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“Perfect for a short break” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bakotu Hotel

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Bakotu Hotel
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Kotu
Certificate of Excellence
Suffolk.England
Level Contributor
138 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
“Perfect for a short break”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 29, 2013

Stayed here for four nights as part of a two centre holiday with 'The Gambia Experience'. We requested a room overlooking the stream at the rear of the hotel and were very pleased with location of these rooms. They are quiet and overlook the stream and bridge. Reasonable size room that is clean and beds comfortable .We ordered a fridge (a must in hot weather to keep drinks cool ,not advisable to drink tap water at all ) and had a safe ( again on advice) the two were about £20/five days,- you can negotiate. Didn't need air conditioning though is available at cost, think the rooms at the back are cooler as shaded which suited us (we had room E4) Monkey family-two adults and two young ones visit frequently ! good views of them in the trees from room, also will come up to rooms for bananas and peanuts. Shower/toilet facilities very basic but good enough. Rooms are cleaned daily and the housekeeping staff are brilliant. Breakfasts O.K ( not huge but choice of continental with fruit or cooked English/American ,plenty of tea/coffee ) We ate one evening at The Captains Table attached to the hotel and the meal and service were both very good. This is a small hotel and so pleased we chose this and not the Kombo beach opposite,if you want lots of entertainment and activity go there, we had entertainment one evening in Bakatu for about two hours and that was plenty, we would not want drums every evening for three-four hours !! There is a small bar and a very nice pool, the grounds are lovely, wooded with pretty flower beds and fish ponds, also tortoises .I read with interest a previous review by someone staying at the hotel possibly the same time as we did ( 14th-18th Nov ) I also had a vomiting episode that lasted about six hours, I blamed it possibly on food I had eaten on a river cruise the previous day ( prawns) thankfully it was short lived, couldn't 'tie it in' with any food eaten in the hotel. The beach is directly opposite the hotel, there is a large market there and it can get a bit tiresome getting called to buy items from the stall holders, we found another route to the beach to avoid this ,in saying that we did purchase from the stall holders and you can get some good bargains bartering. Also the exchange kiosk within the market gave the very best possible rates of exchange ( no ATM'S locally, nearest one would be about an hour walk or ten min taxi drive.) Take plenty of U.K. money and exchange locally. The staff in the hotel are extremely accommodating, there is a resident bird guide also .We would definitely use this hotel again, internet available at Kombo beach if you need it.

Room Tip: Ask for a room at the back near the stream, quieter and cooler but in saying that cannot imagine any...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ange55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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404 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (131)
Date | Rating
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English first
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 28, 2013

Stayed as a couple aged 29 and opted for Bakotu initially over Palm beach and Combo Beach when initially booking and are very happy that we did given the unique surroundings of cheeky monkeys roaming around and random tortoises and obviously the viewing platform for the birdwatchers(which we were not)

There was only entertainment held on one night the Sunday during our visit which was a shame as was nice to see without leaving the hotel as my G/F was up and dancing when invited. But if you want a relaxing nights drink with no hassle the barman we encountered during the evening shift were brilliantly friendly and would play music from their mobile phones for a little atmosphere. Lat was good fun to chat to.

I guess the pool could have had a bit more TLC as on occasions we were sharing with a few bugs but upon request they were fished out by staff and I doubt that they would cause us visitors any issues.

Breakfast was fine with us often opting for the Baubar as the cobs were delicious and we also liked the cheese! The American and English brekky were okay and did the job (wont win any awards but was fine for us) We ate lunch in the hotel on a few occasions and again was absolutely fine. We ate in the Captains Table during the evening on a couple of occasions and really enjoyed it.

We requested a double bed via email prior to arrival and were very pleased with our room (k5) we never had great sleep however due to chirping birds nearby but this is the birds haven not ours so that is not a complaint and would stay in that room again.It was however nice to have solid pillows when we got home!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SherwoodVisits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bromley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
139 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 26, 2013

Have just returned from this hotel after staying here for eleven nights!
Where do I start well here we go........GOOD POINTS
The hotel is in a perfect spot.we got off coach from airport after dropping at other hotels and I am so glad we had booked the bakotu as cannot say any off the others looked too inviting!
Check in with reception was nice and quick and easy!
Room was near the viewing platform ,we stayed in D4 which was a bungalow room which was spacious,clean etc bathroom was fine old but all worked well ,decent shower etc no problems with hot water etc!!
Only thing I find strange is that we had carpet in our room and not the tiles like u would expect,not great if u have been to beach etc!!
We paid to have a fan for the duration of the holiday and it was def needed as room got very hot!
Beds were comfy altho pillows were awful very flat and lumpy!
We also paid for a fridge which was small but perfectly functional for our needs!
Safes..... well we must have been one of the lucky ones as we had a large safe room to put cameras and the like in but I think there are literally only four big ones and all rest are tiny literally only room for a passport.money and very small camera!
The hotel grounds are lovely with great character, a lovely pool ,plenty of sun beds and cushions etc never realy got that busy at all!!
room was cleaned each day,towels changed regularly(altho some towels need to go in the bin rather than being given to guests as some were really bleached etc which didn't look great!also could have done with two towels each rather than one im sure most women like a towel to wrap hair up I after shower etc!
The staff are friendly,some a lot more helpful and efficient than others!
Had entertainment of dancers and drummers etc on two separate nights who were great BUT shame they don't tell anyone its on etc and also set them up by the pool where its actually pitch black so couldn't really see a lot at all ridiculous!!!Also they set a up couple of stalls in the captains table area selling local wares but again no one knew about it as nobosy told us it was on!
With regards to the breakfasts now, it has changed from comments we read before we came to hotel ourselves!Yes you can have the baobob breakfast which consists of tea coffee,an egg,fruit,two rolls,some cheese and jams!too be honest it was fine for us, but you now have a choice of American breakfast or English breakfast all complimentary!so all good news!i I just find it strange that one morning we had just half a banana each as our fruit and other times being told no water melon left when there are hundreds being sold all around!!just silly bits like this let it down!
The evening meals in the baobob restaurant were fine it was a set menu for 500 dalasai for three courses!the food is fine but not hot enough and I think this is because they have to carry it from captains table kitchens which def wasn't ideal when it was pouring with rain one eve and they have nothing to cover food with??
The captains table we ate at which was very nice but too be honest it didn't have a lot of atmosphere far to quiet etc!
Lovely mix of peopleat the hotel with all the serious bird watchers , to the sun worshippers etc!everyone talks too each other it was great such a friendly place!
Grounds had a family of monkeys which kept us all amused and the monitor lizards down by trhe creek or pool!lots of crabs etc down by the creek all great especially the viewing platform where id go down early in the morn see what we could see!!

Now for the negatives,too be honest there aren't a lot just as I say breakfast needs to be improved and consistent especially the service as can be very hit and miss some members of staff were great and others pretty awful at times just needs to be pulled together and will be fine!!
We had to speak to our rep and the owner of the hotel as a few days in of our hols a lot of the hotel became really quite unwell with severe diarreah and projectile vomiting it was awful!it was def not the normal Banjul belly that people got!once people realised that others were being affected we called a meeting with the rep of Thomas cook and the owner of the hotel to report that we were all quite unwell!There have been different theories as too what caused it but we do not no for sure at all what it was altho Thomas cook have been informed as we lost a lot of holiday some of us due to severe illness!my boy friend had to have an injection from doctor to stop the diarreah after six days as it was not getting better at all!others had to cancel or rearrange trips we had all booked which wasn't good!The hotel were made aware of problems and did go someway to try and rectify the situation by taking certain things away and saying they would have the water tested etc!i just feel that maybe a follow up meeting would have helped keep people informed as we struggled to get help with what we needed to ask for at the pharmacy etc!we will definantly get on to Thomas cook to see what and if anything has been followed up!!
Yes there are frequent power cuts but that's all part of the fun take a torch and just get on with it that's what lifes all about!
But I def wouldn't let this put you off visiting here as we did love it despite the negatives and I for one would def like to return if I could to the Bakotu hotel!as its a lovely place in gambia!

  • Stayed November 2013, 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?
Thank jems21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rye, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2013

This was my third visit to this hotel and tho' I will return I just couldn't recommend it to friends or customers. My main problem was the electricity going off on a daily basis, on 3/4 occasions for over FOUR hours, this hotel has it's own generator so this inconvenience could easily be avoided. Many guests were complaining that the fridges and fans that were a costly hire from the hotel were on a few occasions a waste of time and money. The pool was certainly NOT cleaned on a daily basis, on one occasion was only done when I complained about all the insects and grime that naturally accumulates but can quickly be rectified. On two mornings I was having an early start and arrange to have a "take away" breakfast, I was offered two buttered rolls, NOT a breakfast in my view. Having said all that the staff (still wearing the shoddy uniforms that they must have been issued with back in the 1970's) were all very helpful, even Eddy the breakfast manager (tho' not great) has improved his customer relations over the last couple of years. The very smiley Fatou Colly made a big difference to my stay as she went out of her way to give a service that should be standard, like getting ice in your drinks.
In my opinion this hotel desperately needs a "front" man or woman to ensure that the facilities and options claimed by The Gambia Experience actually materialise. As I am a bird watcher I will return to Bakotu as I think it a great base to explore the fantastic bird life found in The Gambia.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Feathers2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
87 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 18, 2013

Our visit to Gambia gave my husbond and me a lot of impressions, both positive ones and some far from positive. This hotel was our quite, friendly place for recreation and piece during the stay. Here is no luxory, but still comfortable enough. Despite the lack of phone, pc, ac, proper lightening in the evenings and acm we liked it.The location is perfect if you love the sea, and we do! The small garden and pool were lovely and we could watch many different birds there. Even a small family of Green velvet monkeys lived there, so did some tortoises. We found a nice restaurant in the hotel where dinner was excellent. Eating breakfast was a challenge: we never knew what to find to eat in the mornings, but we surwived. The staff was very friendly and service minded. We might very well come back one time.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sigrid L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hexham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 18, 2013

having been to this hotel 23 years ago, i was hoping that nothing had changed. and i m pleased to say it has stayed true to it gambian style. the hotel has lovely bungalow rooms, furnished in a minimal style with everything you need. clean sheet, running water and a toilket is all you need, as a gambian holiday is more about gambia than where you lay your head at night. you can hire a fan and fridge which will cost about £50 for a 2 week stay, but if youy know in advance it wont be a surprise. take a kettle if you have space . the breakfasts have been improved great continental, english and american unlimited refils served by ed, we went half board, it cheaper to pay at hotel than go through travel agent 500 dalassi for 3 courses in the evening. simon is head waiter in the evening, he is also a head teacher of a small school during the day.
if you want to go on trips and feel safe, use the office directly opposite the hotel, the men have blue polo shirts on, ask for ousman we used him for 2 weeks and he could not have done enough for us, even made extra stops. we travelled with 5 of our children, and had a brilliant holiday, remember the first price you are given is never the final price always barter but dont be too harsh. in the square opposite on the left between alibaba and tandoori, there is lams bar. their beer and pop is the cheapest 20 dalassi for coke n pop 25 for water. . alibaba and tandoori are lovely food and cheap, dont go on the roof of tandoori, noisy generator that can be a bit smelly.

if you after carvings joe under the stairs on way to beach, he has dreads, can make you anything, he is not pushy at all. over in the corner on the right side there is a lady called maya, she was not pushy at all. the fruit ladies are nice fatima and fatu are nice, they are on the beach.
if you fancy a freshly squeezed juice, turn left along the beach and walk along for about 10 mins, just before the estuary, princes juice bar. prince runs this, his green orange juice is the best no added gambian water just juice. just mention sandy and the 5 boys, he,ll give you a good price.
always tell people ou have been to gambia several times, be firm if you dont want anything, on the beach walk in the water they wont pester you.
only ever change money in day light so you can count the money infront of them. you will get a better rate for cash, travelkler checks you loose about 5 dalssi per pound. get a security box at hotel then money is very safe. thei is 900 dal per week but well worth it. you have to give a deposit of £40.

this hotel is a bird watchers paradise as there is so much foliage, resident monkeys lizards and tortoises.
the staff all work vey hard and will try to help no matter what it is. if you want to help, remember to tip or leave something to the night security, gardeners and cleaners aswell as serving staff,
big bagsof sweets are cheaper at supermarket over street a&b. save on weight, you can alsobuy your pens and pencils there giving the money to them rather than our shops. they just as cheap, but not for them.
enjoy your holiday and i hope this is useful information

Room Tip: rooms towards the back have more wildlife for bird watchers.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank guccichic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
152 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2013

First visit to Africa and was a bit worried about what to expect hearing stories of African hotel standards being much lower than in Europe. Pleasantly surprised (more a case of relieved) at Bakotu -nice pool and surroundings/grounds), single storey bungalows among palms with monkeys, lizards, etc. Room basic with dodgy shower (loose fittings/cracked tiles) but adequate for our needs. Luxury it was not. Breakfast was bland/basic with limited and repetitive menu. Good quality restaurant along the beach (about 10-15 minute walk) - ask for someone to take you and give a small tip. They will ask every day to take you then. Only other option to eat was hotel nearby (not great) or a taxi ride to the main Senegambia drag which had a variety of restaurants/ATM machine/smart hotel (president was having a conference there when we went). Still very African, no mistake, as soon as outside hotel the poverty of the country hits you - people begging, selling peanuts, carvings, etc. An interesting flavour of Africa, stunning beaches, weather and the reason we went, birdlife. Hotel felt safe and was good value.

Room Tip: Rooms furthest from reception backing onto golf course are quietest best.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 fodenman48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bakotu Hotel

Property: Bakotu Hotel
Address: Kotu, Gambia
Location: Gambia > Banjul Division > Kotu
Amenities:
Beach Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Kotu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Bakotu Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Renowned and well established, Bakotu is a small, friendly hotel ideally located in Kotu between the beach and the golf course. Facilities include a small swimming pool, sun and shade terraces, reception, laundry, shop, restaurants and bars. Individually decorated rooms, with comfy beds and either terrace or balcony are grouped around mature gardens. The monkeys, squirrels and birds are great attractions. Ideal for those looking for something a little different with good value for money. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bakotu Hotel Kotu
Bakotu Hotel Gambia/Kotu

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