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“Be realistic”
Review of Badala Park

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Badala Park
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Barnsley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Be realistic”
Reviewed July 10, 2012

I have stayed at Badala Park Hotel many times as well as other venues in The Gambia. It gets a bit of bad press but you have to be realistic. The main Tour Operators screw the hotels down to the ground over room rates and so it is difficult to keep things up to standard. The staff do their best and are very accommodating but remember - there's no such thing as a free lunch! If they do something for you - pay up! It's the custom and a few dalasis means nothing to you and I but a lot to them. It also fosters a bit of loyalty from them and they will take care of you more. The question is - do you spend all day in the hotel or are you looking to go out and explore? If it is the former - stay home and fork out for a nice room in London for a weekend. If it is the latter - spend wisely and have a couple of weeks in blistering sun discovering how the other half live. Try being a little more African than European for a change - it helps you enjoy your stay that much more.

Room Tip: Take particular care with your valuables the night before you go. That is when you are most likely t...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
10 Thank Philip_Stead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
123 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed May 14, 2012

Me and my friend stayed at Badala Park for a week in April 2012. What a good way for Thomas Cook to steal your money. The place is EXTREMELY basic. None of the staff wears a uniform/ name badge or anything at all so you don't know who works there and who doesn't. The swimming pool looked like it hadn't been cleaned for weeks, me and my friend didn't put our feet anywhere near there. Our bathroom was constantly flooded and our towels were delivered in the room every day at about 6pm, so if I wanted a shower during the day I had to dry myself with my bed sheets.

We stayed in block B and we felt quite safe although the security lets everyone in the hotel and once again you don't know who works there because no one wears anything that makes it visible. A lot of locals standing by the gardens and walkways in front our balcony ready to sell us ANYTHING!

A part from that our room was cleaned every day even though people kept knocking at our door from 8:30 am to get us out because they wanted to clean it.

Breakfast was VERY basic too, some coffee, white bread, some sort of jam, sliced bananas and papayas.

I would definitely go back to Gambia in the future but I wont go ANYWHERE near that hotel and most definitely wont be giving my money to Thomas Cook.

Room Tip: Block A and B are kind of in front of each other. Both blocks near reception and breakfast area. You...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank breatheindeeply
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Kotu hotels

Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2012

I have been visiting Gambia for 18 years, I'm married to a Gambian & lived there locally for 7 years. This was our first 'hotel' visit/holiday and although relatively cheap compared to others, it still cost us nearly £3,000 for us and our two children for 3 weeks. The hotel is extremely old & tired and has obviously not had any money put into it for years. The rooms were very basic & run-down, with many things broken & in need of a good clean & lick of paint. The breakfast was really basic too. We securely locked our belongings in a combination lock suitcase but unfortunately after 4 days, someone got into our room, smashed open our case and took money, phones, chargers, iPod touch, camera, clothes, shoes, sandals, watch & ring....in fact anything that was worth anything!!! We think it was an 'inside job', having watched us get ready & leave for an evening out. We were all extremely distraught but my children suffered the most and really just wanted to go home! They are 11 & 13 years old & at an impressionable age. The hotel manager & owner apologised but that was it. Friends of ours have apartments there so gave us a lovely two bed apartment for the rest of our stay, free of charge. This made a massive difference and we thoroughly enjoyed the rest of our stay and re-kindled the children's love of the place, which I'm very happy about as it's half their 'roots' and I didn't want them to hate the place! I would never, ever stay there again and would not recommend it to anyone else, especially if you have children. We now have the task of trying to claim all this back from our travel insurance, obviously we will get something back but I know we will not get the full amount that we lost....happy days!!

Room Tip: Don't book it!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank Denise C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2012

Just come back from a week in The Gambia staying at Badala Park Hotel. The Hotel is basic but clean and the staff will sort out any problems very quickly. The pool did have a few bits of leaves floating on the surface but it was fine to swim in- nowhere near as bad as what some people have said. Breakfast was pretty decent for this type of hotel- pancakes, boiled eggs, porridge etc.
My only criticism of the hotel is that the rooms are too dingy- they could do with some brighter bulbs or a few more lights. Not that big a deal but just a thought!
The week we were there was end of season so the hotel didn't have any entertainment on. It was just a very quiet, peaceful place to sleep, shower etc. I would recommend this hotel to groups of friends or couples who like to explore and don't want to spend everyday by the pool. A family with young children might want to have a few more amenities. There is so much to do in The Gambia that you'll be glad you didn't spend a fortune on a 4 or 5 star hotel that you end up not spending much time in.

Room Tip: B Block was nice- didn't see the other blocks so wouldn't know!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Becks1609
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ermitage
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2012

This was my fourth stay at Badala in April2012 and I am booked to return in December again. You pay for what you get, if people dis the hotel then they should pay more and go somewhere else. All the staff are very friendly and yes, the rooms are basic but you don't stay in the room everyday, do you? I agree that the hotel is looking a bit tired and it would be fab if the owner spent a little money on TLC; a lick of paint here and there etc. But I had maid service every day, clean towels and if I did have a problem, it would get sorted promptly. Roll on December.

Room Tip: It depends on what you like. I prefer first floor not ground and not overlooking anything - so I ca...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank MmeGilbere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 29, 2012

Myself and my husband stayed at Badala Park this April 2012. I had read the reviews and had an idea what to expect. My husband is Gambian and he thought while the hotel was ok, but it had gone downhill in the last ten years. There were no programmes in the evening so we went to different hotels, basically where we could hear the music. The breakfast was basic, but overall ok. The waiters were very polite and always wanted to help.
The rooms were cleaned daily and the bedding and towels changed on a regular basis. Surprisingly the beds were quite comfortable. The pool was clean, and the surrounding areas around the pool were clean.
If you are expectations of The Gambia are something like the Spain etc then you are going to sadly disapointed. I enjoyed my trip, and I would go again, maybe I might try a different hotel just to see the difference, but looking at reviews for other hotels in the area they seem to be the same. You get what you pay for.

Room Tip: Blocks of rooms nearer to the reception seems to be better.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank DebbieCham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
liverpool
Level Contributor
95 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed April 24, 2012

First time to Gambia & like a lot of Astral Travellers it was the Gung Ho Spirit that kicked in at the right time.The poorest continent on the planet apparently if you live on Wall St . But what an experience in terms of anti capitalism. The locals survive on collective enterprise,just like we used to do before Macdonalds & TV told you what to do.The hotel was very basic for tourists but probably luxury for the locals. The room was cleaned every day,the bed was comfy & nobody lost any sleep.If you had any issues you saw The General & he sorted it out. If you blend in then you will have a great time otherwise stick to the Costas. The African experience is like no other,it is not a place for the timid,but you have a chance to go back to a time that is chill city.I cannot wait to return be Badala Park or another hotel,the experience is everything when it comes to Africa.

Room Tip: If you are not happy with your room speak to reception,if no joy,speak to the General.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank paulo66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Badala Park

Property: Badala Park
Address: Kotu Stream, Kotu, Gambia
Location: Gambia > Banjul Division > Kotu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Badala Park 2*
Number of rooms: 202
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With over 10 years of ownership and 30 years of management experience, the recently refurbished Badala Park Hotel is renowned throughout the Gambia, as well as Africa, Europe, USA and by travelers worldwide.Less than thirty minutes transfer time from the Gambian Yundum International Airport and you will always be greeted in our large cool reception and lounge area after your travels, on arrival at the friendly Badala Park Hotel with the friendliest staff in the Gambia. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Badala Park Kotu
Badala Park Hotel Kotu
Badala Park Gambia/Kotu

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