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“A little bit of Paradise on Earth”

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Les Manguiers de Guereo
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Guereo
Ware, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“A little bit of Paradise on Earth”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 7, 2013

Les Manguiers de Guereo (the mangroves) is a hidden gem. Literally hidden! You would never find it unless you knew where it was - it doesn't even have a sign at the end of the track that leads there. Eric founded the hotel 6 or 7 years ago. He is only interested in making sure his guests are enjoying themselves and nothing is too much trouble. The hotel has 13 bungalows overlooking the nearby Samone lagoon, each equipped with 2 bedrooms, a large bathroom and separate toilet. The air con works and there is plenty of hot water. There is no shortage of sunbeds and the infinity pool is never crowded. The bar and dining area is open sided but cool and at night lit by a rainbow of coloured lights.
We were collected from our hotel in Dakar (where we spent a couple of nights) at precisely 10.00 by Valerie and Flubber her little dog and driven the 100k to Les Manguiers. The trip used to take 4 hours over dirt tracks but now a new motorway has cut the journey time to around an hour. Eric greeted us like long lost friends and introduced his "4 muskateers" Abdullah, Djibril, Paul & Etienne. Nothing was too much trouble. The food was excellent, especially the seafood. as the hotel was quiet, Abdullah or Djibril would "speak the menu". The oysters were lovely and the Gambas to die for. We wanted to seen the Ospreys fishing in the nearby lagoon - Eric took us personally through the Mangroves to find the best vantage point. He suggested visiting the Banda Reserve a few miles away where you can go on a mini safari and see many animals that used to be indigenous to Senegal roaming free and wild. Then he decided to come too and we saw giraffe and zebra, ostrich, crocodiles, monkeys and antelopes but even with a guide who tried very hard we couldn't find the rhinos!
We fell in love with rural Senegal. It's third world but the people were lovely and friendly. We walked about on our own in complete safety. In Dakar there was begging and people trying to get money off you but not in Samone, they just said Bonjour! It helps to speak a bit of French but only a bit - I did French O level 40 years ago - but we managed and Eric's English is good.
But the real beauty is the birds. Hundreds of them. Not just the ospreys (or balbuzzards as they are known locally) - we regularly watched a dozen fishing in the lagoon at low tide, but lots of others. Little Senegal parrots sat outside my window every morning. Hornbills (including the red-billed Zazoo) sat in the tree. Parakeets flew by. We found 4 species of kingfisher (including 2 types on Eric's little lake).The bright blue Abyssinian Rollers are everywhere as are the pretty bee eaters. There are bearded barbets and Gonoluks and dozens of other pretty little birds. And if you are lucky you might see the pelican tree which is just amazing. Red monkeys visit the hotel gardens and there are a family of jackals on the lagoon which we glimpsed a few times. Eric arranged for us to go out with a local birdwatcher a couple of times. He spoke no English but with his French book translated into latin and then English we managed very well.
Don't expect dancing and nightlife, it isn't that sort of place. The entertainment is the location and the food and the drinks and the beach and the lagoon and the wildlife. There is boules and table tennis and table football. Eric has golf clubs and will take you to a very splendid golf club a few miles away. He had just bought a donkey cart and was about to train his two donkeys to pull it for the children (he was being very firm with his staff that they must NOT hit the donkeys). He has plans to import some antelope from Banda and he has already planted hundreds of trees. You can even borrow a dog to walk (thanks vanilla). And all this for E100 a day!. Wonderful value. Go now because once the big companies discover this little paradise it will be spoiled forever. Or rather don't go - just leave it for me!!!!!

Room Tip: All the rooms overlook the lagoon. The terrain is a bit rough underfoot though especially at night
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank paula1756
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 reviews from our community

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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
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Dakar, Dakar, Senegal
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013

the magrove, the lagoon, the birds, the rural community life, the space and quite. Let me know if you find a better place than this in Senegal or West Africa. I recommend to travel around the magrove by bike or horse. Swimming in the lagoon is great, a bit of current but never dangerous.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gian Nicola F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Europe
Level Contributor
278 reviews
108 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 13, 2012

Almost two years since our first visit and the shrubs in the gardens have filled out nicely, so the whole place is occupied by vegetation and beautiful flowers.
The proprietor, Eric, while happy to get a good review, also expresses unease at inflated expectations, so I'll try and view Les Manguiers with dispassionate eyes (at least to start with!).
If you want evening entertainment (apart from Eric's amazing collection of music) don't come here.
If you want 5 star luxury bedrooms this place is not for you. The individual bungalows are very spacious, everything works fine and they are air conditionned, but they are simple and the bathroom is not packed with a whole load of unnecessary freebies (though the necessary basics are there) and there's no TV. I would have liked a bit more light in the bedroom, though frankly you're hardly ever in there. The beds are very comfortable.
If you want to wear expensive shoes, avoid this place. It is built on a hill, and while the common areas are paved, you walk to and from your bungalow on footpaths with occasional small stones, pebbles and some very fine reddish earth (sand?).
If you want to lose weight, do not come here.
So why do I give it five stars?
Firstly, because you are made to feel like a friend rather than a guest. The team has been the same since the start (and has also matured nicely!). Paul, Etienne, Abdulai, Songo and Djibril seem to get on well together, know their business very well and are unfailingly charming to the guests. Eric, the genial Belgian owner, is more like a friend (and speaks excellent English).
Secondly, because the food is really excellent, from a fabulously tender Chateaubriand steak to the delicious oysters from the local lagoon. There is always a good choice for all three courses. The free bar is very well stocked and you can have a drink whenever you want, be it tea, coffee, beer or whatever. Because of the friendliness of this place, clients did not appear to abuse the generosity of the bar.
Thirdly, because the situation is unique: on a rise overlooking a tidal lagoon and the sea on one side, with the bush on the other. Silent starry nights, tranquil relaxing days.
Fourthly: the large swimming pool. You generally have this almost to yourself, except at weekends or school holidays. I never saw the pool overcrowded and often swam alone.
Fifth, because you can stroll down to an empty beach in about 15 minutes, or get driven down to where the lagoon meets the sea and watch fishermen throw their nets as they always have done, without being harrassed by people selling you stuff. The vast majority of the people we encountered on these strolls were very friendly. You can swim in the seawater just inside the lagoon or get a boat across to the next resort down the coast, Somone.
Sixth, because in less than 30 minutes you are at a laid back beach at Popenguine where there is an excellent French restaurant with tables laid out in the shade of some trees that grow on the edge of the beach. You may also swim here. We went twice for wonderful relaxing days and superb food.
Seventh, because of the wildlife: if you walk due east of Les Manguiers early morning you'll see lots of birds, perhaps a jackal or two and, if you're lucky as I was, you'll watch a tribe of monkeys (in excess of 20) going about their business within 100 meters of where you're standing. There is also a small nature reserve at Popenguine.
Eighth, because a week away from traffic noise and pollution is just so necessary, though if you need contact with the outside world, there is a wifi area next to the bar.

As you may gather from the above, I really love this place, for its informality, freedom, friendliness, proximity to nature and isolation from other hotels and from paved roads. I'll definitely be returning.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cliffordchambers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Europe
Level Contributor
278 reviews
108 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2011

As we drew away from Les Manguiers, with Eric, Abdulai and Djibril waving goodbye, tears came to my eyes, such was my sadness to be leaving. I'm quite widely travelled and almost 64, but I've never been so reluctant to leave a place. The setting is ideal, on a small rising overlooking a lagoon, then a sandbar, then the sea. There is no hotel nearby and the nearest village, untouched by tourism, is about a mile away and invisible from Les Manguiers. If you stroll due east, you are in the bush and can walk to your heart's content with the only noise being the breeze. Both the nearby lagoon and the bush are a bird-watcher's paradise. Life at Les Manguiers is very relaxed. We ate when we wanted, the food was always excellent and copious, hats off to Songo the chef. The maître Abdulai was efficient and always pleasant while Djibril the barman was charming...and also mixed great cocktails. Eric, the proprietor, is a jovial and generous host. If you want a change of scenery then you can swim in the lagoon, almost at its mouth with the sea (a short pony and trap ride away); about half an hour away is a good beach with an excellent restaurant: L'Echo Côtier (sic). We went to no other places apart from these: it wasn't necessary! The accomodation at Les Manguiers is spacious, very clean and everything works, even plenty of hot water and good pressure in the shower! I can't imagine that this stretch of the coast will not be "developed" in the near future. Go to Les Manguiers while it is still alone and unique. I have refrained from calling it a "hotel" because it isn't; it's something different,like staying with very efficient and accomodating friends. Congratulations to Eric for having the vision and courage to create this place.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cliffordchambers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belgium
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2010

I travelled a lot , but never met a place like this. I prefer not to call it an hotel , because once you arrive there, you feel ' at home' in the good sense of the word.
The surroundings are beautiful, the team is so welcoming that the atmosphere is unique.
You can plan your excursions à la carte , the kids will love the Bandia reserve, the lagune , where you can float towards the nearby ocean.
The playcorner could be more clean and tidy.
We did not try the fishing, but we had delicious lobster in the evening.
The kitchen is fresh and tasty, the rooms are very spacious,and from the swimming pool you have a beautiful view. I should keep this place secret, because I really hope to return one day ! Marthe

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MarGrimm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Les Manguiers de Guereo

Property: Les Manguiers de Guereo
Address: BP 05, Guereo, Senegal
Location: Senegal > Thies Region > La Petite Cote > Guereo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Guereo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located between Somone and Popenguine, in the village of Guereo, Les Manguiers de Guereo offers a stunning view on Somone's laguna.From the restaurant, the bar or the swimming pool, you can enjoy the view on the laguna and its thousands of birds. ... more   less 

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