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“Beachside accommodation and bar.”
Review of Leybato Hotel

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Leybato Hotel
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Fajara
Reviewed 22 December 2013

The Leybato gives you instant access to the beach, has a perfectly good bar and is staffed by lovely people. It isn't the Sheraton but that's not the point. I didn't stay in the rooms to be fair so I cannot comment on them but I did use the bar and terrace a number of times and always had a good time there.

I'm writing because it would be unfair to dismiss this place as a short stay destination. If you are well travelled in Africa at the low end of the budget range and know what to expect from a country in severe poverty you will know what I mean.

I think they do a pretty good job.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled on business
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2  Thank Simon B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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34 - 40 of 47 reviews

Reviewed 11 November 2013

If you want a quiet time right next to the beach, then this is for you. Don't expect 5* when you pay 1* rates. The rooms are clean and comfortable. It is a shame some of them are alongside the car park - check where your room will be before you book - but that isnt a particular problem. The staff are really helpful. If you treat them with respect then they will go out of their way to be helpful. Any problems are usually sorted out within a day - pretty quick for Africa. We are visiting again next week. This will be our 6th visit there [2 weeks each time]. It depends what you want. Do you want an African experience or a 5* all inclusive where the only people you meet are other tourists?

Room Tip: Check first which ones are next to the car park. Best rooms are room 1 and room 2 but also most expe...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank DiM14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2013

It's in a nice location and the staff (I found) are very friendly and helpful. WIFI is a plus - it's a pity the signal does not reach the bedrooms, and there is a safe car park. There is a guy next to the restaurant with a sewing machine who will make/repair ANYTHING for a very reasonable charge. I've stayed at similar places up and down the Gambia coast and the facilities are fairly average - this is NOT a three or four star hotel; I don't think it pretends to be. I would have stayed more than two nights but for the room price. Food and drink prices are average.

Room Tip: You DON'T want one of the rooms overlooking the car park!!
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Rogerthebodger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 December 2012

The greatest feature of this hotel is that you are just a few short steps down an incline to the beach from there of course you can enjoy the view and have access to so many other places along the shore.

My problem is that the chief management seemed to be completely indifferent as to whether I was there or not and how I was enjoying my stay. I was received by the staff upon check-in and that went well. When I wanted to order dinner, many of the things on the menu were not being offered. When we settled upon what I could have, they served me well enough. However, even the junior staff seemed to be aloof--perhaps they've been trained that way. The next morning when I met the owner/manager, a woman from Scandinavia, she did not even speak to me much less ask how my stay was going. The place is not that big--always less than a handful of people for breakfast at any one time. If you're the manager, you've got to notice who is new--who wasn't here yesterday. But I got no acknowledgment from her whatsoever.

The rooms are rather basic--no frills. The price was fair enough as I recall, but with the chilly reception, I left after 2 or 3 nights, and checked in to a different hotel.

If your chief concern is to be close to the beach and not pay too much money, this is the place for you. If you're looking for a place where the people understand that running a hotel is part of the "hospitality" business, you might do better to look elsewhere.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled solo
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3  Thank avid_adventurer2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2012

We had such high hopes for the Leybato: its location is right on the beach, the price seems right, the pictures on its website make it seem beautiful. And it is. Unfortunately, its beauty, location and affordability are trumped by its shoddy management.

A family of three, we booked one of the larger rooms available. But when we arrived, we were told that the people in the room had decided to stay longer. For management, that meant that we were bumped into a small room we did not want.

The sun was going down and we were exhausted after a long overland trip, so we decided to just take the room they said and hash things out in the morning. The location is kind of isolated, and being new to the town, we didn’t think it would be a good idea to branch out in darkness to find another hotel in our price range.

When we entered the room, we found that the bed was broken: a portion had collapsed onto the floor. Half the mattress was literally on the floor. After the bed was replaced, a staffer handed us two 12-inch candles. Not long afterward, the power went out, and did not return until morning. Over the next couple of days, we developed a system for keeping things in specific places, lest the power go out and we not find them.

The hotel has a generator, but management uses it just for the bar area. So if you are paying money to stay here, be prepared to be without power for hours at a time, like much of the rest of Gambia. This is not the biggest deal during the day, when you’re probably out on the beach or wherever, but at night, the rooms become unbearably hot without a fan or air conditioning.

Reviews for other hotels make much of Gambia being a member of the “Third World,” as an excuse for lack of service. I believe this is condescending and disagree. I avoid gated resorts and flea-infested hotels. But I’ve also been in plenty of lo-fi parts of the world where people take pride in their businesses, even with meager resources.

On the plus side, management does a really good job of keeping touts from bothering guests on the beach or on the grounds, unlike other hotels we visited (we tried to find an alternative.) There were cases of older European ladies at the hotel who “made friends” with touts, but this was their choice. Otherwise, staffers kept a sharp eye on kicking out the few touts who we were not engaging: word is out that this is a no-go zone.

Room cleaning was adequate; breakfast was edible, but nothing memorable.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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Thank papupu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2017
Google Translation

Room Tip: hay varios tamaños de habitación, pedir una grande
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  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with friends
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Thank laprincesamedieval
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2016 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: November 2016, travelled with friends
1  Thank roystrijbos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Leybato Hotel

Address: Off Atlantic Rd, Fajara, Gambia
Region: Gambia > Banjul Division > Fajara
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Fajara
Price Range: £26 - £35 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Leybato Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 17
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Also Known As:
Leybato Hotel Gambia/Fajara

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