools. Beaches in the Gambia are not that great but it is set on a better stretch than some of the other places. I did not go into the spa but from what I could see it looked very top of the line. It is pricey but if your pockets are deep than it is worth visiting!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DianiSky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
59 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 2, 2012

My husband and I stayed here for 7 nights in November 2011. We transferred from the Mandina Lodge and suffered from slight ‘culture-shock’ coming from a unique riverside stay in a floating lodge to a modern and very ‘western’ hotel at Coco Ocean. We stayed in a superior penthouse and our room was very large and spotlessly clean. The bed was comfortable, the air conditioning worked well and the shower was good. The hotel is well maintained and the beachfront ‘cabanas’ are a great place to relax, right on the beach. The location of the hotel is away from the main tourist strip which means that you are able to walk for miles along the beautiful beach without many other people around. Although we came across a few of the notorious beach ‘bumsters’, we did not find them particularly rude- a good tip is to walk in the sea as they are less likely to bother you. In any case, most are simply keen for you to visit their juice bars or cafes further up the beach. We enjoyed several excellent treatments in the hotel spa, for a fraction of the UK cost, and found the staff on reception at the spa particularly charming.
Our biggest disappointment at Coco Ocean was the food. The hotel has two restaurants – a Thai restaurant by the beach and the main restaurant and overall we found the menus uninspiring and the quality of the food poor, particularly as one of us is a non-meat eater. A lot of what was on offer was deep fried and greasy. We would recommend eating elsewhere. Although the majority of restaurants are a short taxi ride away the taxi fares are extremely reasonable by western standards and many will offer to wait while you eat.
By contrast, the breakfast selection and quality at the hotel was excellent. The staff were attentive and the majority were very friendly, although I found one male member of staff was rather over-attentive when my husband wasn’t around, which made me feel uncomfortable at times.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank South_Chelt_Couple
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

Property: 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 6 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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