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“The perfect sunshine break”

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Senegambia Beach Hotel
Ranked #1 of 16 Hotels in Serekunda
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 March 2009

If you are looking for a sunshine break, taking in Gambia culture then this is the hotel for you. Ideally situated as it is on the beach and also at the end of the "strip" (the road with the restauants and bars). Most other hotels in this resort are on the beach, but the beach runs parallel to the strip so at other hotels you are a walk away from the restaurants and in the dark it's not the best trying to get there. This hotel has basic but adequate rooms, two pools (a quieter one and a more lively one), a fantastic terrace/snack bar overlooking the sea and the beach, lovely gardens and it's own beach manned by staff so that the hagglers can't get on. The wildlife is amazing - monkeys roam around the hotel. You must do the bird walk with the bird man in the gardens to see all the different birds in the grounds. He'll also take you to the local monkey park for a small fee - better than going on your own.
There are 20+ restaurants within 5 minutes walk of the hotel - great choice. You will got stopped by the locals, but be firm and say no and carry on and they will leave you alone.
If you want to chill out without wandering too far, but take in some of The Gambia as well this is perfect.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank HOLIDAYTRAVELLER94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 March 2009

This was a brilliant hotel, the rooms were very basic (It is Africa after all)!! but they were cleaned every day with fresh towels and sheets. We really didn't spend much time in our room as there is so much to do. The grounds of the hotel are gorgeous, lots of really pretty and unusual birds including Vulture feeding every day. My favourites were the monkeys that came to visit every day. Mostly for breakfast, but they do spend time all around the hotel gardens and are very friendly and very used to people. But do be careful as they have very big teeth and can also bite. But they are a joy to watch as they play. The hotel is situated right next to the main strip...it's far enough away so it is not noisey but a couple of minutes walk to the bars and restaurants. The hotel restaurant was also excellent for breakfast and dinner. We were only B&B but the menus for dinner in the restaurant were always varied and looked really nice. Having been to the Gambia before I already knew about the locals and how much they pester you, but as long as you give them a very firm no and don't engage them in conversation they soon leave you alone.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Lainey556
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2009

We have just returned from a week spent in the Senegambia Hotel. We asked to be moved there from the Mansea which was uninhabitable.( see seperate review)
We can find no fault at all with this hotel it was perfect, very clean and the staff could not have been more helpful. Breakfast was very very good, we even had monkeys join us for breakfast most mornings, and watching them play in the sunshine was amazing. We ate in the hotel one evening which was good with plenty of choice. The swiming pool attendants reserved our sunbeds for us each morning, and the resident animation team managed to get one of our party into the pool each day for 45 mins of water aerobics As this is a third world country we were not expecting a lot but we were very pleasantly surprised with the standard of this hotel, so much so we will be returning again next year, only next time for 2 weeks and will be half board so as to be able to take advantage of the lovely meals
If you want a reasonably priced hotel without sacrificing comfort then book the Senegambia.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled with family
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4  Thank happytraveller200955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2009

Firstly, far be it from me to state the obvious but THIS IS AFRICA. I don't mean that in a condescending way and nothing else is implied yet, for the experience, this is very hard to beat for value/service/cleanliness/location and the people. Right off the bat, the people are what makes Gambia an unforgetable place. It's not for everyone, yet everyone should try it. Pure Africa - unabashed friendliness and a smile which puts us all to shame.
When you arrive, you have to ignore your immediate impulse to try and upgrade as there's nothing to upgrade to. The Kariba (5 star) next door hotel is more 3-4* eurpoean standard yet it doesn't have half the charm or facilities of the Senegambia and so is pointless in my view.
The rooms in the Senegambia are purely functional, yet the beds (all twins) are very comfortable and firm. The bed linen is changed everyday as are the towels. The rooms are spotless without being elaborate in any way - think colourwashed pebbled-dashed walls with an African slant. There is a colour TV with a few english channels, but frankly why watch TV on holiday? There is a small desk, wardrobes, shelves, good lighting, Air conditioning, 2 easy chairs and table, shower, sink and Loo, fridge and a safe (which you have to pay which annoyed me) . I'm not sure i'd use the safe next time as i really can't see a problem. I left money out on purpose and a few other items and it was just tidied away by my wonderful room-girl, who did everything and more for me over and above the call of duty - like make a special trip during her busy morning to get me another towel as i was running late. So.... the rooms are functional and i was pleased they were as i didn't feel as though i wanted to use it for any more than somewhere to sleep or wash which was fine by me.
I went on a B&B basis and i would recommend than unless you're very elderly or infirm that you so the same. There are so many choices to eat on 'The Strip' that cater for most paletes i just wouldn;t bother eating the 'average supper in the hotel. Breakfast however is exactly what you would expect with so many choices of cooked/cold/fruit/breads etc etc. Perfect.
The staff are wonderful. Let me say that again.... They are wonderful. Pity the management are horrid money grabbers and the difference between the local staff (the real people of this country) and the owners is vast. I defy any one of you not to want to take one of the staff you meet home with you, they're that nice - but that's gambians for you. They get no tips now there is no cash in the hotel - it's all charged to your room. Pay this daily though so you don;t get a shock at the end. Relatively speaking the hotel is expensive for the ancillaries. Drink at happy hour 6-7 but make sure it's happy hour prices as this is a blurred line due to a computer system that is slow getting to 6 and quick getting to 7 if you know what i mean...!
The beach staff are great, i'm afraid the Dutch and German (and some english) do get to the beach at 7am (i'm not kidding) and reserve the best sun loungers so i got what's left even though i tipped up at 10am most days, when it's just about bearable to sun bathe due to the coldish winds taking the edge of sun. From 10-4 pm is seriously warm though and be careful if you're an Anglo-Saxon like me as i was burnt even with some decent sunscreen.
I don't know what more i can say apart from... do do the local tourist things. Make a local friend you warm to as you'll be approached a lot whilst you're still a little pale and do trust them. They will take you anywhere and even take you to their houses to meet the family and cook for you. Spend money where possible out of the hotel and with the locals, not the excursions the hotel/holiday company lay on. Bring 2 pin adapters for your electronic gear. Buy a Gambian sim card for your mobile and use that. Bring cash with you - there's one ATM in the Strip.
Enjoy....!
You will be back - I guarantee it.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled solo
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6  Thank ScottHunt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2009

this hotel was no better and no worse than we expected and for the money was good value
the room was basic plenty of wardrobe space and a few coat hangers, tv chanels in english ,fridge ,bed side tables and dressing table BUT NO KETTLE so if you like a brew before bed take your own . One thing I must point out all the imformation you read about gambia tells u english plugs and sockets are used not in this hotel u will need the round european adaptors .New towels daily, beach towels when asked for. bed made daily and changed every few days.plenty of hot water though hotter in the evening than morning . all in all the room was clean basic in need of a face lift but fine to get your head down in after a day of african sun. The staff were always friendly and could never do enough for u the grounds were kept spotless as were the pools.
we stayed bed an breckfast the food was much the same as any other buffet breckfast loads of choice and reasonable quality
we never dinned in the resteraunt at night thought it was a bit dear for a buffet but it was allways full so cant be that bad
We ate at a different restaraunt every night the green mamba definatly the best but the dearest at 1100 delasi (£29) for 2 glasses of wine soup main and sweet for two people the cheapest 650 dalasi (£17) for wine piza and an african dish .drinks £1.35 pint of julbrew spirits £2.10-£2.70 coke 31p for 300ml dont think gambia is the cheapest place on earth unless u smoke £5.70 for 200 super kings £2.70 for local fags
One u leave the safety of the hotel u become fair game u are perfectly safe no muggers or pick pockets but every body wants to be your friend sell you a trinket a tour take u to the bank that gives the best exchange rate (not to rob u all they want is u to buy them a drink (coke)and talk to u and a tip for being helpful. U will then find u are best frinds for life .If u dont want to be bothered just say no thank you, not later because later means later and they will be back as does maybe.All a bit overpowering at first but once u learn the system its great fun.
We made friends with one of the tourist taxi drivers Imam . He invited us to his sons naming ceremony 26 miles from the tourist area in a small village we were treated like royalty
he gave us his phone number so we could just ring him and get picked up just like at home
internet available in hotel 100dalasi an hour very slow
outside hotel 100 yards on the left 24 dalasi an hour not bad speed
exchange rate much better outside hotel
the best way to phone home is to buy a gamcell (not africell) sim card a lot cheeper than land lines or your home network if it works (u may need to get your phone unlocked before u go)
crocodile pool is a must to visit
seracunda market a real eye opener book a taxi
lazy day sunbathing and mangroves
south gambia tour a realy good day out take pens pencils paper for the school sweets for the kids
the monkey park 15 min walk up the beach take loads of nuts
we realy have no bad points about this holiday or hotel
any questions feel fre to ask

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank jipph1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2009

Well, what an experience this holiday turned out to be. Firstly I have to say - the hotel is absolutely beautiful. Having read other reviews I was not expecting the rooms to be very good but actually they were fine - always clean and plenty of hot water contrary to some peoples experiences. The staff are fantastic - can't do enough for you. The service at the pool bar by the beach was slow on one day but the staff could be forgiven as the President of The Gambia was visiting for a gala dinner at the end of the week and they were preparing. Other than that we were very impressed with the food - I strongly recommend the cheese burgers at the beach. Very tasty. We were half board so ate in the restaurant most nights which had a good variety of food which neither of us got ill from. Handy tips: take some alcohol hand wash and use it before every meal and always after handling money - our rep told us this and it worked as we were both fine; be careful at the airport as your bags will get whisked away and every person who handles them seems to want money - keep hold of them til you get to your transport and then tip the one guy who loads them into the bus/car; if you decide to venture off the hotel beach (which has security guards that keep the 'bumsters' away) then be careful - we followed the sound of drumming up the beach one afternoon and found ourselves being lured into a reggae bar and hassled to buy drugs and it was a pretty difficult, not mention stressful, process of getting away; if you decide to venture out of the hotel then be warned - you will get hassle from the minute you leave the hotel grounds. This doesn't seem to be a problem for some people but we just wanted a relaxing holiday and after being conned out of money for bracelets that were strapped to our wrists and my other half being pick-pocketed, we spent most of our time in the hotel grounds which was fine by us! We did, however, find a jewel of a place, just around the corner from the hotel called 'The Green Mamba'. It is a bar/restaurant set in the most beautiful gardens and the staff are the nicest people we met the whole time we were there. We ate there for our Valentines meal and it was stunning - the food is out-of-this-world and very reasonable. They also have open-air cinema twice a week which is an amazing experience. Definitely worth a visit - leave the hotel and turn left at the launderette. Worth the hassle to get there! Finally I have to mention the monkeys who joined us every day at around breakfast time. There really is no need to visit Bijilo Forest (the monkey park) as the Senegambia Hotel is like a zoo! Definitely worth watching the vulture feeding too - every morning at 11.30am. All in all this holiday was fantastic - I think that the Gambian Tourist industry need to make an effort to reduce the hassle that tourists get from 'Bumsters' then this will truly be a fabulous place to go. But hey, you don't really need to leave the hotel if you don't want to! Except to visit The Green Mamba! Amazing holiday - will go again in a few years to see if the hassle has lessened.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Jenergy21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2009

Best make this straight from the start - 4 star in Gambia ain't 4 star in the UK - but sunny in the UK ain't sunny in Gambia! This is a really nice well laid out hotel with just about everything laid on, but there are some major differences. If it says on the board that something will happen, well it might, but it might not. Food is reasonable, but it doesn't cost a lot to eat out so there is that option. The local beer ' Julbrew' is passable - I don't think youd get a hangover from it. If you go out of the hotel onto 'the strip' you will get politely hassled by 'bumsters' who will try to 'give you' a friendship bracelet completely free of charge. If you are happy to accept this then you must be happy to accept whatever consequences might come! Firm but polite 'no thank you' always seems to work. The corner shop just outside the hotel is very expensive compared to more distant shops, but its convenient. There is no kettle/tea/coffee or iron in the room so if these are important make sure you pack your own. The sea is quite rough round here, and at this time of year the pool can be a bit bracing! The sun comes out 9.30 ish and it start to get hot middayish, the sun goes down at tea time and the evenings could be considered a bit fresh. The rooms are basic and comfortable. They seemed to change the towels daily. A good tip would be to take along stuff like football shirts (Last Engalnd shirt - JJB Sports £4.49 - how bad?) or tshirts you don't want any more, and give them away. Locals also love any spare or half used male or female toiletries. The vulture feeding at the hotel is a must to see, and the monkeys at the outdoor dining tables is a sight we don't often see in Milton Keynes! Take stuff lke pens, pencils, crayons or exercise books you could give to a local shool. For trips out, if a 'friend of a friend' or a hotel member of staff could suggest a driver/guide for the day this would be well worth it - make sure you agree a price for what you want to do. There isn't much to see and travel companies take tourists to state sponsored schools - I went to a small school in a place called Brufed or Bruford or something like that - well appreciated and it'll tug your heart strings to see how much anything like this is really appreciated.. The rough rate in the hotel (where its safe) is 34 delasi's (?) to the £. We had a lovely time, we found the hotel staff really easy to get along with. At the airport on the way home, cigs are much cheaper than UK, and spirits are a bit but not much cheaper. Food at the airport is much more expensive than the strip so take food and drink with you. They will try to nickel and dime you from putting your cases on the coach to taking them off, re,member that a firm NO thank you is acceptable. Be warned - everybody wants a tip. Even if they say they don't! but we did have a lovely time and would be happy to do it again.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Robthesinger
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

Address: P.O. Box 2373, Serekunda, Gambia
Region: Gambia > Banjul Division > Serekunda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Serekunda
Price Range: £72 - £193 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Senegambia Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 328
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Also Known As:
Hotel Senegambia Beach
Senegambia Beach Kololi
Senegambia Hotel
Senegambia Beach Hotel Gambia

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