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“Fantastic Experience”

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Senegambia Beach Hotel
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Serekunda
Certificate of Excellence
Nuneaton, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Fantastic Experience”
Reviewed December 9, 2013

For animal lovers and those new to travelling this hotel is great. The staff are very helpful but sometimes a little too pushy with trying to sell you their services. I would not recommend Gambia to Honeymooners as there is no privacy, the people are incredibly friendly and will really look after you but they are only motivated by money. Single women may find they get too much attention as most of the Gambian men are pushy in that way too, I heard a lot of stories about women that had married locals who then disappeared once in the UK.
The beach, hotel services and facilities, weather and safety aspect of our trip was faultless, it was definitely the best week of my life so far once I changed my expectation of a romantic holiday! I've never felt so safe anywhere but I would advise taking trips with one of the staff from the hotel for a pre-agreed fee and always tell the local "bumsters" you have been to Gambia before or they will try to sell you their Granny! Be prepared to tip for everything and be prepared to say "No thank you" constantly as you walk up the strip or along the beach.

The hotel is almost twice as expensive as the local restaurants so I would recommend going B&B and getting stuck into trying the local cuisine as well as the many other types of food on offer. The Green Mamba was my favourite restaurant but is slightly dearer than others. Don't be scared to have a look at the menus and carry on walking if you're not keen.

The monkey park is a 5 minute walk up the beach from the hotel and you can visit with the staff that feed the vultures in the hotel grounds everyday at 11:30am before walking along the beach to Bijilo Forest. We paid 150 Dalasi to go with him even though it was only 30 Dalasi to get in as we were not used to the pushy bumsters on the beach yet and you are guaranteed to have next to no hassle if you are walking with a local guide. Alternatively, if you walk knee-deep in the sea they wont get their feet wet to pester you!

We took a day trip with one of the hotel staff and visited the Crocodile Pool, a Red Cross school, Paradise Beach, the local fishing village, Lamin Lodge and Serekunda market for only £20 per person plus donations and lunch. Just two of these were included in the Thomas Cook outings and were £50pp.

I would definitely recommend Gambia and the Senegambia Hotel, I would love to go back for two weeks+ next time as a week was only just enough to settle in and get used to Gambian culture. There is a lot more further afield to see such as trips along the river or into Senegal to see more wildlife and village life away from the main tourist areas.

Room Tip: Newer rooms or those closer to the beach or reception seemed to be better as two couples we met had...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Ella J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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essex
Level Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed December 8, 2013

When we first arrived at the hotel I thought it looked like rows of butlins chalets. Inside they were really basic, quite dark and cramped. But clean! We unpacked and ventured out and was approached every five minutes with Gambian men wanting to take us out for the day, or to meet their families, or buy them rice because they couldn't afford to eat, or to buy their fruit smoothies on beach, after a few days it began to wear us down. But after speaking to our lovely neighbours Brenda and Richard who have visited many times they filled us in was lots of info, and to be honest in a few more days we were hooked. The people are lovely, always friendly, will do anything for you. The hotel began to look more like centre parks than butlins with lovely gardens, trees. Lots of lovely little monkeys running around who never bothered you in the slightest. Nice restaurants on strip, scalas the best then jo jos then jewel of India. We made a lovely friend alpha who took us to see all the sites, we met his whole family, it was all so endearing. We trusted him totally, do not be afraid to travel with the local people. They will show you so much more than the tour operators, and personally I would rather give them some money than the tour people. We bought rice for the family, £20 sweets/books pens pencils etc for the kids at a school we visited. They sang to us, it was so lovely. If you can forget how lucky we are at home and settle into the Gambian way of life. Go and experience it. Everyone at the hotel return year after year, I couldn't understand it at first and they all said by the end of the holiday we would feel the same. I didn't believe we would. But you know what, we've both said now that we would go back, I've never been to such a friendly place. The hotel was absolutely lovely, definitely a star up. But no way did it have the atmosphere of the Senegambia beach. Hi to Jackie and jeff! We did have a laugh.

  • Stayed November 2013
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Helpful?
4 Thank leanneEssex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haywards Heath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed December 1, 2013

We stayed at this hotel in 2 different rooms at the beginning and end of a tour around Gambia. I have rated this on the second room which was newer and far superior to the first room. The second room had hot water which was plentiful and the air con worked really well. At the beginning of ouir stay the first room had a poor air con, dodgy locking door, and a cold shower. The hotel is in blocks and these are lettered. The newer rooms are further from the reception and main restaurant and are worth having. The problem is if a room has a problem getting it sorted out is difficult. The rooms were clean and perfectly adequate. The food was good and varied. The staff were generally helpful and chatty except for the reception staff who were pretty unhelpful! Make sure you sign for all your drinks at the time of having them. We ended up paying for drinks that we didn't have but as it's quite cheap it's not that much of an issue. The grounds are well kept and the staff looking after them very friendly. This hotel is well situated for bars, restaurants and shops nearby.

Room Tip: Try and get a room in a newer block and go for an upstairs room. There are only two levels
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Birdman44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2013

This was our first trip to The Gambia and after reading some of the reviews here I went with an open mind. Wow, was I surprised. Such a lovely country with even better people. Everyone, and I mean everyone has a happy face on them despite the fact this is one of the poorest countries in the world.
The Senegambia Beach Hotel is set in 20 acres of lovely gardens and with a quiet pool at the top and another beach pool. The latter has a very nice cafe/restaurant attached and you can walk straight on to your own private beach. The beach with the sunbeds is lovely as it is set back from the main beach and there are ample sun loungers. Okay everyone goes down early to put towels down. I spoke to one of the attendants and he said this is the norm. There is no hassle with this whatsoever and if you don't want to sit on the beach there are plenty of sun loungers around the pools. Okay so the beach was hit by a bad storm about 6 years ago but there are a few steps only down to the main beach which again is lovely. We went jogging along this in the morning and met many fellow runners. The sea was very warm for swimming and many holidaymakers walked the beach every day.
The hotel rooms are pretty basic (this is Africa, so don't expect marble staircases and room service) but they have a bathroom, shower, twin beds and a balcony and they are cleaned daily with fresh linen and towels supplied. The aircon and ceiling fans provide ample relief if the weather is too hot. We had an upstairs room in the gardens and it was lovely and quiet except from the welcome interruptions from the noisy birds and monkeys!
The restaurant for breakfast had a wide range of food and drink to set you up for the day and as we are both vegetarians we found there was enough choice. As we were booked on bed and breakfast we ate some nights in the hotel and ventured up the "strip" on others. There is also a pizza restaurant beside the main one which was lush.
The general ambience of the hotel from the lobby, to the Safari bar, the seating areas and the lovely shops and art gallery upstairs surprised me. This is a lovely hotel with wonderful staff and the animation team do a great job with activities like aqua aerobics, football on the beach, tennis and volleyball. Also there is a different act every night performing in the outdoor area and these are mainly local acts specialising in cultural dancing and singing.
We went on two trips with local guides to the monkey forest and the Masakutu cultural forest which were superb.
All in all I would say this was one of the best holiday experiences I've been on and I definitely will return to the Senegambia Beach Hotel. However I don't think I'll quite break the record of the couple we met on the first day who were returning for the 27th year in a row! What a better testimonial for a lovely hotel and staff.

Room Tip: It's a matter of personal choice but the upstairs rooms in the grounds are more private and quie...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank irishbluebird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool
Level Contributor
162 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
Reviewed November 24, 2013

Plus - great location. Literally yards away from the Senegambia Strip, reputedly the liveliest restaurant/bar scene in West Africa. Our first time in gambia and the food was surprisingly good. The local dishes are a bit limited but the fresh fish (we had butterfish, barracuda and ladyfish) was excellent. The hotel resort is quite large, in fact the reception was closer to the bars/restaurants than we were to reception. Although I'm not even close to being described as a birdwatcher it was great spotting the huge variety they have that we don't normally see in the UK. If we actually get them at all, as I wouldn't know. I did recognise the storks that frequented the beach bar and breakfast area . They were smaller than I expected - not big enough to carry a baby at all . The vultures, on the other hand were a lot bigger than I thought. Negative- the beach is basically buggered . the erosion is a serious problem for them.it varies from 2-4 sunbeds wide. Half of it only gets the sun in the afternoon due to the tall trees. This means you have to engage in handtohand fighting with the Germans to get your towels on your sunbed. The beachbar is very good with local dancers on Sundays . The evening entertainment isn't bad but we never saw that much . The large patio doors on every room are a pain . The cashfree system at the bars is a great idea . all in all a good stay.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank RedMacca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 20, 2013

we have been to this hotel twice but was very disappointed this year,as we had no hot water every day we went to reception to complain,but nothing they done did us any good we still had no hot water.apart from that the rooms definatly need to be upgraded as they are in poor state.the staff and the grounds are absolutely perfect,the staff except for the receptionists, cant do enough for you,they all have a very friendly approach and cant do enough for you.we always leave our clothes behind for them as they don't have much and appreciate everything,we will be going back again just hope there will be some improvements made

Room Tip: all the rooms are very much the same ,the double beds are like queen size beds and very comfortable...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank clifford d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burry Port, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2013

The Senegambia has a faded seventies charm and is beginning to wear in a few places, but nonetheless it is very comfortable and pleasant. The staff are extremely helpful and the facilities are good. Free wi-fi in the beach bar and at reception is well used by a lot of people and the bars and restaurants are pretty good. The Senegambia is also a useful introduction to the Gambian wildlife with two species of monkeys, monitor lizards and lots of exotic birds, all easy to see on the site. Just outside the hotel you can engage bird guides - I used one, Ebrima Sidibeh who was excellent and I went on three trips with him, seeing difficult bird species which he worked hard to help me see - I cannot recommend him highly enough.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Adam-Dare
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

Property: Senegambia Beach Hotel
Address: P.O. Box 2373, Serekunda, Gambia
Location: Gambia > Banjul Division > Serekunda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Serekunda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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