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“Faultless staff and luxurious surroundings”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Ngala Lodge

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Ngala Lodge
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Fajara
Certificate of Excellence
Rotherham, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Faultless staff and luxurious surroundings”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2014

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.

Room Tip: If staying in main building go for Beese room 4. It is a corner room and light and more private...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jeanette C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NgalaLodgeGM, General Manager at Ngala Lodge, responded to this review, 1 April 2014
Thank you for your review. We are glad you enjoyed your stay with us. Beese is indeed a very popular suite but some guests will not stay if Nimba is not available - it all really is a matter of taste! The weather has indeed been cooler than average, particularly at night. This dip in temperature is not expected to last. As to Habib overcharging the Senegal border is some distance away (60 Kms) and with him you are at least guaranteed to arrive at your chosen destination in safe and reliable transport. The same cannot be said of taxi drivers, who are likely to drive a few miles and then ask the passengers for directions! I hope to be able to welcome you back to Ngala Lodge!
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435 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (161)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2014

I have been a regular to The Gambia, but my trip this year involved staying at Ngala Lodge for a change of scene. The whole experience was nothing short of outstanding. The setting is beautiful with a private beach at the bottom of amazing gardens leading up to the restaurant (I will get to that in a minute), pool and the rooms; all individually decorated and luxurious. We had a manor suite which was tastefully decorated and huge! The whole place feels like absolute luxury from the beach to the pool to the gardens, it has to be seen to be appreciated.

The restaurant is well laid out with a bar and both inside and outside dining areas and the food was out of this world, the menu containing choices of meat, seafood and vegetarian, freshly prepared to the highest standards you could expect anywhere in the world.

Finally, one of the biggest assets of Ngala, the staff. Every memeber of staff at the Lodge is friendly, courteous, attentive but not bothersome and so happy! Why wouldnt they be when they get to work here! The management were great on our welcome, The head chef has created an amazing menu and was very friendly around the place, and all the other staff were excellent from the guys looking after the beautiful gardens, to the chamber maid and restaurant staff.

I will definately stay here again, no hesitation.

Thank you to all for making a great holiday!

Jacob and Gemma

Room Tip: Manor and Atlantic rooms are the premium ones but very nice.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jacob L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NgalaLodgeGM, General Manager at Ngala Lodge, responded to this review, 1 April 2014
Thank you so much for your great review! We are glad that you had such a good time - it was a pleasure to have you here! We look forward to welcoming you back in the future.
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Boston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2014

We stayed in one of the Atlantic suites for five nights in March. If you come to this hotel you can try to find fault but I think that you would fail. Everything was done well from the moment we arrived. The rooms are all different, beautifully decorated and well furnished.
The meals are superb, the choice is immense and the service is perfectly done. Some of the best dining you could find anywhere.
The gardens are extremely well looked after with gorgeous flowers and lots of bird species in the trees.
The whole stay was such a beautiful experience that we got home and immediately booked a seven night stay for next March

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Don D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NgalaLodgeGM, General Manager at Ngala Lodge, responded to this review, 1 April 2014
Thank you so much for your review! The greatest compliment that a guest can pay is to come back and we look forward to seeing you again next year!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 March 2014

We had a lovely fantastic Honeymoon over the two weeks we stayed. It was 100% faultless all the time we stayed here. The excursions we did where first class too, specially the 4 wheel drive which opened our eyes to the real Gambia. People moan in England about the floods but these people live every day of their lives with no utilities at all ! they still smile.
The hotel was just fantastic, the gardens all neat and tidy and rooms cleaned by smiling ladies every morning. The restaurant & bar staff equally happy to serve you with enthusiasm and charm. Jonathan and his chefs cook the most fulfilling meals I have eaten
Habid the hotel driver was a bundle of fun and took us everywhere with keenness to show off his country to us with his local knowledge.
Jenny, Erica and Jonathan and all the staff you are part of a great team in a lovely hotel. We both salute you all. We love each and every one of you.
We both thankyou and we are already looking forward to next summer when we will visit you again in the rainy season
A million thankyou's

Room Tip: We had the Penthouse. It was excellent with its own sun roof. The light in the bedroom makes you loo...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank whitepaws2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NgalaLodgeGM, General Manager at Ngala Lodge, responded to this review, 24 March 2014
Thank you for your review! We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay as much as you did. It was a pleasure to have you to stay and we look forward to welcoming you back to Ngala Lodge!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
english in england
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2014

Coming to the end of another great holiday at Ngala Lodge the team there as supportive and friendly as usual, the restaurant is second to none with one of the best Chefs I have ever met leading a great team. To Chef Jonathan Groves General manager Jenny and the rest of the team thank you and see you all in December Peter & Jane

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ilpadrino1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NgalaLodgeGM, General Manager at Ngala Lodge, responded to this review, 24 March 2014
Thank you for your great review! It is always a pleasure to have you to stay and we look forward to seeing you, and your friends, at Christmas. I have passed your comments to the rest of the staff, thanks again!!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2014

This hotel delivers a wonderful overall service encompassing accommodation, facilities, location, service & restaurant food.
It directs itself at couples & singles mainly as no children are allowed; it is a boutique hotel with only 18 bedrooms which affords it an intimacy which is so often missing in larger places.

The staff are excessively attentive, in a very positive way. You genuinely feel that they are pleased to help you and deliver great service. The hotel management are also very attentive and make themselves readily available to you.

Whilst the hotel has a lovely small beach area, the sea is not for the faint-hearted: the currents are extremely strong and getting in and out requires careful planning.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Martyn G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NgalaLodgeGM, General Manager at Ngala Lodge, responded to this review, 24 March 2014
Thank you so much for your review. We are pleased you enjoyed your stay with us and look forward to welcoming you back to Ngala Lodge!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2014 via mobile

Every year my family returns to The Gambia for our annual sun filled holiday. We make a point of every time heading out to Ngala for an evening meal as we consider it to be one of the finest restaurants in The Gambia. This year was certainly no dissapointment. We met a new general manager called Jenny who was a highly fascinating woman who has led a colourful life in the diplomatic service for many years and has now decided to take a new challenge on. Well she is doing a great job as the atmosphere was very relaxed as her staff were looking after you. The music was effortless and the food was absolutely lovely. Once again came away feeling we had a special night and we were looked after very well. I thought the cocktails were lovely and the overall price of the food was fantastic as I expected it to be more from the quality. Well done jenny. We will be back next February. Hope you will be there

Stayed February 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Nikkiandparis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NgalaLodgeGM, General Manager at Ngala Lodge, responded to this review, 5 March 2014
Thank you for your fabulous review! You made me blush! I don't know about being fascinating but my job is made all the more easier by having such nice guests! All at Ngala work hard to make sure that our guests have the best possible experience and we really appreciate your feedback. Thanks again and I look forward to seeing you next year! I certainly plan to be here.
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Additional Information about Ngala Lodge

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): £
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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