Despite the many good reviews, I did not have very high hopes for my 2 weeks in the Gambia. We have had some lovely Thai holidays and this was Africa!
The 6.5 hours Thomas Cook flight was certainly no pleasure. 6.5 hours is not considered short haul and the seat pitch would be mean on a 2 hour flight to Spain. Fortunately we paid for the extra legroom seat. It didn't improve the " Easy Ryan" feel of the flight.
I expected the Gambia to a bit like a cross between Tunisia and Egypt. I was wrong. The Gambians are a happy and welcoming people ( if a little pushy for the tips, often!) and I never felt too pushed by the shopkeepers, other than in the Sanigambia Market. I might have gone back to browse but i felt a little too pushed. In most cases a polite no thank you and most salesmen walked away. On the beach I wore my I pod and made out I couldn't hear!
Forgive me if I am taking more about the country and town rather than the hotel. Many other reviewers have successfully covered all that.
As recommended we had a first floor corner room which overlooked the gardens. I could even see the sea though the trees. The view was lovely and I slept well every night except when a big corporate party went on till 2 am and very very loud. When I spend a night in a hotel, i am paying for a nights sleep If I cant sleep I shouldn't have to pay. The noise should have been restricted after midnight.
The room was clean with an old TV at least 15 years old but it had a few good channels and was fine. The room was pleasant if not luxury, it reminded me of a room in The caribean. They did a second towel change round 6.30 pm.
Included in the price was the buffet breakfast, not 5 star but a very good choice and all served with a smile and a helpful attitude. I particularly wanted a banana each day and once I had asked, it was there for me. Good service!
The Xmas eve party was also included. The local acrobats would not have made it through the auditions of Gambias got talent. The band that followed knew all the chords to Kingston Town and Island in the Sun. There was no Abba medley, We went to bed early.
Nevertheless, all done with effort and charm.
Eating out , our best meal was to take the taxi to Fajara ( cost me 500 return, ripped again!) and visit the Indian " Clay oven. " Reasonable prices Nicely flavoured food
I f you want to se how the real 5 starers live have a meal at Coco Ocean hotel
My wife got dressed up, loved it, but the bill was double everywhere else.
By the way, The Strip, as its called, is more Magaluf than Vegas. Mostly restaurants, money exchange shops, two supermarkets and a clothes shop ( she saw me coming and charged me £6 for two pairs of socks)
So overall i had a comfortable relaxed holiday, great value, great weather.
Fortunately I am happy to be by pool or beach.......
The beach outside the Faijara is not very nice.There are comfortable chairs on the sand by the hotel but to walk in the ocean you need to cross a "bridge" ( safe) and down a few stairs to reach a fairly rough Atlantic Ocean. Walk along 100 yards to the left and it is much better.
Even in peak week there were lots of comfortable loungers, all with shade. Drinks in the hotel may be more than local but the prices are still lower than uk.
6.5 hours away ( quicker coming back)
No time difference
Get the injections, take the plunge.
Come hear the reggae in the Gambia, and the Kairaba is not a bad choice ( but not for beach lovers)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This premier 5-star hotel in The Gambia is not one to sit on its laurels but has continued to build on its reputation over the years. Located on the idyllic, sprawling golden sandy coastline of the magnificent Atlantic Ocean. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Orbitz, TripOnline SA, HotelQuickly and HRS so you can book your Kairaba Beach Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Kairaba Beach
- Kairaba Beach Serekunda
- Kairaba Beach Hotel Gambia/Serekunda