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“As good if not better than we had heard!”

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Coco Ocean Resort and Spa
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Bijilo
Certificate of Excellence
Goring-on Thames, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“As good if not better than we had heard!”
Reviewed March 9, 2013

Having been home for 6 weeks I am still raving about this wonderful hotel to friends. The Coco Ocean came highly recommended by many friends and I can't imagine why it has taken us so long to go there. The Gambian experience were highly efficient at booking stage and indeed in The Gambia. After a 6 hour flight and no time difference we arrived and were welcomed by the wonderfully efficient Mary. From then on apart from a few dull days we could not have wished for more. Great accommodation and the beach villas are seriously special, fantastic food and we are serious foodies. We had lobster better than I have eaten any where else in the world served by the friendly locals. A gorgeous garden and wonderful sunbathing overlooking both the garden and the sea. Miles of sandy beaches to walk on when you get used to saying politely " No thank you " to the locals and great Sea to paddle in as swimming is not safe.
The Spa too is very special and thanks to all who helped us to unwind and relax completely.
Thank you to all the staff, we will most definitely be back.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Louise G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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425 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    250
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    32
    15
    9
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250
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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 (90)
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English first
Fuengirola, Spain
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 8, 2013

This being my first written review,and after 20 years of travelling all over the world,I have to say our stay at the Coco Ocean Resort and Spa, Bijilo (9th - 24th January 2013)....to be by far our WORST experience ever !!!
Having read so many reviews of the Hotel and it's lack of Guest Security,I feel that I also have to put forward our "disastrous experiences".
In the early hours of 10th January 2013...we were allocated suite 6,which after being asked the following morning by our Luxotour Rep (Kalifa Camara) if everything was satisfactory...we had to say "NO". The room was so small that you actually had to walk sideways down one side of the bed so as not to knock the lamp to the floor !! Also you were able to sit on the bottom of the bed and actually put your feet out onto the balcony !!
The Management told us that we would have to spend one more night there...before we could be moved...which we did .
The following day we were moved to suite 20.....and that is where DISASTER struck !!
Someone climbed over the Hotel wall that night (even though we were only 5 mtrs away from the so-called 24 hour security) and entered our room whilst we were sleeping !! (Thank goodness we didn't awake) . However they stole 2 Telephones,2 Digital Cameras,my Watch,my Handbag,my Hand-luggage Holdall and 2 weeks Medication for Diabetes and High Blood pressure. We knew at about 06.45,and immediately telephoned reception,who arranged for the Police and also our Luxotour Rep to come to the scene....more or less within an hour....taking finger and footprints from the window and the sofa . (I have to say it all looked good!!!) A Police report was made ...and all signed etc.,....and later that day we were moved....YET AGAIN !!!
However....the downside was....on Questioning the German manager about the 24 hour security only 5 mtrs away....his response was simply..."he was probably sleeping !!!"
This time to the "Royal Suite"...hahaha....A large apartment really...with Dining table for 6,seating in the lounge area for nearly the same,2 bathrooms....BUT....just sleeping for 2 !! (Amazing) and an equipped kitchen ??...well in that it contained a sink , fridge/freezer , hob and microwave . Only problem....you certainly were not expected to use it !!! NO plates , bowls , saucepans or kitchen utensils whatsoever !!
HOWEVER......our main problem was that the 2 patio doors didn't lock.....and we had a ladder permanently against the patio wall (What a surprise !) Open access to our room by anyone !!
And that is how we spent our remaining 11 nights in the Coco Ocean Hotel.....always on our guard and expecting the worst!!
But for us worse was to come......now the Hotel are "washing their hands" of all this...saying their Insurance Policy doesn't cover "losses" from guests rooms...never mind the fact that someone entered the room whilst we were sleeping ...and who know's what might have happened if we were awakened....the e-mail we received 2 days ago from a Mary Dymore-Brown only showed the Hotel's attitude of ..."just be grateful you are still alive".
And "thank God we still are"....only to say here...that we definitely would never return...to an "infierno" of a holiday...not to mention expensive !!
It can only be said that they behave in a Gambian Manner (Third World)...but certainly don't charge Gambian Prices....
Definitely doesn't deserve a 5* rating....and really doesn't deserve future guests...because they don't know how to look after or treat them !!! SAFETY and SECURITY are Foremost...that is what people are paying for...but at this Hotel....you certainly don't receive either !!!

Room Tip: Try to get a room that is secure....i.e. with doors that actually lock !!!!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
13 Thank Orcadia44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cirencester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2013

There is a first time for everything including a trip to Gambia, but it will definitely not be the last! We left London at 0900 (2 degrees) and we were on a quiet beach (28 degrees) by 1700. The journey was completely hassle free and at the end of it a wonerful hotel, an oasis in Gambia. The staff could not have been more helpful or welcoming. We stayed in a Beach Club Villa and slept each night with the terrace door wide open listening to the Ocean, no need for air-conditioning and at no time did we feel insecure, there was a guard around all night and plenty of CCTV, the room staff ensured that the room was secure when we were out and about. The hotel is exceptionally clean and well-maintained with decorators painting all the white bits (the whole hotel is white) all day every day. The Beach Club Pool is fantastic, never too busy and there is always a member of staff on hand to supply you with cocktails and extra towels, worth the supplement!! The beach is clean and I swam in the sea everyday, as long as you don't swim too far out there is nothing more exhilarating than being bashed about by big waves. For 10 days we did not switch on the TV or look at a computer in fact even my phone was switched off too, it's the sort of place that promotes proper relaxation even without having to go to the spa, which is also very good with an amazing choice of treats. Breakfast is special, seated around a huge water feature with dishes from all over the world to suit every taste and entertainment supplied by the numerous exotic birds (who prefer bacon to bits of bread) and cheeky monkeys running across the roof. Who cares if it is sometimes slow you're on holiday, things are supposed to be slow, I don't want to see staff running around in a frenzy of activity. I've been back now for 10 days and can still feel the benefits, I would recommend a stay at Coco to anyone and I can't wait to get back there!

Room Tip: There is a huge selection of rooms it depends on what is important to you, but paying that bit extra...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Melanie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampton Hill, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2013

Hotel has to be seen to be believed, built in a kind of colonial style, buildings well-maintained, lots of visually stunning aspects and perfect sea views, fantastic beach frontage.

Staff service can be slow and lacking in warmth and friendliness, at other times great, but lacks consistency suggesting some lack of training and motivation.

Servicing of our (fantastic) beach club villa was poor/sloppy, e.g. shower gel, loo roll, and tea/coffee not replenished unless phone reception, basic bed making done but no real attempt to tidy.

Breakfast pretty good, but restaurant food both unimaginative and lacking skill in preparation. Prices are approx two to three times prices outside the hotel, but the food is not particularly better.

Crunch question: would we stay there again? Well yes, it's a perfect and relaxing setting, best hotel in Gambia. But it with a bit tighter management and a top class chef, it could be, well, perfect.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank b00thenend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
78 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2013

The hotel is a sprawling complex with numerous rooms and cottages. The central building contains the reception area and has some small shops. It is the best place in the complex to receive the free WiFi, but it is painfully slow by European standards.
There is a spa building with various beauty treatment options. It appears to be be of a high standard. There are 2 main restaurants, one serving Thai food. The quality is excellent and many outsiders come to eat because of its reputation.
There are a number of swimming pools and the beach can be accessed directly from the hotel. However, the sea is rough and swimming is challenging to say the least.
Bedrooms are elegantly furnished and secure, and the bathroom is well stocked.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a balcony, its then possible to see the sunset and sunrise with a cup of coffee...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank gs488
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 21, 2013

My wife and I stayed at this very affordable hotel for our honeymoon in July 2011. Honestly, we couldn't have asked for anything better. From the moment we arrived till we left, the service was excellent! We tried out the neighbouring Sheraton Hotels for comparison and we barely survived the night there as we hurriedly asked the tour company we engaged to take us back to our beloved Coco Ocean. Infact, we were even upgraded to a Pent House! The cuisine was superb. Breafast, lunch and dinner were all on point. You can even have a tailored and specially arranged dinner by the beach side (which we had). I've got nothing negative to say about this hotel except to hugely recommend it to everyone. My honeymoon memories will last forever. We are even going back there soonest!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ray_Ade_Ray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2013

We have just returned from our 4th trip to Coco Ocean & Spa in the 4 years its been open the improvments in service has been fantastic already booked for 3 weeks next Jan/Feb,you will not beat this for gauranteed weather 6 hours from UK super beaches & The Gambians are great, if there was one small point its important that the decoration & maintenance of the development is kept up to the standards we have been accustom to
Neville & Debbie cornforth

Room Tip: Beach Villas are great
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Neville C
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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