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“Delightful Djeliba”
Review of Aparthotel Djeliba

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Aparthotel Djeliba
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Kololi
Reviewed August 12, 2012

We had a great time! I stayed for a week with some of my family, 3 generations of women, found by a random search on the internet and I'm so glad we went. There was enough to keep us all entertained. The facilities are clean, comfortable and in a great location... near to the beach, with Poco Loco - the best beach bar ever, a short walk to the main strip, but quiet enough to not be too busy when you wanted some quiet. Next to a couple of great clubs, if you're looking for nights out too. The pool, pool bar and kids play area are perfectly situation for keeping an out for the little ones. The spa, oh wow the Moroccan spa. So reasonably priced and, dare I say, a touch better than the couple I've visited in Morocco.
The daily pool game really got the guests talking and it was great to socialise abit with the staff who were really friendly and couldnt do enough to help. They were trustworthy and very friendly.
Just be prepared for the constant stream of attention on the road and people offering goods, services and help. Be polite. We never would have discovered a number of the good hang out places had we not been. Go to the African Queen on the strip, local food and a party vibe, if you want to venture from Poco Loco.
Same time next year? Alright then!

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Sharmayne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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96 - 102 of 153 reviews

Reviewed July 14, 2012

Loved every minute of my stay. The power was off when we got there, but remember you're in the Gambia, their power is either tanked or still being built!!! The staff were friendly and always smiling. The pool bar man was wonderful and worked 90hrs a week with a smile on his face. The rooms were clean, I felt very safe there even as a young-ish girl on our own.
Will definitely be returning.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank HelenjoHuddersfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2012

As a frequent traveller to the Gambia I'm sampling the hotels... I'd never heard of the Djeliba Hotel prior to arriving on this holiday with my family. The hotel itself was clean. The staff were professional and welcoming. This is the first time I have ever stayed in a Gambian hotel and not had any hassle from the male staff (which is a huge piece of respite in your holiday). Now I'm not going to write a perfect review, but a realistic one.

The bedroom was great due to the free fan, mosquito net around the bed and the tv that worked perfectly. It was also very clean and the linen was lovely. The lighting in the bedroom was rubbish as there was little natural light (which helped to keep it cool...) and the lightbulbs were perhaps energy-saving?? The lighting in toilet made up for this though. The toilet was basic and small. It wasn't dirty but dishevelled and the shower was fairly weak. Also the drains were a bit gurgly if the person next door happened to be showering too...

The breakfast I totally enjoyed every day. There was always omelettes made to order plus the usual continental breakfast and selection of local fruits. The staff at breakfast always went out of their way to be warm and inviting, not to mention providing good service. Overall the food was pretty nice at any mealtime. Not Michelin star but nicer than many of the restaurants on the Strip.

The pool was immaculately clean and the gardeners maintained the grounds beautifully.

Location-wise it's great. You've Duplex (nightclub) close enough to walk to within a few minutes. Poco-loco (beach bar) if you fancy drinks/shisha/food/sunbathing. You can head along the beach or the main road to Senegambia and be there in 10 minutes (at a comfortable pace). There's also a couple of supermarkets on the main road (5 minute walk) selling home comforts (Irn Bru!).

There are tourist taxi's right outside of the hotel which was great for my family (I recommend asking for Skinny, or Skinny's brother Solomon). Or walk for a few minutes and take a local taxi or a bush taxi (consider yourself saving about a fifth of what the tourist taxi's charge).

Sorry to hear about other people having problems with their stay but I hope those reviews don't put you off. Have a great trip to the Gambia, and if you choose this hotel sleep well and enjoy your stay. :)

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank JoanB12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2012

We arrived to a colourful welcoming hotel. The hotel boy Musa struggled with our cases although they were nearly as big as him, greeted us everyday bless him. We did upgrade to an apartment which suited our needs better, more spacious, our cleaner Morgan did an excellant job and was very cheerfull with nothing being to much trouble. The gardens are well maintained and the gardeners really friendly. The breakfast was basic and repetative really but omelettes were nice and the staff tried their best, there is more choice available like beans and sausages if you ask the cook. The pool guys were really helpfull and the waiter Jay Jay so funny and always serving us with a smile and a friendly chat. Our stay was made by the star of a barman Omar a genuine, humble man what more can I say the best! Amy the receptionist was also lovely. We had a few snacks which were tasty. The owner Marley is a pleasant guy who made an effort to make us feel welcome. It was a shame the weather was windy in the early evening so there was only 1 band on at Poco Loco Sunday seems to be the most popular night,with a lovely chilled atmoshere, a vibrant modern beach bar with lovely food, choice, service and the best cocktails along the beach the strawberry Dacaihri is well worth a try and all freshly made with real friut. The beach boys Alex and co were great taking care of us and our belongs trustworthy and helpfull guys. I really enjoyed a horse ride up the beach 6 quid for half an hour well worth it. The taxis outside the hotel were ok but some in bad repair, but its a laugh! C Baba looked after us well only pay 50d to the strip. The only down point was some of the bumsters hanging around the hotel did not know when to take no for an answer. We met some really good people both english and Gambian just get into the the swing of things and gambian time, but keep your wits about you. Gary and Tamie Manchester, Salford

Room Tip: if your looking for space and comfort get an apartment
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank tami b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2012

First impressions were good; a colourful hotel with pretty grounds. It went downhill after that. Our room was very basic but had a mosquito net around the double bed. BUT - the shower did not work properly, the air conditioning leaked water twice, the TV did not work and the bedside lights only worked if the three point socket was fiddled with to allow the two point plugs to go into them. All of these problems were fixed after requests were put in at reception. We were told the safe could not be activated until the man in charge of doing so was back on duty the next day. This was strange because all you had to do was enter a code of your choice. There was no soap and a frightening lack of toilet paper. Both eventually came following our requests. It was the air conditioning leaking on the floor for the second time and the arrival of an unpleasant smell which prompted a letter of complaint to the Monarch rep. We had already asked the hotel manager to be moved but were told we had booked a 'standard room' and would have to pay for an upgrade. This we did a couple of days later - and secured an apartment for the remaining four nights when one became available. To be fair, the manager did us a deal and at least he eventually responded to our complaint which was more than the Monarch rep did to our letter. The apartment was well worth the extra money with its kitchenette, sitting area, slightly better decorated bedroom and everything working (though we never did get a replacement working bedside light after the previous occupier had broken it).
Major moans: Breakfast was a disappointment. The same array of boiled eggs, bread, a sort of porridge, the same cereal, a small dish of marmalade and make your own tea and coffee hot water. Slices of cheese, ham and fruit were kept securely under cover and could only be obtained from a member of staff. You could have omelettes made to order with ham, onions, cheese or tomato.The speed at which these were cooked depended on which chef was on that morning. Some guests had to ask several times. Fried eggs were also on offer. The lack of organisation was terrible. Although the hotel was by no means full as far as we could see, cups, plates and cutlery had to be continually requested - sometimes met with blank stares from the staff. The material place mats were obviously not washed regularly which meant they were stained and covered in previous diners' food.
Dinner: A dismal experience. A poor choice of only two starters (garlic bread or garlic bread with cheese!) two main courses (one meat, one fish) and desserts (fruit or fruit and ice cream). On the two occasions we ate in (because we were tired after day-long excursions) we were the only ones there. There was no atmosphere and certainly no holiday 'buzz' of an evening. It really was gloomy.
Snacks: Whatever you ordered around the pool took between 45 mins and an hour to arrive.
Drinks: Quite often the ingredients for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails, as well as some soft drinks had simply run out.
Facilities: There was no hotel shop so even buying shower gel before any soap arrived meant a trek to the supermarket about ten minutes' away. I am amazed to hear from another reviewer that there was a gym as we never saw one and were not informed there was one. There is a Morrocan spa where you can enjoy beauty treatments, hairstyling and massages.There was no night time entertainment (which would have been nice for the children) and after about 8pm the place was dead. There were no daytime activities for children either. Occasionally, there was a volleyball game in the pool between 'Gambia and the rest of the world' which some guests seemed to enjoy. There are no hairdryers in the room and 'fresh' towels, though changed daily, sometimes seemed grubbier than the ones they replaced. Wi Fi connection is very, very poor and you are not allowed to make outside calls from your room. You can change money at reception and pay your bill with a credit card - but be warned the machine is hit and miss because of the poor telephone communications. There is a 'library' of books and magazines left by previous guests by reception.
The best bits: Full marks for the poolside staff who were attentive in getting towels, pillows (which you wouldn't want to put your head directly on!), tables for your drinks and sun umbrellas for the sun loungers and canopied 'double bed' loungers and for organising the volleyball games. Praise to, for Max and Ben our room cleaners for their efficiency and pleasantness and for the garden staff who greeted everyone with smiles (and who maintain the grounds to a good standard). We only ventured into the bar once but the barman was also smiley. The friendliness of the female receptionist must also be mentioned. The best poolside food were the sandwiches - either chicken, beef or prawns - which were actually two generous crusty rolls with chips and salad.
Could I be so bold as to suggest.......
1) Breakfast food and service is greatly overhauled. Likewise the dining room to encourage guests to actually eat there.
2) The kitchen staff trained to ensure there is faster delivery of poolside snacks and recognition of guests' needs generally.
3) A bit of forward planning so that basic supplies do not run out.
4) Something is done to bring a bit of that feelgood holiday atmosphere to the place (loud rap music around the pool during the day doesn't do it for me and there is nothing to entice you to linger over a drink outside of an evening. The poolside bar shuts early.)
5) The Djeliba needs someone in charge who really cares.
Overall: The hotel is only a couple of years old but some parts of it looked at least ten years old - and in need of refurbishment. The shower rooms (there are no baths) are grubby and in a general state of poor repair. Both the room and the apartment we occupied had nasty marks up the walls - a small point but they did give you a bit of the 'yuk' factor. Several other guests made general complaints about things not working, having to grab a toilet roll when the opportunity arose and about the poor eating standards. Because of its lack of facilities, we used the Djeliba mainly as a base for sleeping and sunbathing in between getting out and about. It stands next to another hotel on a rather desolate road with a row of shops which are mainly empty apart from a nice jewellery shop, massage place, little bar and the Poco Loco bar (owned by the Djeliba) on the beach at the end. From here you can watch the bumsters trying to impress women of a certain age by doing press ups. The other lot of bumsters, as well as fruit sellers, juice sellers and just-about-everything-else-sellers make the short walk there a misery (as they do on any stroll in the area). A longish walk or a short taxi drive takes you to the Senagambia stretch of shops, restaurants, bars, tour operators and local guide 'offices' (and the Senagambia hotel which looked far more like a hotel) and which in my mind, is a much better place to be if you really want to feel you are on holiday. Sorry Djeliba, you obviously have your returning regulars who love you but you are not for me.

Room Tip: If you can afford it, go for a 'deluxe room' or apartment. Upgrading is not that much more...
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank SUE90082
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2012

If first impressions are important then the Djeliba is blissfully unaware of this concept, nothing in the room seemed to work including the shower. After a long journey it’s usually the first thing you want to do but this wasn’t possible until a maintenance man was called - no toiletries are provided either, so if you visit Gambia take your own shower gel. The TV, safe and air conditioning didn’t work either, and rather worryingly an electrical switch hung perilously from the wall. Once all these were fixed the ‘basic’ room was just that, a basic acceptable hotel room.

The hotel grounds were well laid out and maintained. The staff were all polite and very friendly and the pool man Osman, who is mentioned elsewhere on this site is one of the stars of this hotel. This is a very quiet hotel which I found lacking in atmosphere, a place to relax and do very little rather than a place with a buzz of activity.

Breakfast was a constant comedy of errors and is something the hotel could put right very quickly with a few obvious improvements. By European standards the choice of food was extremely limited and they constantly seemed to run out of almost everything. Surely they know how many people they have to cater for! Snacks are available throughout the day and are very good, although on my last day there it took them forty five minutes to produce a sandwich where, as far as I could see, I was their only customer. Dinner is available from the restaurant, £10 buys you a perfectly acceptable three courses and the price of drinks is fairly cheap. However, it is seldom used and therefore may appear uninviting.

Walk outside the hotel and it won’t be long before the locals say hello, some are genuine and honest others less so. There is a taxi rank opposite, my advice would be to get to know a taxi driver you trust and stick with him. Fares are cheap and the cars and drivers are licensed so they’re trustworthy, I can strongly recommend the services of Roney who became my friend and gave me an insight into the real Gambia. His number is 6387432.

In a third world country which has very little of anything it may seem harsh to criticise a hotel where in all probability the staff come from villages with no electricity, sanitation or running water and whose priorities in life may be totally different to our own. However, tourism in Gambia’s chief source of income and to attract the tourist dollar it needs to compete with other destinations where standards may be much better.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled solo
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13  Thank hillcrestuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2012

The hotel it's self is very nice but the service is overall not very good. When we first arrived even though we booked as a group of four our hotel rooms were in completely different sections of the hotel complex. Then we found out that both of our rooms had double beds instead of two single beds!

On our first morning we went to the gym only to be told that somebody had left with the key so we could not acess it until they came back with the key.

Breakfast was minimal and staff appeared to be rationing portions and a couple of them were also rude. The menu was limited and consisted of omeletes,cheese, melon and papya, boiled eggs and porriage, bread, tea, coffee and powdered juice. on some days I saw some people with chicken sausages and another day beans but this was not common place and was certainly not for everybody. Very disappointed, I will not be staying at this hotel again.

Room Tip: Book a twin room rather than a standard room or else you'll end up sharing a double bed with you...
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank TSL0nd0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aparthotel Djeliba

Address: Seaview Plaza Street, Kololi, Gambia
Location: Gambia > Banjul Division > Kololi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Kololi
Hotel Class:3 star — Aparthotel Djeliba 3*
Number of rooms: 74
Also Known As:
Aparthotel Djeliba Gambia/Kololi

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