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“Nice hotel, rooms are a little tatty”

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Holiday Beach Club Hotel
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Kololi
Potters Bar, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
375 reviews
131 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 205 helpful votes
“Nice hotel, rooms are a little tatty”
Reviewed 13 April 2013

We stayed for a fortnight in B block, having read some of the previous postings I was a little concerned on receiving the key.
The room was certainly pretty basic, but it was kept spotlessly clean by our lady, yes some of the towels, sheets had old marks/stains, but they were changed daily and weren't dirty.
The shower had plenty of hot water (excluding two days, but this was fixed as soon as it was reported), yes a lot of the water did find its way onto the bathroom floor.
The pool and communal areas were kept very clean.
Breakfast was basic but you could eat as much as you liked.
The staff at the pool bought the sunbeds and mattresses to you quickly enough and were very pleasant to the kids, playing table tennis with them whenever they had the time. The daytime entertainment was poor, various activities were promised on the boards, but very few materialised, this didn't worry me, but the kids would have liked to play things like water polo etc.
The location is good, from our room you could just about hear some distant music in the evenings, but nothing likely to disturb sleep. The main restaurant strip is just out the top of the hotel and turn left.
Monkeys come through from the monkey park in the mornings and again around 6pm, keep an eye on any food or drinks as they will nick them.

My only one big concern was the apartment locks, the general door lock could be opened with a coin so you are definitely reliant on people being honest (this wan'r just my apartment),a second lock (bolt style) was available at the base of the door, the bolt dropped and could in theory be locked in place (ours didn't lock) but the real problem was that the bolt dropped twice while we were in the room locking us in. There is no way to operate the bolt from the inside and no phone to contact reception, we were stuck in the room until we were able to attract the attention of another guest to let us out. After the 2nd time we got locked in I reported it to reception (twice) and nothing was done. I eventually used a plaster from the first aid kit to stop the bolt dropping, unfortunately staff kept removing my repair and we ended up using most of our first aid kit up stopping from getting locked in. Not a great safety feature!

Personally I found Kololi a bit or a tourist bubble, the restaurants were expensive for the country you are in. Expect to pay £5-9 for a dish both lunchtime and evening, £12 for a bottle of wine, £3-6 for a cocktail, none expensive by UK standards, but a lot more than you would pay anywhere else in The Gambia. There are no local 'chop shops' (cheap eats) so you are stuck with these restaurants or getting a cab out of the resort.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lI0ve2h0liday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (154)
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English first
London
Level Contributor
97 reviews
90 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2013

I agree with the previous review. The hotel's location is spot on but the hotel itself looks rather shabby and worn out. The bathrooms are very basic and - in my opinion - not as clean as they should be. Having said that, if you get a cheap deal, it is an ideal base for exploring the country and relaxing at the seaside. Yes, the sunbeds are torn and breakfast is more that basic BUT you are right on the beach and next to numerous shops and restaurant yet in the quiet location. It is my 6th stay in the country and I chose this hotel on purpose as many of good ones are located far away from any ammenieties. It is very similar to Sunset Beach or Palma Rima hotels yet the location is far better and you can save money on taxis.

TIP: Make sure you take yellow taxis or local taxi buses, do not think that you can only use green ones!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Aeon_Flux2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2013

To be clear from the outset, I write many reviews but seldome have cause to write a bad one but this is probably one of the poorset run hotels I have ever stayed in.

The hotel has great potential from the location and lay out but unfortunately this is not maximised due to poorly thought out Management decisions.

Broken and shabby sunbeds in beach area, inspite of the fact new sunbeds are stacked up unused in the pool area. The majority of the matressess are torn and very dirty. This was raised at the time with the Manager but he was not interested and said it was 'policy'???

Breakfast pretty basic and repetitive, which is ok but minimum quantities are available and staff do not seem to notice when they run out - it is left to guests to continually ask for more bread, cheese etc.

General unhelpfulness from staff unless it involves money.

many activities advertised at the pool. None of which actually ran with the exception of bingo, which you were required to pay to join in on.

There is a general policy to try to get guests to upgrade rooms immediately on arrival. As the rooms have no air con as standard and most guests arrive in the middle of a hot day you are encouraged to upgrade to an air con room or pay for the rental of a fan. Both of these are not necessary as regular visitors to Gambia know that it is quite cool in the evening.

The attitude of the staff on reception is about the worst I have ever encountered and far removed from other staff in the hotel and indeed the area as a whole. They are disinterested, never smile, eat their food behind reception and are not shy at letting you know you have disturbed them if you happen to require their attention during their 'break'.

departure time is 12pm. If you run over by even 10 minutes you are met with agressive reception staff tellling you to leave!

Rooms are clean but very basic. On arrival they were still hanging the curtains. No net curtain on the window/door, you were therefore forced to choose between privacy or daylight!

Hot water is available all day but using the shower is a delicate process as it spurts all over the tiny bathroom. You need to ensure toilet lid is closed and toilet roll has been removed from the room. In addition, this is a safety hazard as the whole floor ends up soken and very slippery.

General plumbing is of a poor standard. The shower unit actually fell of the wall and hit me on the head at one point. In addition, the ladies toilet flush was out of service at the beach for 5 days. Even when repaired there was no toilet roll available for the duration of our 2 week stay. Which would make you wonder how often the hand towes are changed in these toilets.

I gave feedback to the General Manager on departure but he showed little interest, advising me he does not make the policy and I should write to the owner.

There are a few pluses with this hotel, as follows:
Location,
Most of the staff are very pleasant and helpful, especially the attendant at the beach.
The gardens are well laid out and well maintained.
The rooms and common areas are kept very clean

All in all, I would summarise by saying the standards in this hotel are poor compared to others of the same rating. I would not recommend it and would actually advise you to stay elsewhere.

The Senagambia area is well worth visiting with numerous good restaurants at fair prices. the better ones are: Paradiso - great service and good Pizza, thanks to Ali. Darbos is very well run and serves the best grilled lady fish. Scala is slightly more fine dining but excellent food and still fairly priced.

Be firm with the bumpsters and they will leave you alone. Haggle with the taxis for a good rate.

Room Tip: Do not be pressured into upgrading, the rooms are all very similar with the exeption of Air Con whic...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Watson1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Kololi hotels

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2013 via mobile

The first room we were in on arrival was in the bungalows beside the pool, it was clean but in a terrible state of repair, bathroom door would not close, shower hanging of the wall, paper thin walls (you could hear every word the guests in the next room were saying) no cupboard space ,awful bathroom.
We upgraded immediately to a superior room which was lovely.
The breakfasts were basic bread cheese fruit cereal coffee tea and juice.
We did not eat in the Resteraunt as it looked dowdy with shabby table covers and hard upright dining chairs, which is a shame as we would have eaten at the hotel on a couple of occasions if it was more inviting.
All of the staff were friendly polite professional and hard working.
We found we did not get the hassle from the bumpsters like we have had on past holidays in The Gambia
We had excellent meals at Scala and African queen
Darboes had a happy hour between 12-6pm and jewbrews are 25dalassi (out of the front of hotel, turn left and its on your right.
Poco loco on the beach has free sun beds and does lovely food for lunch ( go out of the hotel onto the beach, turn right and its 10mins walk )
The hotel has a lovely beach bar with fantastic views out to sea.
We have stayed in a number of hotels in The Gambia and feel the standard rooms at the HBC are poor in comparison to others we have stayed in.
We enjoyed our 2weeks holiday and would return but ONLY if we could book a premium room again which was lovely and well worth the extra money.

Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank fliss18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester
Level Contributor
25 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2013

We have just returned from the Gambia this week, we had concerns about the hotel after reading some reviews, we were in B block, at first we thought about moving but decided to stay, the room was spacious with two double beds and plenty of wardrob space. the bath room was tired and is in need of a face lift but the shower was good and we nearly always had hot water,before six pm. Beds were comfy and clean, the maids were lovelly and brought us clean towels everyday. The hotel is lovelly pity there is nothing going on entertainment wise, this would certainly be a plus as there is nothing to do outside in the evenings apart from the odd restaurant staying open later searving drinks. This is not a place to take children though and some of the bumsters can get a little too pushy, we talked to two couples who had been conned by bumsters offering them a trip to a local orphanage and then coxed money out of them, one elderly couple handed over £50 because they felt so intimidated, and couldnt find their way back to the hotel.
So be careful, we went on two trips with Arch tours who were excellent, the price you pay covers all food, snacks and drinks all day, we did not need any money at all, we did the 4 in 1 trip wich really shows you the real gambia, and we went to Senegal on Safari.
The strip in the evenings is mainly single older tourists with young local men and girls so go with an open mind,If this sort of thing offends you don't go, we were not expecting this, and the strip can feel intimidating at night. Overall we had a nice time the beaches are long and you do get traders talking to you, although the fruit ladies offer good value plates of fresh fruit for 150dls. Most locals are pleaseant but they all want money from you and openly ask for it, the poverty is awful and can get very upsetting in places. To sum up we spoke to people who had been to the Gambia more than once but most said they would not be returning due to the changes in the evening antics of people and the lack of entertainment.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PetraManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leitrim, Ireland
Level Contributor
93 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2013

Thanks to all the staff at HBC. Just back yesterday, OMG its so cold here. I found the HBC even better than the last stay. Cleaner excellent wish my house was so tidy. All the staff very helpful. Weather well what can I say only fantastic. Food at the hotel was also very good. Monkeys in full forse around 3pm so watch your stuff. Cant wait to return hope to be back in November.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank siberianpack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2013

just come back from the holiday beach club hotel well its a very nice hotel but the manager their is a really horrible person who sacks the staff just for talking with the guests . if you need a really good local guide go with lamin he is really good and is very well priced cheaper than arch tours.you will find him out side the kora restaurant about 6pm every evening dressed in white shirt and tie .for really good English food GTS just out side hotel is a must ,excellent fry up for breakfast and the evening entertainment is really good ,the one man four drums entertainment is exceptional specially when they have snake man with them he is brilliant he puts on e really good show.cant wait to go out there again .

Room Tip: if staying in blocks Aand B you hear all the noise from the strip at night but the rooms are adequat...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank june b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Holiday Beach Club Hotel

Property: Holiday Beach Club Hotel
Address: Kololi Beach, Kololi, Gambia
Region: Gambia > Banjul Division > Kololi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Kololi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Holiday Beach Club Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Holiday Beach Club Hotel is a simple traditional African hospitality facility of a Two (2) Star rating, situated on the Golden Kololi Beach. The Holiday Beach Club Hotel Complex features 81 rooms consisting of Superior, Pool view, Sea view, Single storey and Garden View rooms. It also has a swimming pool, Main Bar, Beach Bar and Restaurant. Its mission is to provide a simple but modest Gambian hospitality service of excellence, while aiming to make the Gambia a tourist haven. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Beach Hotel
Holiday Beach Kololi
Holiday Beach Club Hotel Gambia/Kololi

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