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“the country of smiles”
Review of Sunset Beach Hotel

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Sunset Beach Hotel
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 April 2014

This was my first trip to Gambia and I travelled alone. This is a lovely friendly small complex of bungalows and apartments. I had a comfortable bungalow, spacious and clean.
All facilities were first class, staff were always to hand whether to top up your empty tea cup at breakfast to helping put up the sun umbrella.
Location is ideal for quiet relaxed holiday with just a few local restaurants, small craft market and 2 supermarkets.
Situated directly on the beach so ideal for a stroll and an abundance of birdlife.
You must go and speak to the official local gambia tourist guys near the supermarket.....helpful, friendly and for just £8 I had a guide from 8am - 3pm to walk out from my hotel to do birdwatching thing, local homes,ratio factory and Serrekunda market! It felt an authentic Gambian experience.
I have already decided to go back Next year but for a longer stay.

Room Tip: Bungalows are spacious
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled solo
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3  Thank WalesStar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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73 - 79 of 341 reviews

Reviewed 5 April 2014

My Partner & I have just returned from a 10 days holiday in Kotu, Gambia, staying at the Sunset Beach Hotel. Although the smallest of the 3 neighbouring hotels (Palm Beach & Kombo Beach), we found the Sunset Beach had just as much to offer!! We had a meal in the restaurant at the Kombo 1 night, but I have to say on that particular evening the Service was quite poor. The staff at Sunset were friendly, helpful & provided an excellent service. We ate quite regularly at Sunset & the had no complaints about the food at all. The rooms, although quite basic, were comfortable and cleaned regularly & the hotel even used pesticides weekly to the well kept gardens, to keep the critters at bay - we never encountered any difficulties with bites at all!!
The shower system needed a bit of careful manouvering as it alternated between hot and then cold whilst showering, but wasn't a major problem.
The gardens around the hotel are beautiful, well kept and maintained & eating breakfast outside on the terraced area, overlooking the beach, was an extra special start to each morning.
There was also nightly entertainment on offer from cultural bands, these would have made excellent video's to replay at home, but the lighting was poor around the entertainment area and the video's were very dark in quality.
We will have to also say that we used a local taxi driver - Lamin, who took us around with no hassle at all & made friends with the fruit ladies, boat boys & even some of the Bumsters!!
We would also recommend the Tours that are offered. We did the 'Monster Truck Safari' (£60 each) 'Lazy Days Cruise' (£45 each) & 'Roots' (£60 each). We also made our own way to Lamin Lodge & an unexpected boat trip to Lamin Island (take extra money for this & tips for the x 3 tour guides you are given!!!!!!) This allowed us to see some of the 'real sights' of Gambia, the schools, local villages and how the people live on next to nothing. It has certainly left us with some fantastic experiences we will always remember.
The local beer Julbrew costs around 50 dalasi's (80p roughly in English money) & a pint of draught beer costing 100 dalasi's.
Try not to use the hotel for exchanging money as there is a high % charged + VAT also added. It is cheaper to visit a local bank as the ATM's also charge at each transaction. Mastercard is also NOT accepted in the Gambia - VISA is the recommended choice.
Once you got used to their constant 'befriending' banter, it became norm when out and about.
We would certainly recommend a stay at the Sunset Beach & visiting The Captain's Table Restaurant for anyone going Gambia.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank 696steve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2014

We selected this hotel for a week of sun in March 2014 as the reviews were better than some higher grade hotels. The accommodation was very good. We had a bungalow with a very good size bedroom with adequate en suite. Service from the maids was outstanding with clean bed linen during our week and fresh towels every day. The staff were all friendly and most helpful. The breakfast was excellent with good selection. Food at other times was vet well prepared good quality. Bar prices were very reasonable.
Be aware that in this country credit card is not the norm. There is a charge of 6.8% if you use it to pay for services or to get cash. Best advise is to take cash, you will get above the rate in local exchanges. The currency does have 500d notes but are not at all common so changing £100 you are given a pile of 100d notes!
Locals are always looking to engage you in conversation with intent to get some cash, clothes or toilet goods you may not wish to take back after your holiday. Not all people will be able to cope with this but be very firm and forcefully say 'NO THANKYOU' and walk away and keep going.
I must tell every one about Reggie Night on the beach, what an experience! We were taken by some boys who we struck up a friendship with, they looked after us and we felt very safe and met some pretty colourful characters.
All in all a great experience and we stayed at a brilliant hotel in a perfect location service was first class

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank redken47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2014

My wife and I have just returned from a three week stay [ our second ] at Sunset Beach, 10th March - 31st March.

Firstly, a huge Gold Star to the hotel. We stayed there last year March/April, and enjoyed it so much we returned. I asked the hotel if we could have the room we had last year [ 313 ] as its position suited us perfectly. Superb views over the pool, bar, beach and sea. The hotel made that possible for us.

We were pleased to see the hotel had made several positive improvements since last year. New beds and pillows and new sun beds and sun umbrellas.
The bedrooms were spotless on our arrival, and stayed so throughout our stay. We had new sheets and towels regularly, and were provided with beach towels.

The weather was, as, always, glorious, very hot some days, to just hot on others.

We did not venture far from the hotel, didn't go on any trips, just treated ourselves to three weeks of nothing.We had been to Gambia 5 times before and seen what it has to offer.

We stayed on the beach, with fruit ladies bringing us fresh fruit and Ned our fresh juice.
The waiters from the bar brought us our well earnerd Julbrews. It was hard work, but we managed it.

We did go next door, to Kombo, most evenings around 6pm, both to use their wifi, and my wife to partake of their 2 4 1 cocktails.

We ate mostly in Sunset and found their food excellent, and had a large selection.
Their breakfasts were again superb, taken outside to the terrace and eaten whilst watching Kingfishhers and Vultures swoop over the kreek.

We also tried Ningki Nangka, after reading reviews [ having ate at Sailors in previous years ], but watched with interest the re-building of Ningki, as we past and wondered what it was to become ], and thoroughly enjoyed sitting on their terrace watching the sunset. I dont expect many people will walk past Ningki to go on to Sailors, as i dont see they can top the position of Ningki.

We were more prepared then most of the guests at Sunset to deal with the 'outside", we talked to quite a few to relay our experiences, and how best to deal with the persistent sellers.

Tho' sad to report that a couple of ladies told us of quite a frightening experience they suffered on a walk back to the hotel one evening. They were pestered and groped by a couple of 'drunk/drugged' Gambian men.

I would never advise my daughters to travel to Gambia.

However, our own particular holiday was quite brilliant, with everything we wished for. The flights left/departed on time, all the transfers were done professionally, and we will return to Sunset same time next year, hopefully, to our same room.

Room Tip: If you like to people watch try 313, if you dont like evening entertainment, try one of the bungalow...
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Peter G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2014

Had a lovely break at this place, the weather was very hot , and enjoyed my runs along the beach daily, no problems with bumbsters, just have to be firm.
They do tend to hassle females not with men....
We hired bikes from outside the hotel to see abit of the real gambia, no problems at all.
The only real neg was the music around the pool, the same music on repeat, we had to keep asking them to change it.
The bar food was ok, bit samey all over the region, the wifi a bit hit and miss, but recommend going down the beach to nikinakas, as the provide free sunbeds and wifi and the food is very good, day and night.
The fish curry, excellent, with banana fritters, ice cream, only 250 dal...bargain.
Best meal we had though was on the stip at kora, prawns with shedded coconut was delicious and lovely steak.
was my birthday whilst there and they did my bed lovely.
No mosquitoes whilst we were there...
Did have a sports massage and was very good.
go and enjoy....

Room Tip: bungalow are very nice.
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank SheffieldScotsgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2014

I had a four night stay at Sunset Beach Hotel and overall enjoyed it.
I had elected to have air con which is an additional extra and did feel that the £10 a day charge was excessive but was told before that this was the case.
My room was basic but perfectly clean and the shower did have hot water every day.
I had half board and overall had no problem with the food.
Breakfast had excellent fresh bread everyday, freshly cooked eggs and a small variety of cold meat and cheese, cereals etc - perfectly acceptable.
Evening meal was either a two choice set meal which I had twice and although choice was limited that it would not suit the fussy eater, quality was excellent.
The other two nights consisted of a basic BBQ and a buffet which were uninspiring but acceptable.
Bar prices were reasonable and the happy hour where 2 for 1 was pupular happened between 5 and 6 daily.
I chose the hotel due to its proximity to Kotu Stream for bird watching and it was fantastically located for this.
The staff were as good and helpful as any 5* hotel.
The reason that I have dropped it a star is that they did not provide toiletries bar the tiniest bar of soap in the bathrooms and also, they charge a whopping 5% to settle the bill by credit card.
Regardless of star rating these two things are not acceptable and although small, did take the gilt off the gingerbread.
Sort these minor issues out and you have an excellent value 3* hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank garyswhelan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2014

The hotel was beautiful with gorgeous flowers and trees. Housekeepers placed exotic flowers on our pillows each day. Very clean. Nice selection of food and drink. Staff are very helpful and friendly. Very polite also. Will definitely return.

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
1  Thank TravellingChic23
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Price Range: £43 - £143 (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):
We would like to welcome you to The Sunset Beach Hotel! Situated right on the beachfront, guests can take in the colorful sunrises and experience breathtaking sunsets over the ocean during their stay with us. Both management & staff are keen to ensure superior customer satisfaction to all of our clients and offer everything from classic three-star elegance to modern-chic comfort. The Sunset Beach Hotel - More Than You Bargained For! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sunset Beach Kotu
Hotel Sunset Beach
Sunset Beach Hotel Gambia/Kotu

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