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“Great base to explore The Gambia”

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Senegambia Beach Hotel
Ranked #2 of 17 Hotels in Serekunda
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 12, 2012

We stayed here as a couple for a week, and had a very enjoyable stay.

The selling point of this hotel is it's grounds. The accomodation blocks are placed around the huge gardens. The gardens are beautifully kept, very peaceful and tranquil, filled with wildlife; monkeys, birds and monitor lizards. Everyday we had a walk around the grounds to spot the birds or be entertained by the monkeys. The daily vulture feeding is worth going to watch, very entertaining!

We stayed in block D which is one of the furthest away from the hotel entrance but not a problem, as it was a lovely walk! Yes the rooms are basic, but they have everything you need and are kept very clean on a daily basis. Our maid, Teressa was lovely and would be happy to help if you needed anything. I am very fussy when it comes to hotel rooms and usually prefer to stay 4 and 5*, but you soon realise that you don't need any of the luxaries and why would you want to spend much time in the room when you're in such a fantastic place?

The hotel reception is huge and has plenty of seats so you can pick up the free wifi. The bar area is also nice, both have a very African feel. We spent most nights out on the strip but we did manage to catch 2 nights entertainment, both we're very good.

We only ate breakfast at the hotel, which was great. Loads of choice from cooked to continental, omlettes, pancakes, fruit and a Gambian selection also. Try the wonjo and baobab juices very tasty. Service was very quick and friendly. Equally friendly were the birds that try to join you! We did have lunch a few times at the beach restaurant. A bit pricey compared to the strip but the sandwiches were tasty and you get a lovely view of the beach.

There's a choice of 2 pool areas. The first pool is very peaceful, surrouned by lush plants and trees. A nice place to relax. The other is the larger pool by the beach, which has a swim up bar. This is where they do activities through the day. Regarding getting a spot by the pool, it does seem to get quite busy early on, but I'm sure if you ask someone, they'll find you a place. We opted for the beach where there was always room and very comfy sunbeds. We gave the sunbed guy a few dalassi each time we visited. There's also security on the beach so you don't get hassled whilst sunbathing. However from the beach you can go on some lovely walks, yes you will get hassled by the bumsters, just be polite or even talk to them, what harm is it going to do?

The exchange rate is much better once you arrive, you can change money at the hotel or on the strip. All the staff are very friendly, everyone will always pass with a hello and a smile. The hotel is just at the bottom of the strip. Within a few yards there is everything you need bars,restaurants and convenience stores. A 15 minute walk and you can go to Bijilo Forest Park aka the monkey park. The Gambia is a great country so get out and explore it! There are a few tour companies on the strip. We chose Arch Tours who were absolutley brilliant, I've wrote a separate review for them. The hotel has it's own taxi rank. Instead of getting our transfer back to the airport with Thomas cook, we had an extra few hours in the sun and got a taxi for a very reasonable price.

Overall a very enjoyable stay in a relaxing environment, and a great location to get around an amazing country!

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank lj0707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 10, 2012

This hotel is great, i will not bore you with the details. There are some great places to eat Please try Scala its classy and a little more expensive than some of the others but the food is amazing also try love 2, Green mamba. The people there are generally wonderful do not let bumsters put you off, just have a bit of courage and be very firm with them they go will away, do not stop or talk to them, we Brits have a problem about not being rude to people just keep walking if you are not interested, do not let it ruin your experience there. The majority of people there are very poor but very nice, we will be going back in Jan 13. For your trips out try arch tours or the local taxis the tour reps try to frighten you to death with, you must use the green taxis they are safer (what a load of crap they are ten times more expensive than the local taxis just barter with the driver) use the local green and yellow taxis I never had a problem with them.
One taxis offered me the taxis twenty quid all day go were you want bargain. hope this helps the first timers in Gambia

Room Tip: H Block is far enough from everything yet close enough to the things you require
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank yoyo63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2012

This was our first trip to The Gambia and staying here was the cherry on the cake. The rooms are basic but what more do you need? The grounds were fantastic and more than make up for the simple yet very clean rooms. The staff are an asset to this hotel to name a few Prince & Ma Touray (entertainment staff) Lamin (Our house keeper) looked after us like we were part of there family. It's the people that make your holiday and these people did. Thank-you very much it was fantastic and we will be returning. I felt very safe and looked after. The service at breakfast was very good and a huge range of food. I would recommend B&B only because there are amazing restuarants to experiance in The Gambia. Once again thank-you to Senegambia Beach Hotel for making our weeks break an exceptional stay :)

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank TamsynT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2012

We stayed Thomas Cook B&B for 11 days from Saturday 17th to Wednesday 26th March 2012.
Terrace room D12 was quiet and away from the front pool area which more often than not had loud rap/reggae music. The room was OK but basic. The clothes storage was a shabby wardrobe with a rail with a few hangers and some shelves. Take a few plastic suction hooks for the tiled bathroom walls. The safe was on one of the wardrobe shelves. It was 96D per day (47D to £1) and digital using 6 numbers. The 6’ wide bed was firm and comfortable and had good reading lights. The air-con was effective and there was an overhead fan. The big, heavy sliding glass door was the only entrance and was opened by a key on a wooden fob. The shower was tepid after about 7pm. The fridge worked and held a few bottles of water we bought locally. Take fly spray – the lush gardens ensure plenty of mosquitoes. There is nothing for drying swimwear. We rigged a line outside from the air-con unit.
We enjoyed the breakfasts that have been well described in other reviews, especially the Gambian table. We drank the kinkiliba tea every morning. It’s supposedly good for the digestion but we just liked the taste.
We went to lots of restaurants on the strip and didn’t have a bad meal. Uncle Nuha’s restaurant looks off-putting but serves good Gambian food. It’s next to the mosque so no alcohol.
We would stay at the Senegambia again but having stayed at the Kairaba in January (did a review of that as well), we think that hotel has the edge.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank whensthenextonethen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2012

This was our first time in the Gambia, we chose to stay here due to being near the strip and having 2 teenagers in tow. The Hotel was nice, clean and friendly. with free wifi. The pool and pool bar was great with nice food. Outside of the hotel, there are lots of bars and restaurants, only book bed and breakfast. Yes there are lots of bumsters around we had no problems with them they are all really friendly.
At the end of the strip there is senegambia craft market, please go! go and see Maria, stall 23, she makes gorgeous african maxi dresses, they are like sex and the city dresses , floaty and beautiful colours and cost around 300 dalasi, (£6.00).she is a lovely lady, most gratefull of our custom. I only wish i had bought more. However we are going back at the end of the year for another week, to the senegambia hotel.

Room Tip: If you are traveling with older children and need 2 rooms, request a23 and a24, very safe.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank holidaygirl_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2012

This was the first time my friend and I have visited the West Africa. We were pleasantly surprised on arrival to this hotel, it should definitely be rated higher than a 3* hotel! In fact we loved it so much we extended our stay. All the staff are so friendly and hospitable. the grounds of this hotel are amazing, so many different types of wildlife and the location of the hotel is very good, with plenty of bars/restaurants/clubs/supermarkets near by.

The room we stayed in initially was C13 and then moved to C23 (we only moved as we extended our stay). The room had a lovely view but a little bit of a walk from reception and the pool/ beach area. The room is very basic as mentioned in other reviews but very clean and only really used to sleep and shower in!

We stayed on a Bed and Breakfast basis and the breakfast was very good with lots of variety, I recommend you to try the Wonjo and Boabab Juice. We also ate in the hotel occasionally for lunch and sometimes dinner, the Pizza restaurant in the hotel has amazing pizza's and we ate there more than once! We also had food from the beach bars which was also lovely.

The hotel pool area is great, the staff always found us a sunbed no matter what time of day it was - we never reserved beds with towels!! The entertainment team at this hotel are fantastic and i'd like to give a special thanks to Blondie, who was always friendly and approachable. The evening entertainment was very cultural with lots of different types of African music and dancing - i'm not one for usually staying in the hotel during holidays but I found it difficult to leave this one!

We did two excursions - one with Thomas Cook - where we visited a market, a local school (which we had stationary to give), paradise beach and the fishing port. and we also did an excursion with Gambian Experience (which was cheaper) - ROOTS, this was very interesting and educational.

Out on the strip we ate at Scala, Jewel of India, VJ's, Al Basha, Tao. Being vegetarian wasnt an issue here, and we found vegetarian food in all of these places and all staff were helpful. We also went out to Green Mamba, a very relaxing atmosphere and we played pool here. We also went to Aquarius, a nightclub which reminded me of a nightclub back home, with the music mostly being rnb and hip hop. We also went to Kora, where they have shisha. Another club we visited was called Wow, this was the best on the strip in my opinion as they played mostly reggae and the atmosphere was very down to earth. We did manage to visit Paparrazi, but we didnt enjoy the music here. We went to a near by vollage called Bakau and here we visted Lama Lama where they had a live band and also Romana's these two bars gave us the true Gambian nights out!

It can take a while getting used to people speaking to you on the strip but they're all harmless people and when speaking to them you can learn a thing or two! We spoke to some hotel staff who told us about a school in a near by village, which we decided to visit to give out some of our stationary, which they loved. I did feel that schools that aren't visited by holiday tours excursions would benefit more from anything you want to give.

We had a fantastic time here, and are already thinking of going back in the next few months!!!

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank T_B_ELondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2012

Room basic but clean and functional. Most staff friendly and helpful. Grounds ok, full of different birds, loads of friendly monkeys too, but be careful. Nice breakfast, great choices, everything available, omlettes, fry ups, cereal,cakes, meats, cheese, bread, toast, fruit juices, 10 out of 10 for this. My advice eat out in the evenings, try the different eating places, the restuarant is a little limited and expensive. 100m from the hotel entrance is Chillis Barbecue, and Al Rawshi Lebanese, both excellent food and value. Green Mamba to the left, ok different choose your own stuff to cook, ok but when cooked together a bit samey. Avoid Love2 a bit further up the strip, not good food they rely on a band and gimics to get you in, could not believe it they counted our money at the table when we paid. Dont go on the trips with the travel company, just outside see the local guides, they have their own little building in the square and negotaite your own price, £50 a head can be saved. Good trips are Monkey park, a short walk away. Banjul City tour including village and Croc pool. Also Senegal Safari. Must do roots trip too. Best guide to ask for is Lamin (Andy). You have probably heard about the Bumsters ie annoying beggar conmen types, well just be firm and start with no thankyou, followed by NO, usually does the trick, do not show any interest whatsoever, do not give them any hope at all. The only negative about the hotel is the standard of the Poolside food, quite frankly its substandard and expensive. The Curried Tuna Sandwiches contain little Curry flavour, The Salads mostly comprise Cabbage! Paninis are gross fatty affairs enough to make you gip! Worse still the Pina Coladas contain next to no Rum! We complained during the first week, got a refund on some, although one Manager informed us "thats business" we then complained to "Guest Liasion" result we ate just outside the hotel during the second week apart from breakfasts, which were good. Hope this review is of use to you

Room Tip: We stayed in D11, a walk from the reception but on the ground floor in lovely grounds, a short walk...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank JoSturman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Senegambia Beach Hotel

Address: P.O. Box 2373, Serekunda, Gambia
Location: Gambia > Banjul Division > Serekunda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Serekunda
Price Range: $70 - $135 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Senegambia Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 328
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Also Known As:
Hotel Senegambia Beach
Senegambia Beach Kololi
Senegambia Hotel
Senegambia Beach Hotel Gambia/Serekunda

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