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Hotel Palm Beach
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Reviewed April 1, 2013

Decided to take the plunge and try something a bit different for holiday this year: Gambia. Wasn't sure what to expect so went with an open mind and read all of the reviews for the various hotels in Gambia on TA but booked with Palm Beach mainly on cost.

Location is pretty good. The Strip is a taxi ride or longish walk away (taxi between 100-200 delasi) and there are many restaurants in that area but there are bars and other eaterys closer to Palm Beach, such as JD's, Captain's Table, Boss Lady's etc - these are all good places for a drink or food. Hotel is practically on the beach and the beach is a nice place to be (bumsters apart).

The public areas aren't too bad in terms of decor but the rooms (those that I saw) were in dire need of updating. Decor is generally dated and tatty and the furnishings and fittings are showing their age. Some cleaning routines really do need to be reviewed by the management as even I noticed that many short cuts are being made (shall refrain from going into details).

But....many of the staff are great: very friendly, helpful and willing. Virtually all of the people I met during my stay were also fantastic and my holiday was enhanced by their company. These things compared to the niggles of the hotel's failings really do lead you to question what a holiday is all about. For me, I'm glad I went. Yes the hotel is very average in its presentation but the staff (and the Gambian people I met out and about) level the bar and if you are fortunate as I am to share your time with like-minded people, you will have a blast!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank LAT72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2013

If you are expecting three star standards you will be disappointed. There is a number of issues with the Palm Beach and the Gambia in general, but please don't be put off.

Palm Beach is kept clean ever day and the staff are genuinely happy, smiling and helpful. Our room was large with flower arrangements on the bed somedays. The air-conditioning worked most of the time, but dripped water when very humid. Shower holder was hanging off the wall but the shower worked. The hotel pool is very small but the beach is no more than a couple of steps away and the Atlantic Ocean is quite warm with some good breakers.

If you spend every day on sunbeds you are wasting a holiday, get a guide and see some of the Gambia you won't find a better one than "AZIZ" THE BIRD MAN and seems to be everywhere. If you get the chance, use him! and he shoo's away the bumsters who are persistent but friendly and definitely not aggressive. Say "Hello", shake their hands and be polite but say no thank you. Do not say I'll see you tomorrow - they will remember you - just bear in mind that they are trying to make a living and there is no unemployment benefit here; you work or starve!

Visit a school - you will be humbled. Take exercise books, pencils, chalk etc, locals are disparate for toiletries, over the counter medicines, antiseptic, paracetamol, calpol, plasters etc. It can cost a days wage if they buy them.

If you are into bird watching, and they are plentiful and amazingly colorful, AZIZ is an expert guides and can be found around the hotel and he feeds the vultures and kites every day at 5pm.

Restaurant standards are mixed, we had good meals at the Jewel of India and Ali Baba but lunched at the fruit sellers on the beach as the hotel breakfast set you up for the day.

We booked through Aziz who gave us a good deal at almost half price.

Palm Beach Hotel is somewhere we would love to return to next year!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank debbie w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013 via mobile

When arriving i was aware it wasnt going to be EU standards and i wasnt wrong.. Dirty plugs, tv that worked sometimes, basic beds, so i kinda prepared myself. However after a couple of days the little things didnt really bother me. Tbh i was dreading going to gambia but i got convinced to go by a family member and now im absolutely hooked. The beach is just outside the hotel and from what i saw its the nicest stretch of the beach by far. When moving away from the immediate area of palm beach be prepared for hassle hassle hassle! It drove me nuts to the point i actually cried. So be prepared to say no firmly or walk with a local. Its not an intimidating hassle just not a minutes peace hassle an sometimes you just want to walk on your own. The security employed at the palm beach are very aware of the bumsters and will keep you in peace, and if you ask them will arrange for someone to walk with you. Food was ok.. Nothing spectacular but ok if you didnt feel like going out. Breakfast was good same everyday but i enjoyed it an was full up, if you are particular on your coffee though i would bring your own as i think its like happy shopper instant or something of similar quality. The staff at palm beach are exceptionally nice, i was concerned about taking my 12 year old son as wasnt sure if he would get bored with my main aim being relaxing on the beach but a staff member amadou was very good with him, he made a simple fishing rod and they caught 4 fish together, they went jogging on beach and played in the sea most days. My son said it was the best holiday hes been on.. Largely down to the friendly staff. Theres also vulture feeding at 5 pm most days which was nice to see. All in all i would recommend it but leave your EU standards at home and take it for what it is a basic hotel in the best stretch of beach with lovely people.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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2  Thank Michelle D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

just had other 3 weeks 6th march /27th march at the palm beach hotel and must say things have got better since when i was there in December with my daughter . A little cleaner and with more helping staff ,everyone will ask you the same questions 40 times over but it part of there way ,the hotel food is very nice if you like curry and curry and don't go and eat out side the hotel if not the staff get a little up set there is a lot in the area to do ,and i will tell you get out of the hotel there are so many nice cheap and better food to try have you gone all that way just to stay IN. if you want to waste you hoilday well carry on and be sad and remember you do that at home, GET OUT AND ENJOY THE GAMBIA ,I go to local schools and villages ask the taxi control Llaima what a nice guy he got taxi and place sorted out for the days i went out and the night life is so good every where you got you are welcomed with open arms and make to feel at home ,get out of this hotel and enjoy the local area. Back to my title well after being there just 2 days i went backto shower after breakfast because the heat in the breakfast area was to much ,after being in the shower a minute the maid came in for the towels at which point i told her i was in the shower and would need them ,ok she said and i thought that was ok and the next thing the maid walked in to the shower and offerd to help me wash ,this was a part of the service that i did not now was included in the thomas cook price but i hope they leave it in for next year ....over all great hotel but remember late showers in the morning and get out and explore

Room Tip: away from the pool
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank demba12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013 via mobile

Was our 1st tine in gambia and loved it only problem was the hotel will never go back there.
I met up with my wife and family in there second week at the resort as couldnt get time off work for a two week break yes tue hotel is very very basic and did expect this after reading reviews on this site but wat they dont say is that the staff are just a bit to friendly my wife had loads of trouble with them asking if she would like to go out for drinks and wat they call jiggy jiggy even though they knew she was married and it didnt stop even wen i arrived did report it on more than one occassion but didnt stop them.
Yes the cups r chipped but thats not a problem did have a leaking toilet which we reported and they came to fix it but after 2 days started leaking again so had to be reported again and finally got it fixed think the 1st time they just mopped up the water to be honest.
Only had breakfast at hotel which was ok if u wanted beans eggs and pancakes toast fruit and cornflakes every morning, there was one cleaner who would do anything for u called abdula he was brilliant got us bumble cream cocoa butter fruit anything and would not take any money for it just ask if we was leaving anything behind to pass it onto him which was fair i thought.

Me and my wife will be returning to The Gambia but not to this hotel we have had a look around others and will be staying atvthe palma rimma which is right near the strip as the palm beach was a bit out of the way for us there is more space to move around and u dont feel as though u are on top of each other plus it looks cleaner and the pool is a lit bigger.

So to put it in a nut shell DON'T STAY AT THE PALM BEACH LOOK AROUND AND TAKE UR TIME PICKING A HOTEL but do go to the gambia its a lovely place the locals are very friendly just be aware of the bumsters but unlike hotel staff wen u say no they do understand and leave u alone.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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1  Thank iantut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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