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“fireworks”
Review of Kombo Beach Hotel

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Kombo Beach Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“fireworks”
Reviewed 12 January 2012

yes we had the fireworks and a fire but this is the best hotel we have stayed in and we have tried nearly all of them would we go back certainly! just booked for april and december this year.The staff are fantastic the food was good and the beach is so clean,a word of advice the mossies are a pain tried everything from garlic tablets to spray until a holiday maker gave me some so simple by avon worked a treat

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
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6 Thank patsyfly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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crawley down
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2012

I would definitely go back to this hotel. Great location right on the beach, breakfast was good plenty of choice. We didn't book any trips with Thomas Cook went just up the road and book with the local tourist office had a guide and a driver for the day who was lovely and looked after us all week. Went with a girl friend ,we did get pestered by the locals but they are very friendly and only trying to earn a living from selling trips or taxi service. We stayed in block 2 was shown block 4 which needed updating .
Looking to go back next year

Room Tip: Go for block 1 or 2
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
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2 Thank marshallCrawleyDown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2012

Hi there, we stayed at the Kombo beach from the 6th December 2011 to the 13th Dec 2011.
Firstly I would like to say, we flew with Thomas Cook, meals on flight ok, space on flight rubbish as always, true sometimes you get lovely padded leather but they are the worst, as they give no room between seats, and then when some clever chap decides to act on advise from the captain and sit back to enjoy the flight, most the time the passenger behind them end up chewing the seat in front. (give a little thought before you do it).
Ok as we arrived at the hotel we had been changed to due to terrible reviews of the hotel we originally booked, we found that Thomas Cook had forgotten to let the hotel know so we were greeted with sorry we have no information and NO room, after 9 hours of travel not the best start to be sure.
After I spoke direct to Thomas Cook and they rang the office in England to confirm the Hotel Kombo were authorized to start helping us, this is were things got much better.
Kombo beach suddenly after having no room at the Inn for the December weary travellers found not one but two empty rooms.
We had booked a superior room, we were offered either a standard room in the first block with no air con no fridge, but a room with a view of the pool, which had loud music on every night or a wait for it...
Only a couple of mins walk away a room in the last block, it turned out to be a studio apartment, fridge, air con, cooker microwave, sink and the biggest most comfy bed I can say I have ever slept on, which we took of course...
The breakfast I think and was great, it caters for most tastes, with eggs pancakes omelettes etc cooked to order, cereal if you want it, sausage beans, cake and fruit, why people moan about breakfast there I do not know, I thought it was great, with free flowing good coffee or tea if preferred, the juices could be better as there is an abundance of fruit everywhere in Gambia but that is it.
The restaurant prices for midday or evening meal are a little high and not great quality or value, far better to eat at the Boss Lady across the road, but that is the only decent restaurant on the strip we found.
I think a lot of things made this week special for me, not only the fact of sharing my first Gambian experience with the woman of my dreams, but also the staff at the hotel are brilliant apart from the waitress that never smiles,
The Hotel bent over backwards to help us in our first hour of need, the beach right outside the hotel is amazing, and security staff monitor it all the time so you dont get hassled, plenty of sun beds around the pool and on the beach too, the beach is like talc between your toes, the sun is dam hot and fantastic, lots of shade if you need it, and if your brave enough go to the Monkey Park, you dont need to walk around it, most of the Monkeys stay close to the entrance.
All in all, thanks to the Kombo beach my beautiful partner and the Gambia itself I have probably on of the best holidays ever, a very big thanks to ALL who made it so
Dont Thomas cook it just book it. lol you dont get anything better by using them.

Room Tip: All the rooms are of good quality as far as I know, but air-con is a must really as it gets so very...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank MarkKarenAlways
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 January 2012

Just returned from New Year (27/12 - 3.1.12) . x2 Adults , x1 boy (11) . Had a fantastic time despite the fire on N/Y eve.
The Hotel is fine, very clean with rooms cleaned every day. Yes as mentioned in other posts decor is tired in places but more that adequate and the hotel is on a rolling programme of refurb.
Location superb with direct acess to beach , which is far better than those further south. Sun beds and parasol with plenty to go around- did'nt have to play the towel on bed routine at silly o'clock in the morning.

Food - we stayed B&B - exceeeded expectation, plenty to eat, fresh and good quality. Eggs any way you want every day, bacon / sausages on alternitive days + fruit cereals etc . We would be seated by 8 - 8.30 and never had any issues with queing.

In the evening ate a 'snack' a couple of times in the hotel , thought expensive when compared to Uk , but was ok. Eating out the best thing to do - Boss Lady, VJ etc all near by and fine.
Our best find was Baracuda located in the town of Kotu (through the arch across the road on left) . Super quality (local & western) and mega cheap we ate inc drinks for about £10 total. Walk takes about 20 mins but worth it - you may need some help finding but again worth the trouble/tip.

The beach great , clean sand, sea cloudy from the sand but good warm temp. Some hassle from the 'sellers' - juice ladies most vocal. We made aquantance with a local lad - Omar (aka the body shop / Tesco - 'office' in the juice bars between Kombo and Sunset ). Ask for him if you want any unbiased advise - seemed a genuine guy trying to make a living selling what ever, certainly did'nt 'sting us'.

Re the hassle from locals - yes it is there but not an issue at all, indeed after a couple of days it all becomes quite normal - even fun as you start to get into Gambian mode ! Just be confident say no and that will be that but by all means talk to them.

A little about the fire - we were about 6' away when it went up at 1min past 12 . So so quick and we then spent most of the night on the beach watching.
However come the morning breakfast was as normal and the mess from the night before tidied up. The employees of the hotel deserve a massive thanks for their efforts it was truly supreme. Not forgetting all the 'local' lads that also helped get water from the sea etc.

Get out and about especially the market in senagambia and fishing village (late afternoon) - very memorable for many reasons. For best experience organise your self with local 'taxi' and driver to act as guide.

Take Sterling and change over there about 46 D - £1
Take some kids clothes / football shirts etc - they welcome them and if planning to go out and about sweets.

So stay again ? you bet. Embrace Gambia and its people and you will not go wrong.

Room Tip: Block 1 is near the entertainment area so if after an early night may not be best location.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank T&NBristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bedale, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
183 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2012

This was an amazing holiday and an amazing experience. We arrived late on the 23rd after a flight delay and when we arrived the organisation was great. cases take to our rooms and they kept keckos open late so we could all eat when we arrived, Stayed in room 108, a ground floor premium room. For a premium room it did look a little tired but was very clean and everything worked! I emailed the hotel before we left and asked if they may be able to put a christmas tree in the room, when we arrived there was a 4 ft tree fully decorated so can not complain at that service! Our room was ground floor which i thought was much better for sunbathing and relaxing through the day as there was lots of room and some nice loungers to relaz on looking over the gardens which are very well kept.
Breakfast was great, a wide range to pick from, cereals, pancakes, toast. cooked breakfast and more. choice to eat inside or on the beach front which was great.
The hotel itself has good facilities and everything is kept clean. The only bad pint is that the tiles in the pool were quite sharp and 3 people including my daughter cut their feet. i complained about this and i heard them talking about re-tiling and later that day saw them speaking to someone about it so i do think this will be sorted very soon as they took the complaint seriously.
All the staff were amazing and very helpfull, the entertainment guys did exactly that and the range of daily activities was good and thet got everyone involved. the pool guys were always there to get you a sun lounger or drinks/snacks by the pool, or anything you need at all really!
The beach is amazing, the hotel has its own section so you get no hassle there. when you first arrive and walk around or up the beach you get mobbed by people trying to sell you stuff, dont let it put you off as after a day or 2 they get the message as long as you are firm with them. dont even engage in chat, just be polite and say no thanks but firmly, if you tell them your name and how long you are staying etc they wont forget and hound you for your whole holiday as if they are your best freind! saying No firmly from the outset gets the message across so you can enjoy your holiday! You get a lot less hassle walking nearer to the sea as a lot dont walk down there and even though the fruit ladies look like they are going to follow you for miles they soon get bored and dont go far from their stalls. you can walk on the beach in either direction for miles stopping at bars on the way. its great.
You get pressured by the tour company to go on lots of trips with them. While i am sure these are great do not do them as you can get a local tour guide to do it half the price. if you want to do a tour then Arch Tours have great Reviews or a lot of people on the Forum know honest decent people who can take you anywhere for less than half the price and your not in a big group and can do things in your own time.
The food in all restaurants is nice but i would not reccomend going half board. the Half board Buffet is nice but after a few nights gets a bit boring and theres so many other places to go and eat for excellent value.
There were a few power cuts at the hotel which got annoying but they never lasted more than 30 seconds before they got sorted out.
The Christmas Eve Gala Dinner was great, the effort that goes in is incredible. The buffet and food on offer for these Gala dinenrs are great and entertainment is good as well.
Just along from Kombo beach is a craft market, be prepared to haggle and some say meet halfway on the price but we just said what we wanted to pay and when they said no way we said ok thanks we will look elsewhere and they hated that so always agreed the prices we wanted to pay. you can get some very good bargains.
There is Taxis right outside the hotel but they are very expensive, you can walk up the road and get them half the price or get a local to drive for even lower.
We got a local to take us to the crocodile park and monkey park both great places, went to a school again which was amazing and our daughter rode the horses on the beach which was great.
The staff were so so welcoming and friendly and on my daughters 8th birthday brought out a cake and all sang for her, it is the people that make this hotel and the gambia an amazing place.
On new year the Gala dinner was amazing and so much hard work went it, the food and entertainment was fantastic. unfortunatly a firework hit the roof causing a huge fire. I can not explain how well this was dealt with, the bravery of the staff was amazing, climbin on the roofs to put the fire out. while the Fire was bad the Hotel dealt with it amazingly and worked through the clock fixing it up. we left 3 days later and the work they had done was amazing. this was a horrible thing to happen but would not stop me going back.

Overall this was an amazing holiday and i look forward to going back.

Room Tip: Choose Beach facing rooms if you want sun in the afternoon, Ground floor rooms have more outside spa...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Laura462230
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2012

Just returned from our second visit to Kombo Beach and for the second year running we have had a wonderful time. This is a great hotel for families as there are plenty of activities to keep the kids busy. My 14 year old son loves it here , he had an amazing time with the entertainment team especially Asan and Johnson. The staff are on the whole friendly however this year we found the staff in ghekos extremely ignorant !
We decided to just go b and b this time and are so glad we did as there are so many nice places to eat and at a fraction of the price you pay at the hotel. Ali Babas just around the corner do the best pizzas ! Also try JDS just a few minute walk along the road .The breakfast in the hotel is ok , there is a good choice the only thing we found was how long we had to wait for eggs and waffles especially if we went for breakfast after 9.
Outside the hotel you do get hassled by the bumsters but a polite no thank you and they will leave you alone, most of them are really friendly and are just trying to make a living ! We found the fruit ladies the most annoying as they are a bit too persistent , however the fruit is good so do try some.Also have a fruit juice as they are really good, we used to get ours from Kevin Costner !
At the welcome meeting the Thomas Cook reps will tell you to go on their trips and not to go with the locals, IGNORE THEM !!!!!!!! We wanted to do a trip to Kuntah Kinteh island and with them it was going to cost £186 for the 3 of us, we went with a young lad we met on the beach called Pa Sano and it not only cost us less than half of that we had the most amazing experience ever . His knowledge of his country is amazing and i cant recommend him highly enough. We spent a lot of time with Pa and even went to meet his family in his village where his mum cooked us an amazing meal, we took some rice and oil for the family which cost us about £25 but will last them nearly 3 weeks and they were so grateful!!!! It was hard saying goodbye to him and we cant wait to see him on our return at xmas. My sister in law is at kombo at the moment and Pa has taken them on many trips and they have been really impressed with him too. We were devastated to hear about the fire on new years eve and just thankful that nobody was hurt.
The rooms are basic but it is a third world country and with all that wonderful sunshine how much time do you spend in the room ???? The staff work so hard maintaining and cleaning around the complex especially the gardeners but they will always find time to climb the trees and prepare you a coconut !
We will be returning to Kombo for xmas and new year 2012 and we cant wait !!!!!!

Room Tip: a suite is more spacious if more than 2 people are sharing a room
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank caroline g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham
Level Contributor
21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2011

We were a party of 6 men on a weeks birdwatching trip (13.12 - 20.12.11) for the first time to the Gambia. We flew by Thomas Cook on a B&B basis.
Airport -chaos!! It became rapidly apparent that a number of locals were travelling home for Xmas, and as such had totally ignored the bagage allowance. We arrived 2hrs early at B'ham airport spending nearly 1h 30m in the checkin queue, watching the locals unpack and repack their luggage several times. To a lesser degree we went through the same problems on the return journey.

Tip - arrive at least 3hrs before your flight when flying in December!!!

BEACH - BE VERY CAREFUL OF THE SEA DONT BE TEMPTED BY THE LARGE WAVES. I HAD TO RESUCE MY TEENAGE SON WHO IS A STRONG SWIMMER. THIS BEACH HAS AT TIMES VERY DANGEROUS UNDER CURRENTS. USE THE BODY BOARDS WITH STRAPS.

Hotel - Location - A beach front hotel within a small village type resort. It looked the best in Kotu.
Rooms were basic but adequate, of similar size to Hotel rooms in an average spanish hotel. Our twin room in block 4 was set back away from the main entertainment centre of the Hotel, which proved beneficial. We had a small fridge (at no extra charge), air con, and a safe (which i believe was extra). Rooms were clean, but perhaps in need of updating, although it did appear that they were in the process of doing this on other blocks.

Pool - small, and chilly when you first get in.

Plenty of varied activities. Free table tennis (x2 tables), and table football. Dartboard in the 'Liv' bar where you can watchyour Premier League games.

Food - Breakfast - Adequate. 2/3 varieties of fruit, and cereals. Pancakes, waffles and omelettes freshly made. Various breads and fruit juice. Given this is mainly a muslim country I was pleseantly surprised to be offered crispy bacon every other morning.

We only ate in on the evening the first night. Food was very good and there seemed to be plenty of variety in the three restaurants, with the option of a fixed price buffet meal also.

Tip - Waffles dont seem to be available before 8.00am.

Staff were very pleasant and helpful, and responded immediately to change one of our rooms.

Weather - 12hrs of sun from 7am-7pm. Nice and cool in the morning getting upto 30ish then cools about 5ish.

Overall we were very happy with the Hotel and wouldnt hesitate to return

Food outside - JD's & Captains Table seemed nice (a place you'd take your other half for a nice meal) but were more pricey than others like Boss Lady (opposite the main entrance). We ate regularly at Dominoes (on the beach to the right of the hotel) and Barracuda's (which is a 15/20min walk back to the main road, which you need to cross very carefully and down the first dusty dark alleyway, where it is on the left), which were both reasonably priced tasty food with cheap beer (Julbrew).

Tip - Before you order make sure you emphasise you want your food quickly otherwise you might not go back. We had typical waits of upto 1hr for our food, even when there was only two or three others waiting for food. This was our main gripe!!!

Outside sellers - dont worry about these, its worse in Eygpt. Just be firm and say you dont want what they are selling. Dont make excuses saying 'you'll come back later' they will remember you!!

Birdwatching was fantastic (we had 209 species), for which at times you do need a guide if travelling to other areas. This hotel is Perfect if you are a birdwatcher, they even have a bird feeding station in the garden. I would strongly recommend Ebrima Barry his website is www.gambia-birdwatching-tour.com. He took us on three trips and two free local trips. If you want anymore info on birdwatching feel free to email me your questions.

Room Tip: Ask for block 3 or 4 if you want a quieter position.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank X4brummies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kombo Beach Hotel

Property: Kombo Beach Hotel
Address: PO Box 694, Kotu, Gambia
Region: Gambia > Banjul Division > Kotu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Kombo Beach Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 258
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on the beautiful wide sandy beach of Kotu is Kombo Beach Hotel, a popular and lively hotel with a desirable range of facilities, excellent cuisine, entertainment and true Gambian hospitality. Offering 5 different room types: standard, superior, premium, studio and suites, all with excellent amenities which makes this hotel also the perfect choice for the business traveler. During 2011 and 2012 the standard & premium rooms, studios and suites were refurbished. With a choice of facilities like pool with separate children's pool, gym, internet cafe, mini market, massage & beauty saloon, laundry service, daytime and evening entertainment, clinic, lush tropical gardens, beach front setting and friendly staff this is an ideal hotel for either a relaxing or an active holiday. On site there are 3 restaurants and 4 bars. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Kombo Beach
Kombo Beach Banjul
Kombo Beach Hotel Gambia/Kotu

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