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“Great Hotel Right By the Beach” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort

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Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Bakau
Certificate of Excellence
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great Hotel Right By the Beach”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2014

The rooms are in several well spaced out small blocks scattered around a well stocked garden.

We stayed in a deluxe room which was adequately furnished with a shower room, TV and fridge with a pay as you use service stocked with soft drinks and bottled beer. The deluxe rooms were in a better location but costs more. I believe that the rooms are being refurbished during the summer.

We stayed on a bed and breakfast basis but only ate breakfast at the hotel. There was a large selection of food on offer, both hot and cold and of a good standard.

We ate at local restaurants which are all within a short walk from the hotel. We recommend the Hungarian which is about 100 yards to the left on leaving the hotel.

The hotel has an al a carte restaurant on site called The Red Croc which is of a high standard but more expensive than the local ones but is well worth the extra.

There is a large swimming pool with plenty of sun beds.

There is day and evening entertainment provided.

The hotel is right beside a large private beach accessed from the gardens with free sun beds, sun shades and towels. Food and drinks are provided from the beach bar.

Why not try a fresh fruit drink made from freshly squeezed fruit from the juice bars to the right of the beach, ask Solomon for one of his specials, they are delicious. A little further on are the fruit ladies who can provide you with a plate of fresh fruit for lunch, try Fatamas plate of mixed fruit.

Just a little further beside the croc pool, yes there are crocodiles in it, you will find the bird men who will take you bird watching, try David he provides a great service.

If you want an excellent guide to take you anywhere in The Gambia and show you all the sites and also take you bird watching ask Solomon at the fruit juice bar to get in touch Mamou.

Over all this is a great hotel in an excellent location, it's so good we have been 6 times and will be back again.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank PATRICIAandKEN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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904 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (258)
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English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2014

We're currently staying at the Ocean Bay Hotel. It's situated in a great village. Lots of choice of local, very good restaurants .The hotel is a good base, don't be frightened to go out of the complex. There is a local tourist board just outside the hotel where a guide will spot you as soon as you come out into the open and claims you to be theirs ! This however can be quite helpful but if that's not for you then a polite no thank you will see them on their way.
We went yesterday on a day out with our local guide, We had a driver & we visited the local Bakau Batak factory, Serakonda market (amazing & fascinating ) Paradise Beach, the fish market (where all the fishing boats come in & the beach is covered with the ladies selling all kinds of fish) a true local hive of activity & the mangroves where the oysters grow on the Gambian river all for £100 (2x people) so you get to see all this the local way & defiantly worth doing.
Our delux hotel room is a good base, clean & comfortable. All we need because we're out of it most of the time.
The staff at the hotel are very polite, friendly & very helpful should you need it . I would defiantly recommend this hotel and the local area. Taxis are also in abundance so very east to get anywhere else you need too.
Anyway enough of twittering on, the sun is out so back to my sunbed on the vast sand beach of Cape Point (where the hotel is located)

  • Stayed January 2014, 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Nikkinoonooo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds,
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2014

This was an okay winter sun holiday option. We were not impressed by the Thomas Cook flight. It was far too cramped for medium haul. We are quite regular long haul flyers and I'm only 5' 6" but we have all never been so uncomfortable for the 6.5 hours we were flying. There were lots of complaints from other passengers too, especially as there were also no TVs to make the journey more bearable. We would not consider flying with Thomas Cook again after this experience.
The beach at the hotel was good (lovely fine sand) and quite empty although the amount of hassle you constantly get from the local 'bumsters' gets really tiresome as they all continually pester you for money in some form or other. They tend to leave you alone if you're on sun beds though. The hotel is only 3 star in my opinion in comparison to the many other hotels which we have stayed at around the world. The wifi was hit and miss and rooms were quite dated (especially the bathrooms which were really tired and the plumbing was an experience!) but considering its a third world country it was actually to be expected, so it was fine really. The food at the hotel was just 'okay' so we preferred to eat out in the small amount of local restaurants instead (although be prepared for hassle from bumsters again - they will follow you everywhere you go and won't take no for an answer). The entertainment at the hotel was not really our thing so we tended to avoid that. The hotel grounds were nice with well manicured gardens and lots of wildlife to see in them. One of the gardeners got one of the coconuts from a tree and prepared and gave it to our boys to try. We saw lots of amazing birds, several lizards - including a monitor lizard right outside our room and there were crocodiles just 100m from the beach - it was amazing to see them. The hotel staff were all very friendly and helpful. Overall it's a nice hotel if you consider where you are and don't expect total luxury.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank YvieLeeds_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2014

My husband and I stayed in a suite at the Ocean Bay for Christmas and had a really good time. We had read all the reviews and can say that was time well spent as the advice was very interesting and helped us make the most of the trip. We found the accommodation comfortable and clean. The staff were helpful and friendly. We ate out most of the time, and following the recommendation of fellow reviewers, had perfectly reasonable meals. We took three trips with local guide, Seedy Saidykhan, who was very knowledgeable and took us where we wanted to go - Abuko Nature Reserve, Tanbi Wetlands (Lamin Lodge) and the sacred crocodile pool at Katchilkally. We thoroughly enjoyed our bird watching experiences. We are planning to go back in March and can recommend the Gambia as a fascinating experience (we also found ourselves considering our own values) and the Ocean Bay as a safe and comfortable base. Thank you to all who contributed to our wonderful holiday.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank PrincessPlumeria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2014 via mobile

It's hard to know where to start to be honest ! The hotel is lovely, and despite it's size it's set out in small blocks so doesn't feel big at all. Clean, and organised. The staff without fail we found incredibly helpful and friendly, and they couldn't do enough for us or our daughters (10 & 7). We chose B & B as staying in the resort isn't our thing at all, and the breakfasts were varied and plentiful. The hotel does have restaurants but to be honest far more expensive than if you venture 5 minutes outside ! There is entertainment by the pool day & night if that's what you are interested in although we didn't see it as we were out. To be honest, if you're just going to sit by the pool & play bingo you are wasting a trip to an incredible country ! They don't call it the smiling coast of Africa for nothing.
My top tip is to walk out the front door of the hotel and get a local official guide - they are just outside, wearing white & purple tie-dyed t-shirts and will be the best thing you ever did. We had Abraham with us all week, so even if you want to pop to the ATM, or Mr Fixit to get some money, or just the shop for water they will come with you, meaning you get no hassle from the "bumsters" - although a smile and a no is all it takes to send them off, so don't be intimidated! Our guide took us to the restaurants we wanted (Mr Bass lovely for dinner, Calyspo with its wild crocs a perfect place to have a slow lunch - they feed the crocs fish at 4 so worth a watch ! )
There is a huge amount to do in The Gambia, and we only had a week so will have to go back, bit the Crocodile Pool and Monkey Park to have the vervet monkeys sit on your shoulder are well worth a visit, as is Makasutu for a boat through the mangroves, a typical Gambian lunch and an encounter with baboons. The markets are a sensory overload of colour, noise & smells, and the fishing boats coming in the harbour, watching from the balcony with a Julbrew at sunset is lovely. The bird walks are great too ( ask for Alex "bird man " Barry).
We went to a local school with our girls and spent some time there, taking loads of pencils and chalk and notebooks which was great for our girls to see and the kids were brilliant fun. Take bags of sweets out with you as you will encounter children everywhere !!
As far as guides go, all the trips we did with the local guide cost less than half the hotel ones, and were far better as it was just us rather than a truck full ! He even took us to his home to meet his family so we took a sack of rice. They work purely for tips, and it's seasonal so it's hard to know what to give but he was there for us from 8am until we came home at night after dinner so we have him the equivalent of £10 a day. We also liberated a load of the hotel buffet breakfast every day and took it out with us for him as he'd never eaten that morning !

I've travelled extensively in Africa and am very much of the logic that it's a big world out there so I never go back as there's always somewhere new to see. I have to be honest, I'd go back to The Gambia. You can do as little or as much as you want there, the people are the happiest and friendliest I have ever met and it's ridiculously safe - the crime rate is almost Zero ! What's not to like ?

  • Stayed December 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank NickyM120
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
194 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2014

The Ocean Bay could do with a refurb but saying that, it's clearly luxury in Gambia with beautifully kept gardens and a fabulous private beach.

Fruit and juice sellers are on the beach and there's the occassional vendor of sunglasses etcm, but all are unobtrusive and don't badger you. The only downsiode is the tiny biting flies and the show of might from the Gambian army as they do their exercises.

There's also lovely beachside bar and a nice 'posh' restaurant at The Red Croc'.

Breakfast was more than adequate with a huge selection of eggs,plus breads cheese, fruit and cereals.

Lunch menu was a bit limited for vegeatrians but the pasta was good and the pizza's ok.

Overall, good service from most of the smiley, happy staff and ok food. The cocktails were hilarious - each day they tasted different and we were convinced no alcohol was included!

Great value and we had adjoining rooms overlooking the beach and beach bar - really quiet being away from the pool area. 614/615.

Room Tip: Try 614/615 for a quiet area close to the beach and beach bar
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BadgerFoot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Preston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
99 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2014

First time to Gambia and not impressed. We thought we had chosen a good hotel from previous reports but were very disappointed. Hotel Tired and run down. The standard room we were given was dark and dingy with mold and damp on the bedroom wall. When we arrived the toilet was constantly running. Maintenance came and fixed that but then very difficult to flush. On the first day, constantly getting power cuts which also cut off the water. Shower was very erratic cold one minute and red hot the next. The bathroom fan had fallen out the window when we came in one night. Came in another night to find a cockroach run across the bedroom. The first night we arrived we ate in the hotel and had the buffet. Was very expensive for what there was and food not hot and not tasty at all. Luckily we were booked in for only bed and breakfast and the breakfast was only just passable.
We requested to have another room upstairs which we originally requested. Was told by the manager would have to wait till the next day. This went on for a couple of days and then we were shown another downstairs room. The first two we were shown were adjoining rooms with a broken door inbetween including the frame. Looked like someone had broken in. They then said there wasn't another room until the maid interrupted and said there was one empty above the room we were in. We finally agreed on that one and moved all our things. This room was OK. Then a day before we were leaving we were asked to move again as a family were arriving and wanted adjoining rooms. We were then given an upgraded room for the last day which we took on the condition that we could stay in until 5.00pm as we were on a late flight.

Positives:
Friendly staff, weather was nice and warm, always beach beds available, comfy beds, good Christmas Eve buffet, good restaurants closeby.

Further Negatives:
You couldn't go outside the hotel without getting hassled by the locals wanting to take you on trips. Thomas Cook Flights cramped and plane temperature terrible.

Went on three Gambian tours trips - Lazy day Cruise on the river which was OK and food on boat was good, Roots by boat, which was a long trip but OK and again nice food. The trip itself was quite interesting. Went on the early morning nature trip but definitely not worth it. Saw very few birds and the only animals we saw were caged apart from a few monkeys.

Went to the crocodile park with a local but wasn't worth the trek. The guy that took us from the airport that we booked from home, also wanted to take us on trips. We did go to the local school with him to take the pens and pencils we had brought for the kids.

Went out with a bird watching guy advertised in the hotel one evening for an hour and saw plenty of birds. This was suppose to be a free taster but unfortunately, he was very pushy about booking us again to go out for a day with him. When we got back my husband gave him some money but he then came back to me and asked for more. That put us off from even contacting him again.
Definitely not a country we will revisit.

Room Tip: Avoid a downstairs room as you get more insects and these rooms don't get any sunlight
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Southernpat
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $
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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