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“Fantastic holiday, great people, great hotel”
Review of Bakotu Hotel

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Bakotu Hotel
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 January 2013

We have just come back from the Bakotu (31/12/12) and we had a brilliant time. We could not fault the staff there, (Fatu, Eddie, Ethel, Captain to name a few made our holiday great).
Rooms - cleaned every day. Beds comfy, hot water, toilet, what more do you need.
Pool area - perfectly quiet with no entertainment or people trying to drag you up to do activties you dont want to do. Water was freezing but was needed as weather was so hot.
Food - all the complaints re the breakfast. Yes you got a couple of rolls each, jam, tea, coffee, juice and you could pick from boiled egg, banana, peanut butter, porridge or melon depending on the day but how many people actually eat breakfast and if so you really eat all that every day? if you want a little egg and bacon yoyu could have it for a pound.
We went half board and i can honestly say this food was some of the best i have ever eaten abroad in a hotel. There was always something to choose from and no matter what i had did not dissapoint, You must try beef cassserole, chicken Yassa, bonga fish, chicked kiev, turbot and chicken nobalis. Boss lady & Captains Table were both fantastic.
Animals - we fet like we was in a zoo. Surrounded by beautiful birds, a family of monkeys, a huge tortoise with loads of babies and a big lizard. This too was brilliant. Once minute your sun bathing the next the tortoise is walking round the pool and monkeys sitting on your sun bed!
We would go back like a shot with no qualms at all. Brilliant holiday!!

Room Tip: We stayed in block C which was at the rear of the hotel so lovely and quiet. We didnt need to hir...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank songar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 January 2013

Bakotu Hotel in The Gambia is just such a lovely place. We had room S1, which was absolutely gorgeous. You felt so in touch with nature. It was literally all around you. The staff there are so friendly and helpful. The room will be cleaned everyday if you just leave your hotel room key with reception in the morning. The rooms are a little basic, but exactly what we were looking for. Perhaps get yourself a portable kettle if you prefer a cuppa in the morning without having to go to the pool/breakfast area. The pool is lovely and kept clean often. There was always a least a couple sun loungers available, which is unusual for many hotels. I loved the breakfasts. Rolls, porridge or a boiled egg or banana or peanut butter. What's not to love? It was different everyday and I love how fresh the rolls were. Delicious. There were also options to have bigger, English breakfasts but we didn't feel we needed that and I think you had to pay for some of those (not a lot though). Dinners are delicious. I didn't eat anything that I didn't love. Even tried things I would never normally eat and loved it. You do have to be patient though. Everything there is very laid back and takes a lot longer than it does in the UK, but that didn't bother us. We just enjoyed the extra chatting and chilling time. It was our honeymoon and one we will never forget. The people in The Gambia are amazing and so friendly. Loved it. Highly recommended (especially the Bakotu Hotel).

Room Tip: All I can say is we had room S1 and we absolutely loved it. Stunning. Do try to get a room away from...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank NMosterts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2012

This hotel was basic but clean. In a good area if you are a keen birdwatcher but we were very disappointed with the standard and quality of the breakfasts. The rooms were clean, bathrooms very basic but the maid cleaned every day and was always very pleasant. The breakfasts were a bit of a joke, if you sat somewhere not in their main eye area you were ignored. The food consisted of 2 bread rolls, some butter and jam. A cup of tea or coffee (couldn't tell which was which it was so weak) and a choice of either 2 slices of cheese, 2 slices of melon or a boiled egg. Some days there was Gambian porridge. You could order from the menu if you wanted something else (at a charge) but on the 2 occasions we did this we waited at least 20 minutes. The breakfast staff just didn't seem to care. This was a real let down. This was our second time in the Gambia, the first being 2 years ago when we stayed on the river at Mandina, a totally diffferent experience. The restaurants outside the hotel are good, especially Boss Lady, the Indian restaurant and the Pizza place. We weren't all that keen on the food at Dominoes, on the beach, but it was a good place to spend the day and they looked after you well with drinks and snacks. The fruit ladies are great as is their fruit.

Room Tip: rooms further away from the pool are nice and peaceful
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank rubynmurph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2012

Ok, yes, the hotel is basic and breakfast a whole new experience, BUT ( and yes it is a big but) the beds were clean and comfortable so a good nights sleep, always important. The maid came in everyday and cleaned and tidied the room. We went B & B, a wise choice because half board is expensive and you have extremely limited menu options. We never paid more that D1,000 for a 2 course evening meal but then we don't drink so that price only includes soft drinks. We had huge tigers prawns ( average 16 per dish) or fillet steak every night ( different recipes) and all beautifully cooked and totally delicious. We ate from the Captains al la carte menu when we ate at the hotel but look around delicious places to eat are plentiful. George is the resident guide/bird watcher, a totally brilliant all round guy. An earlier review states he has comparably good English, I question the reviewers first language because we found his English excellent and he a real gentleman who give out and takes jokes. Yes you can do 'touristy' things more cheaply but he is worth that bit extra. He can spot the smallest bird hiding in a tree from a great distance. He answered questions on the history and culture of The Gambia very freely and honestly. There is a young girl who 'waits' at breakfast ( she wears the most brilliant shoes) she is exactly what you needs to see and hear in the morning, unless you're a grump, she's always happy, smiley and singing softly to her self, she is a truly lovely young lady. I have only written about 2 but in truth all the staff were lovely, not a sour or miserable face could be seen and nothing was too much trouble. Another huge plus for Bakotu is...night life...there is very little in the hotel but approx 100 yards down the road is Kombo Hotel and they have Tv sports, live music and disco/dancing etc. why is this a plus for the Bakotu? If you want to join in you can, however if you want an early night you're not kept awake by the noise. I could go on and on, my advice is book here and go and see for yourself. If you want a good bed in a good location with good food available without the huge price tag, This is IT. don't be fooled into paying for air con or a fridge. The rooms are big they have mosquito netting on all windows and the bar staff were more than willing to keep my milk in the bar fridge. Sorted. Sit back and enjoy.

Room Tip: We were in C5 so towards the back. We intend to request the same room next year when we go.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Jen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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3  Thank Melanie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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3  Thank kaysh45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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2  Thank GW2355
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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
Price Range: £60 - £78 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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