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“We loved Badala Park!”
Review of Badala Park

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Badala Park
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Reviewed 30 December 2009

I have read some of the other reviews and believe everyone has different expectations on their hols. But It really saddens me to see extremely negative reviews on this hotel. I was there for two very very enjoyable weeks with my wife and two children aged 3 and 4 and did not once feel uncomfortable or obliged to give anyone anything. When we were there I met the GAMBIAN owner (not European) on the stage on Xmas eve and he summed it up in his speech that they can't offer the comfort the European owned hotels offer but they offer the friendliest hotel in The Gambia!! This is 100%true. My kids cried when they had to leave.........I got to play Water Polo against another hotel and by the way the pool was cleaned at the end of our first week so I believe it is cleaned regularly.

Please don't book to stay in Badala Park expecting luxury.....and then come back home and tarnish the GAMBIAN owned hotel's reputation..........The staff here are trying to make a difference and rely on people staying there to make a living. When you see the hotel rating is 2* remember this is Africa not Europe or America........Our Thomas Cook rep informed us it is in fact a zero star rating despite advertised as 2*.

As for being hassled by staff to take you on trips...........of course they will try but we found that after a day or two when you have told them 'you already have a guide' they will not bother you but to simply pass the time of day with you!! There is despite the other reviews alot of genuine friendliness from even the bumsters outside the hotel!! We found telling them we had a guide or we were meeting people at another bar/restaurant and couldn't visit theirs, soon sent them on their way wishing you a happy holiday of course.

As for tours, we booked Moses Colley, a local guide who took my family and friends on three very enjoyable trips, Gambian style not on an air conditioned coach. It is your choice entirely who you go with but a recommended local guide is the best way to experience the real Gambia. Your money also stays in The Gambia.

Tam Tams Bar and Ali Baba are restaurants just outside the hotel that we thoroughly recommend. Or you can go to Senegambia strip in a green taxi for 100 dalasi. Where we ate at Africa Queen which was fantastic!

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank taylorfamily09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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274 - 280 of 361 reviews

Reviewed 28 December 2009

This hotel is away from the main senegambia strip, where the restaurants and main action is, however there are restaurants in walking distance. Tam tam next door was very good actually,notably, very good vegetarian food.
This hotel is very basic with basic rooms but they are clean, our room was cleaned daily and there were always staff cleaning and tending to the grounds . Staff here are great and we enjoyed their company.
The only thing that spoilt my holiday was the very noisy entertainment which would always start as we were going to bed, even when there seemed to be no other guests there at the time! This really is very loud in certain rooms and you certainly would never be able to sleep through it.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank splodgebaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2009

rooms were basic(get what you pay for) , ,had a fan in room which seemed to keep place cool enough,there are some with a/c (they were all full when we arrived) cleaners cleaned twice a day so rooms were clean, but the hassle from bumsters spoilt the holiday(a few of the hotel staff were just as bad) pool never got cleaned (expect someone with a net to get all the dead butterflys out,would not advise you to swim in it ) food was ok, if you want to go out for a day ,best to go on arrranged tours or you will be hassled for money all the way, went to river gambia beach( looked like a landfill site and the smell was awfull,)if you like to lie on sunbed all day by the pool, then this will be ok for you, otherwise pay a bit extra for a decent hotel!,all rooms have a very good safe and security of a night is good,(use the safe for piece of mind). happy hols!

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank brian_carr43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2009

This was our second stay at Badala Park, just to say if you want 5star europe, don`t book 1star Gambia. The rooms are basic but you have everything you need, bed & shower. The staff are amazing & work such long hours for a pitance, anything you want they will get for you. We went to the home of one of the waitresses, culture shock doesn`t describe it, it was amazing, the children have nothing but are so happy, our kids could do with living here for a while they would realise how fortunate they are. If you want to go on any trips contact Kebba on [--], he is married to an english lady, what a great guy, we went to Sanyang Beach, a fishing village & 2 fishing trips on the Gambian River..........what a day, caught loads of fish,& ate one on the boat!!! From river to plate in 15mins, how fresh is that? He is a lot cheaper than tour operators.
All I can say is go to Badala Park with an open mind & you will have a great time, a holiday is what you make it & ours was excellent, we will go back to Badala again. If you have any questions more than happy to try & help.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank 0117mazzer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2009

Once we landed we were hearded to into a long lasting queue to check and validate the purpose of our visit, whilst the customs randomly selected people bags to check coming into the country. Our rep greeted us and escorted us to our coach where we were met by pleasant porters whom would in turn would insist o being paid for there efforts. whilst waiting around you could not help noticing how local poverty had become commercialised in the sense of people using there disabilties to gain money.
once we arrived at the hotel i could not believe that people apy to live in these hotels, the shower did not work and the general state of the room was nothing short of being uninhabitable, it reminded me of a direlect building just about to be condemned.
After showing us a few alternatives it became apparent that they were even worse the offerings, so we asked for top of the range and we did not mind paying for this of which we were offered a room with air conditioning all the others come with a standard portable fan, for the privilage we were charged an extra £70.
Generally the people are just out to get your money and they do not care what lies they have to tell to get you to part with your money.

They will be your friend for as long as you give them something, ie my mother is sick , we are very poor or i cannot afford to buy food etc, the list goes on and on.

they have become so commercialised that they think it is their right and an expectation to ask and to e given something.
We were harrassed constantly to the point we avoided contact or wnet away for the day, even the local farmer when asked for a picture wanted paying.

Finally my advise when taking excursions it to take the tour operators and NOT the locals becuase they do not fulfil expectations and always got an excuse at least with the tour operators you know exactly where you stand.

I would never go to Gambia agian, unless i am looking to increase my stress levels.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank mrt22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2009

expected basic didnt even get that.rooms falling apart.breakfast dire.the bar food just edible.chinese the same.pool was lovely and blue 1st day 2nd day murky then green.after 6 days manager came back & ordered them to clean pool as his kids were there this was done next morning lovely & clean.same for a few days until his kids went home.then it was not cleaned again pool guy said they had run out of chemicals,manager said filter broken so rest of holiday pool like the croc pool.so no swimming most of holiday.so called staff hung round all day trying to get us to go on trips with them we said no but one walked with us from hotel to bijilo and back even though we told him constantly we wanted to be on our own.so obviously not working at hotel we were out for 6 hours no one seemed to miss him working so great 1st day there seemed to be a lot like him telling us they have no food or shoes clothes money etc the staff that did work worked very hard and did a good job with what they had. the second week the hotel was winding down to close so they started dismantling furniture running out of drinks breakfast got less and less the even took fire equipment away last couple of days not anywhere to sit in the sun only chairs were inside the bar last day they even took tv s away from bar & reception will not be going back to this place or gambia just to much hassle in & out of hotel

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank ladyjoyce2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2009

Having read the reviews i was worried about going to this hotel so we decided that we would book into another place when we got there, however from the moment we arrived the staff were fantastic and made us feel at home. we've stayed in some nice 5* hotels that were plush but very impersonal and this hotel beat them all for customer service. Don't be misguided by the negative reviews, its a good value for money hotel that is clean with friendly and helpful staff, i can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank sunrise1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Badala Park

Address: Kotu Stream, Kotu, Gambia
Region: Gambia > Banjul Division > Kotu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Price Range: £24 - £57 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Badala Park 2*
Number of rooms: 202
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With over 10 years of ownership and 30 years of management experience, the recently refurbished Badala Park Hotel is renowned throughout the Gambia, as well as Africa, Europe, USA and by travelers worldwide.Less than thirty minutes transfer time from the Gambian Yundum International Airport and you will always be greeted in our large cool reception and lounge area after your travels, on arrival at the friendly Badala Park Hotel with the friendliest staff in the Gambia. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Badala Park Kotu
Badala Park Hotel Kotu
Badala Park Gambia/Kotu

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