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“Lovely hotel, great staff, friendly people, wonderful bird watching and wildlife; plus sun, sand and peace - what more c”
Review of Bakotu Hotel

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Bakotu Hotel
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Certificate of Excellence
Helston, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel, great staff, friendly people, wonderful bird watching and wildlife; plus sun, sand and peace - what more c”
Reviewed 10 January 2013

This hotel is a small, quite, family run hotel in the heart of Kotu, ideal for people that want a quiet place. When you want a bit more night life - all you have to do is walk across the road to the more lively Combo hotel or take a short taxi into Senelgambi.
The staff were friendly and helpful, rooms cleaned daily. Birdwatching and wildlife great. We would definitely stay there again.
There is a new bird 'viewing balcony' over the river valley - a great place to visit every morning before breakfast and meet other 'birders'.

Room Tip: We prefer a room that doesn't overlook the swimming pool area - apart from that all the rooms ar...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Phoenix029
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2013

My friend and I stayed at Bakotu Hotel at the end of November. We received a warm welcome from the reception staff and had our bags taken to the room for us (we gave a small tip). The rooms are all in bungalows, apart from a couple by the pool which are on two floors, but there are only 80 rooms so it's very compact and quiet.
Our room was a twin room and was a decent size, basic but had what we needed, two chairs and a coffee table, set of drawers and a rail at the end for our clothes with some hangers, which is always useful. The bathroom was fine, though the window wasn't frosted or anything, so we had to be careful when coming out the shower that the gardener or another guest didn't see us in all our glory!
The hotel is a great place for keen wildlife people, we actually heard a thud at our door and when we looked out the window, it was two monkeys! They must have headbutted or slammed into the door! But they didn't give us any bother. We also saw a big lizard of some kind and there were lots of birds, which are a big reason why a lot of people come to the gambia in the first place! There was a guy who sat by the pool, I think he was called George, who offered to do a nature walk for us around the hotel etc but as we had all our trips booked, we didn't bother. The hotel also has a little section for turtles so go and take a look at them! there was at least a dozen!
We had one meal at the Captains Table, and it was very nice, well presented and the staff were lovely. There's a good selection of items including Senegalese chicken soup, seafood and chicken dishes etc.
The breakfast was a bit confusing though. We got bread rolls and jam and jungle juice everyday, but each day was a different accompaniment, one day it was a boiled egg, one day it was watermelon etc. They had other things on the menu, but whether it was an accept misunderstanding or what, but we didn't seem to be able to order anything else or swap anything.
The hotel is well situated, the road outside is not really busy, and just across the road is a big craft market, some beach bars and then the gorgeous beach. It is a bit like running the gauntlet once you come out of your hotel as all the locals want to chat to you and get you to go on trips etc but you just have to be polite yet firm and walk with a purpose and they leave you alone!
All in all, we really enjoyed staying here, it was nice and peaceful, so if that's what you are looking for, give it a try!

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank jill177
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2013

We chose the Bakotu even though it is in a fairly busy part of Kotu because we were a little apprehensive about what we could expect on our first visit to west Africa. The hotel met all our expectations: it's much, much smaller than most if not all of the hotels around it, and in the wider surrounding area. The lovely thing about Bakotu is its setting - a series of discreet white buildings linked by a maze of pathways and set among mature flowering trees and gardens which give plenty of much-needed shade. We were enchanted by the daily visits from a macaque (?) monkey family, thrilled to spot the hotel's regularly-visiting monitor lizard and the giant tortoise, and happy just to while away the hours quietly marvelling at the birdlife. Real wow factor to see all those splendid birds so close-up, but you can walk to the hotel's own look-out platform and gaze across the creek to experience even more - kingfishers, flycatchers, hornbills, egrets, herons, vultures, you name it. Even bird novices like us quickly became quite blase about the variety. The swimming pool and seating area and breakfast/snack area around it is small but pleasant. The staff are very helpful and friendly, as everyone in Gambia seems to be. The gorgeous beach is about two minutes away, but it will take you 30 mins or more to run the gauntlet of the traders who all want to chat and show/sell you things ... they will quickly become like good neighbours. We cycled along the beach - idyllic, and also made several trips out (using the local, official taxis) to nearby forests as well as doing a couple of organised trips. Our room was on the small side for three of us, but was perfectly pleasant and anyway we didn't spend much time inside. Rooms cleaned every day by charming cleaning ladies and the place is crawling with friendly and welcoming staff constantly sweeping the pathways of leaves etc. Only downside (for our son ...) - no wi-fi, but you can go across the road and pay for internet at the Kombo Beach, where there is also a health clinic, plus a bigger restaurant and live music.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Threeberthcarriage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
122 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2013

Whilst situated in Kotu, this hotel benefits from a quiet location and has a great, relaxed atmosphere - no Butlins-style entertainment here! The bar and restaurants are situated around the main pool area and serve a range of drinks and have a bar and a la carte menu for food. This was our first visit to the Gambia and, having had a good explore round, were chuffed with ending up in The Bakotu which has a bit more character than some of the larger tourist hotels. The rooms are in carpeted 'bungalow' accommodation with a large main bedroom and separate shower room, set in lovely gardens with resident monkeys. Rooms were cleaned daily by friendly, smiley staff. The Bakotu has a resident guide/fixer for local birdwatching trips and other excursions.

Room Tip: Ask for a quieter, garden room if you don't want to overlook the pool.
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank mbk09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dartford
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
5 Thank songar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rochester, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank NMosterts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
draycott
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank rubynmurph
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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