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“2nd time as good as the 1st”

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Holiday Beach Club Hotel
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Kololi
Torquay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“2nd time as good as the 1st”
Reviewed 19 March 2014 via mobile

We were allocated a room in B block and I'm ashamed to say that my mother-in-law and I were rude to Adama the lovely receptionist as we were disappointed not to have a garden bungalow like we had had on our previous visit.
She assured us that we would like B block and to just go and look to see for ourselves. She was so right, the rooms were lovely and we spent a happy 2 weeks there.
People write bad reviews about these rooms and it puts people off,I can honestly say they are clean and comfortable and we wouldn't hesitate to stay in the block again.
If people want 5 star then they should pay 5 star prices.
Had a fantastic holiday at this hotel.
Looking forward to returning to the Holiday Beach in 2015.

Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank norrisTorquay_devon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (154)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Polish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
93 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2014

Stayed here recently and really enjoyed it. A very warm welcome, very friendly staff, lovely gardens, low-level buildings, swimming pool and very clean.

Arrival: the coach arrived at the hotel grounds and passed through a gate which has 24hour security (by the way, we felt totally safe throughout our stay in the Gambia, both inside the hotel and outside). Near to the reception are a couple of shops, one of which is a tailor's who is excellent. If you have any favourite clothes, take them along and he'll copy the style for you in record time (choose the material locally). The reception staff were very friendly and helpful. We had a bit of an issue trying to get a fan because most of them had gone but did get one eventually. However, the nights can get a bit chilly so quite frankly, there's no need for one anyway at this time of year. We carried our own cases to our room but I'm sure porters are available should you need one.

BEDROOM: We had a twin room overlooking the beach which was simple but had everything you'd need. The room consisted of two double beds, a dressing table, a wardrobe and a floor length mirror. Bedside table with lamp and a radio alarm clock which didn't seem to work. Sheets were clean and fairly good quality but would've liked a mattress protector. En suite bathroom had a shower which was a bit hit and miss, shower curtain, wash basin and toilet. The room was kept spotless by the staff who were very friendly and helpful. Curtains on the window, mosquito 'blind' behind them. Mosquitoes obviously do get in, some of these blinds do have gaps so check carefully. There was one plug in the room, a 3-pointer so no need to take an adapter if you live in the UK: we had a couple of power cuts but not for long. No phone, no hairdryer. The room was quiet because we were next door to a young family but other people I spoke to said they could hear their neighbours loud and clear. This is a bit of a party town and drink is cheap so be aware that you might hear your neighbours coming in at 3am! There again, there are also senior citizens and younger families staying here so you may be lucky. If they are noisy though, just speak to reception and they'll try and sort something. Every room, has either a terrace or a balcony, very pleasant for a sunset drink!

BREAKFAST: Quite frankly, not good at all. Cheese was cut into tiny squares, the meat was like spam and again, cut into squares. Tea, coffee, exceptionally sweet orange or pineapple juice (not fresh), good bread, butter, jam. Fresh fruit consisted of bananas (grown locally) and another which I can't recall.

FACILITIES: Very pretty, well maintained gardens filled to the brim with birds, pretty flowers and occasional monkey! Decent swimming pool, a bit chilly but clean. Aqua aerobics class every day + other bits and bobs. Pool table, decent bar with plenty of tables, restaurant (never ate there so can't judge the standard), good poolside attendants, plenty of chaise longues and cushions but not another umbrellas to protect against the very hot sun. More seating down by the beach plus another bar. Information about the Gambia and holiday book swap section up by reception (mainly Dutch books!). Safes can be rented and are all set permanently behind reception so very safe. You can also book an air-conditioned room but quite frankly, you won't need them except maybe during the hottest of months.

NEARBY: There are some great restaurants nearby which a variety of cuisine, from English to Chinese. Drinks and alcohol are very cheap. AGMs and money changing (eg Barry's) are plentiful. The rate at the hotel was 63 to the pound, Barry's was 65.50 so not a major difference but every bit counts! Make sure you ask for their best rates and they'll usually up it a bit! There are also loads of shops, including a supermarket - and a great crafts market. Down on the beach, there are some lovely ladies and gents who give you really cheap plates of fresh fruit and freshly squeezed juices. Great value and very friendly. You can sit and drink your mango juice whilst watching the sea. There didn't seem to be an awful lot of people there - I suspect they were worried they'd be harrassed by passing hawkers etc - but quite frankly, that wasn't the case.

PEOPLE: Very friendly and smiley and will love it if you can say good morning or thank you in their language (look it up on the internet). If you're a woman on your own, you'll probably get approached but nothing aggressive and they'll go away if you say no. Everyone speaks English so no probs on that part. Gambia is also a pretty poor country and shop keepers/market holders will frequently barter with you for items you own rather than money. Also, if you do have anything to hand out, then please give local people any old shoes or anti-mosquito sprays etc. Also, education is pretty few and far between so any pens, exercise books you can take with you will be really appreciated by the kids who simply love to learn!

THINGS TO DO: We were out working for a charity so didn't really get around to the tourist trek routine but some people went bird-watching which they loved. We went to Paradise Beach was pretty and several local great clubs and restaurants. You can apparently go camel riding, check out a local snake centre and a few other things - check out the info at your hotel.

TIPS: I took a travel hairdryer which was handy when the nights get dark and you can't dry your hair in the sun, a pillow case (I did feel that just one pillow case on a pillow isn't enough), likewise I wasn't keen on the fact that there weren't any mattress protectors but hey, that's just me. Take a beach towel and a good hat! Plus educational stuff (eg pens etc) for local kids.

Room Tip: Choose one on the seafront for the best views from your terrace. Plus if you have noisy neighbours...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank karen1050
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Isle of Man, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
120 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2014 via mobile

Another fabulous stay at HBC - great staff, great service, well kept gardens, clean rooms. There is now 4g wi-fi available at this hotel, I think it costs 150d per day, but there was a problem with this new service while we were there for a week only. After a long day walking the beach or out showing my first time visit mum around the sights, we ate most nights in the hotel restaurant, where the food was reasonably priced and was delicious and well presented. I'd recommend trying it out. It was nice to be able to sit and enjoy each other's company, listening to the sounds of the night sky. We all slept very well in our rooms facing the pool, and we're not bothered by outside noise at all. Breakfast like already said - basic but more than adequate for us. The coffee was really nice this time too. It was pretty windy the week we were there, and quite cool at night, something we've never experienced on our other visits. On the whole, it was quiet for the time of year, (last week jan) but I'll put that down to it being the first pay cheque after Xmas/new year. I tried the massage at the hotel this visit, and I can also recommend this too - it was great, and we had another neck, back n shoulders massage just before we left for our flight home - It was nice to catch up with other regulars we've met over the years. We got out and about, walking the beach right along to Palm Beach, cutting up through and onto the road, chatted to the bird guides along the way, the road leading us eventually to the old destineys at paradise beach - this has reopened and is now a really smart place, lovely furnishings, great sun beds and lovely clean raked sands - I'll certainly be spending a day or two there when we return April. We continued along the beach and reached nygala lodge - we climbed up the steep steps, and wandered through into Backau, Backau guest house for refreshments whilst watching the fishing folk. We walked to katchacally crocodile pool - I wouldn't really recommend doing this, instead it would be best to get a cab to take you and wait - the road is rough and dirty, with lots of rubbish lying around, and open drains uncovered along the way - the stench is not very pleasant to say the least. We saw the crocodiles, and admired the small history museum, it was a nice visit. We then walked back into the village, where we hired a driver to take us to Westfield, then Serekunda market, Lana's bar for cold drinks n ppl watching, and then back to Senegambia. An exhausting but very pleasant long day. We also went to rainbow bar, sanyang, and had a lovely birthday meal for my husband. Peter mo took us in their car, and had a surprise cake for Graham. We saw the beach bars and residentals which had recently been taken to the ground under the presidents orders. We saw the president and his big cavalcade wiz sing through Senegambia - we waved to him, and he waved back to us, which was nice. We left HBC two hours after the coach pickup, and were still in plenty of time to get a drink, snack, use the loo etc before our flight. My mum really enjoyed her first visit, and has booked to come with us again December. She can see now why we keep coming back.

Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Debs_n_Gray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Torquay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2014

Holiday beach hotel is located in an ideal location on the beach and next to the main strip.
The rooms are cleaned daily to a high standard.
All the staff a friendly and always smiling :)

The lunchtime menu was good value and good food however the breakfast is still an issue with very minimal choice but on several occasions was edible.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gibletts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2014 via mobile

Basic amenities, but clean, great location, beach one end senegambia strip other end, staff very friendly, a good place to base yourself for the money, everything within five minutes walking distance, large quiet pool area.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sylarsi65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2014

This was my second stay at the holiday beach club and we love it , staff are all freindly and very helpfull can not do enough for you . The rooms are basic but are clean the maids work so hard to clean the rooms , the gardens are well looked after and you get all the lovely birds as well as the monkeys jumping around the hedges and trees , The breakfast is ok it is bread cheese and ham jam cornflakes coffee tea but you can go out and get a lovely cooked breakfast from accross the road from Glastonbury or darboes my fav places . You do get the bumsters comeing up to you but tell them to do one they understand , landed back in england sunday morning and had it booked again for nxt year by sunday night just love it ,

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank missholidaylips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northants
Level Contributor
30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2014 via mobile

Stayed here during February for 10 nights,our room was a bungalow facing pool, lovely room which was a little tired but everything worked fine and it was very clean. Great base for exploring the area, right on the strip for evening food and drinks,with a few restaurants having free WiFi.would recommend crocodile pool and lazy day cruise as great trips out, we never used a tour company as we were travelling with people who have been many times and we did it independently.great basic hotel and first trip to The Gambia,

Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank Blackdog78
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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