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“Wonderful hotel.”
Review of Bakotu Hotel

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Bakotu Hotel
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Certificate of Excellence
Kirkby in Ashfield, England, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Wonderful hotel.”
Reviewed 15 December 2012

MY husband, my 11 year old daughter and I spent three weeks at Bakotu in November, I can honestly say the hotel was faultless, the holiday was fantastic.

The rooms are oddly Ikeaish, all furniture from Ikea so no real Africa feel here, but they are clean and comfortable. Cleaners do come in every day, so everything is kept clean and tidy.

All the staff are very friendly and are more than happy to go out of the way for you, but I do have to say our cleaner came knocking on our hotel door for a tip because it was her day off and she wouldn't see us before we went, that was a disappointment, we were more than happy to leave her a tip, but when we saw her working the next day, it sure left a sour taste in my mouth.

The pool area is very small, however it was never overly busy and you could always get a bed. The pool was quite dirty and by the end of the day there was a layer of oil and creams on the top of the water, however this is no fault of the hotel, a shower is provided to use before swimming.

The grounds of the hotel are well maintained and are pleasant to walk round, peaceful and relaxing. Monkeys, monitor lizards, bats are all just part of the hotel.

We all loved the hotel, it seemed a different world to the one just outside the entrance where you saw a small part of what The Gambia is like.

It is only a short walk to the beach, the beach is pleasant enough but you do make a lot of friends just trying to make it to the beach. You are never left alone in The Gambia no matter how firmly you tell them you are not interested. Truthfully some days I didn't even go out the reception because the hassle was just too much. People say the Gambians are friendly people, well I think friendly and trying to befriend you are two very different things.

We always went to Dominos beach bar for lunch and the staff were so kind here, made things that weren't on the menu without a problem. Although there was one waiter here who always forget to put something on the bill so we could just give him the money and he would sort it out!
I wonder where that money went..........?

Always went to Ali Babas in the evening, the food here was always hot and again the staff would accommodate what you wanted. The staff were very helpful and attentive here, which is probably why we went here every night for three weeks.

Just to mention, the guy who tries to get you into Ali Babas, Rooney, is probably the most genuine kind and honest person we met in The Gambia. After speaking to him a few times we asked him if he could arrange some trips for us, at a fraction of the price, all the trips were perfect and very enjoyable. He never once asked us for anything, never took advantage of us. Would highly recommend Rooney to anyone who wants to see The Gambia at a small price,

We loved our holiday, We all had a wonderful time and I would recommend this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Melanie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (133)
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English first
Derby, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2012

this was our return visit to the Bakotu and it did not disappoint. our main reason for rebooking this hotel is the warm and friendly staff - lamin and bai in reception, lamin the night watchman, simon and lamin the waiters, bindta who is just one of the lovely cleaners, fatou and all the other great waitresses at breakfast and lovely lala at the bar. without exception they make your holiday a joy with their positive and friendly attitudes, all of them enjoying a chat and so helpful. the peace and quiet of the hotel is a sharp and refreshing contrast to the street outside. yes this time the wedding party guests were a little noisy at times but the hotel staff were mindful of this and made sure things did not get out of hand. the rooms are basic but very clean - every where is cleaned with disinfectant. breakfast is simple but we find it enough to keep us going. however if you are early to breakfast like us the gambian pancakes and gambian porridge were, much to our amusement, never ready!! once you step outside the hotel you will be surrounded by new 'friends' all wanting to chat to you with the hope you will employ them as a guide. most people use the locals rather than the tour companys for trips as frankly the price of thomas cooks excursions are a rip off and the local guides will take you to places the tour company wont and therefore you will have a much better experience. just get a price before you go and at the end of your holiday expect a sad story and request for money for car engine, school fees for their family etc. if you want a reliable taxi driver who wont beg for money ask lala at the bar to arrange the wonderful daniel to take you out. great meals out are JD's and the new tandoori - excellent. boss lady provides wonderful gambian cuisine and the sunday buffet is a must. we took our 11 year old daughter this year who loved it and can't wait to go back. we love the gambia for the people and its relaxed way of life and will return again to see all of our friends.

Room Tip: the rooms at the front can be a little more noisier but ideal for us with our daughter as she could...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank kaysh45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derby, England, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 December 2012

Well we went back and this time to our 11 year old with us and we got what we expected as soon as we arrived.
A warm welcome from the reception staff as they recognised us straight away and we had to go and say hello to Lala who when she saw us was so happy.
The staff what can one say are all fantastic and everyone will smile and smile even tho they are all working hard and do they,even the cleaners who sweep around the pool in the morning(gambian style) with a brush which has them bent down to sweep,nothing is too much for any of them,
The breakfast is a must and had us always laughing when they told us that Gambian porridge was on the menu,but then said it is not ready yet.
The same people from last year again made our holiday within the hotel great,Lamin who isthe waiter who serves in the evening is great and he will chat with you anytime,the housemaids,the staff at breakfast in the morning and behind the bar and the staff at the supermarket and reception have all the time in the world for you,nothing is too much.
In the evening Lala behind the bar has a lovely smile and is always chatty with us,we all miss her so much.
Outside the hotel it is a different world and this time we knew what to expect,they all have a yarn to spin and mostly someone is ill or someone is dying but take it with a pinch of salt and say sorry to hear that and just go on your ways.They seem to pick on white people as soon as they arrive and know when the flights will be in and sit around picking you out to be their next victim but they are only doing what the ppi companies do in England except here they do it over the phone.
The food in Gambia is excellent and the Tandoori is fantastic with them even doing a vindaloo(what a treat in that heat as well).
Sailors down the road isbeing revamped into a new building and looks very modern and there are also ali babas, dominos,Boss lady and the Captains table all really do great food and for the price we could not knock any of it.
Further up the road about a 15 min walk there is JD's a english run restaurant and bar which we tried and went back again because also the food was great.
We went into serrekunda market and was happy to have Daniel who was a great taxi driver and also great person to have because he just helped us thro the crowded streets but you need to go as prices are lower than the craft markets around the hotel.
If you need a taxi driver just see Lala or Lamin the waiter on evenings and they will get Daniel to drive you and say hi to him from Gary and Kay the Arsenal supporters.
What else can be said,forget about trips the wildlife around the hotel is great also the crocodile pool is a must as is the monkey park.
Many people expect a lot but this is Gambia,a country that is trying to find it feet and we love it as did our eleven year old and we will be back,amongst friends that are true friends within the hotel and as somepeople have said"This is a oasis " and this hotel is.

Room Tip: We had a room for three right next to the pool and it was great and easy to come back and forth to t...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GW2355
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ullesthorpe
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 December 2012

The hotel was everything that we expected. Advise pre-booking of a fan for the room as they are in short supply and the rooms are very hot. The hotel gardens are very pleasant and well kept, and lots of quiet areas for relaxation. Staff and food were excellent and a visit to The Captain's Table Restaurant is worthwhile.We took several trips with the locals and all were value for money and we learnt a lot about the real Gambia.

We would recommend Morro at the Gambia Bird Watching Association near the bridge in Kotu.
His email address is morrosanyang@yahoo.co.uk

Room Tip: Try for air conditioned room.
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ullesthorpemiles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bolton, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 29 November 2012

this was our first trip to Gambia, we didnt know what to expect, however we were disappointed. Although the Hotel is only 3 * i did expect more. The rooms are extremely basic (without air conditioning) unless you want to pay more of course, and a fridge is also exra as well. I was very surprised that there was no music in the Hotel at all, this includes the pool area.and no ice for your drinks in quite a few bars belonging to the hotel. Hotel was tidy and the staff more than helpful, Improvement required on breakfast menu! there is only a minimum choice. Once leaving the hotel prepare to be swamped continiously by the locals, and this doesn't let up.Bird watchers are in abundance, its a very idyllic setting, watch for the monkeys that roam free and the monitor lizard tandori food excellent and beer/spirits! Kombo Beach has a great bar, with excellent staff including Cocktail King, Victor! be prepared to SPEND whilst you are there.no entertainment

Room Tip: i would chose a more expensive Hotel if i ever went back - try to get an upstairs room, you can rins...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michelle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stoke-on-Trent
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2012

We got back on 22.11.12 we had a great time, yes the stag do was a little noisy but then so were the bloody bird watchers chatting outside rooms at 7am, none of them ruined our holiday, the staff at Bakotu never stop smiling and please remember Gambian time is slower than GB time, but isn't that why we all go on holiday, to wind down from busy lives. We would highly recommend this hotel, it's in beautiful surroundings, you are advised to request a fridge and fan on arrival and expect to wait a couple of days, they cost about £15 each for 10 days. If you're choosing a trip find Ebou, he's located at Paradise beach bar a short walk up the beach, you won't get better service, he's an excellent guide, knowledgable and genuine, he made our holiday.

Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank vad282
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheshire.UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2012

well what can I say about this hotel I have been to the Gambia eight times and this hotel is only a three star.When we arrived we where shown to block M3 it was right next to the bar a pool .There was a stag do going on and it finshed at 4 am we where going out birding at 7 I was very angry had a word with managment they said they would sort it out two days later we where moved to block C brilliant.Now bear in mind that you have to PAY for A/C or Fan and a Fridge.So if you taker into account you could stay at a far better hotel..If you go to the Indian across the road from hotel cheapest pint and the maels where spot on Alibabis is ok food , but if you fancy get down to the Senagambia lot more to do but again haggle on taxis.Hope you a a better time than we did..Enjkoy..

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank thatsmyman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bakotu Hotel

Property: Bakotu Hotel
Address: Kotu, Gambia
Region: Gambia > Banjul Division > Kotu
Amenities:
Beach Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Hotel Class:3 star — Bakotu Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Renowned and well established, Bakotu is a small, friendly hotel ideally located in Kotu between the beach and the golf course. Facilities include a small swimming pool, sun and shade terraces, reception, laundry, shop, restaurants and bars. Individually decorated rooms, with comfy beds and either terrace or balcony are grouped around mature gardens. The monkeys, squirrels and birds are great attractions. Ideal for those looking for something a little different with good value for money. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bakotu Hotel Kotu
Bakotu Hotel Gambia/Kotu

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