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“Great experience”
Review of Kombo Beach Hotel

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Kombo Beach Hotel
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 April 2014

Travelled for new year 12/13. Our 1st time in The Gambia. A great experience. We found a really helpful taxi driver / tour guide called Muli , can't remember the spelling but pronounced moo lie. He works outside the hotel gates and is a really helpful guy. He gave us a fantastic tour of The Gambia. He also invited us to his house for dinner and to meet his family.
The Kombo beach hotel is basic by European standards but is comfortable enough. The whole package was booked thru Gambia experience and is realitively costly at new year but incredibly cheap at other times - well worth checking out for an alternative holiday.

The new year party was really fun and the gala dinner absolutely amazing.

Loved our New year hol in the Gambia

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank MandL9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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377 - 383 of 1,043 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2014

i am a regular traveller to the Gambia and stayed in different hotels, but Stayed last year on my own and although the hotel rooms are in need of a lick of paint, the hotel and room facilities were good and on the whole my stay was ok so I decided to stay again and bring my daughter with me. On late night arrival found I had been allocated the smallest twin room I have ever seen, the bathroom had the smallest shower ever, it was too small for my daughter to stand in! I would have classed this room as 2 star or below. I asked for another room, was given a better one but only had one bed and a sofa made up as a bed, ok for a child but my `child` is 26 and 6ft 1"....so not ideal to be sleeping on a sofa for 2 weeks! Asked at reception the next day for a twin room, told none available for another week, our holiday rep asked reception on our behalf and gave us the keys to another room.....it was disgusting in terms of hygiene so we had to keep the room we had and share nights on the sofa! Our air conditioning did not work and took the maintenance men an age to fix, they insisted we wait in the room while they fixed it! then our safe broke and the man in charge had `gone for `dinner`, never to be seen again that day so had to leave valuables loose in the room while we went out. The reception team overall really could not be bothered to help!
On a positive note the breakfast is great, always seemed to fresh but the staff are a bit rude and not overly friendly, everything seemed like too much effort if you asked for something. The hotel is in a great location for the beach, always had loungers available on the beach but the staff weren't particularly friendly and some days it was hard work for them to get you a mattress. The 2 entertainment staff were great and even though we spent most of our time outside the hotel, they always spoke and invited you to join activities.
The room cleanliness has definitely fallen in standard, some days we were left with towels that we had put on the floor to change, we found them back on the rails for us to re-use. One day we were left someone else's dirty towels (ours were orange and the replacements were white!) Some days the room wasn't even cleaned till well after lunch whereas last year when you got back in from breakfast the room was cleaned properly and freshly made up.
Paid quite a bit to stay at this hotel, but wont be returning and will find an alternative for next year.

Room Tip: The 2nd or 3rd floor rooms are better for a view of the sea.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank WishfulThinkinAQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2014 via mobile

Please see our review on Holiday Beach Hotel.
This is 100% better than anywhere we have stayed in The Gambia, and we have been coming back for 10 years. The rooms maybe a bit dated and in need of a lick of paint but it's not a big deal, food, no complaint there in fact was better than we expected. Staff was pleasant enough. One thing that got to us was at Kingfisher Bar we asked for 2 large teas which came in large coffee cups and was then charged for 4 small teas, so be careful. On the whole a great 2 weeks. Looking forward to going back soon.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank paul h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2014

I can not understand some of the comments about this hotel.Not a single smelly towel or insect bite.The staff were friendly and helpfull,the breakfast good.The hotel far exceeded many 3 star hotels I have stayed in Europe.All in all recomended for people with sensible expectations.

Room Tip: Away from the pool
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Stephen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2014

I stayed here from the 22 to 29 of March 2014. Everything about the hotel is of a good standard and much, much better than I expected. I found it clean and bright with beautifully manicured gardens. The food, both the breakfast and the evening buffet could hardly have been bettered with a massive choice. The bread and cakes are all baked on site and fresh every morning, how cold you better that. I could tell that the restaurant staff really cared about their food and service and I thoroughly enjoyed their efforts. Some of the food in the evening was absolutely superb especially the fish, cooked in front of you al fresco by a very skilled chef. Lots of restaurants in the UK and USA would do well if they were as good as this.
In every area of service the staff were 1st class and could not have done better. Most waiting staff, reception and bar staff knew me by name within a day or so and greeted me as a long lost friend whenever they saw me.
The hotel was like a secure haven in a sea of madness because outside of the hotel is a crazy world waiting. I felt like a new born fawn amongst a pack of hunting dogs! I didn't feel safe in spite of being told repeatedly that I was. The people smile at you constantly but there seemed a hint of menace in their constant hassle and hustle. I am a well traveled man having visited every continent in the last year or so but I wasn't prepared for the cultural shock. Almost everyone you meet will try to sell you something, a taxi, a tour, a bird guide, a bag of nuts and even sex and they never ever, ever stop. If you say no and walk on (as advised by the hotel rep), then you are abused as you walk away. If you take the other tack and greet them back with warm smiles then you give them hope and you are pestered even worse.
It is a very dusty, dirty and unkempt country with litter piled on litter almost everywhere you look. Even the well known wildlife areas are badly littered which I found a massive disappointment. Compared to Sri Lanka for example, and I was there in January, Gambia lags way behind. I constantly read comments like, "This is Africa, what do you expect", or "If you don't like the hassle don't come" and to a degree, I agree but its such a shame that they have made such a mess of what could be a paradise.
The President is aware of this problem however and on the last Saturday of every month, for 4 hours there is "Operation Clean up The Nation" As I said at the time it will take a lot more than 4 hours a month to clean this place up.

To summarise.
Was the hotel good? Yes very good.
Did I feel safe? Only in the hotel.
Would I go again? Probably because the bird watching is second to none but I would be more prepared to face the hassle next time.

Room Tip: Blocks 2.3..4 etc are quiet and away from the public areas.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank 941Chas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2014

After reading very mixed reviews about The Gambia and hotels along the coast we decided on Kombo based on price and location and it did not disappoint, it surpassed our expectations.

The hotel was very welcoming on arrival and very easy going. It was clean throughout, tidy, organised, very well staffed and felt very safe. We had a superior room which we expected to be basic and a little run down, keeping in mind we were in West Africa and not an commercial location like Egypt. Our room was on the second floor and was large, spacious and clean. It was a little dated but had everything we needed and all in working order. It was cleaned well every day, the king sized bed was very comfortable and tea and coffee facilities supplied daily.

Breakfast was very good, varied, clean and plentiful.The beach was stunning and protected well by the security from the people trying to sell things to you on the beach. Embrace the fruit ladies who are allowed to approach you past the informal tree barrier to sell you fruit. We held off but to our dismay as once we gave in we regretted not doing it sooner as you get a lot for your money and is a well earned refreshment in the sun. Once you have a card from one of them this deterred the others so that is all you have to say.

The food in the evening could be pricey varying from £4.50 to £16. The buffet was 600 Dalasi which is worth doing but not every night. Captains table just down the road is a must; it is not that cheap but the atmosphere and food quality is worth it,.

We did a day trip with Arch tours which is a MUST! It was the best £40 I have ever spent.

I would recommend changing your money at home and not taking a MasterCard with you and Visa is better if you are going to use the ATM in Senegambia which is about a 45/60 mins leisurely walk along the beach to get to.

This is not a 5* luxury hotel but it is comfortable, very good value for money, safe, clean and I would go back again as I felt very relaxed (not wanting to leave!). Just remember you are in Africa and not every where is the 'Ritz'. We felt we got an amazing deal on this holiday and would happily go back to this hotel and destination. I have marked this hotel as a 5 as we could not criticise it as to be honest my expectations were low but were surpassed by the staff, atmosphere and price.

Room Tip: I did not see what a standard room looked like but our superior room was spacious with a lovely view...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Naomi44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2014

Fantastic holiday. Rooms basic. Staff were attentive and friendly. Hotel was on the beach. People trying to sell things on beach, just tell them you're not interested and they will wish you a nice day and be on their way. but hotel have security staff to stop you being bothered.

Room Tip: Upgraded once we arrived from basic room to a suite but shouldn't have done. We spent so little...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Jackie S
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: £54 - £160 (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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