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“Great value, very friendly, wonderful staff”
Review of Hotel Palm Beach

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Hotel Palm Beach
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great value, very friendly, wonderful staff”
Reviewed 17 December 2011

We had a great time here, the pool was lovely, location direct on the beach perfect, room clean and tidy, breakfast lovely and the staff really, really helpful. We had food poisoning whilst there (from food purchased outside the hotel!!) and the staff were absolutely brilliant in helping us and finding a doctor. I have absolutely no idea what people are moaning about!

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Kerry020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Lienden
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 December 2011

One can say Hotel Palm Beach might not be as luxury as big hotels in the region. Palm Beach absolutely has a very friendly and lovely team of waiters, receptionists and other employees. Staff is very personal and helpful to their guests, to make your stay pleasant and well worth being there.

For birders/ bird watchers, this hotel is a very good base from which you can reach many incredible spots to find amazing bird species. It has all the basics for your stay. So if you don't need the luxury of a modern whirlpool (there is a swimming pool), full breakfast (it is quite simple, but nice!) and much entertainment... you will like Palm Beach.
The hotel is situated next to the beach. It has private sunshade parasols at and a bar next to the beach.

BIRDS AND OTHER WILDLIFE
The small gardens are full of exotic plants, in which you can find fantastic bird species and other creatures.
To name a few: Laughing doves, Mourning doves, Red-eyed doves, Vinaceous doves, Senegal thick-knees, Green wood hoopoes, Red-billed firefinches, rollers, Grey-headed sparrows, Western plaintain eaters and Woodland kingfishers.
Just next to the hotel gardens there are a lagoon and rice paddies which are home to many other birds: White-faced whistling ducks, Sacred ibis, Long-tailed cormorant, Spur-winged plover, Bearded barbet, Village weaver, Black-winged stilt, African jacana, Intermediate egret, Great egret, Cattle egret, Black egret, Hamerkop, Yellow-crowned gonolek, sunbirds, tinkerbirds, glossy starlings, pied kingfisher, bee-eaters, Grey hornbill and Red-billed hornbill.
Also at the beach there is a good chance to see some birds very close-by, such as Hooded vulture, Pied crow, Black kite, Western reef heron, several types of terns, Great white pelicans and Pink-backed pelicans. Other types of wildlife near the beach and lagoon are fiddler crabs, agamas, monitor lizzards etc. etc.

Room Tip: Don't forget your binoculars and bird field-guide!
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JanHarteman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 December 2011

Stayed in this hotel for 2 weeks late November/early December. We had 5 rooms in C block between 10 of us and although we had a few minor problems, after speaking to reception staff all were sorted.

Despite others in my group being numerous times before, this was my first time in Gambia and I will admit I have often stayed in 5 star resorts elsewhere so I was dreading the hotel. I am pleased to say I had no need to worry at all!

The rooms are basic but as we were there for a charity trip we didnt spend much time in them anyway. We all had tvs and fans and fresh towels everyday. Nothing went missing from any of our rooms. Any valuables we put in a safe which is personally coded in a room which is always guarded.

Breakfast is basic but more than enough choice. Fruit, toast, eggs, rice pudding, beans, pancakes etc.

We had a Gambia friend of the group organise all our trips and travelling but if you don't have that option taxis are so cheap anyway.

The pool area was fine, the food was nice and there are numerous places to eat out within walking distance. We ate at a different restaurant every night and I was surprised how nice they were. I ate better there than at home! Gambia time is slow so just always expect to wait then if you don't its a bonus! Having been ill in the summer whilst away at a 5 star resort I was worried but I was not ill once whilst in Gambia.

Whilst we were there people did get things stolen at night, but if you leave your doors unlocked and open what do you expect! The ratio of older English women with young gambian guys is high as is the ratio if Older English men with young Gambian girls. That is the main shock I had during my stay but that is what you see all over the country. Although it made me very angry it doesn't affect your stay but just be prepared to see it!

Overall this hotel was great compared to what I was expecting considering the Country. You do get bumsters etc but just say no thanks and they will leave you alone! Also never say its your first time in Gambia! At the end of the day if your not into roughing it a bit why are you going to Gambia in the first place!

  • Stayed November 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank BeccaAnne24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
devon
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 December 2011

Ive just got back from a two week stay at Palm beach-It was my first time in the gambia, although friends and family have been often enough. This is not a 5* hotel- you get what you pay for which seems to be something people forget.

short version:clean, comfortable, nice staff, good facilities, well sitiuated, would definitely go again

long version: I was in B block. The room was spacioius and clean with fresh towels everyday. Although, apart from getting afew hours sleep at night I was barely in my room anyway The staff at the hotel were lovely- always smiling and ready to help you with anything- The lightbulb in the bathroom went on the 2nd day and within 5 minutes of reporting it the electrician was there to fix it! . The facilities are good- pool, bar, restraunt, internet cafe, money exchange, safe boxes etc. The maids will do your laundry as well for a small tip if you ask them directly. Breakfast is a conntinental style- eggs, beans, toast, bread, cheese, fruit, cereal, teas and coffees.... or you can have fresh made pancakes which I woul reccomend!! There is entertainment everynight and sometimes things during the day too- water polo etc. The hotel employs tigerwatch security agency to patrol the hotel and beach bar- keeping the bumsters at bay. They do invite a couple of trusted sellers, like the silverman jewellery, into the hotel who set up a stall for the day. The hotel itself is set right on the beach and has its own beach bar and sun beds. The sun beds are free, although its nice to be nice and offer a small tip to the boys working down there. Its about a 15-20 minute walk down the beach to sennegambia and you pass plenty of bars and hotels on the way (and the monkey park!). If you walk in the other direction theres a really lovely hotel and beach bar called leybato, which is a very chilled out place to sit in the shade or snooze in one of the many hammocks! Its only a couple of hundred yards up the road to badala park hotel, which is owned by the same people. You can use their facilities or use it as a short cut to the main road- just go through the back door of badala. On the main road theres a selection of resteraunts and bars, or there are some nice less european ones within walking distance if you ask a local to show you the way. Its about 5 minutes tops in a taxi to sennegambia. When shopping or getting a taxi they will always say a high price to begin with. Just say no and go to leave and the price will soon come down. We found it easiest to make friends with a couple of staff from the hotel who acted as our guides when they weren't working. If you let someone accompany you around gambia you'll find that all the other people stop trying to bother you! From palm beach its an easy 5 minute walk to the creek if you are interested in bird watching or watching the guys tap for palm wine. I found it a really good base for the holiday and got out and saw alot of the country from there. I would definitely stay there again.

Room Tip: some of the rooms are having the old aircon replaced with fans. Our room had a fan which was fine as...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Jeanne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2011

Hi everybody, i was really worried after i had booked this holiday for me and my fella, and i saw a load of bad reviews, thanks for making me worry about nothing!!! yes its basic, but kept immaculate, the staff are lovely and nothing but friendly, and we just stashed our valuables in our locked suitcases in our room. OK, you get harassed a bit by the locals when you 1st get there, trying to get ur business, but folks, this is Gambia, its gonna happen and does happen where ever you go in the Gambia, get over it! So long as you are polite and firm, or if you cant manage that, just say "no thank you" and keep walking, they back off!! Girls, bit of advice, if your going with your boyfriend, he's your husband for the duration of the stay ok? will make your life a lot easier, just girls going....stick a ring on your finger and say your husbands are at home, simples!!
I know a few people who regularly stay at the hotel try to discourage peeps from writing good reviews about Palm Beach Hotel, cos they want it to stay cheap, but for a very poor country, i
feel it is absolutely against all morels. we had a great stay altogether, helped by our Gambian
friend called Lamin Darboe, who you can find at the small bar 2 doors up on the left from the hotel, the John something bar, he is a truely lovely chap, and really seriously looks after you, he went to all ends to make sure we didn't get ripped off at the Serrakunda markets. Will be keeping in touch with him for sure!! yes be cautious who you adventure with, but so long as you can trust and use your instinct, YOU WILL BE FINE!!! no need to pay a fortune through holiday reps!! Over all, i've rated this hotel a 3, cos thats all it is advertised as, and that is what it is. I would stay there again, but will take a cd with me next time....the pool side music gets a bit tedious after a while!! id stay only as b&b, food isn't great, but solomans fish bar and the Paradise hotel, and our friend Lamin's bar do great food for between 200 dallassi and 400, and the Sennigambia Hotel further on from Solomans, towards the west, is beautiful,
the food fab, and cocktails tasty!
Please please support this hotel and book to stay there, they need your support so that they can keep up the maintenance of the place and pay their many wonderful staff who work everyday. Dont be put off by the pompus idiots and selfish cheapskates who slate the hotel!!
ENJOY!!!

Room Tip: we were in an A room, i'd advise you book one of these, Lamin Darboe who worrks 2 doors up the b...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Bekah F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
54 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 December 2011

Stayed in the palm beach for 2 weeks in November 2011. Considering the price we paid for the holiday, we were not anticipating luxury and this place more or less was what we were expecting, however we'd booked a week's worth of tour with a reputable local guide in advance, so weren't expecting to spend too much time here. Hopefully this is a balanced review on that basis.
Good points
Excellent location, especially for bird watching types - perhaps a bit off the beaten track for those who like to walk to a variety of shops and restaurants, but taxi fares reasonable to Senegambia strip etc.
Very nice beach with free sunbeds
Kunta Kinteh's beach restaurant / bar (but check the bill carefully - about a third of ours were wrong - and not always wrong in their favour either!)
Maria the beauty therapist - excellent massage
Bad points
Rooms scruffy with many broken items - we had no hot water for 3 days while our friends had an overflowing geyser in their bathroom which rendered it like Niagara falls crossed with a sauna
Sheets too small for the bed so you end up sleeping on the dirty matress with a scrunched up sheet somewhere by your feet
The mystery of the towels - they are taken away at about 0930 and returned at about 1700, so if you want a shower in the middle of the day you are a bit stuck - we speculated that they only had one set for the whole hotel!
Service at the poolside restaurant - 1 hour for a sandwich to be delivered - go to KK's instead!
Curry fever - we tried to eat here as we had read the reviews and were looking forward to it - unfortunately we got so frustrated with the service we left and walked to KK's instead.
Breakfast. If you love your coffee / tea, then bring your own!
Bumsters. I'm sure you will have read about them elsewhere and the issue isn't restricted to this place.
Other
Try not to get a room overlooking the pool area if you are not a night owl or have young kids - it can be noisy as the entertainment stage is in this area
Hire a safe as soon as you get there as out of a whole room full, only about 10 work
Only pay your bar / food bill in the hotel on the production of a bill, they have had problems with random people pretending to be waiters and takng payment - there are notices to this effect in the pool bar area
Get out and about - there are good restauants within walking distance (Boss Lady, VeeJay's, Captain's table)
The hotel washing ladies will wash and iron clothes for you for a small consideration - find them at the back of the hotel at the rear of the swimming pool area, but be circumspect as their manager doesn't like it :-)

In short, if you are the sort of person who likes to spend quite a bit of time at your holiday hotel, or expect / need a bit of comfort to relax, you'd probably be happier elsewhere. If this is what you can afford and you aren't expecting the earth, or you are out all day travelling / birding/ sightseeing/on the beach and just using the place to sleep then you'll probably be OK.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Treens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 December 2011

Arrived after total travelling time of about 12 hours to find room not ready - last guests were late checking out. When finally shown room, plumber still had to attend to fix toilet. Had to call him again that evening to rectify fault again but never worked properly. Standard of furnishings was very poor and dangerous in some cases - there was a metal rod sticking up vertically in my mattress and bed ends (chipboard) were broken with very rough edges that could have caused serious cuts! Bare wires were visible in the wall where a cover plate was missing.

Changed rooms the following day, paying extra for air-conditioning. Had originally booked (and paid for) a room with air-conditioning but was told before I travelled that they were not available. Turns out they were available, but at an additional cost of £ 50 per week. The manager "checked out" my new room before I moved in, but found that lights in main room and balcony did not work (fixed later) and toilet seat was loose and could be dangerous to sit on.

The new room was very close to the pool area where evening "entertainment" was staged. This could be very loud and there was no sound insulation in the room. Other guests in the pool area could also be heard quite clearly talking - sometimes very loudly - until 2 a.m. making it very difficult to sleep at times, even with earplugs.

Staff were very friendly (as are all Gambians) but service was lousy. One evening I waited in vain for 35 minutes for someone to take my food order, so I went to a restaurant up the road. Always had to wait about 10 minutes to get the bill , and the same time to get my change (at both the poolside and beach bars). Just ordering a drink could prove very slow at times.

The location on the beach was superb and there were plenty of beach bars/restaurants to choose from, plus others locally away from the beach. I would highly recommend the area, but would advise travellers to choose another hotel.

Room Tip: If you must stay in this hotel, get away from the pool area and have a room with air-conditioning...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Peter B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Palm Beach

Property: Hotel Palm Beach
Address: Serrekunda, Kotu, Gambia
Region: Gambia > Banjul Division > Kotu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel Palm Beach 2*
Number of rooms: 166
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Also Known As:
Palm Beach Hotel
Palm Beach Kotu
Hotel Palm Beach Gambia/Kotu

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