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“very dull and dingy”

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Holiday Beach Club Hotel
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Kololi
manchester , england
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“very dull and dingy”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 November 2009

Stayed at this hotel Nov 14-28 09. we where in block A room 12. Room was really dull and dingy and not very big. 2 double beds though, the only positive thing about the room. 1 long brown very old chest of drawers with the brown paint bubbling and peeling off. Had to move it to get to the plug socket and it was very unstable. 1 dresser in the same colour and condtion. 1 small table plus a chair. Believe me there was not enough room for all this stuff. Lookes like a long double wardrobe but it only had one door, inside it was a single with a shelf, once again in this horrble brown paint. Pillows on bed as thick as a doorstep, very uncomfortable! 2 plug points in the room hanging off the wall. Had to move the sideboard to get to one and the bed to get to the other. The headboard was restin on the base so when we moved the base the headboard fell off. Bedside lamp not working, took 5 days of constant nagging to get them to fix it, it was a wiring problem, left us with bare wires for those 5 days. Bathroom was clean but the shower was directly in front of the window which only had a flimsy curtain covering it! Plus the toilet was near the window as well! Most of the staff seemed that they could not have cared less about anything. Hardly any one at the bar in the evening. The "entertainment team and bar staff " spent most of the time watching tele. I dont expect luxury for the price we paid but this really was the pits. Some of the other blocks looked a lot better than ours, so we could have been unlucky. Do not stay in Block A or B its depressing.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank pootytang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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534 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (154)
Date | Rating
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English first
leeds uk
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 November 2009

I have been travelling to The Gambia for the last 13 years and can honestly say this is the worst hotel I have stayed in. The gardens and swimming pool were all very neat and tidy. The rooms were basic, but the large glass patio doors turned the rooms into ovens during the day. The fans (which we had to rent) did nothing to cool things down. We were on the ground floor and the bathroom window had clear glass with a see through curtain so we felt very exposed in the shower. Myself and my daughter fell in the shower because the step and the floor were too slippery. The breakfast was dire, a bowl of soggy cereal and some bread and jam, everything else had to be paid for sepererately. The worst thing about the hotel was the rudeness of the staff on the gate. I would never expect my guests to be allowed in my room but in this hotel they made it hard for them to even be allowed into the carpark to pick us up. One of the staff told my husband in Mandinka that he was just a foreigner. I complained about this but nothing was done. Needless to say we did not spend much time in the hotel. I would not recommend this hotel if you have any Gambian friends or family as they are not welcome here. My daughter is diabetic and when booking we had requested a diabetic fridge for her medicine. We were told by the hotel that we would have to rent one. All other hotels have let us use their fridge if they could not give us one in the room. This was not offered here.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lkama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Kololi hotels

Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2009

We stayed at the HBC at Kololi as part of a student field trip. Upon arrival we were surrounded by young local men who wanted to 'help' us, this was quite intimidating, until we realised they were all part of the hotels extended family, and that they genuinely just wanted to take your case to your room for £1 (they want a £1 coin, not change). I didn't mind as my room was a fair bit away. My room had 2 double beds in, and was a bit dated decor wise, but it was clean - considering we were in Africa i didn't see 1 creepie crawlie during my time there, and the maid came in every day, she was friendly. We were warned by the rep not to leave valuables on display as temptation was sometimes too great, particularly at the end of the season, I followed this advice and got a safety deposit box, and had no problems at all during my stay. I had a laptop that didn't fit in the box so I kept it under my mattress. There is a wi-fi zone in Kololi but you have to got to the big posh all inclusive hotel (5 min walk away) to by air-time vouchers.

Breakfast at the holiday beach was basic, but it was OK, bread, jam, fruit, cheese, processed 'meat' and coffee. The coffee along with banana sandwiches pretty much kept me going. The meal prices at the hotel pool bar are not that cheap, but if you can't be bothered with the hassle from the bumsters on the strip then it's sometimes worthwhile. The hotel pool was huge and deep and very good, and there were always sunbeds, although it wasn't that busy. The beach itself was a magnet for bumsters to hassle you, and the sea was a bit choppy to be fun to swim in, also there ARE sharks in those waters (Bull and great white). I stuck to the pool and was happy with that.

There are monkeys everywhere, they're cheeky little blighters and make a real racket when they run over the tin roofs, but were largely harmless. You get told off for feeding them so be warned.

Overall we had a great time there, and I would recommend this hotel.

I put a video of the hotel on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBngBDmF7RI

  • Stayed February 2008
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank stumoss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, England
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2009

I came here with a college group on my 3rd visit to The Gambia - I loved it!! It was a lovely hotel - great location with it having a pathway off the main strip so there was no noise - my favourite part was the private part of the beach reserved for guests although get there as early as possible as the sunloungers go very quickly!!

I only stayed for breakfast once or twice as I was too busy sunbathing!! Yes it was basic but so are all hotel breakfasts in The Gambia. The rooms were basic as well but it is what you have to expect seeing as The Gambia is one of the poorest countries in the world!!

I would love to stay in The Gambia (and here) again in the future!!

  • Stayed February 2008
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank deanieboyuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
england
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 May 2009

Hello! the rooms are very basic, toilet was a bit wobbley, food a little bit expensive in the hotel but was ok on the strip. hotel had a nice beach and swimming pool, found the beach staff helpful, soloman allways got us good beds and dembo at the beach bar was lovley any body else meet these two?? any stories to share?? loved the monkeys they were very sweet but cheeky and your not allowed to feed them as the owner goes mad, we also stroked the crocodiles but i would advise you do it in the morning as they seem to have been fed then. planning on going back between october and january some time. hope who ever goes has a lovley time x

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank coventry_lady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cumbria, UK
Level Contributor
45 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 May 2009

All been said before for this place - if you don't expect too much, you'll like it. It's cheap - and you can feel it. But it's in a really good location - at the end of the strip and distanced from it so the noise is never really a problem - the food in the hotel is pretty poorish and not many people seem to eat anything other than breakfast. The events staff seem a bit too focussed on entertaining themselves - loud music with no guests in attendance. Live football was promised (Gambia were playing in the African U19 tournament which was causing a big stir in the country) but never delivered.

But you can get a drink, you can get a bed down on the beach without too much trouble and the monkeys provide plenty of dusk entertainment - particularly up around the old A and B blocks I think.

The staff are a bit iffy - one guy who showed us to our room at the beginning was quite a pest - we accept the hassle when you leave the hotel (which isn't actually that bad - either walk quickly and ignore them or walk normally, and be polite but firm and you won't go far wrong) but when you're just nipping back to the room to get your sunglasses, you don't really want to be fending someone off. Similarly, the cleaner was a bit cheeky and grasping. All in context though - most staff were lovely - there are just one or two pains - and this is a poor country so it's not surprising.

One of the surprises for us was the quality of food on the strip just outside the hotel - we had great Gambian food, Lebanese food and some fusiony stuff too - places we went to and would recommend would be the Art Cafe - it's a bit pricier than other places but quite imaginative and well-run (the brother of one of the victorious Gambian U-19 players was serving as a waiter there on the day the team won - he was walking on air and it was a true pleasure to share his joy). Also the Lebanese place (which is roughly opposite the really rubbish Italian place) was great - though not teriffically vegetarian friendly for my partner. But they had wonderfully spiced meat dishes and again, service was great.

If you get a chance, go on some of the trips from the hotel - the Roots trip is a little over-rated but fun nonetheless. But rather better was the Birds and Breakfast trip - early start with a great breakfast at Lamin Lodge then out in small boats to birdwatch. Great, knowledgable staff on the trip and a real highlight of our holiday.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank DrDaveCumbria_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bolton
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2009

This was our first trip to Gambia and we had a few reservations, but on arriving at the hotel we were pleasantly surprised. As we checked in the local monkey sat on the rooftops watching us, we were given a free up-grade as we checked in, all I can think of is that the hotel wasnt full, as we did not ask or pay for it. The rooms were nice and clean and large, with a huge sleigh type bed, which was the comfiest bed Ive ever slept in on holiday, and even 2 big pillows each. And if your other half snores, there are 2 big settes which good enough to sleep on. It overlooked the nicely kept gardens. I had no real faults with the room, but I didnt find out what the standard rooms were like. The staff were all very friendly and when i found out what some of them earn I was quite shocked. I would suggest leaving tips as these can top up their wage to a more livable one. We got friendly with one of the staff and visited his family, and I was shocked at how poor they are. But sadly dont think it was out of the ordinary. We also went to the crocadile sanctuary, which one of the gardners arrranged with a taxi. He came with us and then we had a walk around sarrakunda market which because we were with a local was not intimidating. We didnt go on any of the tour operator trips as they were quite expensive, Id rather give my money direct to the locals. I would definately go back and looking at the hotels nearby and the prices for them I think the Holiday Beach Club is the best for value for money. The local men like our t shirts especially football ones. And if like me you are a softie take things for children you might meet. I went to a primary school which there are many and dropped off some goodies, they made me feel like we were famous and sang and danced for us. The weather was great and not too hot at night. Going back again next year!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank borisBolton
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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