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“Wonderful as usual”
Review of Kombo Beach Hotel

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Kombo Beach Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Certificate of Excellence
Dudley
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Wonderful as usual”
Reviewed 21 November 2013

My husband & I returned from Kombo beach 2 days ago & we're already missing our old friends & the new ones we've made on this visit. It's our 4th visit to The Gambia & our 3rd to Kombo. We had initially booked for The Dunes as we fancied somewhere smaller for a change but it is closed at the moment. Unfortunately our treatment from Thomas Cook was appalling & took an awful lot of emails & lengthy waits on the telephone to arrange a room at Kombo as TC had not notified us of the change of accommodation & had taken it upon themselves to choose somewhere else without ANY prior contact. By the time we got everything sorted all of the suites were taken which is what we usually book but did get a superior room which I would advise. But Thomas Cook were quite insistent initially that we had to pay an upgrade, I don't think so! It's the staff that make Kombo such a lovely place to return to & lovely to see local people who have long term employment & also a group of trainees beginning their placements. The hotel is impeccably clean although as frequently mentioned it does need the rooms sprucing up but saying that we'd jump at the chance to return tomorrow. We only visit on a B&B basis & there is a nice choice of breakfast products & even if you attend breakfast quite late as we do, always plenty on offer. There are several places to eat close by but we're biased & spend much of our time at Dominos just along the beach as we simply love it & the people there. Bax who owns/runs it keeps a very tight reign on his staff, Moses the chef is a lovely guy & his benechin, domada & fresh fish dishes are to die for. The waiting staff are all polite & when there's music playing at night great to have a dance with, as bad a mover as I am! We last visited The Gambia 2 years ago, yet we met British & Dutch people who were there the last time which makes it even more special. Almost like "family" You do hear the moaners & groaners making extremely rude & derogatory comments about the place & the people; our advice...do your travel homework better, go back to Benididorm & get your heads out of your bottoms, THIS IS WEST AFRICA! People need to get out and about when you're there & see the areas beyond the hotel and please, please, please support the local people & communities & buy their products, eat their fruit, drink their juices, buy their jewelry & carvings & have some traditional clothes hand made for you as we have done this time. Take a risk, let go of your hard earned cash, trust the people & allow them to make an experience you'll never forget. A seamstress I met on the beach 3 years ago, Ayisha, saw me this time & I decided to have a dress & tablecloth made. I visited her shop, got measured, picked my materials & gave her my money up front, something I'd never do at home. 2 days later she visited the hotel bang on time & delivered the most beautiful outfit that fits perfectly & shirt my husband had made. We visited a school we found the last time in Serre Kunda to take educational texts etc out there, another big thankyou to Thomas Cook for insisting upon charging us for the extra baggage despite my emailing copies of emails with the school's headteacher proving what the extra weight was for. It's so heartening that big companies care so much about people who have literally nothing. Sarcastsic...yes. Disappointed, absolutely. They simply lied to me by saying there was no capacity in the hold but if I paid extra it could be accommodated, I don't quite understand the correlation myself & they couldn't explain it either.
We will continue to travel to The Gambia & Kombo Beach but will certainly be looking at booking independently away from Thomas Cook but as we've found before, easier said than done.

Room Tip: Don't book standard room.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank blackcountrylass
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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kent
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2013

Just returned from The Gambia after a weeks relaxing holiday. We have been to Gambia 7 times now and love it but the hotel we usually stay in was closed for refurbishment so we tried Kombo beach instead. Nice hotel but much prefer the smaller hotel The Dunes if I'm honest. We booked a suite as the facilities sounded much better. If you don't get a suite or premium room then you have to pay for Air Con, Safe, Fridge etc as extras which can be expensive.
Good points about hotel:- nice pool and beach, good security on both beach and hotel, spacious - you don't feel crowded, nice gardens, good facilities, good location.Superb view of sea in suites, Staff friendly.
Not so good:- wifi not free and even when you pay not always connectable, food varied but poor quality, cleaning of patios/windows in rooms not done. We asked if our Gambian friend could come into hotel for drinks but security wanted to charge us!
As you can see more good points than bad and I would go back. Would definitely recommend a superior room or suite.

Room Tip: Superior room or suite otherwise be careful of extras!
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
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1 Thank srp123Kent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halesowen, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2013

Great hotel, very friendly staff. As for facilities etc, well if you go to the more interesting countries you should know what to expect! Gambia reminds me of how Goa was 25 years ago. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank DavidScycle69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
133 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2013

We will definately be going back to the Gambia in the future, it is the sunshine coast of Africa and everyone smiles and seems to appreciate life. The people make the experience and rather than go on the tour operators own excursions why not venture out and book a tour with one of the locals who will be cheaper and tailor make the experience to your own preferences. They are proud of their country and like for you to get the most enjoyment out of your stay without ripping you off.
The Kombo beach hotel is a wonderful hotel, a little gem! the staff are extremely accommodating and helpful and the facilities and service is excellent. The rooms are a little basic but are immaculately clean with maid service every day. The hotel sits on a beautiful beach in an ideal setting. There are a handful of good restaurants nearby if you do not wish to stay at the hotel (although the food is good). We recommend Tandoor and the Captains Table which are situated close by.
The weather was fantastic it changed the day we arrived (2nd November) and it was blue sky and sunshine all week.
Would definately recommend Gambia, there is lots to do and see, crime rate is very low so you are able to go off the hotel campus and mix with the locals safely, only regret we have is that we didn't book to stay longer. He ho there is always next time!!! Miss it already.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Lisa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wells, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 November 2013

Well we definitely weren't disappointed with Kombo Beach as the hotel for our first visit to TG.
We arrived on the day it opened for the season and although quiet, the staff couldn't have been more helpful or accommodating.
We had a suite on the top floor and the views were fabulous, the room was spacious and kept meticulously clean.
We stayed on a B&B basis and breakfast was plentiful, though a little limited in variety to start with, but this did improve through out our stay. That said , fruit, yogurts, cereals, omelettes and cold meats and cheese are certainly more then adequate. To be honest they were happy to provide anything else we asked for, so really very happy with the breakfast.
We did eat dinner/lunch occasionally at the hotel and felt that Geckos offered the best value for money, with the other offerings in the other restaurants somewhat overpriced for what they were. However with much more authentic and greater choice of food just outside the hotel, we mostly ate outside.
Amy and her cocktails during cocktail hour were legendary - Thank you so much Amy.
The grounds have a lovely quite spot for the birds, a pool area and various other areas for many activities. For me the beach won out every time. Lovely beach, with a sea as warm as a bath with waves ( do be careful though, there are strong currents and undertow, so dont get out of your depth unless you are a very strong swimmer). There is security on the beach with keep you free from being hassled unless that is what you want. That said the constant parade of fruit, juice and batik ladies did make for a pleasant afternoon, since they always greet you, even if you do not buy.
The one disappointment was the cost of WIFI at the hotel. We understood it was a minimal charge, but I cannot agree with that and since at least 2 of local restaurants offered free WIFI we went there if it was needed.
Although it was still slightly off season, we still had fabulous weather, though it was very humid. Some of the local restaurants still hadn't opened for the season. but we still found plenty of choice, particularly as the Senagambia strip was only a sort taxi ride away.
We took a couple of the hotel excursions, which were very good ( but overpriced), but we also had a local guide DJ Ratty who took us on a couple of others, which were fabulous days. As a local he has the knowledge to take you off the beaten track and let you see the real Gambia, and he certainly provides excellent value for money, so I would fully recommend him for anyone going here in the future.
All in all the Kombo Beach lived up to its ratings and more in some areas and I would certainly consider booking there again, but the biggest win for me was discovering the joy that is Gambia - Missing it big time

Room Tip: Suites have sea views and are on the top floor mostly, if you don't like to be too near the bar...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank Kath766
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2013 via mobile

Firstly I must comment on Jacqui A,s review of the hotel and suggest that she gets a life. What does she expect in Africa, the same facilities as Florida or the South of France?I have stayed at Kombo Beach 6 times and think its wonderful. Would recommend it to anyone

  • Stayed February 2013
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Helpful?
6 Thank Phil H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
essex
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 October 2013

We were VERY anxious after only having been to USA for holidays, we fancied a real change. Family of 4, two children aged 9 and 13. We all had an amazing time. The staff at the hotel were lovely, food at hotel wasn't brilliant but eating out was very easy. We went November and it was lovely and hot with no mosquitoes at all. Admittedly not a huge amount to do but we only went for a week (we would struggle to do 2 weeks there). Excursions were fantastic but as we went with Gambia Experience they were very expensive. We made a friend with a local waiter and he ended up taking us to see the real Gambia, we even met his family to see how they live and they wouldn't take any payment from us. We loved The Gambia so much we are going back next April. The first truly relaxing holiday we have had. Please don't forget it is a poor country and some people have too high expectations but I don't think you will be disappointed.

Take lots of pens and pencils with you, the children LOVE them.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank 281mummysmith
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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