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“A geniuinely lovely hotel with great atmosphere”
Review of Ngala Lodge

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Ngala Lodge
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Fajara
Certificate of Excellence
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“A geniuinely lovely hotel with great atmosphere”
Reviewed July 21, 2011

My husband and I stayed in February in an attempt to get away from the cold British winter and have some well earned R&R. We stayed a week and had a wonderful time. The hotel itself is delightful - truly fussed over by the owner and management team. Nothing is too much trouble and it is relaxed, friendly and the staff were fantastic - they truly made our stay and it is well worth making the effort to get to know them rather than just letting them walk past. The restaurant is good and the gardens are beautiful. The pool is a bit small but very quiet and there is an well stocked library from which to borrow books (turned out I didn't need the armful I had packed!). I can see why people return time and again - by the time you've been there a few days you feel a part of the hotel and that you're visiting friends not just a visiting guest.

This isn't a 5 star hotel in the sense of the big anonymous types you get elsewhere; things often run to Gambian time (it helps not to be too precious about this as it makes for a more enjoyable stay) and there were a few nights when the power supply failed and the back up generators had to kick in but to be honest this just added to the atmosphere. However, if you want an intimate, welcoming holiday for couples or as a single lady/gentleman, where you are going to be looked after and couched in loveliness then this is the hotel for you.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Wienette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (162)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
79 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2011

We stayed for 2 weeks 3 - 17 May. It was like staying in your own private villa, being waited on hand and foot, but with a few other friends there! We stayed in Ngala Lodge (their cheapest rooms) in the Dogo suite. It had a bathroom (two basins, lots of space for all your toiletries, swish loo and large shower), large bedroom (super kingsize bed, beautifully soft), sitting room with settee, armchair, desk. Very efficient and quiet aircon plus fans. Also what they call a terrace, it was actually a terrace plus our own private fenced off garden - the grass of which was SWEPT daily to remove any leaves! There were lots and lots of staff, also smiling and polite, nothing too much trouble for them, many of them greeted you by name. Rooms cleaned daily and bedlinen changed every other day (actually it may have been every day). Room service - no extra charge, order anything from the restaurant - is brought to you almost before you've ordered it! Lovely gardens overlooking the beach/sea - a few steps down to the beach which is only used by guests. The restaurant is the best in the area (possibly in The Gambia) and having heard some of the guests experiences at other restaurants we decided to eat in all the time. The specials change daily and there is a huge choice so no need to have anything more than once. Portions huge - often I had a starter instead of a main (and I have a very healthy appetite). All the food excellent, but the fish is simply superb. Lots of variety and cooked really well with suitable seasonings and accompaniments. One of the guests loved one of the special dishes so much that they cooked it specially for her on her last night, even though it wasn't on the menu that night! Breakfast - you could have anything you wanted at no extra charge in addition to the buffet. Pool is secluded - again like having your own villa pool. Pool staff/garden bar staff got you drinks, towels whenever you wanted. The gardens are kept immaculate and I love their kitchen garden where they grow many of the vegetables, herbs etc served in the restaurant. No children allowed so very peaceful. Local entertainment each evening in the restaurant, but it wasn't the usual tacky stuff you get so often. Each night was different, and offered different local musicians all of whom were very talented. Just the right volume too - background music rather than drowning you out; it created the right ambiance. The owner is Dutch and visits once a month - and greets all the staff as though they are family. Many of the guests had been there several times before and there was much hugging and kissing as staff recognised them. I got the feeling that the staff had all been there some time. Wifi theoretically only in the pool and receptions areas (at no extra charge) but we could get it in the garden, restaurant and even in our own private garden. I JUST LOVED THIS HOTEL AND CAN'T WAIT TO GO BACK!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank relaxee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Batley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2011

We travelled in June 2009.
Ngala Lodge is personal, exclusive and oh so private. They have superb personal service, if you want breakfast in your room it is free of charge. When we booked our trip to Gambia we did not ever imagine we would have the opportunity of staying in such an exclusive place. The rooms are finished to a high standard and unique with quirky fittings. We had the most amazing bathroom which included a large circular shower and a bath tub, and his and hers sink basins. The grounds are to die for, I really felt like I was on a romantic movie set! We were one of 4 other couples there so truly had the place to ourselves. All staff were friendly and polite. We even had the pleasure of meeting the owner and his family, lovely people.

Our room was on the second floor; beautiful sea views balcony area, suite style room, large 4 poster bed, walk in wardrobe, safe box, spacious bathroom. Cannot forget to mention the private beach with red cliffs! Amazing!
Breakfast is basic but fantastic; the selection of fresh fruit was beautiful. We never ate at the restaurant as there are many good places to eat around the area which are cheaper, unless you want a la carte.

We spent one week at the Lodge in Fajara and travelled around this area of Gambia 'kombos' west coast, and then hired a 4 x 4 ourselves from a local and travelled up river and the east part of Gambia staying in cheap hostels/hotels. It was a great experience! Would travel to gambia again any day!

Room Tip: Definitely have breakfast included, relaxing no worries
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  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank famulla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee
Level Contributor
81 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2011

I worked in the Fajara area for a few weeks and visited other hotels without staying at the other hotels. Other hotels like Kairaba and SeneGambia seemed nice but were closer to the touristy area that had numerous restaurants and shops. The Ngala is a bit more secluded. Easy to arrange a taxi to visit other parts of town. Beautiful ocean views, clean and comfortable rooms. air conditioning, great food and service at the restaurant. I would definitely stay at the Ngala again.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled on business
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Etoile983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2011

from the moment we arrived we felt relaxed and very wellcome, everyone is so helpfull, rooms very clean your mini bar is stocked up everyday, and as for the resturant food that was amazing, thankyou to johnathan and he's team, i always worry about food when i go away as i have crohons but no need here it was fantastic, the grounds are kept lovely, my husband likes to fish so he loved the beach, we went to see the monkeys, not to be missed but please don,t feed them, the crocodile farm is good but if you dont want to be hassled by gambans get a taxi, we didnt get taxis anywhere we enjoyed the walk but you have to be firm and say no, the lazyday boat trip is a lovely relaxing day out, as there are only 18 suites we spent our week with some lovely people but sadly we had to come home, hi to mo from behind the bar ,lovely guy,

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank k_joby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2011

My partner and I stayed at Ngala Lodge 29 Apr – 6 May 11. We were looking for a relaxing break somewhere hot. Gambia fitted the bill and having completed some research on The Gambia Experience website, we booked. We also benefitted from some inside-knowledge from a family relative who had lived in The Gambia for 5 years. When we mentioned we had booked a week at Ngala Lodge we were immediately told we had made a good choice.

My cousin wasn’t wrong. Ngala Lodge was an excellent location. Based on the coast the grounds are a mixture of tropical gardens and lush lawns that trail down to a secluded beach. We stayed in the Brabo Appartment (http://www.ngalalodge.com/brabo.html) which was clean, spacious and had all the features one would expect from a boutique hotel in The Gambia.

There were some difficult choices to be made during the day: lounge by the pool, walk on the beach or lounge in the shade. However, once a decision was made it was never regretted! Throughout the staff were able to cater for every need and had a unique knack of appearing just when a cold beer or snack was called for. In particular Denbo did an excellent job in ensuring that our stay was stress-free and thoroughly enjoyable.

The food was excellent throughout and served in a restaurant with superb views of the Atlantic. Jonathan the head chef was outstanding and even made me my favourite meal for my last night, despite it not being on the specials. Very reasonably priced and with a plentiful spread on every occasion we “ate and drank like Kings” throughout our stay. The staff were very good and the service was excellent.

If you feel inclined there are plenty of excursions to undertake and I would recommend that if you are staying at Ngala Lodge then you should make an effort to get out at least once during your stay. Just remember this is still West Africa and they do things differently there.

In summary, this was an excellent holiday and we would recommend Ngala Lodge to anyone visiting The Gambia.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank vacations81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Level Contributor
38 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2011

Booked this Hotel on the basis of Trip Advisor reviews and yet again my fellow travellers got it spot on!
Lovely Hotel, beautiful rooms, great food and really obliging staff. the place is a quiet serene retreat from the madness that is Gambia.
This really is a place to chill out & relax, no music blaring by the pool. The evening entertainment is very low key and only lasts for about an hour. Which to me was great ....just enough. No children, plenty of sun beds a lovely balcony that overlooked the ocean. Who could ask for more?

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank genavive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ngala Lodge

Property: Ngala Lodge
Address: 64 Atlantic Boulevard | P.O. Box 4091, Fajara, Gambia
Location: Gambia > Banjul Division > Fajara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Fajara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Ngala Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Established in 1995, Ngala Lodge - an intimate, child free, boutique hotel of just 18 unique, magnificent suites, set in tropical gardens, overlooking the Atlantic is the perfect place for a romantic break. Recently voted the 4th most romantic hotel in Africa by TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards, with arguably the best restaurant in the Gambia, our guests find it hard to leave.Ngala Lodge - where romance isn't just for Valentines Day! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ngala Hotel Fajara
Ngala Lodge Gambia/Fajara

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