We booked the Kairaba and our two week stay through The Gambia Experience, who were superb in dealing with our requests and upgrades. Flight was okay, but the long wait at the airport was eye opening to say the least, we saw an old lady crying as she came out of the customs office, she was obviously very upset and was shouting at them, later on we found out she wasn't the only one upset, because the customs target visitors and make them hand over money to get their suitcases back, not something you want after a long flight and shame on you Gambia airport to treat tourists like this on their arrival! One thing I would advise is to separate your electronic goods into different suitcases or hand luggage because this is what they were looking for, so we heard. Anyway, on to the hotel. Got booked into our room very quickly, the room was nice, but we had requested a double bed as we were celebrating our wedding anniversary and this we didn't get, they had put 2 single beds together, which they didn't even make up as a king and these kept falling apart. It was low season when we went so they could have done something for us surely. When are hotels going to learn people don't want two single beds pushed together? Breakfasts were good freshly cooked omelettes, pancakes and very good coffee. We ate lunch at the pool on a couple of occasions and the food was okay, but our best meals were at the Ngala Lodge restaurant (See review for that) a lot more pricey than the strip, but in relation to Jersey prices extremely good value. We tried the afternoon tea once, but when I asked for some butter for my scone I was told I would have to wait for an hour because they none! I complained to the reception and butter was then produced, that was the last time we went for afternoon tea. Because we were out most days, happy hour cocktails at the pool from 5.30pm was our relaxing time, it was so nice to sip cocktails and watch the sun go down while chatting to some great people we meet there. It came to the point when we arrived at the pool for cocktails, the staff didn't even have to ask what we wanted, as soon as they saw us, they nodded and the sunbed was made up and the cocktails came. Thank you Guys for looking after us so well, especially Wally and Samba. One piece of advice, don't stay around the pool on a Sunday, as the hotel opens its pool to non tourists who cannot keep their children in check and it is very noisy you cannot relax, on Sundays go to the Coco Ocean hotel, have a spa treatment and lunch there, very relaxing!. Although we had our time staying by the pool, we also had loads of time travelling the country. We travelled by mini bus south of Gambia to the River Gambia National Park, where we stayed at the Chimp rehabilitation Project and travelled all the way back north of Gambia, we saw so much of Gambia and met so many local people who treated us like their family ( see Bushwhacker tours review for all the tours and details of what we did)
To sum up The Kairaba, a good base with excellent staff, good breakfasts that will set you up for the day and the best thing of all, a very central location, with everything you need on the door step.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This premier 5-star hotel in The Gambia is not one to sit on its laurels but has continued to build on its reputation over the years. Located on the idyllic, sprawling golden sandy coastline of the magnificent Atlantic Ocean. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Kairaba Beach
- Kairaba Beach Serekunda
- Kairaba Beach Hotel Gambia