Visited Palm beach for the second time right at the end of the season (April 2013). Once again the staff were the most important thing in making my stay great. Without them I would have had some complaints. From the waitresses to the security and cleaners everyone has a smile and a good word. The hotel does have it's problems. The electricity cuts off frequently (there is no point hiring a fridge) but it is Africa and it somehow adds to the feel. The area is outstanding for birdwatchers with Kotu creek and the Golf course the places to head for. I would definitely recommend Aziz, like many others. He is without doubt one of the Elite bird guides in Gambia and is often around the Palm beach. This time we went with him to the Abuko bird reserve. Aziz has his own vehicle and drives to your destination. Once there we enjoyed some fantastic birding clocking up dozens of species. A little local know-how brings great rewards and we also spotted Crocodile and Bushbuck antelope. I would also recommend a trip to Fathala in Senegal for an authentic safari experience which includes Rhino, Giraffe, Zebra and Lions. For this I used Arch tours as they have a trip advisor 5 star rating and the trip includes a good meal.
One word of warning you are not obliged to give anyone anything. It is a poor country and some 'bumsters' will say anything to get you to give them some money or buy tat. You must be firm. If you give money away early on your holiday then word gets around that you are a soft touch and you will have lots more trying it on. I do always help some people out and give some clothes away (old football shirts are especially appreciated) but you must restrict it to carefully selected people.
Overall the Palm beach is a great place to stay and I will be going back, it's not perfect but I would prefer the prices to stay low rather than it become more upmarket. Mustapha and the rest of the staff more than make up for the rough edges and the food from the in house restaurant is great.
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- Also Known As:
- Palm Beach Hotel
- Palm Beach Kotu
- Hotel Palm Beach Gambia/Kotu