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“Good bargain, few improvements”
Review of Sunset Beach Hotel

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Sunset Beach Hotel
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 June 2013

This hotel was more affordable for my trip than some of the other Atlantic Coast hotels. When I contacted the hotel directly, the rate was much higher than if I booked through a third party site, so I chose the third party site.

The room was inexpensive and clean. Breakfast was good though it never changes (only the meats/potatoes change every other day). Service at the bar was prompt, almost too prompt. Reception was helpful and the manager is eager to resolve any issues you bring to his attention. You can easily change money into GMD at the hotel but they won't change "back" when you are leaving, so plan carefully. There is a taxi stand at the end of the hotel driveway which is very convenient. I recommend finding a taxi driver that you like and feel comfortable with and then negotiating with the driver for a daily rate rather than visit the taxi stand every day. The prices are very high as published on the board. The convenient shop on the property has a lot of basics from snacks and water to hygiene products. The prices at the gift shop are pretty comparable to what you would pay in one of the markets so it is a good place to buy souvenirs if you don't like to bargain at the markets.

There are a few things to beware of. One, everything costs extra. A/C is extra, using the in-room safe is extra and must be used only after having an appointment with the man from the safe company, a standing fan is extra. Two, the wifi isn't dependable. If you need reliable internet, this may not be a good place to stay. The hotel wifi isn't PW protected and maybe this is why it gets bogged down. Three, there are bumsters on the beach and some inside the hotel because tourists bring them inside. That is frustrating at times because your room might be next to some tourists with questionable travel needs, or you may not be able to enjoy the beach at all without a handful (or more) men approaching you. This is probably an issue on all of the beaches near hotels.

Room Tip: Choose a room by reception or the bar if you want to try to pick up wifi in your room.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled on business
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7  Thank Etoile983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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129 - 135 of 378 reviews

Reviewed 12 June 2013

We stayed for a week recently in one of the hotel type rooms. The rooms are clean and the cleaners leave flowers on your bed every day which is lovely. The pool is small (and was closed when we were there). Breakfast is pretty standard and the restaurant food ok.
Be careful with the bar staff as we had one guy who tried to con us when we saw him outside of the hotel. But most of the staff are pretty friendly.
Walk left out of the hotel driveway and you will find a few beachfront bars and restaurants which are good and away from the hassle.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank 212Bex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2013

We have just returned from a two week holiday to The Gambia, staying at The Sunset Beach, in Kotu. [12th April ]

We had superb journey with Thomas cook, everything was on time, the hotel was superb, our room [313] had great view across the pool and onto the beach and sea.
The room was cleaned every day, the food in the restaurant was good, this was our fourth holiday in Gambia, so this holiday, we just lay by the pool, doing nothing at all.

We went B & B, and the breakfast was great, we had eggs cooked exactly as we wanted, lots of fresh fruit, as much toast, and cereal as we wanted.
We had porridge everyday, which tho' a bit watery, still tasted good.

From the breakfast terrace, we watched Kingfishers,Herons, huge vultures, Kites and Crows.
No need to go further away to see the natural wildlife.

We had a small corner at the back of the hotel, where we spent our days, as soon as we lay down, we were supplied with mattresses and parasol, all free of charge.

One downside,{ which I accept, is probably just us ], we didn't like the music played during the day.
We like to read and listen to our own music on our ipods, and of course listen and watch the birds, not something you can do when their birdsong is drowned out by loud music.

Right outside is Kotu creek, which filled up regularly with the tide, it was great sport to watch the boat men ferrying people across, which on occasions, was quite rough tides.
We made friends with Essa, one of the fruit sellers, who brought the fresh fruit to us.

All the staff were friendly and helpful, one coming to us to ask for aspirin, we liked them all

We ate in Sailors twice and had excellent meals, the other times, we just ate in the restaurant.

The wifi connection was very slow witted, and we did go next door to Kombo to use their internet connection, in order to check emails etc.

I found it impossible to send any pictures using Sunset's internet. [ no big deal ].

I would thoroughly reccomend Sunset, and indeed, we are planning a return next year

Room Tip: try to get room on the second floor 310 - 315 and have a view to die for
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Peter G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2013

We stayed here for two weeks recently, and really enjoyed the hotel. We stayed in one of the bungalow rooms C10, the room was fairly large, it was not luxurious but it was clean and more than adequate for us, the shower room was ok, looking a bit tired but again no problem. The windows have mossie screens so you can leave the windows open to keep the room cool at night, it does have aircon but you have to pay for it.
Breakfast was good with eggs cooked to order and all the usual buffet breakfast items available, we ate in the restaurant a couple of times and the food is ok, we mostly ate outside the hotel and found that most places we used were cheaper and of higher quality, but it was still a decent place to eat.
There was nightly entertainment, and activities through the day if you wanted to participate, and the hotel is right on the beach for a lazy walk.
Please use the Fruit ladies and Juice boys on the beach if you go, they may bombard you at first but they are only trying to make a living and the fruit was superb.
All in all a very nice hotel with lovely gardens and a great location, we enjoyed it and would use again if we went back to the gambia.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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5  Thank lostandfound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2013

We found Sunset Beach to be a great base to chill out and relax in Kotu.As previous comments suggest, the staff honestly cannot do enough for you. Stayed B&B the breakfast is delightful and plenty of toast, coffee & fruit in abundance with fresh pancakes & omelettes cooked to order. From your room you can just about fall out of bed onto the beach or to the bar which ever you fancy!
The grounds of the hotel were well looked after by a team of gardeners. Our room was good, nicely cleaned every day with towels replaced every other

Eat at several restaurants in Kotu, all were pretty decent with Captains Table and Tandoor Indian being the best. The local lager Julbrew or Julbrew export is around £1 a bottle and worth every penny, Export in particular is much better than most UK lager!

The Gambian people in general are very pleasant and warming, as far as hassle is concerned I can honestly say I've had far more in places like Egypt, Goa, Kerala than we ever experienced here. Everyone wants to strike up a friendly conversation with you with the intention of selling something or being your guide, but a respectful no thank you will suffice and good day sir usually follows. I did read someone saying that the Kotu/Kololi area is how Goa used to be several years ago and having experienced both places I see many similarities and judge this to be a fair reflection.

Some may see the Hotel as a little tired in places but you have to remember that this is Africa and this hotel lives up to it's 3 star rating.If your after a chilled out, excellent value holiday in a friendly location this could be the place for you.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank livestronger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2013

This was my husband and I's first trip to Gambia and to Sunset Beach Hotel and went with mixed emotions and came back wanting to go back again. The hotel is in a fabulous location on the beach, next to the river and to sit and eat breakfast enjoying this view is very special. The rooms were adequate and the beautiful gardens were spectacular . What made it so special were the staff, who all went out of their way to make sure you were having a good holiday , from Ida our wonderful cleaner who left flowers and petals on the bed each day, to Harrison and all the gardeners, Toni and all reception staff who were fantastic and all the waiters and porters and staff on the beach. The beach was fabulous and recommend juice from Santa Claus(top man) and Ned. Best beach bars were Dominoes and Sailor( turn right) , Kunte Kinte was good too (left) . Bought some beautiful baskets on the beach from Mohammed the basket man and really enjoyed watching the boys from the nearby stables riding their beautiful horses on the beach. The sea s a little dangerous at times so be careful and heed the colour of the flags - blue is good, red is not. Busters were not a problem and I was genuinely knocked out at how friendly the Gambians were. Restaurant wise, in Kotu we loved Captains Table and the Indian Restaurant, Ali Babas was not bad either. Most nights we took a shrt taxi ride into Senegambia where there are lots of restaurants and heaps of atmosphere. In particular would recommend African Queen for African food and atmosphere, Green Mamba in lovely gardens, Scala for beautiful Italian food and lovely boss lady, Jojos for fab steak and Paradiso for top pizzas. Was never bitten by anything or ill throughout holiday but though the days are very hot and sunny, the evenings are very breezy and cool/cold and always take a cardigan or wrap out with you as I promise you will wear it. Minor issues - I think trips are quite dear for what they are and the basic hotel rooms are not provided with a kettle but apart from that we had the best holiday, mainly due to the staff at hotel and people of Gambia

Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
3  Thank fish8699
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2013

This was our 6th visit to the Gambia and every time we have stayed at Sunset Beach. From the minute you step into Reception it is like being amongst friends, Anthony, Musa, and Binta remembered us from previous trips, Arisa the gardener put fresh flowers outside our room every few days, the room was very clean and tidy and the beds and towels were changed regularly. The restaurant/bar staff were very attentive and welcoming (Sulayman, Paul, Lamin and Cecilia). If you want to go on a trip check out Ousman "Ferryman" on the beach just outside the hotel, his knowledge is amazing and he will devise a trip especially for you and he is cheaper than the tour operators. We had fresh fruit and juice almost every day from the guys on the beach, it is best to use the same ones every time and Aladin (Juice Seller) and Isha (Fruit seller)were the ones we used and they knew what juice and fruit we both liked without having to ask!!! The restaurants around the hotel are good and vary in price (Boss Lady, Captains Table), It is also worth a short taxi ride to the Clay Oven in Fajara for one of the best indian meals ever. Everyone at Sunset Beach is really friendly and helpful. We are going back next year.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Dawn D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sunset Beach Hotel

Address: Kotu Stream Road, Kotu, Gambia
Region: Gambia > Banjul Division > Kotu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Price Range: £45 - £150 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sunset Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 97
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sunset Beach Hotel is set in the heart of the Gambia’s tourism district and positioned along the sandy beach of Kotu! The entire team strives to ensure superior customer satisfaction to all of our clients surrounded by everything from classic three-star elegance to modern-chic comfort. We have 97 rooms in total (81 standard and 16 apartments) that are set within our beautiful gardens. All rooms are fully air-conditioned, fitted with cable TV, mini fridges, telephones and laptop size safes. Take a walk down our very own sunset boulevard, where a variety of tropical plants and flowers will lead you past the rooms and on to our newly renovated and spacious sunset restaurant and lounge overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with breathtaking sunsets. Sipping on a cocktail tiptoeing in tanning pool or hanging over the infinity pool daydreaming away, this is More Than You Bargained for! NOTE: From 1st of November 2017 to the 30th of April 2018, Sunset Beach Hotel is Fully All Inclusive. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunset Beach Kotu
Hotel Sunset Beach
Sunset Beach Hotel Gambia/Kotu

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