My husband and I visited this hotel in Aril 2011 for a relaxing week away. Most staff were very friendly. The hotel room we had was D15 which was perfectly fine for our needs. D15 is a normal double room, however, having seen a suite, I would recommend the suite as it is much bigger with a balcony. The rooms were cleaned to a good standard every day. There were several power cuts throughout the evening but the generator soon kicked in so no real problems there and you have to expect this sort of thing in the Gambia. Considering this was an Easter holiday, the pool area was very quiet, my husband and I were the only ones sunbathing on some days which was great! There was, at one point though, a group of people who continually played volleyball in the pool which meant that nobody else could use the pool as they were in there all day!!! The pool is directly next to the beach which was great. However, do watch out for the jellyfish – not sure if this was the time of the year though!! Marcus at the beach bar will sort you out with beers and food that are cheaper than at the hotel, but even so, the food and drink at the hotel are still very cheap and the chicken sandwich is really nice! We paid 200 dalasi a night to be taken to and from the Senegambia strip in a green taxi where the driver will wait for you until you are ready to return back to the hotel. The yellow taxis are far cheaper, 50 dalasi one way (could be cheaper depending on your haggling skills)but you have to walk further out (5 mins) to get one of these. More does need to be made of the dirt track you have to walk down at night especially if you are returning in a yellow taxi as they are not allowed to drop you off outside the hotel, only the green taxis can do this. It is a sandy road with no lighting at all so definitely take a torch as the road is quite uneven!!! At the end of this dirt track there is a money exchange (45 dalasi to the pound) but be prepared to be hassled by people who have market stalls on the way there. If you turn right at the end of the dirt track, there is a nice bar with live music – cheap beer – 35 dalasi. Just bring English money with you to exchange into Dalasi as it is easier. There were ATM machines on the strip though. Restaurants we went to on the strip were Ali Babas, Love 2, La Scala (Great steak), a Lebanese restaurant called Al Bashar opposite the African Queen which was great value for money with their buffet, the African Queen and The Clay Oven (which is in Fajera with no bars etc surrounding it to visit so very quiet but good curry!!). The only things that did taint our holiday a little were the fact that a diamond earring disappeared from my dressing table in the room and I left my i-pod under a towel on my sun lounger so it wouldn’t get hot, but forgot about it. It wasn’t there when I returned shortly after and no-one handed it in. As my husband and I were the only people sunbathing that day, Mumin, the pool attendant, was on holiday that day so the only people around were the two security guards. The manager did speak to his staff but the i-pod and earring were never found. It was my own fault, I am fully aware, but I did think someone would hand it in. Lesson learnt! Whilst the manager initially seemed very helpful, there was actually very little he did to help in the end. We really had to push to get any compensation or any recognition that the i-pod and earring had gone missing. Also, watch out for the flies, cats and dogs around the hotel area, especially at breakfast and lunch. The food was sometimes covered up with clingfilm but not always, so did feel a little quesy at the thought of eating food that had been left out for the flies!! However, you can have omelettes and eggs freshly made for you at breaksfast with bacon which was lovely. All in all, this hotel is a quiet place to go and relax. There isn’t a lot to do at the hotel, but for some, that is the benefit and beauty of this hotel. It is so cheap to eat out and get around that the hotel was in a perfect location. Just don’t leave anything expensive around and take a torch!!!! There is a safety deposit box in your room included, a fridge and air con which other hotels do charge you for!!!! There is a supermarket nearby where you can purchase bottled water, fresh meat and snacks etc and a litre bottle of gin was under £2!!!!!! The ‘bumsters’ are not allowed in the grounds of the hotel which was nice but if you do see them anywhere just say a polite ‘No thanks’ and they will leave you alone. Go and see Suzanne – the fruit lady on the beach – who will make up a nice plate of fruit for 100 dalasi! The weather was lovely and hot, however, there was quite a breeze which was deceiving whilst you were sunbathing!! In April you will definitely need a cardigan at night as it was quite cold!!!! Without doubt, wherever you go, all people are trying to get money off you – if you realise this then you will be fine, just say a polite no. You will need £20 each to pay airport tax at the airport when you leave. The airport does not have an ATM so cash will be needed in either dalasi, euros or GBP. Also Banjul Airport has an open air bar where you can purchase food too so leave a few dalasi for a final beer or two before your flight back home!!! All in all, a relaxing holiday and we hardly spent any of the money we took with us. I would possibly stay at this hotel again in a suite, but I would be far more cautious about leaving my belongings around!
Take a torch!!!!
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