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Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Bakau
Reviewed February 21, 2012

We have been visiting this hotel for the past four years and have noticed a few changes.
The cost of alcohol in the hotel has increased and the cocktail menu changed!!! Menu at the pool bar at lunch has also changed, far more "lighter snacks". Menu at clipper has also changed, talking to the manager he said they had gone tthrough the menues and sorted out those that were popular.
Our room was clean and bedding and towels changed regularly, they were even spraying the rooms once you had gone out for the evening. This time the key cards did not fail us at all but I have learnt to keep it away from magnetic clips in handbags. My husband could not flush the loo it required a knack to prevent it from continually flushing. The rooms could be updated but how long do you spend in them?
They have introduced a kids club and moved the pool table into the bar area. Table tennis was still a popular activity. Gentle music beside the pool during the day apart from the half hour morning excercise. No Bingo thankfully!! Pool appeared clean.
Reception is no longer air conditioned, doors left open cool enough.
Breakfast no pancakes so made do with waffles-hard life!! We had no problems with food running out. Coffee sometimes had to be asked for but really no problem.

TG is a bit of a marmite place as we met people who both loved and hated it, more loved than hated. Staff we came across were always pleasant and eager to please.
Would we return- yes would I recommend to all my friends- yes with provisos to go with an open mind and embrace the culture.
Bumsters were more of a pain and were DEMANDING more I am large enough and thick skinned to ignore them but they are getting more intimidating and expecting far more in the way of payment. No longer are a few delasis welcomed nothing less than 50 for a lift of a suitcase or a drag of 10m.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank holsagain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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502 - 508 of 919 reviews

Reviewed February 20, 2012

I cannot understand the previous reports on the hotel,we had a wonderful time here and found the hotel measured upto what we were expecting.Yes the hotel is not 5 star but the staff are they were very pleasant and efficient at all times the pool area is great .We found no problems with the bumsters and found them easy to deal with unlike other countries.We stayed Bed and breakfast which was great with plenty of variety.If you look long and hard enough you can find fault with anything,we did not experience any of the problems previously mentioned and found the security at the hotel first rate.
Outside we found a wide variety of great places to eat our favourite was the Taj India across the road well trained staff and reasonable prices others with great food were Mr bass One for the road , Surf & Turf , Smiling Coast and the Shanghai one to give a miss to though is the Italian Connection food very poor and a very strange owner.
All in all agreat trip airport in both directions was a bit basic thoughour son wants us to book again now for next year

Room Tip: we were in room 220 great sea views
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank paul681
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2012

We have just returned from a 2 week holiday, our first in the Gambia. We agree that in Europe the hotel would be a 3* but it was very clean and the staff were very good although they worked on Gambia time (no rush). It took us 24hrs and 5 times of asking for extra pillows but on the 2 occasions we had problems with our safe it was rectified within 20 minutes. A special mention to Kaddy who worked in the Beach Bar in the evenings and to Mariane who looked after us by the pool every day. We only went B&B - we had the buffet in the hotel on our first evening and found it to be OK but a bit average. The room was ok, but a bit dark. It was very clean and the bathroom was in good nick. Cleaning service was good with clean towels every day. The grounds of the hotel were lovely and the pool was very clean but bitterly cold so swimming didn't really appeal to anyone other than the brave!
Going outside the hotel was definately an experience! The bumsters really are a giant pain and can smell new blood from 10 miles. They tour the perimeter of the hotel and pester you before you can even get to your room. We used Omar, one of the offical Guides on a couple of occasions, for a walk about taking in the Croc pool and to visit the fishing harbour. He was very good and we would recommend him. You really do need to develop a very thick skin. Everyone wants to be you 'friend' and you will be told that you are part of the Gambian Family at least 100 time a week! I think we heard every sob story under the sun - it's a shame really as these pests spoil it for everyone. You do have to keep reminding yourself that you are there on holiday and can't solve all the problems and poverty.
We were taken to the local kindergarten and, although it was lovely to see the children, there was the overwhelming sense that the poor kids were being used as emotional blackmail to get money out of you. Saying that, seeing their joy at getting a lollipop and balloon was priceless.
Don't bother going to the Ocean Clipper restaurant in the complex, the food wasn't very good and it was very expensive. Mr Bass is a good cheap and cheerful place to eat, we went there a few times. If you want to eat out and be thoroughly depressed, then go to the Italian Connection. Within 2 minutes of us being there, the owner subjected us to a 5 minute racist rant against the Indians and the locals! He walked about muttering under his breath and came to us goodness knows how many times demanding that we drag all the British people to his restaurant! The food really wasn't good - Hubby's lasagne arrived in a foil take-away container! The Taj Indian is another story though, fantastic food and service - can't praise that enough.
All in all, we had a fantastic 2 weeks in the sun and the holiday was only marred by the amount of pestering. We tried going for an early morning stroll along the beach by ourselves but gained a 'friend' within seconds and couldn't shake him off. He was very disappointed at the end of the walk when we didn't give him money. Also, beware the 'gifts' - bracelets with your name on etc (the Gambian Passport). If you tell them the names of any of your family, they will appear with things with these names on and then want paying for them. Another un-nerving thing is these people always seem to know where you have been so you get the feeling of being stalked.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank WS281259
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2012

We had a 4 week break at half board in a luxury suits at this hotel in January 2011 and had no complaints except the food; the breakfast was only mediocre and the evening meal was often undercooked. However we enjoyed everything else about the hotel and its location so we returned this year for a 4 weeks January break in a luxury suite at bed and breakfast only.
From the day we arrived we were disappointed at how the hotel had deteriorated since the previous year. The catalogue of disasters was unbelievable.

The room was dirty with dust and dirt on the wardrobe shelves.
There were no pillowcases and the pillows were filthy.
The toilet would not stop flushing.
The fridge/mini bar was missing; it had been removed from its cabinet.
There was no remote control for the ac or any means of controlling it.
The batteries had been removed from the TV remote.
The magnetic key did not work and you had to kick the door to obtain entry.

Things got worse.

The toilet was repaired which caused it to stop working altogether.
The shower head fell apart while being used.
The shower tray was blocked due to the outside pump not working.
The magnetic door rarely worked and on one occasion the engineers had to remove the window frame and we had to climb into the room through the window.

We were not the only guests to suffer as there was a constant stream of guests at the reception desk complaining and almost everyone seemed to have trouble getting into their rooms.

We have traveled extensively throughout the tropics and can honestly say this was the worst hotel we have ever stayed in; the hotel is advertised as a four star hotel but in our opinion would struggle to make a two star hotel. Although we liked Gambia and the location we shall never again return to this hotel.

Room Tip: Don't go to this hotel/
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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9  Thank Ernest H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2012

First impressions were good, pool , room standards, staff all good. After a while you sensed an uneasyness with staff. Gambian people are normaly so happy but they were not like that in this hotel. I agree with a previous report who blamed the arrogant management.
The restaurant/bar area outside the hotel was very poor, the standard of food was poor but the people were good. There was more hassle from the bumsters here than anywhere else we had been so we took up the services of one of the official guides outside of the front of the hotel. His name is Alex and was a true gent. We took him with us where ever we went and he guided us on a few trips. When he was withus we did not get any hassle. Ask for Alex the teacher as there are two Alex's.
While we were there we learnt of 5 people who had had money stolen from their rooms. We were the 6th. The hotel were not bothered about settling the problem even though I called in the police. All thy kept saying was its under investigation. I was left with no option but to deduct the amount from the final bill. So be aware if you go there.

Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
1  Thank KENR184
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2012

From the moment we arrived we found all staff to be friendly and helpful, nothing was too much trouble. The room we were allocated was perfectly positioned for us, however, only a minor point, it could do with more light inside, as the room was a little dark at times. The hotel is a Gambian 5* rated hotel, and reading other reviews we weren't expecting a European 5* so we pitched our expectations a bit lower and hoped for a good 3.5*/4*, and that is what we found.

Breakfast had all you wanted, English fare as well as continental, and the bread and pastries were delicious. My only niggle here was that some mornings it was a bit disorganised, and you had to wait a while for your tea and coffee, but hey - you are sitting in the sun, outside in February!

The beach was lovely, and the staff looking after you were always friendly, especially Halima, who always remembered our names. The beach attendants Ebrima and the team looked after all the sunbeds and we noticed that wherever possible they tried to get you under a parasol or palm tree without you sitting too close to the people next to you. Well done.

We stayed on a B&B basis and we are so pleased we did otherwise we would have missed out on the wonderful food we ate at restaurants in Cape Point, The Indian, Mr Bass, - try the Barracuda - its delicious. Rising Sun, Smiling Coast, New One for the Road - the prawns in a creamy sauce...mmmm, Surf and Turf and Calypso. We ran out of time to try the Chinese and the hotels a la carte restaurant, as we revisited a couple of the restaurants as the food in our opinion was so good. More importantly for us, no gippy tummies!!

Outside the hotel are the official government tourist guides associated to the hotel, please please please use them. Their local knowledge is invaluable. We were very lucky to have Lamin Jallow (Mr G) and Eddi look after us, they helped make our holiday really special and probably showed us things you wouldn't see with your tour operator. They looked after us from the moment we stepped outside the hotel on the day we arrived to the day we left, and I would like to say they have become friends of ours who we hope to go back and see next year. Thank You boys.

We took pens, pencils, paper, sweets, clothes and some footballs with us, which we shared between the red cross school in Bakau and the school at Jufferuh. The headmaster(s) were very pleased with these and the children loved the lollies - 'Minty' as they call sweets. Even when we thought we had given nearly every little one some Minty, more came running out of their homes for a treat, so we had to go into Bakau to buy some more. Even when we had run out the little ones seemed to recognise us!
The Children at the Red Cross School sang us a couple of songs as a Thank You for the pens etc which was lovely, it was a very moving experience.

Without Lamin and Eddi I feel we would not have had the great experience we had of Gambia, which has made us want to return.

These are our opinions of the time we had in Gambia and of course every one sees things differently, but hopefully this will help you in some way make a decision. Enjoy the country and the people you meet, you may be as pleasantly surprised as we were, and were sad to leave.

Any thing you can take to help the schools or the locals is always appreciated by them, and a few dalasi as a way of a thank you is always welcomed.

Room Tip: Houses 5 & 6 are near the beach
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mosel_Lady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2012

This is our second visit to the Ocean Bay we were last here 4 years ago and for us very little has changed. Looking at the reviews we wonder what exactley people expect for their pound! We had one of the rooms facing the wall that many complain about and everyone seemed to describe as dark. We found them to be peaceful and great for sleeping in. Agreed the breakfast was a bit disorganised but the food was more than adequate. We went BB from what i could see AI was not good value and there are several very good places to eat nearby. Yes it can be a hasstle going out but get yourself a guide and you will be fine the people are only trying to earn a living and the are mostly very nice. The bird life is amazing and Mamou one of the guides took us all the places we needed to see. i cant recommend his services enough. Ask for him at Solomon and Opas juice bar as you turn right on the beach. Again make sure you have a daily juice with them only 50 dalasi and worth every penny. Will we return to the Ocean Bay and the Gambia most definatley cant wait. PS Thomas Cook flight was great with loads of leg room and best of all no jet lag

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank fullpassports
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort

Address: Kofi Annan Street, Cape Point, Bakau, Gambia
Location: Gambia > Banjul Division > Bakau
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Bakau
Price Range: $85 - $206 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 195
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Ocean Bay Hotel Bakau
Ocean Bay Hotel And Resort
Ocean Bay Resort
Ocean Bay Bakau
Ocean Bay Hotel Gambia
Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort Gambia/Bakau, Africa

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