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“A Great Time”
Review of Hotel Palm Beach

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Hotel Palm Beach
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Leicester, England, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“A Great Time”
Reviewed 4 March 2012

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.

Room Tip: If you like early nights chose rooms beginning with C because the entertainment can be loud!
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Toubabmarley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (220)
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English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 February 2012

What an amazing hotel..ok it's not the Hilton but I take 20 students every year to work in a school and we always stay there what they lack in mod cons they sure make up in friendly staff and fab entertainment and food. A very safe environment where you can mingle with the locals. Remember you are in the Gambia and to me it's better than a travelodge!!

  • Stayed February 2012
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lisabaty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Milton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 February 2012

My sister and I stayed at Palm Beach from 17th -24th February. We had read Trip Advisor reports on the hotel so knew what to expect, more or less. We were in B block which is quite near to the pool where the entertainment takes place but the noise never disturbed us as it was usually finished by 10.30. The entertainment was always of a high standard. The pool area is lovely, surrounded by palm trees and tropical plants.Our room was fine; a bit tatty but completely adequate; comfortable beds, lovely hot showers, mosquito net (which we didn't need to use as there were no mosquitos around which surprised us!),t.v. with English programmes on.The first 3 nights were very cold due to a strong wind so we had to ask for blankets which were readily supplied.I would advise anybody going to the Gambia at this time of year to take a fleece or similar, with them for the evenings.We were expecting the usual buffet type meals in the evening but it is waiter service, which means you order food to the value of 350 Dalassi (approx.£9) from the menu which is very varied. We particularly liked trying the local dishes, one of which has a peanut based sauce-delicious! The only problem with the waiter service is that you often have to wait for up to an hour for your food to arrive, especially if you choose to eat by the pool (rather than at the beach restaurant) as the food has to be brought across from the kitchen near the beach and consequently may be only luke warm.Breakfast is an interesting experience! Mugs for coffee which you make yourself which was great; banana cut into pieces,water melon,papaya; toast, french bread,cooking marg. jam; boiled or fried eggs,baked beans,sausage with onion or mushrooms or tomatoes; porridge; and best of all pancakes which are cooked 2 at a time so you may have to queue for them. The beach is lovely and the sunbeds are very comfortable.We liked the fact that it wasn't at all crowded on the beach. We swam each day in the sea although it was probably only the same temperature as England at its warmest.We both came home with good tans but you have to be careful as there is always a breeze blowing which makes you forget how hot it really is! It was great to have a guard on the beach as there are people constantly walking past trying to sell you things and they can't hassle you because the guard moves them on.The hotel staff are very friendly and helpful.We asked Kunta (I think that was his name!) on the desk to recommend someone to take us out on trips as we wanted to see the true Gambia, and we had a really lovely young man called Lamin take us.He became a real friend and we will stay in contact with him. I booked our transfers with a company called Charles Hindle which was only £28 return for us both. We were a little apprehensive that our lift would turn up but when we left the airport there was Edi with my name, to pick us up(in quite a tatty car but this is Africa!).Edi was really lovely and also became a good friend who we will keep in touch with.I would definitely recommend you use Charles Hindle for your Transfers! In conclusion, we had a lovely holiday and met some wonderful people. If there had been a good rting for the hotel, I would have given it that as it was better than average but not very good due to the upkeep of the buildings.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank 13Lesley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Preston, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2012

I stayed in the hotel with 18 other students and 3 staff members from my college as the purpose of our trip was to volunteer at a pre-school in Bafaloto.

• Staff: Palm Beach Hotel has some of the most friendliest staff I have ever met in a hotel! The staff on the reception are most helpful and great for passing you onto contacts such as tour guides/taxi drivers. Mustapha, the internet man, is extremely approachable and is willing to help with anything; I even saw him helping a couple to create posters for their charity work whilst they were there. The entertainment guys were very amusing and had some of the most interesting sayings I have ever heard;"The more you play water polo, the browner you go!". There was also a great variety of entertainment provided at night for hotel guests. The only staff that didn't seem particularly very nice were the cleaners. The only time our cleaner spoke to us was on the last day when she was asking for a tip (which they aren't supposed to do - against the hotel regulations) as she was telling us about her children at home and how poor they are. The maintenance men weren't very approachable as they wandered around the hotel rooms waiting for people to try and exchange their pound coins for dalassi and exchange emails, also against the hotel regulations.

• Rooms: The hotel rooms were basic, but still at a good standard. The furniture was very comfortable, and the bathroom was better than expected! Cleanliness of the rooms was also at a good standard as they were cleaned daily. I was told to expect lots of power cuts, however, I was only affected by 2; the first night for 2 minutes and one of the mornings for about 10 minutes.

• Location: The hotel is less than 2 minutes away from the beach (by foot) which is useful if you forget the sun cream! At the front of the hotel there are a few market stalls and taxi services that will take you to pretty much any place you desire!

• Food/Drink: The prices for food and drink were reasonable. A soft drink was 30 dalassi, which is around 40/50p and you could get a meal for 150-400 dalassi. The hotel provided all different types of food, plenty of english food for the fussy ones as well as Gambian dishes, Chinese food, Indian food & Italian food. However, the service was quite slow, but at least you knew the food was fresh!

Room Tip: There wasn't an opportunity to pick a room, but our room A36, was very nice. It was a bit furthe...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
7 Thank LewisGorse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2012

I stayed at palm beach hotel in January and can safely say I will be going back next year, all of the staff are Lovely and can't do enough for you. Yes it's abit worn and could do with a bit of paint but for the price that you pay I do not think you can moan!! Our room was basic but for a 3 star it will be! But was very clean, fresh towels were brought to us daly, if we had a problem with anything eg our fan stopped working in our room so we went And told reception and within 5 mins maintenance men were there and it was fixed! I think some of these small minded people leaving bad reviews have nothing better to do with their lives and forget that gambia is part of Africa a third world country!!! Want luxury?? Then pay more and go somewhere else you absolute tight arses!!! To get such a great friendly hotel on a gorgeous beach for such a small price then write such a bad review has really annoyed me as I know that at palm beach hotel if you lOok beyond the stuff that doesn't matter unless you are very small minded then you WILL have a fantastic holiday!!!

  • Stayed January 2012
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Helpful?
6 Thank Rachelleeds27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2012

Before the descriptions, I must say that the staff at this hotel are beyond friendly - anything you need, they are happy to help. The atmosphere around the pool area is very lively and welcoming, with activities being played daily such as Bingo, Play Your Cards Right and Water Polo. There is constant live music being played through the speakers on the stage, whether this be Reggae or the latest hits, or even a live band.
There is one eating place in the hotel itself during the day, which is a pool bar, however there are a number of very nice restaurants on the beach which are very welcoming and provide delicious dishes. The food costs are of an average price, around £2.00 (200 Dalasi) for something such as a wrap or a burger, and money can be exchanged for a good rate at the hotel reception.

The rooms are basic (you are in Africa) but contain everything you need - a bed, tv, dressing table, wardrobe, shower, sink etc. If you can, request air conditioning as it can get very stuffy in the day time! They are seen to daily with maids changing the covers and providing fresh towels, as well as having a complete tidy of the room (which is nice to come back to!!). Power cuts happened a couple of times during the stay, however were mostly during the night / early morning whilst we were asleep so it didn't really effect us, but take a torch just incase... Again, you are in Africa!

Breakfast catered for a variety of diets, and included fresh fruit, cereal, toast, pancakes and typical English breakfast style foods, as well as a mixture of fruit juices and teas / coffees. The weather was absolutely fantastic and supplied us with excellent tans! With blue skies and white sandy beaches. On the beach, water sports can be played (jet skiing, bodyboarding) as well as horseback riding and basic sports such as football and volley ball - very fun! The beach is just how you'd imagine your perfect beach - white sand, blue water, palm trees, fresh fruit, wooden umbrellas with sun loungers to lie on in the shade. There are security there also which make your day at ease.

In terms of travel and getting around, I highly recommend Babbu, who is an excellent driver and a very friendly person who is more than happy to run around after you.

All in all, my experience at this hotel cannot be faulted. The staff made the stay a delight, and put on nightly entertainment such as Karaoke, live bands, dancers, and much more! Also, be sure to pay a visit to the 'Internet Guy' Mustapha, he's ace! I was so happy with my experience in The Gambia that I am already looking forward to booking my next trip and staying again at The Palm Beach!

Room Tip: The top floors are less noisy - there's nobody above you!
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SheWhoDoes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2012

On arrival the reception staff were most welcoming. A safety deposit box is recommended at 800d for one week. The security staff were also very efficient and pleasant.
First impressions of palm beach hotel were that it is tired looking and a lick of paint and some grouting would go a long way to improve the looks of the place! BUT it is a low grade hotel and in all fairness I was more than happy with the standard for the price paid. Yes the sheets are a bit thin and the towels are not fluffy but the linen and cleaning was done everyday and clean towels daily.
All hotel staff were very friendly and helpful.
Stirling cash was preferred currency to take and exchange at the hotel reception as the rate was better than in uk.
Let the beach lads get you your bed and mattress for you daily as that is what they are happy to do for you and may be a thank you tip at the end of the week will be gratefully received.
The beach was lovely with palm trees for shade lots of beds and the hotel bar for toilets,drinks and eats. The fruit ladies are lovely my fresh fruit and coconut was brought to me lunchtime by lady Kay who was always cheerful and a pleasure to know.
On the beach are the lifeguards,jet ski,bodyboarding , volleyball and horse riding . And of coarse the hotel security and beach police making sure all is well.
Yes there are the beach sellers of which some may find annoying ! But just say no firmly and in a polite manner they will go away.
There are some beautiful Birds to see in there natural habitat next to the hotel. Birds of prey, voltures etc. Aziz also known as bird man is very knowledgeable and passionate to tell you about the Birds I recommend this even non bird twitchers will enjoy!
Aziz has a friend buba taxi driver. He has a green tourist taxi, a very nice car and is a very good driver I deffinately recommend him.
To eat out at local restaurants can be very cheap and the Gambian food is really nice. I had NO up set tummy of any kind.
I went to the Gambia with very low expectations! It turned out a lot better than could ever have hoped for! Due to the staff and locals I met. It's the people who make a holiday great not the concrete of a building! The Gambians are proud of who they are and want us to enjoy our holiday so that we will return, they need our tourism.
The Gambians are lovely people and most helpful. I'm a single female , I felt safe and happy to walk out with a guide and then saw a lot more of kotu and serekunda .
So relax and embrace the welcoming nature of smiling Gambia.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
5 Thank 99919
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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