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“fantasic food amazing place”
Review of Ngala Lodge

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Ngala Lodge
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Fajara
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 March 2012

never stayed here however we did dine there twice during our holiday and if we had gone earier we would have gone back again,the food was amazing,as was the staff and the place itself,we all had three courses,plus wine and very good value,you would pay three times what we payed in the uk.the lodge itself is stunning,we will be returning next year,would highly reccomend,and just a short taxi ride away from were we stayed.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank pimmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 March 2012

Ngala Lodge – The Gambia

It was a second visit to the Ngala the last being some 8 years ago. Since then the Lodge has been expanded but done so to avoid any concept of overcrowding. The room was on the first floor with a sea view. It was spacious with a lounge area, large double bed and a bathroom to match. A private balcony added to the living area.

There is a gated and guarded entrance to the Lodge with a 24-hour reception. Next to it is a small library and a computer for Internet use. WIFI is also available. The Loge is outside of the main tourist area which is easily reached by taxi for those seeking more activity or to sample other restaurants. However, the Ngala restaurant is second to none and is a focal part of the Lodge. Residents always have a table and that can be outside or inside depending on the weather. In February the weather was not at its best.

The gardens are well looked after and there are sun beds with umbrellas strategically spaced about. So you can have privacy or chat to others. The pool offers a swimming option to the sea. One new addition at the Lodge is a beach veranda, a raised wooded structure that is reached by steps down from the garden and provides more sun beds.

If you are looking for somewhere different and of good quality then investigate Ngala. You need to book early as it fill up with repeat clients.

Room Tip: 1st floor - sea view - main lodge
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mikewelham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2012

Having been staying at Ngala Lodge since 2001 I hardly thought that there would be anything new to add to my previous reviews…that is where Ngala continues to surprise and delight!
We originally booked 2 weeks in a standard top floor suite, but had to change dates and because of the popularity of Ngala we had one week in a ground floor garden suite (No. 9 Robert Stel) then one week in the Terazza Penthouse suite (No. 6). Having a change of room made the holiday seem longer….and was easy as the staff did all the moving for us!
The Garden Room was spacious, well equipped and relaxing, with a separate sitting area, dressing area, a huge circular shower and a bath for those who enjoy lazy bathing. Tranquil, green and relaxing outside area…perfect!
The Penthouse really is where the title of my review comes true. A chic sitting room, a fabulous bedroom which has an octagonal pyramid roof-light over the bed, through which you can see the stars at night and an adjacent bath. There is also a huge shower. The Penthouse has two sets of spiral stairs, so may not be to everyone’s taste…but it is definitely one of my favourites with the fabulous roof-top terrace complete with outside shower, seating and loungers. With stunning views over the gardens, the bird-life and a much appreciated light breeze....heavenly.
There are no TV’s in the rooms at Ngala…please keep it this way.
The restaurant food was exceptional and varied, with special requests catered for. Jonathan is a brilliant chef - his food is fabulous, particularly the fish!
The sea deck is an innovative new addition to the lounging possibilities; so relaxing to day-dream on the deck during high tide with the sea gently lapping underneath. A bit of re-vamping in the gardens seems to have made them even bigger than before - the Ngala magic?
Something I heard more about during this trip is the fabulous Weddings that Ngala arrange during the ‘green season’ (the summer months). They can arrange everything…the legals, the flowers, the music, the wedding breakfast…and the cake! … forget a stodgy fruit cake as Ngala specialise in creating a chic-boutique alternative!! How romantic and magical a wedding here would be.
As I have seen comments on other hotel reviews regarding worries about security I thought it worth mentioning that we went out one day and (accidently) left the room unlocked and the key in the outside of the door…of course I blame my husband for this!! Nothing was taken or disturbed, everything is safe at Ngala.
We have returned home totally relaxed and refreshed. Thank you to the staff, who are the heart and soul of Ngala Lodge…we look forward to our next visit.x

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank FriendOfPooh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2012

In amongst the hustle and bustle of the Atlantic Coast, Ngala Lodge provides the perfect retreat. The grounds are immaculate, the rooms (sorry, suites) huge and comfortable. Add to this friendly staff, superb food, beautiful sunsets from the (private) decking and beach, and you have all of the necessary ingredients for a perfect beach holiday. It is hard to find any faults at all, and if (when) we return to the Gambia we would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: Our suite was called Beese - quiet, airy, beautiful views across the pool to the sea. I suspect it w...
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank DW67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2012

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'

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Reborn2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2012

Have just returned from my annual trek to Fajara,I have always been entertained by three couples in the past 3 years,so i felt it was my turn.I selected Ngala Lodge for Dinner on January 21,2012,Reservations for 7 people at 1830 hrs,From the beginning to end,it was a 5 star event and the cost was reasonable.I am surprised that more expats have never been to the Lodge.I will certainly go next year again if the family is still residing at MRC,cheers

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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Thank comoxtravellwer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2012

Not quite the full five but a very good hotel
Ngala is a well run beautifully maintained small rather quirky hotel. It is not up to international 5 star standards but in some ways that makes it better. It is much more individual and friendly. The owner cares and this is reflected in management and staff attitudes. The restaurant is first class and I will review that separately.
Our room( 18 ) was excellent, lovely views,afternoon sun on the massive balcony, a very comfortable bed and a large modern whirlpool also on the balcony. However the one major let down, the bathroom. This was barely 3 star. The toilet was integrated into the bathroom, which is fine, but the bathroom was separated from the rest of the room by a 3/4 door, leaving a 15 inch gap at the top. The loo was immediately inside, with occasionally disconcerting results ! In addition the sink looked like a small sloping cattle trough, which if you turned on the tap to more than a trickle sprayed water in all directions. It was a triumph of design over function. This was only a minor issue and would not stop me recommending this hotel heartily.
The only other grip about the hotel is the rather small pool which was cold and over chlorinated .
We took 4 trips out,3 with a wonderful local driver called Habib, who is driver, guide and escort (my top tip if you fancy seeing a bit of the Gambia is grab Habib and book him as soon as you can, because he wonderful ). We took one trip booked by the otherwise excellent Gambia Experience, this was the Roots river/village trip. 6 hours on a tatty old river boat to a dusty untypical village full of many people looking to try and get a tip. A long and expensive day for not very much, except a sore back side from the 6 hours on grubby plastic garden chairs.

Finally, when you go to the Gambia you will experience extreme poverty but you will also meet masses of friendly people who will smile, laugh and try to make sure you have a great time.

Room Tip: Upper floor Atlantic wing
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank wisborough1
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: £129 (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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