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“happy people”
Review of Hotel Palm Beach

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Hotel Palm Beach
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Reviewed 31 March 2012

just returned from 2wk holiday at palm beach. what can i say happy staff lovely weather . hotel rooms were clean with nice freindly cleaners. garderners doing a good job. joseph the breakfast chef was always happy and laughing . been coming to this hotel twice a year and cant fault it. owners have been doing alot to improve this hotel which i can see has been done. must not forget bavin the owners son he is hard working and very polite yes we love u bavin oh yes we do lol twin sisters joke to bav. the entertainment was good especially the reggae band on tues and thurs.cant wait to go back nov. thanku palm beach.4 nice hol

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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank wendy_p486
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 March 2012

I went to palm beach for a week mid feb with my boyfriend and we're in our early 20's. The hotel was fine as a base, which we intended to use it for. It is not luxury but it is clean and tidy. A small choice for breakfast, and a great location. What more do you want? If you want luxury I suggest you book somewhere more expensive and rated a higher star rating but for the price you pay palm beach is the ideal base for an adventurous holiday. There really is so much to see and do in the country so don't just lie on your sun bed! Get out and explore and a top tip take some goodies for the locals they really do appreciate it!
Yes there are power cuts and the power rarely works during the day time but youve chosen to travel to a third world country so you need to take things are their pace. The weather was fantastic so defiantly wasn't disapointed.
Kunta kinteh beach bar directly on the beach outside the hotel serves brilliant food, gives free sun beds and has the friendliest staff so would defiantly recommend.
Overall a fab holiday, no complaints with the hotel, all I can say is for the price you pay and knowing 60% of the cost is for the flight, it was a true bargain!

Stayed: February 2012
5  Thank KerrySmith62006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2012

We went to PALM BEACH HOTEL in February 2012 and was so dissapointed with the service. Where do I start... The hotel was not clean at all, after 3 days I looked under the bed and was shocked to say the least. There was rubbish and dust under the bed that must have been there for weeks. It was cleaned on my request and trust me I would not have slept in the bed on the first day. I had to ask for towels and toilet roll and gave up so we bought our own toilet roll in the end. On the fifth day the bathroom was full of cockroches so we took pictures. I demanded to be moved which they did. That evening that we came back to the second room and the room had not been cleaned, shock again. The generator went out for more than 10 times for at least half an hour, leaving me head to foot in soap, in darkness, in the shower that did not work due to the generator cutting out. We could not take a glass or any form of crockery to our room. After addressing these issues with them, the next day I was served with eviction. After five days I could not take it no more so we moved to BIJILO HOTEL which made up for all the upset and stress that we endured. I must admit, it is one of the most nicest hotel for me and I have been to Gambia a few times The management were also very rude and told me I quote "well it is a two star hotel". They also asked me if I would sell them the pictures that we took of the cockroaches. I was shocked! The only good thing about the hotel was the staff, very polite and helpful. I WOULD NEVER GO THERE AGAIN. I SAY PAY THAT LITTLE EXTRA FOR A HAPPY HOLIDAY!!! I don't care what others say, my experience was very memorable to say the least...

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank afreeka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2012

We booked this holiday last minute and have never been to gambia before. The hotel was basic but was kept clean and tidy everyday. location was great as you walked straight onto the beach and other bars and restaurants. It was a 15 walk to the center of kotu which had a handful of restaurants to choose from. The pool and bar area were nice to sit and lay in the sun if you didn't feel like the beach. You do get hassled alot which can get annoying when outside the hotel but you just need to be firm and polite. Don't promise them you'll be back if your not as they do remember you and will hassle you again. overall we really enjoyed our holiday in the gambia and would return to this hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2012
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1  Thank Sally-Anne L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2012

Gambia, March 2012.

So what can I tell you about The Gambia that has not already been written or said before?
Well in fact there cannot be enough said about this stunning gem nestled into the West coast of Africa! The people are an eclectic mix of local tribal clans, from nearby neighbouring countries and a combination of western influences. All of this comes together in a wonderful spellbinding pot of African multi-culture.
For this trip I have chosen the Palm Beach Hotel a much maligned hotel as some tourists seem to relish in pointing out only the things that personally upset them instead of looking at the bigger picture. I mean to be fair this negative attitude is indelibly imprinted in our social psyche. When we travel to our exotic holiday locations we seem to always expect that everything should be as it is at home, or at least to a standard that we are comfortable with. Which is fair enough if in Europe, but remember we are mostly taking vacations in third world nations these days, so expectations of luxury and home comforts need to be lowered if you are to fully enjoy your experience, So guys waken up and smell the coconuts!
The Palm Beach Hotel may not be the Ritz or even a Holiday Inn but what it lacks in grandeur and resplendence it makes up for in service, friendliness and location. It is is a cosy 3 star 250+ rooms, loads of character with a cool little pool, daily entertainment and activities; situated directly on Kotu beach.
The rooms are basic and simple but provides all the needs for your visit, because let's face it you will only be sleeping and washing there so there really is no need for fridges, mini-bars, trouser presses etc. However all rooms have televisions and you can ask for a mini fridge if you really need one, but remember running such white goods will only detract from a very small energy grid here in the Gambia so keep that in mind when you arrive.
As mentioned the people in this hotel make the stay special. From the Manager Bhavin to porters like Doodou to housekeepers like Banna, they are all stars in their own rite, Alex at the bar (always ready with a cold one) to the entertainment team keeping you busy if you’re just chilling and basking by the poolside.
Or you can find a great spot on the beach where there are many lovely beach bars prepared to service your needs whilst you chill on the free sun-loungers, a nice spot in front of the Palm Beach near Lady K’s fresh fruit stall (full plate of fresh fruit only £2! Lush) means you don’t have to travel far to feel the hot sand between your toes. Next door to this spot is Kunta Kinte’s cafe/bar where the Gambia’s Pil Pil is fabulous and a welcome spot of cool shade where an ice cold Cocktail de fruits refreshes. Before you return to your lounger and just lose yourself in your thoughts to dream of living in an environment such as this, away from the stress and manically hurried lives we live in the Western world. It's no wonder why so many euro expats are selling up and making The Gambia their home.
It is a developing nation that has basic infrastructure and I am certain that with some clever investment this part of Africa will flourish in the very near future.
As far as money is concerned you can get by on £15-25 per day unless of course if you wish to drink Jul Brew’s all day that budget will not suffice. Most main meals range from around £2 to £6 but eating local style is the best way to holiday on a budget. Seafood is so fresh and plentiful so don't be a food snob, experiment a little, avoid the euro food whilst here, indulge your senses. The locally made Jul Brew is a fine bottle of beer and in general will be about a pound per bottle, you will only find draught beers in expat bars and upper class hotels but really no need to go for that as an ice cold Jul with lime always hits the spot! Okay spot of advice, the ‘Bumsters’ don’t stress about these guys they mean no harm, stop and say hello, be courteous and friendly and politely decline their welcome bangles and bracelets. They only want a few dalasi out of you, remember everyone has an angle and agenda out here. A handy hint, have your own bangle in your pocket and reverse the gift to them, gets a laugh and a bit of kudos for yourself. If you give cash to everyone you’ll soon bust your budget and you will get spotted as a soft target, be smart about it all, you have been advised!
A wonderful way to spend an evening here is sitting in one of the beach bars and be taken away by the mesmeric sound and vision of a drum circle. All perched around the glow of a camp fire, while the crocodile dance is being performed feeling the pounding of the heavy bass in your chest.
You will be encouraged to get up and try a few moves and it's all just about letting your inhibitions loose and rolling will the tribal beat.
Walking over broken glass, fire eating and pushing 3 inch nails up his nose, the crocodile man seems impervious to all of this as he goes around the camp group to prove that it's all real. This is one night you must afford yourself whilst here and get up to stomp the sand with the locals; I promise you will have a blast. A suggestion for when down the beach at night wear long trousers to protect from sand flies and a cosy top as the evening Atlantic breeze can be a little on the chilly side especially if you have spent the day basking in the sun and are glowing.
If you are looking for an easy relaxing afternoon away from the harshest hours of the sun, pop along to the monkey's forest just outside Senegambia. The monkeys are so cute but do not let that fool you, remember that they are wild animals and although it seems okay to feed them nuts and fruit it can be a bit of a risk. The alpha males will ambush the babies and full on skirmishes will ensue this can put you and others at risk. There has been incidents were tourist have been bitten and of course if you have passed on a rabies jab this could be very dangerous indeed, so you have been warned!
Follow this up with trip around the corner to Kachkally crocodile pool. Here you will find an interesting little museum with local tribal history and artefacts all very interesting.
Then a brief stroll brings you to the pool itself, it’s full with around 60 Nile crocodile of varied age and size. Stick with the guides; don’t go close yourself for obvious reasons, great photo opportunity for both croc’s and Kingfishers here. It’s only a £1 to get in here but you will be expected to donate some cash to the guides, so they may buy meat for the crocs.
Not far from the Palm Beach hotel (15mins) a casual saunter and you end up at Fajara craft market. So lovely and organised you can't help but feel relaxed whilst browsing the 40+ craft shops here. It's set in its own community square in a South East Asian style set up and indeed the chap who put this area together is from Indonesia! Oh such a small global village we now all dwell!
At Shop No.36, Mr Barry White (real name) can tailor you pretty much anything you want in about an hour and Isa has some lovely cloth for you to choose from. While you wait Mr Musicman (Drum maker & Master teacher) will brew you some energizing gunpowder tea for your pleasure as you soak in the atmosphere. This enchanting little craft market is a wonderful alternative if you don't want to deal with the larger more hectic markets in Banjul and Serrekunda. The prices you pay may be a little higher than in other markets but that all depend on your skill of the barter!
In Banjul itself there is not much to see or do, however do afford yourself at least an hour to buzz through this rundown capital. St. James market is worth a whirl through, the smells, sights and sounds tingle the senses. As you stroll around past the fish merchants and general wares you will pass by the wood carvers who will endeavour to entice you into their shops and convince you that all you survey is an antique! Of course this is not the case as most of what you see is generic and can be found at most markets around the area, so don't be conned, you have been warned! Once you hear the buzzing of the sewing machines it marks the near end of this market, but do not disregard these tailors as their work is impeccable. If you fancy a made to measure suit or dress just ask for them to measure you up pay a small deposit and return to collect the next day, simples. Other than the market the only other thing to do is climb to the top of the Arch on highway 44 and check out the views, well worth a photo or two as the panoramic view can be stunning particularly on a clear day. Apart from these two things its best to jump in your taxi and head down to Serrekunda for a real feel of Gambian culture in a market environment. One other point, avoid the town areas when the sun is at its hottest, the heat is very oppressive and there is little or no wind to cool you, particularly in Banjul.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the towns you could while away the hours with a little ornithology. As you may be aware the bird life can be spectacular from great kingfishers to brown vultures, storks, pelicans, etc really the Gambia is a bird watchers paradise, so don't forget your binoculars.

As mentioned earlier it is the Gambian people who will make your visit extra special. Their smiles and positively wonderful outlook they make you dance smile enjoy the chilled atmosphere and party till the wee small hours. It does not matter what your tastes in entertainment are you cannot fail to have a great time out here. Maybe drums circle on the beach, perhaps a jamming reggae band or a freestyle DJ knocking out toe tappers. The Palm Beach hotel has made sure there is a plethora of entertainments, reggae bands, cultural nights, easy listening bands and even a karaoke night. This is always a good option if you don't fancy popping out to much in the evenings.

All things considered the Gambia is one of the best locations for a fun packed or chilled relaxed holiday. Whatever your tastes there is something for everyone in this tiny African nation, its great value, only a short flight away and in the same time zone as the UK, so what are you waiting for? If Sun Sea and smiles is what you’re after then you can't go wrong in the Gambia!
Don't worry, be happy...yah man!

Paul - Music Man - Clark

Room Tip: Ask for an A block room - however our C block room was overlooking the mangroves and was very quiet...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Jackyd99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2012

We visited Gambia March 2012 as a couple. We had a fantastic time! The hotel is right on the beach ready for sun, sea and sand.
The Palm Beach was pretty basic, but had everything we needed and the staff were all really friendly. We brought our own mozzie net - you do need one! Breakfast was fine although a funny mix of continental and cooked brekkie plus Gambian porridge/rice pudding stuff. Best to put stuff in the security boxes as rooms not too secure.
There are great restaurants on the beach including John Raymond's which we really liked. The main Gambian dishes of yassa, benechin and domoda can all be done for vegetarians - its not often on the menu, but everyone is happy to do a veggie version if you ask.
The main strip of Senegambia is about 5 mins by taxi or a lovely 30/40 min walk along the beach. African Queen was good and Ali Baba's/Chosan's had good live music.
We went on two tours with Archtours which were brilliant, great placed to visit and hilarious guides who were local so knew all about the places we visited. Everything does happened in Gambian time though, no rushing, it's too hot!
We had a relaxing time fishing with Joseph and Pierre on the 'Captain James' near the hotel. We also went to the monkey forest where they jumped on our shoulders!

One big problem in Gambia was the incessant 'bumsters' and everyone trying to sell you a tour, a wooden elephant, a cheap necklace....just say no thanks or you'll be there all holiday!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank sunshine220312
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2012

this is a great hotel most of the staff were great i had a bit of a ploblem when i was there and the security man called abraham was so very helpful (thankyou for all you did for me ) im the one that had my camrea nicked room c28 i shall go back to this hotel mo the beach man was so very nice hes good to go on trips with and good fun my room was cleaned almost every day which i did not mind as i was a single man and did not use the room much just to sleep and shower think the games at the pool were fun and the shows at night were great i was very sad to leave wish i could of stayed longer also nealy forgot to say a thankyou to the cleaning lady who found money under my bed you are so honest not have taken it if you go to the palm beach you will have a great time i did not here anyone moan about the hotel which was good everybody that i spoke to said how great it is plus the shows stops at about 10.30pm which is not to late so you got plenty of time to sleep and yes like most hotels you go to theres always towls on the sun bed all night and sometimes you cant find a sunbed to sit on dont think its fair really especilly when you not there all day

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled solo
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3  Thank alderneyduck
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

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: £31 - £48 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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