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“Everything you want from a holiday hotel”
Review of Kombo Beach Hotel

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Kombo Beach Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 March 2014

Our first time in the Gambia and we booked the Kombo Beach on the recommendation of a couple we met last year in Goa. We were not disappointed, beautiful grounds, stunning beach location and comfortable public areas, all staffed by the most wonderful people you could meet.
The rooms are a bit tired, the hotel is 30 years old, but they are in the process of modernising them. It did not bother us at all,they are perfectly adequate, with air con, fridge, safe, comfortable bed and tea/coffeee making - you must remember that this is Africa. We got a nice sea view - the sunsets are remarkable - and recommend the superior rooms or suites - just that bit better.
We tried both restaurants, the buffet was fine for breakfast - everything you would expect - and ok for the 1 meal we had in the evening. The other restaurant was disappointing and not worth going to.
The bars were on the expensive side for Gambia but in a nice setting. The staff in the main bar were brilliant, lovely ladies who made every evening, always dancing! The LIV bar within the hotel was good for cocktails and had free wi-fi as long as you had a drink there. Just give them your phone or tablet and they will enter a daily chaning code and off you go
The beach is great, free sunbeds from the hotel and with the security guards, not too much hassle from the bumsters. The fruit ladies supply really good quality plates of fresh fruit and once you have one that you like, keep the same one. Same applies with the juice sellers.
Outside the hotel is a small touristy village with a selection of good restaurants, we tried them all and never had a bad meal. The Bakotu hotel, opposite the Kombo beach, is a birdwatchers paradise, with monkeys, fruit bats and a huge tortoise to entertain you. Further afield, you are 10 mins from Punta Rima with some really good restaurants and bars (Sambas was our best) and about 15 mins away is Sennengambia which is quite lively with another good selection of restaurants and bars. During the day you can walk easily to both places, either along the beach or by the road and footpath.
If you want to go out we found the best way was to get a taxi from the controller outside. All the prices are displayed on a board and if you like the driver he will give you his number and then whenever you need him the hotel will call him for you. They will even take you to a restaurant, wait for 2 hours or so and bring you back. So easy and very cheap. As for changing money, do it outside the hotel for a better rate. We got aroung 65D for £1 sterling. Do get out and see a few things, the trips with ARCH tours are brilliant and half the price of your travel company.
The only drawback to the Gambia is the amount of hassle. They never give up and if you let it it will get you down. We got conned a couple of times but only for a couple of pounds and frankly, they have got so little we did not mind.
Overall we had a great time in a good hotel. We will definately be going back, about the same time of year, and will probably go back to the Kombo Beach because of its location and the staff. Thank you all!

Room Tip: We prefer upper floors and blocks 2,3 or 4 for a quieter time
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank brent058
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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372 - 378 of 1,016 reviews

Reviewed 16 March 2014

Sunsets are the best from Kombo Beach hotels private beach.. they have security that prevents the majority of disturbing beggars.
Their beach restaurant is very disappointing but having a coffee there is recommendable. The buffet is ok, but not great. Saturdays they often roast an whole pig which is nice.
They have entertainment every night and the majority of the staff is very polite. The security are very annoying if you are a woman traveling alone thought

Room Tip: Closest to reception, the area is big and it is a little frustrating going all the way to the end of...
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled solo
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2  Thank Carina H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2014

Our family went for a half term weeks break at the end of February. We had a great time, wonderful weather, a great hotel that more than enough catered for our needs. Our choice of the Kombo was mostly based on pictures of the beach, and of course some reviews. After walking up the beach towards the Senegambia Hotel I think we made the right choice, its a lovey beach with some fun breakers for the kids (maybe not a good choice for smaller children?).
Get your Juice boy and fruit lady sorted out as soon as you can on the beach and then you are left alone, we had the lovely Fatima hut 18, what more can you ask a fresh bowl of cut fruit and nuts on the beach.

The food was fine, we ate out most evenings just for variety. I miss my morning omelette.

The Kombo beach is a great place to spend a vacation, wonderful staff, super beach and a perfect position to travel on day trips. We used Arch tours literary just outside the entrance to the Kombo Beach, i highly recommend them for tours.

So we will be coming back to the Kombo Beach on our next visit to Gambia.

Room Tip: We had the A or 1st house 2:an floor and i think they are called superior rooms which faced away fro...
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank RobertI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2014

Thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Kombo Beach. The accommodation is fairly basic but is fine as a base. The hotel grounds are stunning, and if you are lucky, you may spot the resident monitor lizard (I did!).

The staff make the hotel. They remembered the other guests in our party (it was my first visit) from years ago. They are extremely welcoming and attentive. A highlight for me was the slick arrival. It was very well organised. The porters delivered our luggage to our rooms, and we got straight into our holiday by enjoying a Julbrew at the bar!

Food in the hotel is wonderful. The buffet was no ordinary buffet (we had the evening buffet twice). And the snack bar 'Baracuda' had some amazing specials on offer each day! There is a nice SA Chenin Blanc on the wine menu at the hotel too.

Breakfast caters for all tastes. There is so much choice it is hard not to be greedy!!

The beach is a stone's throw from the bedrooms. The sunloungers are comfy and the view is lovely. Be prepared for fruit sellers and other people selling their wares. I recommend 'Kevin Costner' for fruit drinks and 'Kris' for the sand pictures.

Looking forward to a return to The Gambia - and the Kombo Beach!

Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
Thank susanne1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2014

First stayed here in 2001. This has been my 5th time. I love this hotel. The rooms are a little tired, but it adds to the African charm. The staff are AMAZING, they most definitely make the holiday. The breakfast are wonderful, the egg guys will cook what ever you want, delicious.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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3  Thank louise h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2014

All the staff are very friendly, obliging and give the place a great atmosphere. The rooms are kept very clean as are the grounds. Some people have commented that the rooms are a little shabby; perhaps they are but this should certainly not put you off. Some say breakfast time is chaotic but this was not our experience; busy perhaps but always plenty of food and staff…just enjoy the time chatting to the staff as they have lots to say.
Beach is fantastic and you can walk for miles. The area of beach attached to the hotel is monitored by the hotel security so you get no real hassle from the bumsters.
There is a good choice of beach bars, lots of sunbeds. We tried a few of the local eating places and all were good as was the hotel. Make sure you buy from the fruit ladies, ‘your’ fruit lady will give you her ‘card’ don’t change or you will cause a riot !!
Be prepared to be firm with the bumsters, local taxi drivers and traders when you walk out of the front of the hotel. It can be overwhelming as they attempt to convince you to spend time and money with them. Be polite but stay firm and they will leave you alone the next time you enter their patch.
We used Arch Tours who are just outside the entrance – we most highly recommend them – see our feedback.
We will certainly return

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

The hotel itself:
Never having been to the Gambia before I rate it 4 star. Bare in mind Gambia is a very poor African country and this hotel really tried to to look after Europeans (as we are) and cater for their demanding needs.
The staff are EXCELLENT. Kind. Happy. Willing to help and honest.
Infact all gambians are smiling and happy,,the got nothing,,but they are a happy bunch.
The room was good. The bed was comfortable and bedding clean. A good size with on suite bathroom. (adequate no frills).
The food was good and the bonus was, none of the family spent time in the toilet with gippy tummy's. However we did eat in the hotel only. We all eat the meat, eggs,,everything.
The beach:
I spent little time on the beach but my wife and daughter spent hours there soaking up the sun.
The beach vendors are a bit of a pain but they have to be registered on that beach and there is a kind of police that keep out the unwanted and unregistered. (If they get messed about,these police call the militia). So the beach is'nt full of locals trying to sell you their wares.
The vendors themselves are no where near as bad as Egypt.
There was loads of sunbeds with mattreses and the beach was clean.
There is a lack of signs (Thank God). You don't find signs here,,do this,,do that,,blah blah blah.
These people don't do "DON'T"... even smokers are free,,(no smoker ever smoked in the restaraunt out of courtesy,,not from rules)
Travel:
Taxi's. There are two types. Use the ones infront of the hotels and not the yellow ones.
Don't expect the latest models.
Compared to Europe they are cheap and often the driver is very careing and considerate.
BIRDING:
Many go the Gambia to see their birds.
If thats what your into,,its FANTASTIC..don't hesitate. We were there January 17-31.
However to get the most use a bird guide.
Here it gets sticky.
Up the road from the Kombo is a bridge (200yd) and when you get your binoc's out there will be a local on your arm selling his services. However,,your NEVER surrounded (like Egypt and north Africa) its one at a time. Then you have to pick one thats half good.
I used four and ended up with a guy called Omar Barry. Excellent value,,and for me,,good enough. However,,if you ask for Omar Barry,,you may get a guy who say's he's Omar barry and is not.. (Its their way,,keep cool..LOLL)
The other reason its wise to get a bird guide. If you decide to go off into the bush where the good stuff is. The bush can be very confusing and its all to easy to get lost. Proper lost and that would be very ugly,,trust me.
Take loads of water,,very very important.
PHOTOGRAPHY Vs SAFETY:
Cameras can be very expensive and lenses for birding cannot be kept under wraps.
Many will worry (as I did) about wandering around with anything from £2000 to £10.000's worth of kit around your neck. I have the awsome canon 500mm F4 the big grey lens and it sceams "money"!!
Never once was I intimidated or felt I was in a sticky position with this kit. I never felt I was being set up for a blagging.
Having said that,,,get a guide if you have serious kit. The guide means others will NOT approach you. If they do the guide quickly moves in. So you don't have any hassle.

The chill out factor was 100% and unlike other places I've been to, I would go back to the Gambia and the Kombo.

OK,,thats my take on the Gambia and the Kombo,,Hope this helps

Room Tip: Don't get the rooms facing the pool and restraunt area. They play music at night. Ifd you don...
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank RodFisher
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: £44 - £124 (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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