Our second visit to N'gala Lodge and during our meal on the first evening we are working out the date to return next year. With the number of returning guests it is advisable to book early, we booked over 10 months in advance and two other couples had already booked for these dates, not bad for a 'hotel' with only 18 suctes. First the bad points, Thomas Cook flights, it had improved on last year but was still found wanting, next Banjul airport it is only small and gets chaotic, use a porter to help you, it is worth the small charge. Now for the good points, Gambia Experience, excellent service both prior to holiday, any questions before hand they are easily contactable via the phone and always seem knowledgable and helpful, and the rep at the hotel equally as helpful. N'gala Lodge, a quiet hotel, no children and staff ALWAYS polite and helpful. There have been a few subtle changes, we requested the same room as last year, so noticed the room improvements. The new decking on the beach was a big improvement, allowing you to sunbath next to the sea, there were always empty sun loungers available near the pool, on the grass area or on the decking. The restaurant meals are fantastic, Lamin Kinteh received his MBE from Dame Fagan while we were in Gambia and the next evening they both attended N'gala Lodge for a meal, they could have gone anywhere but I suppored they wanted the best. Before you ask we were treated exactly the same by the staff as those honored guests. The hotel does have wifi but it is a weak Signal and this is the next item for improvement., the only other complaint would be the noise, on a couple of evenings, from the complex next door.
We arrived back in England this morning, Sunday, we hope to be able to book to return to N'Gala lodge both in November this year and February next year, on Monday only 24hrs after returning. N'Gala Lodge is a place you want to return to.
Can I end on three general points about Gambia,
Gambia is a great place to visit and, excepting its limited sea coast line, could easily replace other African countries as the place to visit, I wish I would have visited years ago.
Most Gambians are friendly helpful people, one day walking back to the hotel an elderly gentleman greeted us with 'N Nga Def' and we had a pleasant walk while he tried to teach me some Wolof and when our path separated bid us 'Ci Jemma', unfortunately there are also the small number of bumsters, as in most communities the minority tend to give the rest a bad name. Start by answering the Gambians politely and only when your replys are not getting through to them be blunt in getting the message over.
I would be interested in other visitors experiences in setting a bench mark on expenses and tippings. For example I visited the Abuko park, cheap to enter 35D, but then you get the guide, initially wanted 300D to guide you round. Tipping, the guide books advise 250D a week for the hotel maid service and 50D for evening drinks in a bar, seems a bit disproportionate when a maid keeps your room spotless for a week and a barmnd opens a 35D bottle of beer for you. Maybe Travisvisor should start a side website 'tipadvisor'
- 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