Jan/Feb 2013. Stayed at the Kombo Beach for two weeks, our first trip to Africa. We asked for a quiet room and got a ground floor room in block 4 (furthest from reception/restaurants) which suited us fine.
The room was spacious, bed comfortable, reasonable number of channels on the small TV so we could usually watch a film if we wanted to. First two nights we had an issue with the smoke alarm which beeped all night as the 9v backup battery was dead. Fixed on day 3 though. I managed to fix the wardrobe door back in its runner myself! There was a problem with the bathroom that was not fixed - every time you had a shower (clean) water seeped up through the floor by the side of the bath. Not a major problem but not great! Cleaning lady was nice and did a good job (especially as she cleans 30 rooms a day!). Patio area immediately outside the room with two plastic chairs and a small table. Luckily we didn't use these as other guests keep taking them!
Breakfast was good, eggs freshly poached/fried/scrambled or made into an omelette. Always beans + either bacon (better than in Spain) or sausages (awful). Freshly made pancakes or waffles. Fresh fruit, usually 3 from (honeydew melon, water melon, pineapple, papaya). Cheese slices (OK), sliced meat that looked like spam (left alone). Cereals, yoghurt, honey. Croissants, small pastries, very good fresh Tapalapa bread (French stick but soft) Coffee and Tea. Juice was just plain nasty (powdered stuff I think). All round though you could eat enough at breakfast to keep you going for a good part of the day and only really get bored after 10 days or so.
We ate a few snacks and a couple of evening meals at the hotel but were disappointed every time. Bland probably describes things best (but we do like spicy food). Drinks other than the local Jul Beer (£1) seemed relatively expensive for what you got and tasted watered down. The nightly entertainment was a lot better than most I've experienced in Spain.
Service was always with a smile and small tips seemed much appreciated. Sunbeds were comfortable with 3 inch mattresses but we did get a few small bites which we thought might be some kind of tick. Not a major problem for us but if you are on the sunbeds every day expect to get bitten. Internet access was good with one hours access costing just over £1. Wireless seemed to work fine as there were plenty of people with Ipads.
Don't change any money before you get to the hotel as there are at least four small money exchanges right outside the hotel. Just take a few pound coins and let one of the porters handle your bags (give him £1). Try not to get to embarrassed as he jumps you past all the queues and gets you to the right coach in record time! I though the chap loading your bags 4 feet from the trolley into the coach was cheeky when he put his hand out with a few pound coins on it to 'suggest' that you tip him but I did so his method obviously works! Remember the average government wade is about £30 per month so everyone is trying to hustle up a living!
All round though and bearing in mind this really is Africa (so expect routine but brief power cuts)! We'd recommend the Kombo Beach and will probably return there. We had a chance spend an evening at the next Hotel along the beach (the Sunset Beach) and were so glad we didn't book there. The atmosphere was dead and the staff were surely and miserable! Made the Kombo Beach look very good.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set on the beautiful wide sandy beach of Kotu is Kombo Beach Hotel, a popular and lively hotel with a desirable range of facilities, excellent cuisine, entertainment and true Gambian hospitality. Offering 5 different room types: standard, superior, premium, studio and suites, all with excellent amenities which makes this hotel also the perfect choice for the business traveler. During 2011 and 2012 the standard & premium rooms, studios and suites were refurbished. With a choice of facilities like pool with separate children's pool, gym, internet cafe, mini market, massage & beauty saloon, laundry service, daytime and evening entertainment, clinic, lush tropical gardens, beach front setting and friendly staff this is an ideal hotel for either a relaxing or an active holiday. On site there are 3 restaurants and 4 bars. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Kombo Beach
- Kombo Beach Banjul
- Kombo Beach Hotel Gambia/Kotu