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“Aziz the bird guide”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Palm Beach

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Hotel Palm Beach
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Aziz the bird guide”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2014

Our stay at this hotel was really made special by our bird watching experiences with Aziz the resident guide. He is a very personable, genuine, no hassle guide who really knows his stuff. We went out in the Kotu area and then on a 2 day excursion to Temba Lodge. The lodge is very basic but the early morning trip in the mangrove creeks was amazing and we saw some fabulous birds. Aziz made lots of additional stops enroute. His prices were
Very reasonable and there was no awkward haggling.We would thoroughly recommend
him. Sue and Nick

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sue W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2014

You will like this place. The atmosphere is very nice. Entertainment nightly by the pool. Free breakfast. Very inexpensive. The food was really good. I am not the type to spend a lot of money for a hotel, but I felt guilty that they charged so little for what they give you. I even saw the NFL playoff game on their big screen TV in the lobby. The beach is right there. I will stay there again.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rodney L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2014

I went to the Gambia for the very first time for Xmas last year. I had an amazing time. I returned at the end of March this year and although it was quite a different experience second time around overall it was still enjoyable...
I will review the Palm beach hotel properly in another review but this one is to give a special 'Shout out' to Kelly,who was my tour rep on the second holiday.
I first met Kelly when I travelled to The Gambia over the Christmas period 2013. Although, she was not my Rep, as I was travelling via another holiday company, I met her in a social setting through friends, at the Palm Beach Hotel, where I was staying.
Immediately, I was struck my her friendly nature; her openness and the warmth of her personality. Not to mention, her great sense of humour. Throughout that holiday I saw the way she dealt with her Olympic customers and was impressed with her easy manner; her down to earth and gentle approach and her willingness to help. It seemed she was able to communicate effortlessly with people of all ages and cultures and from all walks of Life. The perfect attributes for a Tour Rep to possess.
Fast forward three months later, due to having a fantastic holiday the first time round I decided to venture back to The Gambia, again staying at Palm Beach. This time, I chose to travel with Olympic Holidays. Although, it was coming to the end of her season in The Gambia, Kelly was there to greet us all off the plane and it was lovely to see her familiar face again. Once again, I observed Kelly's skills at dealing with the customers with a relaxed but always professional style.
Kelly is reliable, punctual, and above all honest. Her healthy and empathic appreciation of the Gambian local people is inspiring. Plus she's fun to be around.
However, it was when a personal difficulty arose while I was on holiday, that Kelly's special qualities became apparent. This is when I realised she is a woman of integrity; compassionate and trustworthy. She far surpassed my expectations of a holiday Rep.
Kelly is an asset to the Olympic Holidays team and a credit to her profession.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Olympic Holidays as a tour company and the Palm Beach Hotel as a place to stay.
Enjoy your holiday in Gambia. It can be challenging but always rewarding and forever beautiful.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Lozza65London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bristol
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2014 via mobile

Having never travelled to Africa before I wasn't sure what to expect.

On arrival I was a little shocked at the tired and run down feel of the place, the reception, bar and pool are actually reasonable.
Some of the rooms do let the hotel down.
The blocks are split into three, Block A, B and C, Block A being the nearest to the pool and bar, the other two rows, run parallel, so block C is generally quietest, overlooking the outside wall to the complex.
The rooms are numbered 1 being the nearest, and 40 the furtherest from reception.
The rooms were tired, the lock on my room was faulty and looked like it had been repaired a dozen times with different types of glue!
There was no mosquito net, the gaps in the window and doors were just comical, but in fairness I never saw one mosquito during the whole week.
I had plenty of hot water for showers, but I know other rooms had a real issue with getting enough hot water.
Overall they were very basic, I had a look in a few rooms, and the standard did seem to vary quite a lot, so my only advice would be to ask to swap if you got a room that wasn't adequate.
Room B42 was awful.... No hot water, no shower curtain and a dreadful bathroom.

That said, I spent very little time in my room, other then to crash out late at night.

What made up for the rooms were the staff and locals. I have travelled to many parts of the world and no where have I been more warmly received then in Gambia, locals are genuinely pleased to help.
Mustafa at the hotel was just brilliant, I swear he never stopped smiling.
Nothing was too much trouble.

Breakfast... Was very basic, one cereal available, cornflakes. One egg dish that changed daily, pancakes, and then beans, plus the usual toast etc.
I am told last year they did a much wider selection, so not sure if they cut back.

I found the food generally quite basic, but then it's Africa, and it is also very reasonable prices. I struggled to spend £5 for a main course, 3 courses and several drinks may reach a tenner a head.

By far the best meal we had was at JD's bar a very short walk from the hotel, very good food.

The beach is right on your doorstep, lovely, the sun bed man will drag a bed over to where you would like it and find you a mattress.

I can highly recommend the fruit sellers, for about £2 you get a small, mixed fruit plate, very good andenough for two.

Again everyone was lovely, you do get approached by sellers, but is I sat a minimum, they are polite and if you just politely refuse they walk off.

My only advice is, if women are on their own, as I was at times, the local men will try to chat you up.. Just be polite and firm again, I never once felt intimidated by it.

The hotel is ideally placed on the doorstep of a gorgeous beach, the pool and bar is great, the staff do a fantastic job with what they have.

Keep your expectations I check and I'm sure you will have a great time

Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
6 Thank Babsbennett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lincolnshire
Level Contributor
73 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2014 via mobile

Just spent 2 weeks at this hotel with my husband, teenage son & young children. Weather was really sunny & hot, but cooler at beach due to cool breeze. Very windy on a night & quite cool, really needed a jacket & trousers.
ROOMS - the rooms have air conditioning which you need to pay for once you get there. But it's not really needed at this time of year as the nights are cool. The wall fans in the room are good. The room also has a tv, but only has 2 channels BBC world news & an Arabic station that showed films in English. The rooms are basic, nothing luxurious & a bit rough round the edges. But for the amount of time spent in them, they are perfectly adequate.

BATHROOM - this is not really up to European standards. It had some dodgey tiling, that looked like some DIY grouting had been done. The shower was not really very powerful & several times throughout our stay we had no water whatsoever for several hours. So if we were wanting to go out or have a shower after sunbathing, we had to wait until the water was back on. Also
after 2 people having a shower, the water went cold. Towels
were renewed every day, but they were abit thin & worn. The cleaner used to be knocking on our door at 8.30am asking for the towels & they weren't renewed until about 4pm. So I would advise bringing your own towel, in case you need a shower between these times. The towel situation has to be one of the most annoying aspects of this hotel.

POOL - the pool area is small but very relaxing. Some of the sun loungers were a bit old & the bottoms were falling out, so beware! There is a kids pool as well as the main pool. The main pool was freezing, even though the sun was on it all day. There are tables and chairs around the pool too & food & drink can be ordered.

FOOD - breakfast was okay. Bread, jam, cheese, cornflakes & fruit. As well as hot food such as eggs (boiled, fried or omelettes), beans, mushrooms or sausages daily & sometimes tomatoes. Porridge (actually rice pudding) & pancakes were available every day. Coffee, tea and juice were available to drink. The menu at the hotel for lunch or dinner consisted of Gambian food, burgers, chips, pizza, pasta, baked potatoes. Most meals were about £4 - £5 & a plate of chips was £1.50. A lot more expensive than local restaurants.

BEACH- this is the best bit about the hotel. It is located right on a gorgeous beach, probably one of Gambias best. The hotel has its own free sun loungers on the beach & food can be ordered there. But there are also other local restaurants along the beach where sun loungers are free also. The beach goes on for miles, so it's nice for a stroll. The sea can get a bit rough, but it was really warm. There were hundreds of jelly fish though, so not really advisable for swimming in. This normally only occurs march/april time though.

LOCATION - the hotel is located down a road on its own, not far from badala park hotel. But you can easily walk into kotu on an evening, within 15 mins. Bring a torch though because the street lights tend to go off, so it's very dark. You can get a taxi if you prefer for about £1. There is a lovely Indian restaurant there, as well as Italian, Gambian & others. If you walk along the beach kotu can be reached in 5 minutes, with hotels such as sunset, kombo beach & BBs. There is a craft market here also, selling wooden carvings, bags, jewellery etc. The main busy restaurants, bars & clubs in Senegambia area can be reached easily by taxi in 10 minutes & for only a couple of quid. The owners of palm beach have an Indian restaurant here which has gorgeous food. Also try green mambo, which looks a bit desolate from outside, but it's amazing. Lovely secluded areas in a tropical garden & there is a menu or a buffet. The buffet is about £8 & you choose your meat, fish, prawns or veg in a bowl. Then choose sauce & extras & it is cooked for you & brought to your table. You can go up as many times as you like. Ice cream dessert is also included in the price.

FACILITIES - palm beach has a football table & table tennis in the pool area. It also has a nice inside bar area with comfy chairs, nice lighting & widescreen tv showing football matches. There is also pool table in this area which is free to play. The hotel also has wi fi, but it only works in the bar/reception area. It costs around £2.50 a day, but my son said it was quite fast. There are also 2 computers to use the internet, which costs just less than a pound for 1/2 hour.

OVERALL - this hotel is really lovely & is on a much better beach than the beach at Kololi/Senegambia. The staff are all very friendly & can't do enough for you. Apart from a few of the cleaners who were a bit grumpy. The rooms are basic, but comfortable & the breakfast is not bad. But the main problem with this hotel is the ELECTRICITY supply!!! Gambia is known for its poor electricity supply, with frequent power cuts, which appear to be getting worse. But most other hotels use their generator. Palm beach seem to try & save money by only using there's when it's absolutely necessary. The electric went off most days at about 10/11am & would be off for hours, so no power at all at palm beach. If there was a power cut in the evening the generator was used because it was dark. But during the middle of the night, we went several hours without power, I know because our fan stopped & the room for hot! Surely if people are paying to stay there, then they expect to have electricity & water!! Yes this is Africa, but this is a hotel not a mud hut!!!! So one word of advice...torch!!! This is a much needed accessory at palm beach. I will still stay here again, because I love the beach & the staff.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank molly75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
32 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2014

It's not a hotel where to expect a luxurious room. Yes the place is a little bit worn with age. However, if you want to relax on the beach, which is very close to your room, you will be very happy! Don't forget to order your daily fruit dish from lady Gada. If you like a great view on the mangrove just outside the hotel from the breakfast room, go here and buy your fresh bread of Tapalapa with the locals first. It's a very short walk and very cheap.
If you don't mind making a chat with the friendly Gambians outside the resort, it's a short taxi-ride to the centre of Kololi where all the restaurants are for dinner. You can however also go and have lunch or dinner on one of the beach restaurants. I guess we fell a little bit in love with this Palm Beach resort. Would love to go back!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dutchtraveler100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2014

This hotel consists of a number of separate chalets surrounding a small swimming pool, restaurant and reception area. Considering the hotel rating is three star we thought that the overall experience was very good. It is set in a semi rural area comprising trees an estuary and a rice field meaning that there was a huge variety of wide life to be seen at close quarters including colorful birds, green velvet monkeys which steal your bananas at breakfast time, wild pigs and even cattle. Although there is no television which is fine by me there is a free wifi area for those who want it.
Most impressive were the staff who couldn’t have been more helpful, polite and courteous. The rooms are clean and tidy well furnished and comfortable. The only things that could be improved were the hot water supply which could be erratic at times and the tiled floor in the bath/shower room which gets very slippery and could do with some mats to make it safer. Next door is a very good restaurant…..kunta kinteh restaurant is fantastic and cheap
We went on three excursions. The first was entitled the 4X4 trip which took us to a local village, a school and a museum. The other two were bird watching trips both of which were excellent. The first of these was organized by a friend and had about 8 in the group but the second one we arranged ourselves with the guide on a one on one basis. This was absolutely first class and we went to two different locations with a guide named Aziz who really knows his stuff. He can be contacted on +220 9930876 or afayinkeh@yahoo.co.uk
Overall we thoroughly enjoyed the holiday, quiet, no music, disco’s and rural just what we wanted.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank james j
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
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Palm Beach Hotel
Palm Beach Kotu
Hotel Palm Beach Gambia/Kotu

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