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“Feel at Home” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Bungalow Beach Hotel

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Bungalow Beach Hotel
Ranked #7 of 8 Hotels in Serekunda
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Feel at Home”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2013

We stayed in the BB hotel in February 2013 and will stay again same time 2014.
Me, my wife and my mother in law felt like having made a discovery after our fist stay, it was like an upgrade from a hotel type of accommodation.
Very nice to have you own kitchen and be able to cook and keep things in the fridge, anything you want to make with proper space to do so.
One of the things we like is that even when the BB is full up, you never notice it, it always feels easygoing, never crowded.
The beach can compare to the ones in South-East Asia I have been and that goes for just a small part of the kilometers-long stretch of sand that goes from around Kotu to Senegambia and beyond.
The hotel is right on the beach so you can hear the waves, and you can see the ocean from about all the apartments.
I made a short, informative video about the hotel, you can see it when you go to the BB hotel photo's and filter on video's.
I like editing!

Tips: Take things from home to make your breakfast even better.
Take things to decorate the apartment a bit to really feel at home.

Room Tip: First floor rooms have a better view, but ground floor has the grassy lawn. Because of the sea bree...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mark V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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41 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    6
    16
    13
    5
    1
See reviews for
7
15
5
4
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Northampton
Level Contributor
76 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 March 2013

This is the second time I've been here and I like Bungalow Beach for all its faults.
It's in a great location - right on the beach at Kotu Beach and the grounds are immaculately kept. Accommodation is in 4 two storey blocks (don't be put off by 'blocks' - they're not as regimented as they sound), and consist of small 'suites' comprising a twin bedroom (with optional aircon), a separate shower room / wc, and a walk-in wardrobe.There is also a sitting / dining room with a table with 4 dining chairs, two upholstered chairs and an occasional table. In this room there is also a small kitchen area with 2 electric hotplates and a fridge. Basic cooking and eating utensils are provided.
The rooms on the lower floors have a small shaded verandah with two chairs and a table which leads directly on to a well-kept lawn area with attractive flower beds. The rooms on the upper floors have a small shaded balcony and overlook the gardens, again with table and chairs. Some of the upper rooms have a side-on sea view. I think the lower rooms are preferable because of the direct access to the gardens which are nicely shaded by palm trees. You can rent sun loungers from the beach and they will bring them to your room.

The rooms are clean but in need of some renovation.

The fridge is stocked with basics on arrival. Each morning bread is delivered to your room and you prepare your own breakfast and eat it on your verandah. This is a good arrangement and I like it. Instant coffee is provided, but bring your own tea bags. Very basic supplies are available from local shops and hotels. Breakfast is available in the hotel restaurant at extra cost - I haven't tried it so can't comment on the quality. I did eat 1 dinner in the restaurant and it was pretty good, but not as good as the Ninky Nanky just down the road / along the beach.

Hotels in The Gambia are a very mixed bunch, but this one has a certain charm that appeals to me. I've wandered around other hotels and can't find one that suits me better in the same price range.

I stayed in Block A and found it a bit noisy at night. Blocks B and C are probably best, being away from surrounding properties.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Keith R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bedlington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 March 2013

Just returned from ten days here and my first trip to The Gambia. Found my single room to be very basic and in need of some major refurb. Having said that it was clean and bug free . Breakfast was already in my fridge with fresh bread every day, waited two days for more toilet rolls and they ran out of clean towels on one occasion, apparently the washers were broken! Staff were lovely but even more persistent than the bumsters, they all want help in one way or another and to be honest it got on my nerves. Will I go back, maybe. One more thing, only one socket in my room.

Room Tip: Only experienced the singe apartment but apparently some of the bigger ones are ok.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Kim J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seinajoki, Finland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 January 2013

Hotel is pretty old and therefore looks a little tired. But it's very clean and they have all the basic things.

Location is great, it is on the beach: you can walk from the hotel gate right into the ocean. We didn't do that a lot, because they said that currents are strong.

You can make breakfast and meals in your room or eat in the restaurant (we ate breakfast in the room, and especially sugar gathered ants in the kitchen, a lot of them!!) Usually we took a taxi and went to a different restaurants for dinner in the evenign.

We had a group of three familys, also kids around ten years. We had the same big taxi (for about 10 people) that took us from the hotel in the morning and he was with us the hole day. We went to Paradise beach, Monkey park, National Park in Senegal (ferry trip was wild, at least!!!) and some sight seeing too.

My brother stayed a few day longer with his family. In their last day there they cought a snake, big one, python perhaps, only about 800 meters from our hotel. It took 5 men to hold that snake. So, it is Africa, though the hotel area looks so nice and beautiful!

It was warm and we had fun. We stayed at the hotel in february 2011.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank HHUV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 November 2011

I've stayed here on and off since 1998. Great grounds. I love the fact that we can cook our own meals in the apartment. Very clean. old fashioned late 1950s decor. I agree you should bring your own teabags...Dont like the way the beds are made ...really annoying peculiar blanket and sheet folds. Bathroom very clean. The odd harmless tiny insect or mini salamander crept into the bathroom but there were absolutely no cockroaches or mozzies. Grounds are great and the staff are really lovely especially Mr Sillah at reception. A good quiet security conscious hotel for people who aren't keen on loads of excitement and noise. Atlantic Ocean sound is fab. Mainly Scandinavian visitors, not so many English and not so many families with children (which was great as there wasnt the sound of piercing irritating childrens screams and quarrels by the pool etc...) you do need the air conditioner though as it is hot in the rooms.....

Room Tip: go for rooms further away from reception for more privacy BB's doesnt charge a single supplemen...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank chantal b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
devon
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 November 2011

bb is a lovely hotel,on our first visit in 2008,we were a little shocked by how basic it was,in the uk it would probably have 1 * rating,but we warmed to the place and soon realisedd that in a 3rd world country this was luxuary,we had 2 little single beds on metal legs,however very comfy.
the bathroom is basic but clean and the drains dont smell or block.
the kitchen is very dated,just 2 cooker rings,no oven,utilities are basic,1 small frying pan,2 saucepans,a couple of utensils.
the rooms are cleaned daily and fresh bread left on your balcony table every morning,once a week the fridge is stocked with milk,jam,butter,tinned meat and orange juice.
we did have 2 cockroaches,but have stayed their 3 times since and no bugs,you can get the room cleaner to spray and the bugs stay away.
The restaurant food,for me is not great,i found the food bland,and being vegatarian there was no food for me to eat!!!
eveing entertainment was a good effort,all in all a plesant stay.

Room Tip: corner as sea balconys. pay a small fee and get room with air con,else can be stuffy at night
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank mamdevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ireland
Level Contributor
63 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2010

We stayed 14 nights in Bungalow Beach. We had been a bit worried about the small number of reviews of BB (as it is known) however on arrival we suspect that this is more because the majority of guests appear to be from outside English speaking countries - mainly Scandinavian.

This was a wonderful relaxing holiday as we had wanted. The location is superb - right on the beach (although tastefully screened by palm trees). We had a seaview apartment on the first floor. The sea view, glimpsed through said palm trees was wonderful, and the proximity to the ocean may have accounted for the fact that we did not see one mosquito. The ocean waves rolled in all day and night - a bit noisy at times but we got used to it - if you live near a motorway it will be like home.

The hotel is functional and is probably showing its age. It is clean and newly painted, but some of the fittings in the apartment could be updated. There is a sitting, kitchen/dining room, bedroom and bathroom (shower only). The rooms are of a good size but the telephone didn't work, the airconditioning was disconnected, the fridge door didn't close properly (of main concern as we couldn't make ice from our bottled water), no television. The balcony is actually a walkway to all apartments on that level, so they're not private and everyone walking by has to either greet you or ignore you. While there is a light on the outside walls, there should also be a light over the door as without a torch you couldn't see where the lock was. We saw a lot of people had brought candles for evening meals and drinks on the terrace. We brought an exension lead with extra sockets to cope with all our additional electrics. The apartment we had used 2 pin plugs so you'll need an adaptor for UK/Irish plugs.

The staff in general were friendly and helpful - especially our 'cleaning boy' as he insisted on calling himself. He kept the apartment really clean and even washed the breakfast dishes which we hadn't expected.

The food in the hotel was ok, but not the best. The weekly breakfast 'hamper' consisted of 2 tins of coffee,14 eggs, a jar of jam, 2 tins of spam (ie chicken luncheon meat), two packets of spreadable cheese (triangles), butter, UHT milk. Each day two fresh baguettes were delivered. While there are a number of mini markets close by, the amount of fresh food was limited, and relatively pricy. It is possible to buy fresh fruit from the fruit ladies on the beach (again not cheap - 150 dalassis for a plate - approximately €4) or for the adventurous, a trip to the market but as this would involve a taxi ride, and all the attendant hassle we didn't bother. We ate in the hotel once or twice, but the menu is limited and the restaurants outside are far better (or those in the Senegambia strip - taxi ride approx €10 return). We'd recommend The Captain's table (a little bit more class); the Boss Lady (Gambian good), Veejay's (Indian), Ali Baba's (a bit of everything).

We had been warned about the bumsters so we were prepared - it was a bit much at times to have all the attention - hallooo, how are youuuu, whats your names, I want to be your friend.... on the beach, on the road outside. But we found a firm but polite, thank you we're fine, ignore the requests for email addressess, say we love the Gambia, thank you, no we don't want a taxi, no we don't want to go fishing, no we don't want any fruit, no we don't.... Most of the time, we were left alone, once or twice we had to say 'we would like to walk on our own, please leave us alone' - but even still people were charming and never aggressive (even if persistent). One tip is not to say 'maybe later' as they take this as a commitment and will be there, whenever later occurs, to say you promised...

There is a small craft shop in the grounds which was actually good value and had fixed prices which turned out to be on a par with prices we'd paid in the market after long and painful bargaining. Another nice feature is that the hotel invites stall holders from the market to sell their wares a few days a week - so they come to you.

All in all we'd recommend this hotel for families and couples and individuals who want to have a relaxing holiday. We met some people who had come out on their own and had enjoyed the experience. BB was relatively quiet (although most nights there was drumming on the beach). There's a good swimming pool (the sea is very dangerous and most days not suitable for swimming); there's wifi and an internet cafe - ask for what deals are available & don't just sign up for the hourly rate which is €3 approx. The gardens are lovely and there is a bar on the beach front, with sunbeds. It's easy to get around the rest of Gambia as there are tours, and the taxis will go wherever you want. For throbbing nightlife go to Senegambia strip - great fun to visit and then get back to the relative tranquility...

For those seeking a more generic European type hotel the Kombo beach beside BB is a nice place to stroll into for cocktails and football TV etc - but we'd prefer to stay in BB again.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Taistil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bungalow Beach Hotel

Property: Bungalow Beach Hotel
Address: P.O. Box 2637, Serekunda, Gambia
Region: Gambia > Banjul Division > Serekunda
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 8 Hotels in Serekunda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Bungalow Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 122
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Bungalow Beach Hotel Gambia

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