We stayed in room 3 (Nimba) in the main building. The room was huge but was rather dark. The mini bar was stocked up everyday but I did think for a 5* hotel we could have had a complementary bottle of water every day. I had contacted Gambia Experience (as they allocate the rooms) 3 weeks prior to see what suite we were having. I did try to get our suite changed as we would have preferred Suite 4 (Beese) as it is a corner room with more privacy on the balcony. The hotel was booked up so we couldn't have that room, but next time if we come again we would request room 4. We did have a look at Beese and it was lighter in the room because of side windows in the suite and was more private on the balcony. The balcony has bamboo screens but does not go all the way across so if you lean over to the end of the balcony you can see the into next door's balcony. If we decide to go again to this hotel we would choose this room or if I could afford the extra the Atlantic suites which did have a private balcony!
Overall though the hotel was excellent. I have to say the staff make the hotel. They cannot do enough for you and your every need is catered for. We liked chilling out on the sunbeds in the garden. We could put our music on without disturbing other guests and just relax! You never had to scramble for sunbeds anywhere in the hotel.
A word of warning about the weather though. Our first week was cold in the mornings and after 6pm. The weather had turned cold the week before and we were not prepared! I had to go to the local market and buy some shawls for the evenings. It got warmer the second week but the temperature does drop from in the 30's in the day but drops rapidly about 6pm to about 18 degrees so pack some cardigans!
We had about 4 meals in the restaurant and they were all outstanding. The t- bone steak was amazing! We went out and about to other restaurants Gilda's Garden being our favourite. We can say we did not have a bad meal outside of the hotel and they were cheaper.
The location of the hotel was excellent. We could walk into the village (which took about 15 minutes). There are shops but expect to haggle with the prices (they expect that)! Also you do get young Gambian men following you asking to be your guide but a polite no and they will leave you alone.
Go to Le Mar and have a drink about 4.00pm. You can watch the boats come in from fishing. It was fascinating, they knew what they were doing but it looked chaotic!
We did go to a school as we had brought pencils and paper. We arranged with Habib the taxi driver which works at the hotel to takes us there. He took us near the Senegal border as he says he alternates the schools, so each school has the same amount of help and support from tourists. It was very humbling seeing the condition of the school but the children seemed happy. We really enjoyed the trip but we did think Habib over charged. He did offer to take us to other places but we had already been with a tuk tuk driver He didn't want Gambian money and charged us £40 sterling, just to take us there which we thought was a bit much! We advise to get a taxi from outside the hotel as it is cheaper.
There are massages you can have in your room, which my husband and I had. It was wonderful and for 1 hour's massage it was £10 each. You cannot go wrong for that price and they were wonderful
All in all we really enjoyed our time at Ngala Lodge. The location is spot on, the rooms lovely and the surroundings heavenly! Most of all the staff they do make this hotel so a big thank you to them.
- 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