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Sandele Eco-Retreat
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“I love this place.”
Reviewed 17 August 2014 via mobile

I had a truly memorable week here in January. Geri and Maurice have created a piece of magic in Kartong. I loved everything about Sandele - I will be back in 2015 to lead a yoga retreat there.
Practising yoga with the Gambians under the palm trees or on the beach, watching football in the village, the delicious food, the guys working In The crafts place - Kebbe's honey is UNBELIEVABLE - it is the real deal, never mind the beach!

Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
2 Thank Mary P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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104 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    79
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    6
    6
    2
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6
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4
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
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English first
Haleiwa, Hawaii
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2014

I'm glad that I chose to stay at Sandele, where I found a deserted beach, excellent accommodations that are a model of sustainability, and friendly hosts, staff, and volunteers with which I enjoyed a delicious dinner and animated discussions in the evenings. It was easy to get from and to the airport. Highly recommend.

Stayed June 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank Catharine L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hailsham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
69 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 August 2014 via mobile

I spent a week at Sandele with a group of 22 students and cannot fault the experience in any way. The rooms were clean and spacious and the beach utterly idyllic. The food was delicious and the staff friendly and efficient. Hope I will be able to visit again someday without the students! :-)

Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank Labtech666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redditch, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2014

This was our 5th hotel in 3 visits to The Gambia.
The description of Sandele as an eco retreat is completely accurate. The environment is beautiful and relaxing. The pace of life is appropriately slow.
The owners, Geri and Maurice, were welcoming, friendly and attentive. They always had time to talk and to offer suggestions about things to do. We greatly admired what they were doing there in conjunction with the local community.
Their staff were always pleasant and friendly. Nothing was too much trouble for them.They organised bird watching trips on 3 mornings, and arranged the transport for us.
We stayed in one of the lodges/suites. It was comfortable and spacious. It doesn't have the luxury of some of the touristy hotels, but it was what we wanted. We are not looking for luxury in The Gambia. The beach is beautiful, sandy, deserted, and the swimming is safe.
There is really good bird watching in the grounds and nearby. We recommend a trip out with Colin Croft at the local bird observatory.
Sandele is a place that we will return to.
Thank you Geri, Maurice and all the staff for a lovey week.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ann R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2014

A very welcoming eco resort in a beautiful rural beach setting.

It's near a small village called Kartong. Sandele is part of the local community. The staff are from the village and add a huge amount to the experience with their kindness and heart.

The married couple that run Sandele have great vision and drive and are living out their dream in creating this special place. That dream involves a lot of hard work on their part and I admire their energy. It's a good story of how it all come to be, worth hearing from Geri on her tour or as a chat over lunch. It's all very informal but really quite inspiring.

I visited as part of a privately operated yoga retreat organised by a good friend. Stayed with my wife in an architecturally stunning domed-roof lodge. The waves crashing on the beach are audible in the room, coming from the sea behind the treeline. The beach stretched for miles and was quiet - we pretty much had the run of it. We were completely spoiled.

It is a slow and super relaxed pace of life for visitors. You can choose to get involved with whatever is going on at the time - the locals love to celebrate and throw a good party. Drums and reggae and dancing are the norm. Alternatively, if that's not your scene, you can sit in a hammock, reading a book and be just as happy.

It's not super slick - like an international hotel brand - but it is a unique place, and I was relaxed and very happy there. Will return - ideally on an another retreat.

Thank you all at Sandele for taking care of us so well and providing the perfect background to our retreat.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Travelbag_Bond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2014 via mobile

I have just come back from a yoga retreat at Sandele, and can honestly say it was one of the most special weeks away I've ever had. The reviews on here so far are fairly mixed and I can imagine they must be confusing to read - I think the people who left with a negative impression missed the heart of what Sandele is about.

The weather, the beach, the spacious rooms, relaxing hammocks, amazing yoga spaces and delicious, nutritious food are all there for you. It's true it's not a pristine, modern hotel and there isn't a waiter service to your sun lounger - but none of that matters when you experience the warmth of the local staff, the incredibly relaxed and homely atmosphere and the inspirational welcome from the owners Geri & Maurice. I could have spoken to them all day. What they're creating and the difference it's making is truly amazing, I feel privileged to have been able to experience and be part of it.

Geri's welcome to The Gambia included a part about how it's not one of Africa's flagship destinations, but it's a mosaic of small, special moments that, when you pay attention to them, come together to make an amazing whole - Sandele mirrors that for me. The thought put into the sustainable construction, the location by an incredible beach, the layout - perfectly designed to make you feel relaxed and at home, the inspirational projects taking place all around you from the education centre to the craft workshop - and the partnership with the local people and environment - I really find it hard to believe anyone could go to Sandele and not be touched by it. I would go back in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mysteriousblond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2014

If you want to escape the stresses, strains and speed of modern life then Sandele is probably one of the best places to go. Whether you're hanging around in a hammock, frolicking on the miles of untouched beach, or finding peace in one of the yoga circles, Sandele has everything to enable you to unwind at a profound level and slow the pace down.

The ethos of Sandele is about sustainability and giving back to the local community; it isn't about trying to deliver five-star commercial hospitality and all the sterility that suggests. If you want to embrace a genuine Gambian experience and to feel part of something greater than simply being a guest at a hotel then Sandele can deliver it.

Personally, I thought the food was wonderful every night and the staff were incredibly flexible about when meals were served. There are no meal times to be missed, enabling you to tailor your days to being as active or as lazy as you liked.

The rooms are comfortable and spacious - I slept so well, lulled to sleep by the sound of the ocean. Don't expect a London-standard plumbing - but showering at lunchtime or in the early evening will give you a lovely warm shower. As the water is solar heated it can be a little hot in the middle of the afternoon!

I have a great amount of respect for what Geri and Maurice are trying to achieve, and it was a privilege to be part of it for a week. My week on retreat at Sandele taught be a lot about getting back to basics - the important things in life - both physically and mentally. I can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: If you want a sea view - choose a room. For extra comfort with a partner, a lodge.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Vee B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandele Eco-Retreat

Property: Sandele Eco-Retreat
Address: Kartong Village, Kartong, Gambia
Region: Gambia > West Coast Division > Kartong
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Speciality Lodging in Kartong
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Sandele Eco-Retreat 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sandele is an award winning ecolodge located on a stunning deserted beach in Southern Gambia. We offer accommodation in luxury lodges, nestled in the bush a hundred metres from the beach. The Retreat is operated in conjunction with the local community of Kartong, who benefit from the development and running of the resort and who will assume complete responsibility in twenty-five years time. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandele Eco-Retreat Hotel Kartong
Sandele Eco-Retreat Gambia/Kartong

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