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“2nd visit in 5 months amazing!!!”
Review of Bakotu Hotel

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Bakotu Hotel
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Kotu
Certificate of Excellence
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“2nd visit in 5 months amazing!!!”
Reviewed 15 April 2014

We first stayed in the Bakotu in November 2013 for 10 nights on our return we booked to stay again on 26th March 2014 for 11 nights.
The hotel rooms are basic but spotlessly cleaned everyday (make sure to hand your key in to get cleaned) the beds are very comfortable, plenty of storage for clothes. The bathrooms are small but everything you need the shower is fantastic constant hot water available (if you don't get hot water let them know at reception the heater may not be on). Our room was N2 which was brilliant location right next to the tortoises, also near the pool which could be seen from the room but not over looking (if you want a quiet morning maybe N2 not ideal as other guest bring fruit for the tortoises early in the morning).The rooms have a balcony or a terrace with table and chairs.This room didn't have Air con in November we hired a fan which was more than sufficient but in march it was cooler nights which meant we didn't have to, you can upgrade to Air con at extra cost either on arrival or by emailing the hotel before travel. The Gambia does suffer from power cuts but the hotels have back up generator's and only take a few minutes to start up REMEMBER you are in Africa not Europe.
The hotel is in a fantastic location with restaurant's nearby which include 3 onsite: Baobab, Captains Table and Boss Lady. Across the road there is a Tandoori restaurant and Ali Baba's which serves everything from traditional chicken yassa to English fish and chips. If you are looking for something more relaxed or a take out meal you can go to Dominos which is on the beach front. All the restaurants a very reasonably priced we would spend around £10 for 2 starters, 2 mains and drinks (around the area you will find smaller family run restaurants or street sellers doing food which will cost a lot less).
At the hotel there is a mini market (there is a second mini market across the road) selling most things you would get from home so don't worry if you forget anything, as part of the hotel there are two bars Skippers and Tiger-Tiger which have seats outside which is perfect for people watching or having a lazy afternoon with a cool beer (local beer is Julbrew). Bakotu has a massage studio which also does nails,hair and waxing we've had 3 treatments over our 2 visits which were fantastic. Tip: don't have anything planned for the day other the relaxing as the massage makes you very relaxed. Go see Ade and the girls who do a fantastic job there.
The hotel doesn't have Wi-Fi but the Kombo across the road does which also shows the football, you can also get Wi-Fi at the BB hotel next door, which can be picked up at the Bakotu in certain areas. We purchased a sim card whilst there which we used in an unlocked phone, this is a good/cheaper option if you want to use facebook,whatsapp etc,and is easy to top up with the scratch cards from the mini market.
The hotel grounds are lovely well kept with lots of flowers and shrubs, the pool area is quiet and relaxing with no music so if you like to relax with music take your IPod/MP3 player. Towards the back of the hotel there is a bird watching platform which looks over looks the Kotu stream you can also come out the grounds and walk round the stream. Around the grounds you will see monkeys this could also be on your balcony/terrace. There are few more cats around the hotel now compared to when we went in November this is not an issue they are well kept and not vicious, more often you will see them in the shade sleeping. We didn't feed the cats (although very tempting) as this meant they weren't around the room constantly.
All the staff were very friendly and helpful if you needed anything they were very quick to help. Bi (sorry if not spelt correctly) who works on reception in the afternoon was excellent, we had a problem with our shower head and our fridge (payable locally) was freezing all our food, the knob to turn it down had fallen off, he had these sorted straight away by King Solomon who again was a lovely member of staff always friendly said hello when ever he saw you. The night guard Lamin was also very helpful and friendly.
After reading many reviews about the breakfast we wasn't sure what to expect. The hotel offers three breakfasts Baobab breakfast which is continental almost consist of 2 bread rolls each egg of the day which could be boiled, scrambled, omelette or fried, Jam/marmalade, cheese and fruit with juice tea or coffee. There is also full English or American Breakfast. We had the Baobab every morning and have no complaints there was plenty of it and set you up for the day! The staff at breakfast were excellent and very friendly. Whilst in the Gambia wherever we ate we never had a bad meal and found all restaurants sold a good variety of food to suit everyone.
Kotu its self is a small resort very relaxing but close enough to Senegambia 10 mins by taxi which has a large selection of bar and restaurants for a late night out.
We did several tours whilst in the Gambia which range from lazy day fishing to busy markets of Banjul and Serrekunda. Don't ever think there wont be much to do in the Gambia you can go on an adventure everyday! We did our tours with a local Baka who we found excellent very reliable and trustworthy he also picked us up from the airport on our return. We would have no issue recommending him. Please remember most the Gambians will say they are tour guides but be careful if you are unsure, use one of the bigger companies. All Gambians will want to be your friend they will want to know your name where your from how the family is but don't be alarmed by this. If you don't want what they are selling be firm but be friendly and never admit to it been your first time there, tell them you are a frequent visitor.

We loved the Gambia and The Bakotu Hotel we will never stay at another hotel when visiting, we felt very safe secure and happy at all times in the hotel and outside.
We will defiantly be returning hopefully November this year and see the Gambia and Bakotu as a destination we would always like to visit for many years to come.

Top Tips
Take pound coins for arrival at the airport for tips.
Take any unwanted clothes school books, pens the Gambians are very grateful of this.
If travelling later in the season e.g March take a jumper, Jacket, trousers as cooler in the evening

Becky and Ali

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Rebecca B
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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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (133)
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liverpool
Level 6 Contributor
147 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2014

We recently stayed here for a week and had a fab holiday hotel was good we read plenty of reviews before we decided on staying and we glad we decided on this hotel the staff were very friendly and helpful. The rooms basic but comfortable bathrooms very basic but a hot shower, the grounds were brilliant with a great pool really quiet too which was great. You must eat at the captains table their restaurant excellent value and great food. The breakfast was good despite lots of negative comments on tripadvisor three choices English American and continental different choice of eggs each day don't expect napkins though we used the facilities of BOB a local guy who showed us the true Gambia worth doing some trips with him. Great friendly staff really made you feel at home Tip wait to change your money at resort better rate of exchange than marks and Spencer's also take some gel the money is disgusting dirty

Room Tip: We liked the rooms on the first floor although the bungalows looked lovely
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank scouser79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
northwich
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2014

We have just returned from the gambia after staying at bakotu hotel kotu stream. We read many negative things about this hotel, all which we found to be untrue. Our room was quite big, very clean, fresh towels every day, flowers put on the bed. The grounds although a bit tropical in places are well kept, monkeys came to see us everyday, the birds and viewing platform are a bird watchers delight although we did not do any bird watching. Breakfast was good, service good, we had the American breakfast every day, all the staff were very friendly towards us, and the reception staff were amazing very informative of places to visit, and very professional, so if you are looing for a holiday in a decent hotel, not five star, but a very good 2/3 clean and in a very good area, you can do no better we think than bakotuxxx lynn and martyn we returned 6/4/2014

Room Tip: Email hotel and stay in rooms either in the c's or d's far enough away from the hustle and b...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank lindylounorthwich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 April 2014

We have just got back from a week in gambia, staying at Bakuto … we thought it was lovely - great location, and lovely gardens and pool - it was very quiet the week we were there which suited us well. The local family of monkeys are lots of fun and the food was fine . The staff were mostly friendly and helpful. Counter to what i have read on here about the place we thought it was great and I think some people have an odd expectation of an African hotel, in a very poor country, and are over critical to the extreme?
Our only issue was that we heard the hotel was not Gambian owned but Dutch owned, which would mean we may not go back there, despite loving it, as we really want to help support the local economy by using a Gambian owned hotel.

Room Tip: a room away from the pool area is ideal
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Elaine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2014 via mobile

What can I say, we've just returned home from an amazing holiday in The Gambia. The Bakotu hotel surpassed all expectations.
Our room was on the 1st floor overlooking the rear of the gardens, one of the best locations. From here we regularly saw the monkeys, tortoises, monitor lizards and numerous birds. You don't get that everywhere.
Our room was basic but clean, plenty of hot water and comfortable beds, that's all you need unless you plan to spend all your holiday in your room.
The hotel staff are brilliant, always have a smile and are happy to help. I really don't understand some fellow reviewers who have said the opposite.
We tried a trip with an 'independant' guide, all I can say is if this is your chosen route to see Gambia chose carefully. We then used Arch Tours and wow what a great day out.
We would definitely like to return to The Bakotu Hotel and sincerely thank the staff, Bye, Lamin(s), Fatou and Amy.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank Lesthorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2014

Good location away from the hassle. Stayed here 2 years ago and there has been a marked decline. There is hardly any wildlife in the grounds now as it has become infested with cats which are disastrous for all kinds of wildlife. A viewing platform has been constructed overlooking the Mangroves but they destroyed a large patch of mangrove in doing this and with more human activity and invasive pigs around there will be nothing to overlook soon. The accommodation has been further neglected with things like exposed wiring, broken fittings, stained carpets and walls being common, I would liken it to a poor students bedsit such has been the deterioration. Ask for a room away from housekeeping as they view work as a social occasion and they prattle and shout loudly to each other all day with no guest consideration, a siesta is impossible because of this. The breakfasts have improved in that there is more of it but the menu is inflexible with 3 fixed options. It would be better to have , say, a choice of 4 or 5 items from one list as there is invariably something in each option one doesn't like and food goes to waste. Most of the waiters are either Sullen, Incompetent ,Disinterested or Unhelpful and give a resentful look if asked for anything and then take ages to complete the task, like petulant children, with the result that breakfast can drag on for way too long. Luckily the area has good walking and wildlife options so you can escape, don't pay more than £40 per person for a full day with driver and guide, quality varies so be careful, we used Tijan Kanteh on this and the last trip and he is an excellent senior guide. Our next Gambian experience will be elsewhere though.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank paul n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barton
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2014

Stayed one week 19 Mach to 26 March 2014
Travelled with wife
From arrival to departure the staff were brilliant, Room F6 was perfect, but all rooms looked o/k
Room was a bit tired but comfortable, you only sleep there
The Hotel is a collection of Bungalows set in a garden layout with a central pool and bar, the beauty is that it is peaceful, no hassle no noise, no entertainment just the people staying there, have a nice cold beer and chat, outside you have all the hustle and bustle of the Gambia
if you want something a bit livelier you can nip over to the Kombo Beach hotel
Rooms are cleaned every day
For a small tip the cleaner will leave you spare towels (for the beach)
Breakfast could be better : your only choice is a local breakfast 2 bread rolls with filling they give you, no choice and an egg. English breakfast don't get exited and American breakfast ditto
But all in all it was enough.
If you want to go on the beach use Ninki Nanka restaurant, their beach front is superb and free.
All local restaurants are good value.
If you go to the Senagamia Strip for a meal don't go to Mandellas, got ripped off by waiter not counting out our bill payment in front of us, he game back and said it was short, we knew it was correct.
Make sure the restaurant count your money in front of you.
There is a list of taxi fares, but all fares are negotiable.
Just go and have a lovely peaceful holiday

Room Tip: Rooms around the outer wall seemed a little out of the way. Some rooms have A/C make your choice cl...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BezaBarton
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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