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“Best Hotel in the Gambia... a great spot to discover the real Gambia and to have an unexpected foodie holiday!”
Review of Ngala Lodge

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Ngala Lodge
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Fajara
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 November 2011

This is by far the best hotel in the Gambia, proven by a few outings to surrounding hotels and speaking to the locals and cab drivers, restaurant owners in the area. The penthouse is worth the extra money, and the restaurant is good. Don't expect a spectacular beach, (it definately needed to be cleaned up) but you will enjoy this hotel if you want privacy, relaxation and a base to discover the real Africa. The staff were fabulous, a special mention goes out to the driver, Habib, and to Maluk the waiter, and Mo the bartender. Hotel management weren't too present in the stay, which seemed odd in a hotel of 30 something rooms, but you could tell it was obviously very well run. Best restaurants within close proximity are The Butchers Arms and Jojo's (Jojo's actually is run by previous Ngala Lodge chef who cooked the best Lobster I have ever had).

Room Tip: Book the Penthouse to get your own 3 floors and a roof terrace and outdoor shower for a minimal upgr...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank TheCanuckFoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 November 2011

We were looking for a good place in a warm climate to recharge our batteries. After a year without a break and having reached retirement, we needed one very urgently. Having travelled to various places in Africa (including West Africa) over the years, we were aware that hotel standards can vary considerably. However, in the case of Ngala Lodge, there was no compromise. The wonderfully welcoming staff set the scene for what was splendid week of 'chillout'. The suites are spotless and furnished to the highest standard with a huge bathroom and outside on the verandha, a spa. The decor and artistic touches were a delight. Ours an 'Atlantic Suite' had a gorgeous view across the garden to the wide blue yonder (the sea) beyond. The garden was manicured to perfection. The beach small but very clean with some sand, big waves that would appeal to surfers (subject to a known undertow at times) and, importantly, NO BEACH BUMSTERS while we were there!

Food was superb throughout and the staff took much pride in seeing that everyone was happy.

The 'backroom staff' worked hard. The regular power cuts were no problem as the house generator usually kicked in within 5 to 10 seconds every time!

This hotel exceeded our expectations which were already high on account of comments in Trip Advisor. This is one of the very few holtels that I would, God Willing, genuinely make an effort to return to.

Room Tip: Go for the Atlantic Suites for the view.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank 3akwasi3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2011

Just got back from 2 weeks at the N'Gala Lodge which is everything the Gambian Experience brochure says it is. If you are looking for fine dining, peace and quiet and a boutique hotel, then this is the hotel for you. The Manor suites are excellent and share a private lawn to the sea betwen 4 suites! The breakfasts were rather disappointing--- never set up till about 30 minutes after start time and then service fragmented. Dinner under the stars was perefct every night and never a touch of Banjul Belly! The staff are all good and not forever pestering guests to be their friend! Not a lot to do in the vicinity but taxis are cheap.

Room Tip: Go for the upstairs Manor suites.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Tony C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2011

This is the second time we have been to Gambia. This time we stayed at the Ngala Lodge in Fajara. The hotel itself is set in some beautiful grounds. It is very small and so therfore quite intimate. You do get to know all the other guests very quickly.
The hotel has two areas for the rooms. One of them is part of a new extension. I think it is called the Manor House. There are 4 or 6 rooms in that part, each room taking 2 guests. Those staying here have the run of all the grounds, and in addition have a seperate area reserved for them. This area has its own sunbeds and and some lovely seating areas. It also has a Jacuzzi, although in the week we were there, it was not in action.
The rest of the grounds are also very pretty and there are plently of beds for guests. You will not be left scouring the place for a sun bed. The pool is small but quite adequate for the few guests that are there. There are beds around there as well, although they get snapped up quite quickly. The etiquette is that if a bed has a folded towel on it, then it is free. If the towel is unwapped then it is taken.

As far as the food is concerned, that is more of an issue. If you are a meat and fish eater, then it is most likely ok for you. There is a reasonable selection from the lunch menu and main evening menu. If you, like us are veggy, then that it is more of a problem. The breakfast has very limited choice, and the same applies to lunch and dinner. The dining experience is the only thing that we think was lacking from this place.
There are a good many eating places around, that are a taxi ride away. One of the best is Clay Oven. Overall we thought the lodge itself was great but it could improve on its menu.

We did the 'waking up with the birds' excursion' with 'The Gambia Experience'. It was very good, although you have to get up at 5.00am.

Room Tip: The Boraba suite in the manor house gives an excellent view of the sea
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank khayam m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2011

Ngala Lodge is a peaceful haven in which to relax whether you are holidaying or visiting on business/charity work. The staff are very attentive and friendly, and prepared to go the extra mile. There are a range of rooms at Ngala Lodge but all are comfortable with a/c and some wifi reception. The restaurant is of a high standard with a mixture of local and European influenced dishes. My only criticism here is that they do not use 100% local produce, much of the European menu ingredients are flown in. However, they do have lots of locally caught fish and locally grown fruit and veg. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Atlantic suites have most space and private jacuzzis. Otherwise try to avoid ground level rooms as t...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank Mr_MYork_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2011

We stayed at Ngala Lodge on our honeymoon and would not hesitate to recommend it. We upgraded to one of the Atlantic suites, which was freshly painted, spotlessly clean, very generously sized and with an amazing view from the balcony through the top of the palm trees to the Atlantic Ocean. All the rooms are air conditioned.

The hotel has a small but very pleasant outdoor pool (34 C water temperature while we were there!) and well-tended gardens which offer some nice shady places to relax and read a book. We stayed half board and so ate at the hotel's own restaurant each night; this didn't become boring as there are daily specials to choose from as well as an extensive a la carte menu. The food is delicious and so are Mo's cocktails!

However, what really makes this hotel special is the staff; without exception they are friendly, polite and extremely helpful. If you stay at Ngala, we recommend you take the time to chat to the staff; it's a great way to find out about Gambian lives and culture and you might even make a friend. We were lucky enough to spend a day out with one of the staff, who also took us back to his house for lunch and to meet his family - a fantastic experience.

When we travelled in early October, it was the tail end of the rainy season. It was very hot and humid (about 35 C in the shade, sometimes over 40 C in the middle of the day) but we only had rain a couple of times and always in the late afternoon or evening. The rain was normally accompanied by spectacular electrical storms, and cooled things down nicely. The advantage of travelling at this time of year is that everything is still lush and green.

In terms of things to see, we recommend Kachikally crocodile pool, watching the fisherman bring in their catch at Bakau and the Bijilo Forest monkey park - all of these are easy to organise yourself with the aid of a driver. We did one excursion organise by The Gambia Experience - "wake up with the birds" - which is highly recommended despite the early start. There are plenty of other things to do if you're more adventurous, but you may struggle to tear yourself away from Ngala Lodge for long...

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank jamesandcatrin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2011

This small firendly hotel has all you would want. Friendly obliging staff where nothing is too much trouble.
Rooms are lovely, food excellent could not wish for anything better.
As and when there are problems they are resolved, without fuss as quickly as possible.
Our second visit, would not hesitate to go back again.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Sluggy1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ngala Lodge

Address: 64 Atlantic Boulevard | P.O. Box 4091, Fajara, Gambia
Region: Gambia > Banjul Division > Fajara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Fajara
Price Range: £133 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ngala Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Established in 1995, Ngala Lodge - an intimate, child free, boutique hotel of just 18 unique, magnificent suites, set in tropical gardens, overlooking the Atlantic is the perfect place for a romantic break. Recently voted the 4th most romantic hotel in Africa by TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards, with arguably the best restaurant in the Gambia, our guests find it hard to leave.Ngala Lodge - where romance isn't just for Valentines Day! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ngala Hotel Fajara
Ngala Lodge Gambia/Fajara

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