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“Fabulous everywhere, except average rooms” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Senegambia Beach Hotel

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Senegambia Beach Hotel
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Serekunda
Suffolk, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Fabulous everywhere, except average rooms”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 November 2012

This is great hotel set in beautiful grounds with fantastic wildlife, excellent swimming pools (2), great restaurants and a stunning beach. OK the rooms are not the height of luxury - for that go to the Sheraton at Brufut Heights - but they are serviceable and kept immaculately clean by the ever willing, helpful and smiling staff. Although set into a slight hill, the hotel is perfectly set out for wheel chairs or push chairs.
The local area of Senegambia will either be fascinating or frustrating. The hotel is at the end of 'The Strip' which means if you want to walk anywhere you will be confronted by local people asking, politely, that you stop and talk about their shops, taxi's, trips or anything else that will part you with your holiday cash. There appears to be 2 ways to deal with this. Be polite back and enjoy the banter, being firm but pleasant if you don't want their products, or just be rude and spoil your own holiday! Be aware though that the craft market will push your tolerance levels to the limit. There is no chance of browsing, you will be hounded all the time you are there - and at times after you have left also. There are exceptions - a guy called Omar Shariff (yes, really!) in stall no. 55 is a genuinely nice guy.
Ultimately though, it's your holiday so enjoy it. The hotel is good enough so that if you don't want any hassle you can stay there for a week and be perfectly happy. You'll spend a lot less in the local restaurants though, but avoid the Ali Baba pizza place at all cost.
Oh, one more thing, the arrival back at Banjul airport will remind you of feeding time for the vultures at the hotel. The trolley guys are a nightmare - it may be the only time when being rude is appropriate!

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MLKsDad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,185 reviews from our community

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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 (259)
Date | Rating
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English first
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
78 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2012

We stayed here for a week in November. The entrance foyer is large and well maintained however the rest of the facilities are in need of painting and general maintenance. We stayed in H block. Rooms are a good size but basic although there is a fridge in the room. The bathroom is basic, it is clean but looks a bit jaded. Toilet paper can not be flushed down the toilet so a bin is provided. Unfortunately this is only emptied once in 24 hours. The only toiletries provided were two very small bars of soap.
There is a safe in the room, however, there is an additional charge for this. Beach towels are provided but if you require fresh ones there is also a charge.

The hotel has a bank where you can change your money but you get a much better rate on The Strip where you can also negotiate.

We only ate breakfast at the hotel. This was just average. Consdiering the amount of fruit on sale outside the hotel it was a shame that the hotel only offered a choice of three fruits. There was a Gambian breakfast option available too.

When we stayed the hotel wasn't busy but even so people were placing towels on the sunbeds at 7am to "reserve" them. This wasn't a problem for us as we were able to get a sunbed on the occasions we needed to but I can imagine that this might be an issue if the hotel was full.

The monkeys from the local monkey park come into the hotel grounds and are very playful and photogenic. There are lots of cats and dogs in the grounds and on the beach. The Vulture feeding is quite a sight and takes place daily at 11.30.

The resident bird watcher is very knowledgable and does a tour of the grounds every evening around 5pm.

Walking along the beach is very nice. Yes you will get approached by the Bumsters but you either relax and embrace this culture or you will get very irritated.

The craft market is worth a visit for souvenirs but you will get hassled and you do need to barter. I had two dresses made by Maria at No 23 and I think had really good value for money.

The money is very dirty so take plenty of hand gel to avoid the "Banjul Belly". Also it's a good idea to get some small notes as tipping is the norm and is expected.

We booked our holiday with Thomas Cook. The flight is incredibly cramped and if you choose the seats at the front of the plane there is limited space in the overhead lockers because of all the crews equipment. Be warned that your handbaggage will be weighed and you will be charged £18 per kilo over the limit. Only one piece of hand luggage is allowed and that includes handbags. On the return we booked the First Class Lounge for £15 each. This was well worth it, especially as the flight was delayed, we had comfortable sofas in an air conditioned room with WiFi (slow) and waitress service with free drinks.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank CandDy_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Telford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2012

The hotel is in the liveliest resort in Gambia with two pools and a private beach. Rooms are basic but perfectly adequate and families can get rooms side by side, with adjoining terraces on the ground floors. The one bedroom apartments are really only big enough for 2 adults and 1 child.

On arrival at the airport a porter will get you luggage for a small tip £1. Please let them, they need the money more than you need to carry your own cases in the searing heat. Just make sure they all end up on the transfer coach as its a bit chaotic.

Flights are by Thomas Cook, and take around six hours. Dont change any money with the touts at the airport, as they give a poor rate compared with bureaus de change in resort. I take hard currency and change it up as I need it. If you smoke, bring your own with you as there are many fakes on offer.

Don't be put off by the reports of bumsters hassling you. I always say "yes, I have just arrived but don't need a guide, nor am I going to give you any money. Please tell your friends that I have been here many times and know exactly where I am going and what I want to do" That gets you left alone. Just have a knowing smile on your face when you say it.

The Hotel grounds are well maintained and provide you with your own birdwatchers paradise. The birdman from the local monkey park feeds the vultures at 11am in the hope that you will buy a tour with him. You do not need a guide to visit the park and can walk to it from the hotel via the beach or the strip. If you dont want to be hassled on the beach walk in the water. They wont risk getting their trainers wet.

For sight seeing trips I recommend Arch Tours. If you can only do 1 go for "4 tours in a day". They only have six guests per Landrover with two guides per vehicle. Drinks are included and they dont run out. Birds and breakfast also recommended. The Roots trip on the boat is a good day out too. You may even get a visit from the dolphins. Arch tours give multi tour discounts and will often let you take under 5's free.

The breakfast in the hotel is good with plenty of variety. Take your own mug if you want a take out though as they wont allow crockery back to your room.

There are many restaurants on the strip at varying price ranges. You can eat very cheaply and well, or still cheap and very well at the upper market places like the Scala, Love2, Kora Kora.
I had a bad experience at the indian one night after we noticed my wife's chicken was not cooked. The manager did not understand that this put us all off, and was very unhappy when I offered the money to cover the drinks but sent all the food back. He relented when I asked him to call the police if he wasn't happy with my offer. But he did get a bit aggressive. (not a Gambian). I had eaten there before and always had good food. We would have eaten there again had it not been for his attitude.

The drinks in the hotel are twice the price of outside, but still reasonable. The snack bar is fine and there are plently of staff to give you good service. A small tip goes a long way.

As a family we use the beach pool. Its excellent and has a lifeguard. Its dangerous to swim in the sea if the red flag is flying. Please dont ignore it no matter how good a swimmer you are. A German from a neighbouring hotel drowned when we were there last Easter.

You will get bitten by mossies....fact! Take tiger balm (from Boots) its brilliant, and make sure your innoculations are up to date and you have Malaria tablets. It only takes one to infect you!

The hotel is officially 3 star, but much better than a 5 star that I have just vacated in Sharm el Sheik. I will be booking for next Easter.

There is only one downside. If there is a festival and the hotel puts on a party in the grounds, it will go on to about 5am!!!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 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?
10 Thank ArgentStWarrior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beetsterzwaag, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 November 2012

For a week to Gambia to get some sun. That was no problem. The themprature was very good every day. The sky was bleu and the ocean was very nice to swim in.
The people are very friendly and the breakfast was very good every morning, You good make a good choice in very diffrent products.
The restaurants in the nabourhood off the hotel are good too. every day fresh fish, and that is wat I like. We made a trip whit a truck in the country and the showed use a lot off things.
Sometimes the people are a bit eager too sell or too get contact but thats the way it goes.
There was nog hot water in the shower, but when it is hot outsite it is not a problem.
What you always shoud try is a body massage by ADAMA, she is very very good!

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank jbjvanopzeeland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2012

As I do travel to Gambia since 1984 it was the first time we would like to stay at the Senegambia Hotel. When we did see the Room we were more than shocked.
The room was approx. 8m2 and there was one bed, one wardrobe without no drawer. It was hard to even walk out of the bed because it was exactly 18 cm between the wall and the bed.
The Window was as well the waling door, and there was no other Window which could be open. As well this was a passage where people was walking by to the next rooms. The Bathroom was terrible – there was no board or anything to even put your showergel down. This room is in fact a case for the amnesty international. As well the price of 47 £ for off season is way to much for a room like this. We right away checked out again and went to the Kairaba which is the perfect Hotel with nice rooms and services.

Stayed October 2012, travelled on business
Helpful?
7 Thank Patricia R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bilbao, Spain
Level Contributor
148 reviews
145 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 325 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2012

The hotel is fine, the rooms are simple but very clean. They are equipped in ceiling fans, but it tends to be so hot that their whirring does not bring the expected relief. To the rescue comes the air conditioning, but you have to pay for it. I wish I had been told that upon booking, but I paid anyway since I am not a masochist :)
Otherwise – the staff was helpful and friendly and the whole stay was a blast!
I recommend trips with local guides when lying on the beach becomes too boring :)

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank trvlgrll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zuid-Beijerland, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 September 2012

Good people Nice Nice hotel, swimmingpool is good, And garden AMAZING, people are smilling And Nice all off them are SO Nice they make your holiday to come back year afther year.. Wijnand Buitendijk GambiaNeedsHelp

Room Tip: Take à room arround The garden
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Wijngambianeedshelp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Senegambia Beach Hotel

Property: Senegambia Beach Hotel
Address: P.O. Box 2373, Serekunda, Gambia
Region: Gambia > Banjul Division > Serekunda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Serekunda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Senegambia Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 328
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Senegambia Beach
Senegambia Beach Kololi
Senegambia Hotel
Senegambia Beach Hotel Gambia

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