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Kombo Beach Hotel
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Reviews (1,158)
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All reviewskombo beachgambia experiencepremium roomcaptains tableevening buffetfruit ladiestennis courtsafrican dancersboss ladyhalf boardpoor countrytaxi driverroom boyhalf the pricesenegambia striplocal restaurantsegg station
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Reviewed 16 November 2011

Check in good, rooms spacious but need updating, pool & beach fabulous, big downside is poor breakfast & terrible customer service. Such a shame when this is a beautiful country & other establishments thrive on excellent service.

Room Tip: ground floor with terrace excellent except not next to the loud cleaners office, noisy from 8am, pay for the better room to get kettle, safe & air-con
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank AMANDA W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2011

Was somewhat apprehensive booking my trip to Gambia and had trawled through several reviews before deciding on Kombo Beach.

Upon arrival was very pleased with my room which had a TV, Fridge, a seaview and was most importantly clean.

Whilst the hotel is not in a busy area, this is a blessing as it would have been a nightmare being based within the vicinity of the Senegambia strip. There are plenty of green taxis outside, however if you take a walk to the main road (approx 10 mins) you are able to use the yellow and green ones for a fraction of the price and without issues, inspite of what some of the shady reps ie Haddy from Thomas Cook will tell you.

The hotel is based by the sea and has a pool with an area for children along with a play area with slides etc Having stayed during the begining of the season, the external gym had not been completed. Infact to be fair, I did not actually see anyone working on it throughout the week, however there was an exercise bike along with a rowing machine and free weights.

The breakfast buffet was adequate with a good selection of food, however the issues regarding the slow replenishment of food was promptly addressed after speaking directly with the GM.

Although I was on B&B I did eat a few times in the evening at the hotel and was not too impressed with the buffet, however it appears that my view was outnumbered by other guests that I had met who were very happy with what was on offer.

Overall I was very pleased with the hotel where my expectations were exceeded especially after reading some of the past reviews. Would definitely recommend to families, couples, families and like myself a single traveller

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the Frangipani or Hibiscus and ending with numbers from 360/460 onwards for a seaview
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled solo
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4  Thank smcinto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2011

We chose the Kombo beach because it looked like a reasonable hotel at a very reasonable price, we weren’t disappointed having previously stayed in various 2* in The Gambia, we didn’t expect that much from a 3* however we were pleasantly surprised. We had booked a premium room mainly because it had a terrace. The room was as stated in the brochure and to be honest as long as we have clean sheets and towels, the rest we can cope with. I don’t know how many times I have had to set to and clean rooms on our past visits to other hotels, this one was clean and comfortable despite furnishing looked torn and tired. For us it was adequate just a place to sleep and a terrace to relax in the evening.

We always arrange our own taxi from the airport as we find it a pain to stop at all the hotels along the way it also makes hotel check in easier as most of the time we arrive at our hotel before the tour operators coach so it well worth the £10 cost. A nice touch was that just outside the hotel lobby all room keys were all laid out on a table with a envelope with our name on, I don’t know whether this is the norm for this hotel but it was great to just grab our keys and find our room and to just get on with our holiday.

We were B&B and despite what other people report breakfast was plentiful and of a reasonable standard but then as said above we have stayed in other lesser stars where breakfast was either inedible or just non existent. I cannot comment on the restaurant for other dining as we only ate in the hotel at breakfast there.

Our room boy was excellent and like most Gambians he always found time to chat in amongst doing his daily chores. The gardeners were a lively bunch often keeping us entertained with their antics and that about sums up the staff that we got involved with.

Outside the front gates, be prepared to be approached. We have passed by this area on numerous visits and this visit was the end of the season. We knew that everyone wanted the last crumbs of what business was left, so it was no surprise to us that as soon as you go outside the front gates you were approached by taxi’s, guides, bumsters (who were now trying their luck outside the hotel instead of the beach) street vendors, market traders, bird watching guides, and the rest!! yep we got the whole nine yards. We are used to it now but it is daunting to a new comer as it doesn’t matter whether you turn left or right you cannot avoid being approached, they ask the same questions and you find yourself repeating the same answers day after day. That’s the way is it in The Gambia and like it or not, that’s the way they do business.

The back entrance onto the beach, think you can sneak out the back do you? Well there is a little private beach but venture further and meet the lovely fruit ladies. I’ll let you into a secret, on your first morning at breakfast you will see the fruit ladies, they will wave and before and you know it they will have chosen their tourist and yes that will be you!! Give them some business you can barter with them their prices are not set in stone, they appreciate a little business.

Overall the area is nice but, to some it may be a bit quiet, we found it expensive in comparison to say the strip area, but the strip is a bit too touristy at times for us anyway, we often wonder on the back streets and find a nice little Gambian bar if it looks clean we will eat the dish of the day, “cheap as chips” as they say!!! The Gambia is changing fast as tourism is evolving and those that know it from yesteryear will tell you that!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Breezywestyorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2011

I have stayed at the Kombo Beach for 4 consecutive years, travelling each time with The Gambia Experience and my time spent gets better each time.
The staff are welcoming, friendly and genuinely happy in their employment - each with a fascinating story to tell.
The pool provides a relaxing environment during the day - until 'Water Polo Time' which is always entertaining to watch, if a little strenuous to participate!
The food is generally good - it isn't too varied though so I would reccommend staying on a Bed and Breakfast basis rather than half board, so you can venture outside of the hotel to experience the many restaurants in the surrounding area. A taxi ride will cost you next to nothing and, after dropping you at your destination, the driver will be collect again you at a time agreed. Do agree a price before jumping in the taxi though.
Most evenings, there is an entertainmet act - usually African Dancers who are excellent. If you like an early night though, request block 4 which is a little walk from the pool - evening entertainment can be a little loud!
The Kombo may be a little tired but each year they close over our Summer to refurbish certain room types. If things are a little run down (and I don't believe they are) the positive attitude of the staff makes these minor faults easy to forgive.
I honestly wouldn't stay anywhere else in the Gambia and intend to return year after year until I'm old and grey.

Room Tip: Request a high floor - some rooms have a sea view.
  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with friends
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2  Thank TillymintG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2011

I'm so glad we chose The Gambia for our first trip to Africa - it was amazing!

Kombo Beach is lovely. Rooms are a good size, well provisioned and cleaned everyday by cheerful, helpful staff. The pool was spotless, and there are plenty of sunbeds around it. that being said, we spent everyday on the beach! The beach was wide, white, beautiful. And the is sea is so warm, it's like a bath! The beach is classed as private, but what it actually means is that they have a section of the public beach sectioned off for hotel use, with a security guard. The guard was effectively there to keep the local sellers at a distance.

Food was good, and a decent choice. We weren't on HB, but you could order the buffet option for your evening meal, and this was certainly the cheaper option if you're on a budget. The buffet had different things in it each night, and a nice mix of hot and cold food. Breakfast were excellent, plentiful, varied and I loved the abundance of fresh fruit.

The hotel puts on group activities during the day, so you can do aquaerobics, play water polo or beach volley ball. And there was entertainment each night, usually a local band or dance group.

Don't be afraid to leave the resort. It's a safe place to walk around, and the local markets and restaurants are well worth a visit. You do need to be aware that as soon as you appear however, the locals will come over to see you! A word about the locals - they are polite and very friendly (and the reason why Gambia is called the Smiling Coast). They are also intently interested in visitors to their country, and their attention can be a little daunting for us reserved Brits. But a smile, a handshake (everyone shakes hands in Gambia - get used to it! If you don't like it, just take antibacterial gel with you), and if necessary, a firm but friendly 'no' to any offer of goods, will get you a long way. There are government sponsored tour guides outside most hotels. They are there to show you around, and stop the locals pestering you too much. We went out for the day with one, and went on a fascinating walking tour through some of the local villages and to the Crocodile pool.

We also took a couple of day trips. The River Cruise was a superb relaxing day. Small river boat just for our hotel guests, drink on arrival, lunch, fishing and a swim in the river in the afternoon. Known to the locals as the booze cruise, for the amount of drinks you get plied with, although we took it easy due to the heat. Absolutely glorious! The other day trip was in one of the big 4x4 mini buses. Visited a school, the local hospital and a bee-keeping outfit. The hospital in particular was ... something else. They have one qualified doctor/nurse who is on call 24/7 and everyone else is volunteers, it is not funded by the government, but kept open by visitor contributions. The day was interesting, thought provoking, and an insight into life in the Gambia.

Overall, an excellent holiday...and it won't be the last time we go to the Smiling Coast. We'll be back again!

Room Tip: If you're not into the evening entertainment and are early to bed / early risers, then avoid the pool side blocks, as the noise carries in the evenings.
  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank JennyDOX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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