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“Don't take too much notice of the bad reviews.....”

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Holiday Beach Club Hotel
Ranked #7 of 9 Hotels in Kololi
Reviewed 20 September 2013

There are reviews below that knock this place. Don't take too much notice of them. One says the coffee/ food etc. is disgusting, trust me, it's not. It's basic, yes. It's limited, yes. But disgusting? That really isn't fair. My wife is a very fussy eater but she didn't have a problem here.
The grounds of the hotel are lovely and clean. The rooms are very big with two double beds in each room, so if you book a twin room you get a double each! Lovely!
The staff are excellent and very friendly too. The monkeys in the grounds add to the charm of the place. It's right on the beach (back gate) and right on the strip (front gate). Ideal position.
If you're considering booking this place, do yourself a favour and read all the reviews not just the few negative ones. Just remember you'll be in a third world country and to lower your expectations a little and you'll be fine. I think a lot of the bad reviews come from people who expect 5 star European standards when they're paying for 2 star African standards. Trust me, for the price and guaranteed winter sun, this place is excellent.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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16  Thank curryisforlife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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213 - 219 of 536 reviews

Reviewed 30 August 2013

I came to the Gambia a few years ago with my family and this is where we chose to stay, i remember the staff being so lovely and getting my hair braided! I loved the monkeys coming to our balcony but beware! they are not shy of coming in your room and stealing stuff as we well found out haha. We only ate here once so i can't really comment on the food, the room was clean i guess but we had alot of trouble with the toilet being blocked and cold showers :( all in all it was a good holiday, definitely an experiance!

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank Erin P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2013

Stayed there for a week having upgraded to a bungalow. All a bit basic but my cleaner Elisabeth was superb. Don't bother having any meals at this place, the food and coffee and tea are disgusting. The problem is the owners, they are from the Lebanon they speak in grunt, never smile and they hate tourists. Their staff are very good but for how long will they stay with bosses bad attitude? Don't even think about complaining to a rep Thomas Crook are worse than useless. Sort it out yourself and never go back.

Stayed: September 2012, travelled solo
3  Thank David H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2013

It's only now after Thomas Cook's recent reply to our complaint, basically 'fobbing us off' that I have decided to write this review.
We stayed at this hotel eighteen months ago for a week without issue. We visited again in February 2013, money went missing from our safety deposit box, 180 pounds which we discovered on our second day of a two week stay. When I raised this with the management at the hotel I was verbally abused by the manager who basically called me a liar, they gave us all the only one key and you've got it speal, I called for the Thomas Cook rep, he appeared to be like the poor staff at this place...frightened to death of the manager. I insisted on the police attending, which they did. I asked to look at the 'CCTV' However I was presented with a 'contract' (which I still have) by the management which they said I would have to sign if I wanted to access the footage which was on a hard drive, this said that if it didn't show anything I would be liable for the 140 pounds cost of getting the footage and that they would prosecute me for lying!
Of course I had no intention of signing anything and this heightened my suspicions. The following tea time we spoke to the rep and within an hour he came to our room and said he had just viewed the footage and it showed nothing (surprise,surprise), yes that's right about twenty hours viewed in under an hour. He invited me to view it, I told him that if I sat and watched the footage for it's entire duration and it had a second by second clock on it, I still wouldn't believe it unless I saw someone in the box, that's how much faith I had in it.
We decided that to salvage something from the holiday we had to move, we got the rep to sort this out, and two days later we moved to Palma Rima at a further cost of 160 pounds.
Not once for the remainder of the stay did any representative from Cooks call to see if we were ok after what I would describe as a bit of an ordeal. If this is a reflection of their company no wonder they are where they are. When we got home I wrote to Thomas Cook and told them of our nightmare, unfortunately Trip advisor rules mean I cant share it with you, but basically it was a 'fob off'.
In closing my review I will tell you a little about me, I am an Officer in the Fire and Rescue Service, I deal with all sorts of people in all manner of situations. I will leave it to the readers to decide whether I would waste the best part of the first week of our holiday, upset my wife and then spend another 160 pounds to move to a hotel half a mile away from all the action by 'making this up'.

Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
31  Thank ShaunandKaren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2013

I have stayed in HBC 3 times now and love it! Reading peoples reviews about it not being good is rubbish-you just have to remember that it's The Gambia (a third world country) not a 5* luxury complex!

It is very welcoming and all workers are very friendly and more than happy to assist you! The massage shop at the front enterance is a MUST. I never went there until my last visit a few weeks ago but I wish I had been before-it was roughly £7 for a 25 mins neck, back and shoulder massage and it compares to any I ve had in England!

The rooms are basic but I certainly don't go on holiday to sit on my room. There is a bed, shower toilet and sofa-all I needed! The pool is extremely well kept. Breakfast is basic but you learn to live bread, jam and cheese! The hotel is attached to the beach and is very beautiful!

The location of the HBC is perfect, a far enough distance not to hear the notice from the main tourist strip but close enough to walk it-only a 2 mins walk up the drive and your on the main restaurant/bar strip!

I shall be going back to HBC!!!

  • Stayed: April 2013
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6  Thank Sophiec89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2013

This was our first visit to Gambia. We stayed at the Holiday Beach Club on a friend's recommendation and were very pleased. The location is ideal - right on the strip but at the end of a longish drive so it's peaceful. Also opens up right onto the beach. Overall the site was quiet and relaxing, but there were few staying there as this was the last week of the season - it closes for May - Oct in the wet season - so it may be livlier at other times.

We had a superior bungalow room near the pool. This has a separate living area whereas standard rooms are just a bedroom plus bathroom. I would recommend avoiding the A and B "barracks" Blocks - nowhere near as nice. The bathroom was basic but ok, although the shower needed soem time to think about working and you need to learn when there's hot water (late afternnoon onwards - by the morning you take your chances!). There was a/c available at 100 Dalasis (£2) a day - not worth it - but a fan is a good idea. Safebox is also essential.

The pool area is good with plenty of sunbeds. Beware monkeys that steam though the grounds and will help themselves to anything not tied down, and go in rooms if they can!

The staff are very friendly. Cleaners vary in efficiency and thoroughness but they are all desperate for a good tip when you leave. We were told basic pay is only about 400 Dalasis a week (£4). Breakfast is very basic - bread, ham, cheese, fruit, jam and tea/coffee. You can take food/drink to your room but buy mugs to use.

Evening meals were good, but a bit more expensive than outside the hotel.

Overall, we were very pleased with our choice. It's not 4 or 5 star comfort, so if you want that look elsewhere, but you are not isolated from the country and the culture as you are in some more upmarket hotels.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Globetrotter_Geoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2013

This was our first visit to The Gambia and we enjoyed it fully. The hotel is basic but clean with friendly staff. We had a bungalow near the pool with plenty of space. Our maid Bilo, came every day and was lovely. One of the best things about this hotel is the location, you are right on the strip. For a quick guide to what to do in the evening - Scala next door has the best food and service but not very African (owned by Danish lady) Kora, across the road has excellent service again not typically African but a pool table and Pearly Bay white wine for £9 (drinking alcohol is expensive). Ali baba's turn left and 100m, always has live music and you wont get pestered at the table, this is the case with all 3 mentioned. The place before Mandela's (sorry cant remember name) is good for live shows (pic included) but the food is basic and you may get pestered (we were 2 lone women). Vulture feeding is at 11-11.30am in the Senegambia hotel (back of hotel, turn right, walk 100m down the beach), the knowledgeable guide will then take you on to the monkey park for a small fee - well worth going with a guide in a group. All the taxi prices are written on the board in this hotel's foyer and the taxi rank is just outside. We used a taxi driver called Abduli who took us to the crocodile pool one day and the capitol and market another. The driver will stay with you for 2 hours as part of the service, we gave a good tip and bought him a drink while he watched football when we went for lunch (he didn't ask for it). The hotel opposite the Senegambia has a nice restaurant and sport bar, both offering free wifi. There is a nightclub opposite HBC called Aquarius. The music is typically English/American with a bit of reggie the décor is very stylish and modern, not what you would expect. The locals were much better dancers than us, but we improved after a couple of cocktails!!!??? For tours I would recommend ARCH (out the front gate, past Scala, on the left) All in all - if your up for an adventure this is the place for you - only negative - the breakfast is poor and the same every day. bread, cheese, ham, jam, butter, banana, papaya, juice, tea, coffee (one day there was cake)

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank spud9
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

Address: Kololi Beach, Kololi, Gambia
Region: Gambia > Banjul Division > Kololi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 9 Hotels in Kololi
Price Range: £37 - £39 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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