We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great hotel - restaurant menus need some work though.”
Review of Ngala Lodge

We can't find prices for this hotel
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this hotel, but we can search other options in Fajara
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Ngala Lodge
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Fajara
Certificate of Excellence
Scotland
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Great hotel - restaurant menus need some work though.”
Reviewed 24 January 2010

This is our 3rd time at Ngala, and the hotel is fantastic.
Unfortunately the chef who used to own/run the restaurant is no longer there, and we felt the standard of food had dropped.
Inconsistancy between dishes and sauces, and dish ingredients not as the menu description, and there seems to be cheese in most of the dishes, both lunch and dinner! ( I hate cheese!)
A new chef/restaurant manager had just joined since December, so hopefully the glitches will be sorted out.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank OonsP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

442 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    364
    61
    10
    3
    4
See reviews for
16
347
8
24
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (163)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
manchester
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2009

We stayed at this hotel after doing extensive research into other hotels in the area and i have to say i dont think we could have found a better place to stay. From the moment we arrived we were blown away, we were greeted by the owners and shown to our room which was huge! (Atlantic suite- it is probably the best as it gets the sun in the afternoon on the balcony). The staff were so friendly and couldnt do enough for us, also in the restaurant the food was amazing both for breakfast and for dinner. We ventured out of the complex one evening to the main tourist area and i wish we hadnt of bothered, we would have had a better time in the hotel restaurant, everything was far too 'touristy' - for lack of a better word!. (In the evening there is always different entertainment- local singers or musicians playing in the restaurant). Some reviews have said that the pool is small and the beach is cut off whilst the tides come in and out- this is true but i can say that you would rather not be on the beach- especially by yourself- as you get harassed (not in a menacing way!!!) by locals, the complex is on top of a cliff that you have to walk down to access the beach so the hotel is very secluded and private- other people who we have spoke to who have stayed in other resorts said they were bothered day and night on the beach by locals . There is plently of loungers around the garden and it is hard to get one around the pool, however the staff still attend to you in the garden and the pool is large enough for everyone there, but that is truly the only downside to this hotel, everything else is amazing.

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hqnn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
england
Level Contributor
153 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 December 2009

The decision to go to Gambia was quite sudden, nevertheless I still did my usual thorough research. I am positively sure that taking everything into consideration Ngala is the very best. The rooms are big, with great views or either with private gardens, wonderful bed with nets and the most lovely chambermaid, Fata, The restaurant is excellent, the food much better than many top London restaurants and the view was fantastic. The beach is small but the sea was great to swim and there is a pool, fairly small, but considering there are not too many people it is fine. Now this is the hotel, just about perfect, what you experience outside is a totally different thing. I think it is a must to go on the ferry from Banjul to Barra and then to the Sine Saloum Delta, it is an experience not to be missed. I do think that the Gambia experience tours are slightly overpriced considering the local prices. Gambians are very friendly and happy people, but you should always take care when you engage in conversation with people you do not know, irrelevant of were you are. Have a lovely time and experience life in Africa

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank anastasiaEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Torquay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2009

Having stayed at the " African Village" in Bakau 4 times and often wondered what it would be like to stay at Ngala as we passed many times, we were seriously pleased with our 7 days stay. The huge difference between two hotels in such close proximinity is amazing. The A Village is very much in the local community which is great for learning about the locals and the way of life in the Gambia but is hard to totally chill out. Ngala in contrast is so so relaxed and comfortable it is virtually impossible not to be totally chilled from day 1 ! In comparison Ngala is an oasis of tranquility, with the option of going out into the glorious madness of Gambian life.
NOTHING was too much trouble really nothing!!
A big thank you to Helen and her wonderful staff at Ngala xx Nigel & Liz Jeffery

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nigs69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chichester
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 August 2009

My husband and i stayed at Ngala Lodge in July 09, we were not sure what to expect but was very pleasantly suprised.
It was out of season but the weather was great with rain mainly in the evening at at night.
The staff were very friendly and could not do enough to ensure that you enjoyed your stay, nothing was too much trouble.
We were lucky enough to arrive the day before their revolution day and was asked by a friendly member of staff if we would like to go, we did and thoughly enjoyed the experience, for a few pounds we had an experience we would not forget.
After that we went out several times with the local taxi driver Habib who was the most helpfull and friendly person you could wish to meet.
We were lucky enough to have an Atlantic suite which was beautiful with our own hot tub and the restaurant is second to none.
We met some great people, as the hotel has only 18 rooms it is easy to get to know people at the hotel and most couples were in their late 30s to 40s.
By the end of our holiday most of the staff knew us by name which gave the whole experience a very personal touch.
We did not get hassled too much when we left the hotel to walk to the markets etc, the fish market at Bakau is well worth a visit,we went with a local who was happy to take us around for a few pound and we spent an informative few hours watching the fisherman and woman at the market.
In all we had a lovely stay at Ngala Lodge and would reccomend it to anyone who wants a peaceful, relaxing stay in beautiful surroundings and great food and service.

Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Em38Chichester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2009

I visited Gambia back in March '09 and stayed for a week at the Ngala lodge with my g'friend (early 30s).

I put in a fair bit of research to find an elegant hotel with high standards and Ngala lodge did not disappoint. This was definately one of the nicest hotels I saw in Gambia and being a boutique offered a warm and friendly touch.

Upon arrival at Ngala lodge we were upgraded to one of the Suites (Atlantic suite) for half the holiday - I assume that it because it was vacant for a few days they offered it to us which was lovely. I had booked the manor lodge and we moved there after 3/4 days for the rest of the week.

The suites are amazing - they are large, authentic and to a very high standard and have large balconys with private hot tub - i think there are 5 suites - more expensive but worth the extra money if you have it. The manor lodge however comprises of 4 'villas' with their own private gardens and shared hot-tub on the lawn (i never saw any of the other 3 couples in manor lodge using this). The standard of the manor lodge felt a definate downgrade from the suites however they are still spacious and well kept - i think i'd just been spoilt being put in the Atlantic suite.

The hotel is a boutique, lovely grounds and has very friendly and warm staff who make you feel extremely welcome. The pool is small however I didnt really use it. The hotel does overlook a small beach but I didnt find this very nice - its quite rocky and not really for sunbathing on - plenty of places to chill out around the hotel grounds.

The restaurant at the hotel is great, the food is as good if not better than some top london restaurants, however be warned you do pay for this - the hotel prices for food and drink are comparable to London (if not more!) and considering Gambia is very 3rd world with criminally low wages there was definately a feel of getting ripped off !! But all the restaurants we visited were expensive however the food was superb all round.

Gambia felt a friendly and welcoming country, however the Ngala lodge is not really walkable to anywhere; we did venture out for a walk on our 2nd day to find a sandy beach (ca 30-45mins walk) and felt very intimidated with 'bumsters' as they are known walking alongside us indirectly asking for money. The hotel warn you about the bumsters, they are not dangerous but still intimidating as they all try and befriend you in the vain attempt to get some money - not my idea of a nice holiday being 'harassed' - i guess people give them money to get rid of them but another will shortly appear. Therefore we stuck to the hotel, as did most, duing the days.

At nights we tried out many different restaurants, as we do like to venture out to different places plus the hotel restaurant was very expensive. Nowhere is walkable (not that you'd want to walk anywhere at night due to lack of street lights, potholes and feeling a little unsafe!) but there are taxis that will take you from the hotel and wait for you for about £10 (these are the green taxis - not cheap but happy to pay more for safety!).

This is the perfect holiday for a weeks getaway into the sun during Europes colder season, moreso if you are happy to stay within the hotel during the days. At night there are many options open for eating at different restaurants but from Ngala lodge you need a taxi to and fro, otherwise you will get hassled and frustrated.

Be wary of trips. We did a lazy day boat trip along the river Gambia which was enjoyable but not much to see - all trips are very expensive too ! A couple we met decided to visit the day markets and although the taxi driver that took them escorted them around to protect them from the 'hassle' he ended up taking them to all his family and friends stalls - it wasnt an enjoyable experience so they told us.

In summary: Positives - Ngala lodge is a lovely boutique hotel, worthy of 5stars, warm and friendly staff, great service, very personable, food amazing at the restaurant with lovely views over the sea, great for chilling with a book in the hotel grounds and unwinding.

Negatives - not really walkable to anywhere, very expensive for food and drink, no real beach to speak of.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank gdm176
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cap-Ferret, France
Level Contributor
32 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2009

A great hotel for anyone wanting a quiet, relaxing holiday. The hotel in general needs a little bit of refurbishing as some of the external furniture is looking a bit worn. Bath and pool towels most certainly need replacing. Hotel rooms are cleaned well and have everything one needs and for The Gambia it really is 5*!

The staff are genuinely friendly and kind (not touting for tips). The gardens are lovely. For me the beach makes the hotel - it is a totally wild and natural beach - not a sun-bed in sight! Yet very few guests venture down the steps.

The restaurant now controlled by the hotel owner is clean, has a fantastic view and the food is excellent. Prices for food, wine and drinks are very reasonable. However there are some shortages (may be because it was almost the end of the season) there was no other beer than the local brew.

Again this year there were returning guests some of whom were on their 12th and 15th visit. The guests were the most friendly and considerate we have ever encountered which made our stay even more enjoyable.

Last year we stayed in March and it cost almost three times more than we paid this year so I would recommend a visit in May. The weather was perfect and when we went out of the hotel there were not so many of the "bumster's" around - gone back to the country to work on their land we were told...

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank phillywe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Fajara
3.3 mi away
Senegambia Beach Hotel
Senegambia Beach Hotel
#1 of 8 in Serekunda
1,214 reviews
1.6 mi away
Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort
3.4 mi away
Kairaba Beach Hotel
Kairaba Beach Hotel
#2 of 8 in Serekunda
839 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
6.1 mi away
Leo's Beach Hotel & Restaurant
1.4 mi away
Kombo Beach Hotel
7.5 mi away
Gambia Coral Beach Hotel & Spa
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Ngala Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing