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“Definitely the Best”

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Kairaba Beach Hotel
Ranked #3 of 16 Hotels in Serekunda
Reviewed 15 May 2014

We spent a wonderful week with our 10 year old son at the Kairaba over Easter on a B&B basis. This was our 4th visit to the Gambia but the first to this hotel and we are so pleased that we did. Pay no attention to any of the negative comments made by other reviewers, this hotel has it all! The grounds are immaculate and having wildlife so close to you (monkeys, pheasants, birds, bats at dusk and lizards) makes a real difference! The hotel staff cannot do enough to make your stay an experience. Stopping and talking with them will enhance your stay.

The rooms are a little tired but are kept immaculately clean with plentiful replacements of soaps etc. Breakfast on the balcony is superb with a plentiful spread of both hot and cold. We ate dinner twice in the hotel at the pool themed buffet which was fab. The evening entertainment was good for the Gambia. For the other nights we ventured out onto the strip which was brill - vibrant and colourful. Great selection of restaurants. Scala is particularly impressive - we went twice including their Sunday night buffet - outstanding and great value for money.

The pool is great and there are no issue with availability of sunbeds. i had two 30 minute foot massages by the pool from the Spa team (£9 a time) which were out of this world.

It was of interest to note that the airport arrivals has really been sharpened up and is now less chaotic and frustrating making the first impressions of the Gambia much improved.

As on previous reviews I have made about the Gambia people must understand that this is a developing country and therefore you must put everything you see and do in that context. Being friendly, considerate and respectful goes a long way anywhere in the world but in the Gambia it will earn you wonderful smiles and lasting friendships. My last point is that the smallest of tips means such a lot to these people as their weekly wages are pitiful.

The Gambia is only 6 hours away with no time difference. The weather is fab, it is great value for money and you will always receive a smiling and warm welcome. A must and definitely the Kairaba!

Room Tip: Stayed in Room 424 with wonderful views.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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8  Thank SalisburyChris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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231 - 237 of 869 reviews

Reviewed 1 May 2014

A week ago my partner and I visited the Gambia for the first time. We had a sea view room, and the view was lovely. The most impressive part of the hotel is the wonderful gardens which are immaculately kept. All of the hotel staff are very friendly, helpful and always smiling. Our room was always kept beautiful, tidy and clean. (often with petals placed on the beds) We had B&B, the breakfast was fantastic, we ate at the hotel a few times, where the food was nice but we wondered down the street outside most evenings as there are so many lovely restaurants 30 seconds walk away. The only downer is the beach which is extremely eroded outside the kairaba hotel, however it is only a short walk to a bigger, better beach. The pool and sunbathing area however is lovely! After wondering around the other local hotels I will definitely be going back to the Kairaba Hotel again when returning to the Gambia.

Room Tip: sea view room was lovely
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Zoealicia830
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2014

We have just returned from two great weeks at the Kairaba over Easter 2014. My wife and I and our friends had standard rooms on a B and B basis. We had the standard rooms last year and knew that we would each have a decent sized room with a patio (ground floor both visits), comfortable twin beds and a bathroom with a shower and a free of charge electronic safe. Each to their own choice, but personally I would rather spend the £300 upgrade money on trips out or meals as I was only ever in the room to sleep, shower and change. I think that our exit row seats on the plane were more beneficial than a better room. We were just about within range of reception wifi in room 1610 which was a bonus. There was no noise from the car park or indeed anywhere else and a friendly cat slept outside the room most nights.

The hotel has benefitted from some investment since our last visit at Easter 2013. The air con in the room was very effective and the wifi coverage areas extended to pool and bar areas and available bandwith increased. The electricity supply only failed once, briefly, in two weeks which is also an improvement.The gardens remain beautifully maintained and the majority of the staff are as friendly and helpful as ever.

The sea continues its attack on the top level of the beach and the end of the hotel gardens and the new sea defences are unlikely to remain effective for very long. It is however worth noting that the Kairaba has done a much better job of enabling beach access than either the neighbouring Sennegambia Beach Hotel, or the Holiday Beach Club, where access to the sand and the sea is tricky for the fit and agile and risky for those who are less mobile. Sunbed availability by the pool or anywhere else was never a problem. The spa treatment ladies can be a bit persistent and could benefit from some interpersonal skills training, but both of our "boss ladies" enjoyed their poolside treatments.

We enjoyed breakfast in the hotel and never had any problems finding tables. A Saturday night dinner in the fine dining restaurant was less successful as one of the main courses was wrong and the offer by the Manager to remove this item from the bill was not delivered. For the other three of us though, the food was fine and we all thought that the hotel's Tuesday sea food buffet was one of the best meals of the holiday.

Dinners out included old favourites such as Scala (twice - both excellent), Ngala Lodge(expensive, but good food and nice setting), The Butchers Shop (very good food, scores lower for atmosphere), Ali Baba's Garden (good value and live music and free entertainment people watching), African Queen (much better than I was expecting), Wild Monkey (the African dancing is very good but they could do with a few new numbers) and Mr Bass in Cape Point where the food was fine but the live music had finished for the end of the season. The Calypso Beach Bar by the Ocean Bay Hotel is another favourite from the past and I can promise you that you will never find scampi and chips like theirs anywhere else (whole king prawns in batter) for 450 dalasi, great view to the beach over a pool with at least one crocodile and plenty of bird life included. The Phoenix Lounge (Dark Lightening Band location) has a short but very good menu and very cheap and the other Dark Lightening Venue that we went to, Samba's Kitchen on the Palma Rima Rd also offered good value food.

We have done many of the sights on previous holidays but the nearby Monkey park is always fun and is still a bargain at 150 dalasi each). It can be reached on foot from the beach. Turn left outside the Kairaba. Our guide was worth his tip. He concentrated on bird spotting once he knew that we had been before and he is very knowledgeable. He gave me his name and contact details if anyone is interested please PM me. .

We chartered a 35-seater boat and crew from Jane's Boats for a day fishing on the creek for £195. Full details on this and other fishing trips on the "Denton Bridge" comment thread, but in summary this was a very good day out and we caught plenty of fish. Beach fishing from Sanyang Beach (Paradise Beach) was most productive for my friend the keen fisherman and the rest of us enjoyed the fine beach and the sunbeds and the lobster and giant prawn lunches at the Rainbow Bar happily for the three days that he fished there. A trip to the Snake and Reptile Farm followed by lunch at Paradise Beach would be a good day out.

Much has already been said about trips out on here and in my view, a DIY excursion with a trusted green tourist taxi driver is the best and probably most cost effective way to see the sights. For example, we went to Lamin Lodge and stayed for lunch and enjoyed the company of some very cheeky monkeys, saw more birds and watched some local fishermen at work with their nets. A tour party must have wondered why they had gone there as they barely had time for a coffee before being given a two minute warning to be back on the truck and missed the monkeys and the birds. I know that everyone has a favourite driver, but we have used ours since 2010 and his 7 seat people carrier is roadworthy and he drives safely. PM me for his phone number if you are interested.

The Gambia is still a very nice and very safe place for winter sun and The Kairaba probably the best of the hotels. I am looking forward to the next time already.

Room Tip: If you plan on spending a lot of time in the room, upgrade from "standard" . If not, I per...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank IanJMold_Wales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2014

Just returned from 10 days B&B at this fab hotel. We have stayed in the Sengambia which was good but not a patch on the Kairaba. The rooms are far superior. The grounds are beautiful, a tropical paradise. Breakfast was lovely, everything you could want. However, the best assett they have is their staff - they are friendly, helpful and nothing is too much trouble. Would absolutely recommend this hotel and wouldnt stay anywhere else now! Feel free to ask any questions if we can help

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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4  Thank GillNewcastle_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2014 via mobile

Firstly the staff are very friendly and welcoming and make sure you are looked after! On arrival they helped us take our luggage to our rooms and noticed there was no tv in one of the rooms to which they sent for one straight away without us asking or mentioning it. One day we returned to our room to find we had left our safe open and found a note from the housekeeper who had taken everything to security for safety. Thank you Lamin for being so trustworthy and thoughtful! Would like to mention Samba and Tumani who claimed us as their family and made sure we were never without a drink! The hotel is very clean, rooms equip with all you need and good size. Pool area is lovely, pool staff will set your beds up where you want them, there are peacocks, lizards and monkeys occasionally making an appearance and tiger the ginger cat. There are a few different bars and restaurants in the hotel to choose from and the food is very yummy! We loved the Gambian dish Domoda which is your chosen meat in a peanut butter type sauce, very tasty. Take advantage of afternoon tea 4-5 the chocolate cake is amazing and it's free! The spa ladies will be around the pool everyday, we had back massage and foot massage on our last day. Downsides? The beach has collapsed and there is a big drop from the hotel to the beach but you can still access the beach and the sea. This was not really an issue for us and we would definitely recommend this hotel and would stay here again with pleasure!

On another note the 'official tour' directly outside the hotel were great and much cheaper than the travel companies. We were sceptical about this and thought for maximum safety to use the company we traveled with however we read on their information that they do not actually do the tours they only act as an agent (hence why they are almost double the price) we went on two tours the round tour and the safari with the official tour who are situated in a square section directly outside the hotel the vehicles we went in were safe the tour guide we asked for the same one for both as he was fab and very resourceful (called Alex) and we really enjoyed both of the tours!

Stayed: April 2014
3  Thank Carly M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2014

We stayed here in april 2014 and booked on a B&B basis which was the best option as it allowed us to get out and about and try the many restaurants on the strip which is just outside the hotel, The breakfast was very good indeed with a mix of continental, hot english breakfasts with pancakes and eggs cooked to order, Plenty of fresh fruit and fruit juices with the choice of dining out on the terrace or inside the restaurant,
We booked our stay with Thomas Cook which was for a standard room near to the carpark and reception with limited views .After advice from TA members we contacted the hotel prior to our arrival to request a room upgrade and were allocated a delux room which was in the garden area with views of the garden and sea. The up grade cost us £20 per room per night so £280 for the whole stay which was worth the additional cost, We stayed in room 722 which had been refurbished and offered a good standard of comfort, great views, free safe, tea and coffee making facilities, bath robes, flat screen tv, a fridge that actually kept things cold and it was kept spotlessly clean by the maid
We were in the Gambia for the birding and what a great hotel to stay as we recorded 60 species in and around the hotel which is bird friendly providing water pots all around the hotel and food in the form of flowering plants and fruiting trees. Birds viewed from our room were fantastic with egret, starlings, sun birds, robin chats 4 spices of pigeon along with hooded and palm nut vultures and yellow billed kites.

We spent a couple of rest days at the pool which was fine and has a policy of not allowing anyone to reserve sunbeds by placing towels on the beds and also doesn't play any loud music. The pool also provided another great birding site with Rollers, Bee eaters and swallows hawking over the pool. The pool has a restaurant which serves lunch in the form of a snack menu of sandwiches, salads, pizza and pasta. It also serves a buffet evening meal of persons on half board we had a look at the buffet and it looked very good for the price.
The Hotel has another couple of restaurants the Casa Fernando's which we had 2 evening meals in and the food was good with local entertainment also the fine dining restaurant the Shikra which we ate in a couple of times and experienced the best meals and service we had anywhere in the Gambia, This was fine dining at its best and the cost was very good at around £25 per head for soup, starter, main and desert, The outstanding dish was the Lobster broth served with seafood sausage which was rich and full of flavour. Unfortunately we didn't dine in this restaurant until nearly the end of the holiday, next time we will be using it more often.
The outstanding feature of the hotel is its gardens which are maintained by a team of 15 gardeners who take so much pride and care in its upkeep. The hotel also has a small gym and spar along with a money exchange facility.
During our stay we spent most of our days out bird watching with Modou Colley who is the President of the Gambia bird guides association who treated us to some excellent bird sightings and i would highly recommend his services he made the holiday and can be contacted at mcolley99@yahoo.com.
This was our first visit to The Gambia and will not by our last

Room Tip: 722 on the first floor and is one of the refurbished rooms
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank bruce f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2014

i enjoyed my stay for 2 nights only in this resort, the hotel can be described as small Nature reserve, you will enjoy the sounds of birds and playing with monkeys.the breakfast was great espcially the salmon fish and the traditional drink.the stuff is very helpfull.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Mohamed A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kairaba Beach Hotel

Address: 390 PMB, Serekunda, Gambia
Region: Gambia > Banjul Division > Serekunda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Serekunda
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Serekunda
Price Range: £111 - £253 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Kairaba Beach Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 160
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

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