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Senegambia Beach Hotel
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Reviewed March 27, 2014

This is a really good hotel and is situated in a very convenient position. It has an authentic feel about it with fantastic grounds and well kept gardens. It was our first visit to The Gambia and will certainly return to this hotel. The rooms, although fairly basic, are spotlessly clean with a large,comfortable bed, fridge and air conditioning included. Bedding and towels are changed regularly and pool towels are provided. Please note that there is no hair dryer in the room but am told that they available from reception. There is a safe in the room, run by an independent company, for a daily charge. We stayed in H block on the upper floor which we found was ideal, halfway between the reception area and the beach. We found all the staff are friendly and helpful and always have a smile and a greeting.

There are sun beds at both pool areas and on the raised area of the beach. Although busy, we always managed to get sun beds and John, on the beach, is really helpful. We really enjoyed swimming in the sea and enjoyed the huge rolling waves. Sadly, the beach area by the hotel has suffered from erosion and sand bags have been placed around to try to prevent this continuing. Although not particularly attractive there is miles and miles of beach to walk along in both directions.

An absolute must is to walk to the left on the beach and visit the fruit ladies and the juice bar. You will be made very welcome and they are trying so hard to make a living. We went most days at lunchtime and had one large plate and two forks from Awa, the first stall. A large plate costs 200 dalasis and well worth it. The fruit is piled high with a peanut biscuit on the top and prepared while you wait. Mo at the juice bar also makes fresh fruit juice to order. Please, please support them.

Whilst waiting for your fruit you might be able to watch the fishermen pulling in their nets onto the beach - you can even give a hand if you are feeling strong!

The buffet breakfast at the hotel is good. There is a good variety of food, something for everyone. Be warned, if eating outside, do not leave your food unattended or the egrets will be ready to share it with you!!

The hotel is ideally placed for a variety of restaurants / eating / drinking places. We tried a variety places and enjoyed The African Queen, with sizzling platters, Green Monkey and Darboe's which does a really good lobster with prawns. Scala does a set priced buffet on a Sunday evening. It is best to book a table.

We are keen on birdwatching and The Gambia is an amazing place for seeing a huge variety of species. It is possible to see a wide variety in the hotel grounds, including the feeding of the vultures daily, but there are bird specialists based at the hotel who will take you to a variety of areas. They are extremely knowledgable and are reasonably priced.

Please be aware that it is not possible to use credit cards in the hotel or in the restaurants so TAKE STERLING (and a few pound coins for tips when arriving). Do not rely on ATM's. Money can be changed in the hotel and the rate is not much different from the rate on The Strip and much better than the rate in England.

Do not be put off by any adverse comments about the hotel but remember that it is a 3 star hotel and I would not hesitate to recommend it. We will be returning next year.



Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Happywanderer820
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2014

This is the first time to this hotel and Gambia, and what a experience. The hotel rooms are basic, but clean and Henry our cleaner was great. We was placed in block E, which is to the back of the hotel near the beach which was great, as in the evening room blocks near the entrance became loud but manageable. I would advise to take a travel kettle if you want a hot drink, as one is not provided in the room. Towels are provided for the room, and then you have pool/beach towels provided, so no need to take towels, save on weight. Breakfast was a buffet style with everything you could possibly think of. They also provided areas at breakfast for smokers and non-smokers. Smoking is permitted around the hotel, but not within your room, however on the balcony a table and chairs are provided, with a ashtray.
The hotel has two pools areas one a quiet one with no music/entertainment and the other has music/entertainment, and what much fun we had here. Sterling can be changed at the hotel for Dalasis, at a rate of 65 Dalasis to the £, and a safe is provided in your room for about £13 for a week. Water volley ball was much fun. Entertainment is on every day. Vulture feeding is definitely worth seeing. Waiters around the pool areas are very attentive, and food/drink is cheap.The sun beds on the beach are taken very early, however if you ask the beach attendant he usually will find you a spot. Yet, if you walk up the beach there is a great bar, where JOE AND MALIK will look after you. This bar has African drums playing daily. Entertainment is provided every night at the hotel between 21.00hrs and 22.00hrs, this usually was cultural entertainment, which was good, but to get the whole feel of Gambia, please visit the strip. Food is cheap and the local beer is refreshing (Julbrew). Please visit local craft market, and spread your money around.
Thomas Cook trips was a bit disappointing (creek fishing) however, I would strongly advise people to use JANEYA TOURS. There was just me and my husband and had one guide to ourselves. Our guide DO DO, was great and very knowledgeable. Would recommend the slave tour, school, market, crocodile pool and visit a village. JANEYA TOURS are fully insured and cheap and within the price is your drinks, they are located on the left hand side of the strip walking from the hotel and dress in orange. Arch Tours, seem to have big groups and seem to lack that attentiveness, that we got.
On the strip, a great restaurant is CHILLIS, food is great and cheap and the entertainment is brilliant. As for your safety at night, no need to worry, after a few JULBREW, I felt safer on the STRIP than I do at our local town in England.
I could go on about this great hotel and area, however I will leave it to you to discover your own Gambia. I would say spread your money around and spread the love

Room Tip: E-Block closer to beach and less noisier.
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Julian P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2014 via mobile

My partner and I have just got back from The Gambia and can honestly say it was a great experience, when first arriving don't expect a 4* luxury room is very basic but comfortable and clean, good showers and comfy beds, do take 2 pin plugs as they are needed.
The food at the hotel is very good and fantastic choice for breakfast, your well catered for!
At first we were worried about going into Senegambia strip but don't, just smile and let the locals say hi all they want is to be friendly, just say your going for a walk and they will leave you alone, we made some great friends and really enjoyed there company.
I will say it is cheaper to eat out in some places, but for a little more luxury try scarla, love 2, Gaya arts and craft and green mamba, and average meal for 2 with drinks is less than £30.
Take sterling as the rate is better than using your card, 65d to the pound, or 64 in the hotel.
Try to take pencils or children's clothes and sweets if u go on trips as they are very poor and the littlest things makes them so happy, if u do tour we had a great experience through arch tours we went to Senegal Safari and they were fantastic.
There's so much to tell but just experience it for yourself, the staff at the hotel make your stay so special and the pool and beach is beautiful, and get involved with the locals you will come home with many friends.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank Sarah P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2014 via mobile

This was our 4th time staying here in the 12 years we have been coming to Gambia. We did ask for rooms next to each, in order to share a balcony so we wouldnt disturb other guests, as we were two couples travelling together. Normally this hasn't been a problem, however we didn't manage it on this occasion despite e mailing the hotel directly a month before our arrival. We were same block different floors (back to back). Rooms were fine beds comfy and the showers had been refurbished so the water actually went down the drain instead of on the floor. Cleaning was good and towels changed every day. Sheets were changed 3 times in the 10 days we were there. Our safe was ok but our friends had problems with theirs. No traveller cheque changing in the hotel which was a pain, as previous review took ages to cash them in outside, rate for changing cash was much better. Hotel Grounds are amazing and well looked after. Got some fantastic photos. Went to pool at the beach and the service was excellent. Food for breakfast in the restaurant was super. So much choice. We will be back and it was good to see other travellers from previous years. Will definitely recommend

Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank PatriciaM7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2014

Never stayed here before but would go back. Air conditioning (included) & fridge in room were a plus. Bed was the biggest i've ever seen-you could sleep 3 people easily (we didn't by the way!)
Grounds are lovely-must mention the head gardener who is so friendly-he even brought flowers to our room & i wish i had tipped him as i could not find him on the last day. Please apologise to him & tell him i still have my fingers crossed-he will know what i mean! Did not like the pool by the beach-far too noisy with crap music-however, the quiet pool is lovely & you can watch the vulture feeding from there-very interesting-at about 11am. Did not like the fact that you have to add tax onto all the hotel prices so please allow for this. They don't take any cards but you can exchange money at a fair rate. Breakfast is good-very varied-don't know how people can complain about it-ok-it's not your usual bacon, but this is the Gambia! Recommended restaurants-Love 2-we have been here on previous trips and it was superb again this year-don't know why it is not up there in the top 5-reasonable prices, outstanding food & service & quite romantic-they also have a live African band each night, although i think it is the same one most of the time-don't miss it. Also must mention Little Havana-didn't eat here, but it is great for people watching on the strip if you sit upstairs-very nice-lovely waiter-great cocktails-they are huge, by the way-better value than most places-we staggered out of here at 3am one morning! If you want a sea fishing trip, go out of the hotel on the beach, turn right & after about 5 minutes, you will find the Always Lucky fishing boat-these guys are great-we did a half day fishing & having never been very lucky in my previous attempts (and not very interested) i caught 4 fish! They are also very funny & genuine people-they will cook your fish for you in the evening & serve it to you in their local compound-it was delicious-great experience-wonderful people. Don't buy your fags on the way out-get them in Gambia, or if not, at the airport on the way home (unless you are really fussy!) Sorry if anyone wants any menthols-think i cleared Kololi out of them! Wild Monkey was an interesting restaurant for entertainment-African dancing & rather scary man dressed like a deranged Womble. I am not really one for tipping but quite frankly, he was so intimidating, i would have offered him my entire suitcase! Monkey park is great-make sure you buy some nuts from juice sellers near the entrance & no, you really don't need a guide unless you want one. Nice place on the beach is the Swiss restaurant-just next to the monkey park-free sunbeds & good food. Oh , by the way, you might want to avoid the Wow nightclub-we were going to go there after our 3am cocktail binge but were warned by 2 different locals that it is rather dodgy & you might get mugged so we gave it a miss! Ali Babas is also quite good for entertainment-they usually have bands on & we also saw 2 guys called No Limits-bit like the African version of Diversity-they were outstanding-definitely worth a look. Please don't be rude to people-the majority of them are genuine & only trying to make a living-they are the friendliest people i have ever met-even when you say no thanks, they will still wish you a good day-it's nice to be nice, innit?! By the way, i got the best rate by e-mailing the hotel directly.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a garden view away from the main restaurant-we were in Flufftail-very nice
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank funnybird69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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