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Badala Park
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All reviewsbasic hotelclean towelschinese restaurantthird world countryopen mindreggae musicsmiling coastpoolside barbeach staffwestern unionrooms are cleaned every daybeanspool sidethe ritzmost eveningsreal gambiatwo weeks
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Reviewed 4 February 2014

i booked a holiday for a rest and sun and the beach ! so on my 8th trip to the gambia i booked badala . the mistake of my life ? after 14 sleepless nights due to so much noise after midnight thu to 3.30 i gave up ! so my advice to you is NEVER BOOK THIS HOTEL GO ELSE WERE PLEASE

Room Tip: go to another hotel
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank truebrit321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jarga10, General Manager at Badala Park, responded to this reviewResponded 6 February 2014

Sorry that you did not enjoy your stay with us. I personally have done all I could to keep these guests happy. Moved their rooms, gave them a free seafood dinner and wine. Unfortunately I cannot ask other customers to stop enjoying themselves because one person does not like the bar open. I hope you find a quieter hotel on your next visit and wish you well for the rest year. We can't please everybody but we work very hard to accommodate everybody. Once again sorry for your stay and hope you find a quite hotel next time

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2014

Yes Badala Park may not be the crowning glory of hotel life but you know if what you need is a clean cheap budget hotel that offers you:-

1. Friendly staff.
2. Adequate breakfasts
3. Clean sheets, towels and rooms.
4. Jag the manager does sort more intractable problems out.
Then I could only recommend the place highly. Everything in the room worked, power cuts allowing-but these aren't the hotel but the diesel power station which often loses its diesel generators. You have to smile at a country with almost endless sun which almost eschews solar power but hey why whinge?

I love The Gambia and its my fifth time-long enough to speak a few words of greeting in Wolof -which incidentally is an immediate sign to the bumsters that you know your way around. Make this little effort in Mandinka or Wolof and you may well find your holiday a lot more hassle free. Learn to use the taxis [tanka tanka] and pay 17p for your journey rather that 3-4 GBP.

There are good restaurants all over the place -even very good ones if you don't mind paying 5-6 quid. Go a bit out of the tourist area and get chicken and chips for 1.20 GBP -in Kololi. I have Gambian friends who would all tell you that though there are thousands of ripped off tourists they've never heard of anything more serious that hotel room theft or pick pocketing. The safe in the room a real must!

Don't skimp on malaria tablets Malarone are expensive but the malaria type here is nasty -nothing can guarantee you won't get it but give yourself the best chance. Gambia is a 'scruffy' country with litter in abundance everywhere though the beach seems to be relatively better kept. You will be approached on the beach by licensed fruit juice sellers and massage girls offering more than you would expect - no moral judgments here. African prostitution has EVERYTHING to do with not starving for you and your family not drug dependency and crime. HIV is about 30% of sex workers and please if you are tempted use a condom. Even more sadly sexual abuse of children has become a feature of the country with some male white tourists. I can only make a plea to shun children who come begging -they trust white males [Toubabs] far too much!

Tip your room staff often and small -they earn less than 1 GBP a day - I take cheap clothes-not much smart dressing up required here and give away my clothes on leaving. No hold luggage -whizz through your UK airport in a shot.

The reports I read on the hotel being used as a brothel are nonsense. The locals invited in by European guests are invitees and de facto guests though the hotel will charge - I haven't come across a problem. Attitudes when unacceptable tend to be from fellow Europeans rather than Gambians. They are a tolerant country though topless bathing by women and great shows of leg aren't welcome off the beach. A Muslim country I still think you need to show some respect. Inter marriage is common here between faiths.

Last Saturday in the month can can be a culture shock, bars, shops and restaurants won't open until 2pm as its clean up Saturday -just live with it.

Oddly I wouldn't particularly recommend the Gambia to many of my friends BUT to those who like the place it's addictive.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled solo
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4  Thank steveaitch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2014

The Badala park is definitely a good budget option, with ensuite rooms costing less than £30 a night. There is a nice swimming and the grounds are well maintained, with palm trees and exotic flowers everywhere.

The rooms are a little on the run down side, which was okay for me (I often stay in hostels), but my mum, who I was traveling with, could have done with a little more comfort. Wifi is very expensive considering how slow it is. After the first day I didn't bother, but instead went to JDs cafe next door, where wifi is free when you buy a drink.

The staff were friendly if not a little bit slow when there are problems, for example our bathroom light bulk blew out and it took two days for them to fix it.

Breakfast was pretty bad. There were many options, but the quality was poor: orange squash rather than real juice, the cheapest bread ever with overly sweet and sickly jam, porridge that resembled gruel, instant coffee.

The hotel is about 10 minutes away from the beach and it's pretty easy to get from here to Senegambia, the Senegalese border or Banjul.

Room Tip: ask to have a room away from the pool-there is often live music at night which can be annoying.
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank abscondita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2014

Great hotel, friendly and helpful staff, rooms could do with a bit of updating, but it is Africa and cheap. Rooms clean, pool clean, nice breakfast and good poolside bar. Will be visiting again very soon. Ask for 'Arms', the gardener to show you around. He is a great guide and will save you a stack of cash. Avoid the Thomas Cook trips out - too overpriced. Use local guides if you want to see more. No problems with busters or thefts at this hotel. Good security and all staff wear ID badges. Ask for a room in D Block - close to the pool/bar and entertainment. Stay in one of the D Block rooms facing the pool and you can see the entertainment from your room balcony too.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank mat040372
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2014

We book this hotel as a package deal with a flight few weeks before the trip and so was happy to be able to go on holidays with such a short notice. However there was a price to pay for it.

Pluses :
- close to the beach (5min walking), close to the money exchange point
- rooms cleaned everyday
- nice/funny hotel staff
- little store at the site - helps avoiding being stalked by couple of bumsters when going to the supermarket; hotel store can also be open at request

Minuses:
- away from Serekunda (main street with night life) which with the bumsters makes it a must to get a taxi every time you want to go for a dinner which means you have to negotiate the price with the driver (from 700 to 250 Dalasis).
- bumsters (beach boys) are waiting right in front of the hotel doors and so there is no way to avoid them
- quality/ hygiene of breakfest is very low or would say it's at the camping level (e.g. eggs shells are being thrown on the ground once the egg is on the frying pen- eggs are made in front of you
- the local cesspool is just accross the street of the hotel (50m)
- no moskito net provided (luckily we had our own)
- expensive and slow internet in the hotel (the internet quota that was supposed to last 24h when it lasted for 2hs of reading articles online)
- heard woman screeming and running out of one of the hotel rooms at night

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Karina S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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