Hotel experience like most things is about value for money. If you spend a lot then you expect a lot; conversely you have to expect something more basic at the entry level. Palm Beach met or in some cases considerably exceeded our expectations.
You also have to remember, The Gambia is not a rich country and even basic items can be difficult to obtain. Our room was clean and tidy, thanks to the room maids, although the bathroom door handle was falling off and the sink and toilet moving a little - so please avoid putting too much stress on the fittings. Hot water was very hot and nearly always in plentiful supply (power cuts excepted).
The pool was modest in size and depth but clean and in farily good repair, staff were always to hand to help with sun loungers. Breakfast is continental and has a fair selection, albeit a bit repetitive - amusingly fried and boiled eggs served almost without fail on alternative days. The pancakes are very good, though. Other meals are served round the pool, in the bar or in a restaurant next to the beach where curries are served to satisfy homesick Brits! The menu has a good choice and prices are fair. There are some good cheap bars nearby, as well as some not so good value - so the hotel prices are about in the middle.
For entertainment, there are some advertised activity during the day, but this depends if people want it. There was a water polo tournament while we were there. Evening entertainment is usually something with drums, like virtually everywhere else. They usually pass the hat round, which can be embarrassing if you have just spent up.
The hotel really is next to the beach and you can spend your day on the sand whilst still being within the hotel confines; the excellent Kunte Kinteh bar is a short walk away. The hotel also looks over an estuary with a sample of the vast selection of wild birds living in The Gambia. You can walk to Kotu, where there are more bars and restaurants, with other more active places such as Senagambia a longer walk or short taxi ride.
However, the best part about our holiday was the friendly atmosphere in the hotel - and we often didn't feel the need to go elsewhere.
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- Also Known As:
- Palm Beach Hotel
- Palm Beach Kotu
- Hotel Palm Beach Gambia/Kotu