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“Much better than I expected!”

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Kairaba Beach Hotel
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Serekunda
Certificate of Excellence
finchley
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Much better than I expected!”
Reviewed January 1, 2013

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
Great Weather
Low prices
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)

Room Tip: If you pay extra for the corner first floor rooms facing the gardens they are convenient and spaciou...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ABCFinchley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Isle of Man
Level Contributor
71 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

We had booked a standard room thro' TC but emailed ahead and asked for an upgrade, which we paid £140 for, which was well worth it because I think the standard rooms are behind reception and not in the hotel grounds. (I could be wrong). The grounds are lovely and there are sunbeds on the grass for those who don't want to be near the pool or on the beach.
Breakfast was lovely altho the dining room can get busy and I was a little rudely moved off a table that I had assumed was free!!
Husband arranged a game of golf with Golfman (he can be found near the pool) if anyone is up for a game. Not the usual type of golf course apparantly!! It cost £30, which included taxis and caddy.
We also got a Christmas gift delivered to our room, a basket with biscuits, mince pies, bubbly and tins of olives etc which was a nice touch.

Room Tip: We were in block 11 which was lovely.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank NannyDawn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chesham
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012

My girlfriend and I decided on some last minute winter sunshine to escape the Xmas build up and could not have wished for a better week. The hotel was excellent,the staff friendly and service fantastic.Our only slight mistake was booking half board. Although the food was excellent it was slightly repetitive and no one seemed to take evening meal at the complex which made for very quiet non atmosphere evenings. Next time we will book bed and breakfast and eat at the many fine restaurants on the 'strip' adjacent the hotel.

Room Tip: Try and get a room in blocks 1 to 4 which are slightly further away from the noise/music of the adja...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank redrobboChesham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2012

The hotel is located at the end of the Senegambia strip and is very close to the beach so on the one hand, there's a lot of fun and activity for those who want that and there are serene walks on the beach for those who are interested. The breakfast buffet was quite good. I chose to pay cash for a room service meal and the waited assumed my change, which was substantial, was a tip so he didn't come back. Overall, it was a pleasant experience.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank simplymoi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2012 via mobile

The place simply works. It is clean, rooms are well equipped (without luxury) staff is nice and ready to help, everything is in place. It has a direct access to the beach and a lot of restaurants around. I wouldn't choose it specifically as a leisure destination but would gladly spend a couple of days here after a trip to the interior. Beware of the thieving monkeys around the pool.

Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
Helpful?
3 Thank Nestor V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bolton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2012

Having stayed in the Gambia three times previously we decided to treat ourselves to a stay at the Kairaba. The hotels situated at the end of the Senegambia Strip and hence if you like to venture out of the hotel there is lots to do.
The hotel is very nice. Rooms are clean and well equipped in terms of others in Gambia. The hotel gardens are superb, look out for the peacocks, monkeys and lizards who all roam freely in the grounds. The pool is quiet and relaxing with plenty of sunbeds anda free towel service.
We were B&B and the breakfast was fantastic with a lot of choices to suit all paltes. a favourite was the egg station where you could get panckes, omlettes, fried eggs etc. all made in front of you.
The hotel has a few nice bars but is quite expensive compared to the numberous barsand restaurants outside the hotel.
Top tips - bring sterling with you and change at the localchange bureaus - always haggle for a slightly beyyer rate than they initially offer. they will always raise it by 1 dalasi. WE recently got 55 to the pound whereas Thomas Cook were offering 46.
Fishing - If you like sea fishing walk down the beach anddealdirectly with some of the small fishingboats along the beach. We got 4 hours fishing, including baitand equipment for 900D (about £17) each. Touroperators were looking for £60.
Food - Africal Queen is fantastic. If you like a good Sunday Roast you can walk to Churchills which is about 15mins away near the Palma Rima Hotel.

Anyway we had a top trip and can't wait to return.

Room Tip: Ask for one in the gardens.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank Qwerty9090
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Storrington, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2012

Just got back from the Kairaba hotel gambia.
beautiful hotel, excellent weather
we got given a deluxe room upgrade with sea view
staff very helpful and friendly nothing too much trouble
fatou in customer relations even went to the pharmacy with my wife to help

many thanks going back in feb

Room Tip: garden room views are the best
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Alan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kairaba Beach Hotel

Property: Kairaba Beach Hotel
Address: 390 PMB, Serekunda, Gambia
Location: Gambia > Banjul Division > Serekunda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Serekunda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Kairaba Beach Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 160
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 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Kairaba Beach
Kairaba Beach Serekunda
Kairaba Beach Hotel Gambia/Serekunda

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