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“Winter Holiday 2013”
Review of Kombo Beach Hotel

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Kombo Beach Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 November 2013 via mobile

We arrived on 22nd November 2013. We asked to move rooms as my girlfriend isn't keen on ground floor rooms (which we were allocated) this was swiftly done and we moved to the 3rd floor in block 3. The room was clean and tidy so put our swimming gear on and headed straight to the pool! The pool area and gardens are kept beautiful by the friendly hard working staff also the beach is just next to the pool with plenty of loungers and staff on hand to fetch drinks and snacks which we tipped for.The breakfast was lovely all the usual meats breads and cheese also omelettes and waffles. We visited the crocodile pool and monkey park with a friend of 'Dave' in the pink jeep who is based at Paradise bar just up the beach to the right. Nice to get out and about. We also went to Senegambia strip 3 nights which has plenty of bars and restaurants to feed and entertain you. In particular we liked African Queen and Paradiso Pizza next door to it. We felt safe everywhere we went and everyone wanted to say hello and have a chat but sometimes you just have to say no thank you and walk on otherwise you'd not get very far. Don't fall for stories of new baby's and invitations of family bbq's, bit of common sense and you'll have a great time. We would defiantly visit the Hotel again and recommend it to friends. Also just round the corner from the hotel is a Tandoori restaurant which was very nice. I could go on with tips and advise but but that would spoil a lot of the experience if you are thinking of visiting The Gambia

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Kbfcbh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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463 - 469 of 1,064 reviews

Reviewed 23 November 2013

Excellent stay, would definitely go again. Very very friendly people and always made you feel most welcome, it's definitely right in what they say...it's the smiling coast of Gambia. All of the staff were very polite, helpful and happy to help with anything you needed at any time. The room was very nice, air conditioning unit worked fine with no additional fee, TV had English channels with was a bonus. My only disappointment regarding the room was the doors were a little dirty, could do with a wash down. Food - had a good variety, breakfast was very nice. Most importantly the pool was very clean and got cleaned everyday throughout the week. Bonus was the beach was a stone throwaway. Was told by numerous people you either love it or hate it and to be quite honest we fell in love with it and would DEFINITELY go back to the Kombo Beach in the near future.

Room Tip: Sea view room on the third floor (top floor) room 248
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank camelteeth2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 November 2013

As the review by blackcountrylass I too have had serious problems with Thomas Cook. My original choice was Ocean Bay Hotel which was double-booked. I was offered the Atlantic which was totally unsuitable to my reason for travelling to The Gambia which was bird-watching. Thomas Cook left me to sort it out myself and having little time to go through several brochures I chose Kombo Beach because of its proximity to Kotu Creek. I arrived tired and stressed. First impressions were not brilliant. The hotel was busy finishing some renovations to the restaurant but by the second day everything was cleared away and the new space looked bright and clean. From the very beginning the staff couldn't have been more helpful or more welcoming. Little niggles were quickly and pleasantly dealt with. My room did need some upgrading but was impeccably clean. There is too a good size safety deposit box which is essential especially for anyone leaving the hotel overnight. The patio opened on to the garden which, with a cup of tea, became a welcome haven after a day bird watching. Half board was very good value with lots of choice and although I regularly travel to Egypt and am comfortable in Africa I just find it is much easier for someone travelling on their own. Travelling around is not a problem. The Gambia is safe and friendly.Taxis are easy to come by just outside the hotel. Bird guides have a little booth just by the Creek. All the prices are clearly stated. I fully support blackcountrylass when she says do get out and about, meet the people, learn about the country, most of all enjoy the warmth and hospitality of an open and warm-hearted people. My argument with Thomas Cook has nothing whatever to do with Kombo Beach Hotel. I really hope one day to be able to return to Kombo Beach Hotel and to explore even more this wonderful country.

Room Tip: Rooms in Blocks 4 and 3 are quieter.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank Hale44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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
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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1  Thank DavidScycle69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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6  Thank Lisa W
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

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: £66 - £100 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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