Senegambia Beach Hotel
1 reviews from the community
Review of "Senegambia Beach Hotel"
Senegambia Beach HotelI know the review says Hotels in General in Gambia, but as one poster has already specified the Senegambia Beach Hotel, I stayed there in 2005, it was certainly had it plus and minus points.
Firstly as I travelled as a single lady, I used my old favourite trip, pull out the wedding ring, it saves a lot of hassle and if you're out and about by yourself, people who would notice would assume that your hubby is somewhere else.
On approach to the hotel, just facing the main entrance was a mini supermarket, which actually became a daily visit, for juice, snacks and the shop was air-conditioned, items were very reasonably priced, and everyone was polite.In-between the shop and the hotel was a half building, it reminded me of a bandstand, where the local guides were, so if you wanted to go out, then you could hire the services of the guide.
Entering the hotel, you go across a little bridge, over a mini lake, and there are some shops and hairdresser in the grounds of the hotel, the area between the entrance to the grounds and the entrance to the hotel.
On check in, you fill in the form, given your room key, I was on a half board package, there was a cashier where you could change your currency into the local Dalish, and the rate at the time was apr. 40 dalish to the £1.My room was the standard room; this was located in the grounds of the hotel in two story buildings, with about 8 rooms per block. To get down to these rooms you go past the superior rooms, past the terrace, past the two swimming pools, (1 main pool, 1 small round kids pool), to what appeared to be a maze of paths leading to the rooms.
It was quite odd, as I was expecting the standard front door entry to the room, but you actually entered through the patio door, there was a small balcony area, with 2 seats and a small table, what I was impressed with, there was a washing line for all the rooms.
Upon entering the room, straight in front of me was 2 single beds, to the left was a small wardrobe unit, with a set of shelves with the safe on one shelf, a dressing table area, and in the other corner a small table and wicker chair. Into the bathroom, was a WC, washbasin, and a walk in shower area, it was basic, but functional. It did say in the brochure that there were telephones in the room; there was none in these rooms,
=The Safe=At the time of my stay to hire the safe you had to go back to the main building, where there another man in a corner who rented the safe, as they were not supplied to the hotel, the cost of the safe hire was aprox. £40 for the 2 weeks, you then had to wait for a hotel security guard to come to the room with the man from the safe company to set the set up, it was an electronic safe, the odd aspect was in the last 12 hours of the safe hire, you had to keep resetting the pass code.
=Food=When I arrived at the restaurant each occasion I had to give my room number so they could check me off a list, but if you were only bed and breakfast you could just pay for an evening meal on the day.
As I mentioned I was on half board basis, the breakfast was a continental based breakfast, there was added hot food, such as pancakes, eggs, but was adequate, with the range of drinks, such as juice and tea or coffee.
The evening meal, there was a menu at reception and on the restaurant, although it was a buffet based restaurant, there would be generally 3 starters, 4 types of mains and 3 sweets, I remember once there was bread and butter pudding on the menu. The food was ok, not gourmet, but edible. I didn't have a bad meal there.=Additional food outlets=
At lunch time there was a menu sheet that you order from and would be delivered to your sun bed, the food was simple snacks such as pizza, chips, and ice-cream.
In the evening there was an a-la-carte restaurant, which was pre-bookable and at an additional cost.
There was an outdoor English bar; thou I never saw many people use it, there was also a bar by the pool, where you either order from, or there was staff that you could order drink from. As well as an inside bar area.The prices at my visit
Bottle Vimto /Fanta - 60p
Glass Wine = £1.50
There was an entertainments team on site they put on nightly shows 6/7 nights, on the 7th night there was outside cabaret act. They also provided daily entertainment and would stop and chat with you while you were at the pool area.
=The Beach=The hotel had beach front access, and you walked through the grounds of the hotel past the accommodation, then past another bar, and terrace area, the beach had plenty of sun beds, there was a few sellers around, but generally a firm no did the trick.
=The sea=We were advised by our rep not to venture to far out in the sea, as the summer months is the monsoon season, and can erode the beaches, so the beaches are reconstructed by taking sand at the bottom of the ocean.
=The Outside Area=I do appreciate that my review is based on April 2005, but the hotel was next door to another hotel, then you carried on down the street, there was a selection of restaurants, craft type shops, change shops, and phone and internet shop, and at the bottom of the road was a local craft market.
I found the craft market to be very reasonably priced, everyone was very friendly, and you get clothes made there, at one lady's stall, I had a 2 x dresses, 1 x top, 2 x men's shirts, 1 x child's dress, and 2 x sarong and matching tops (child sizes), my clothes were made to measure, for the men's shirts I just aimed for medium size, and as the clothes were for my daughter I went by age group, all that came to about £50.
=Taxis=In the area, there are tourist taxis, these were coloured green, these were the equivalent of our black cabs, we were advised by the rep to get a price first, and she gave some ideas of prices. Outside the tourist areas were yellow cars with a green stripe, but these would not be a private rental, you could be out and about and the driver would stop for additional passengers, so always use the green cabs in resort.
=Friendliness of the employees=I generally found everyone to be polite, you'd be greeted with a hello, and there was time for everyone. Tipping was generally expected for everything, as the wages are low in the Gambia, and some of the staff is seasonal, if there is no work there is no money.
Your tour operator sells excursions, I took one trip, down on a boat, the boat was owned by a English lady, and you had lunch included, you had a local guide, and you could either sunbathe on top deck, or sit in the shade, you stopped where you had the opportunity to fish or take a dip.
=Out and about=
I took an excursion with a local taxi driver, we had pre-arranged a 2 hour tour around, and we ended up being out for 4 hours, we saw a local village, school, a beach where the locals use for the fishing, and through to Paradise Beach, which is a tourist trap, and was beautiful.There is a monkey park with walking distance of the hotel and a taxi ride away is a wildlife park where they have a vegetarian crocodile called Charlie.
There was a mix of guests at the hotel, from different countries, I will be honest and say I noticed that there was ladies who had come across to the Gambia to see their boyfriends, who were local.
No, not mine, I was invited to the wedding of the friend of the taxi driver that I had used while I was out there, I couldn't go to the day event, as I was having my hair plaited, but he picked me up for the evening bash. This was held in the local village, there must have been over 200 people there, everyone came together, apart from the bridal party I was the only non-Gambian person. I was made so welcome; it was a pleasure to be there. I found it odd that the ladies all sit one side, and the men the other, but it was a good experience.
In the April the weather was 40C, and dry, generally June to September is the rainy season.
=Up to the last night=Unfortunately the last night was a disaster, I had gone to bed early, so I would be well rested for the flight home, when I was woken by someone banging at my patio door, looked at my watch it was 10pm, so I automatically went to see who it was, it was a local person who I had previous had problems with, as the hotel has a disco, which is "open house" and a lot of local lads come to it looking for girlfriends. It eventually transpired that he had been given my room number by a member of staff. I managed to get the situation dealt with, but I refused to stay in that room, due to my lack of security. I was eventually offered a "superior room".
In all honesty this is the type of room that I would have expected for what was then a 4 star hotel, these rooms were accessed by a corridor, and had a proper front door. Inside the room everything was 100% improved, better quality furnishing, beds, everything, and a single patio door, which lead to a private terrace area, with patio table and two chairs.
=The Superior Room"
The bathroom was better furnished, smarter, and one that you definitely wanted to be in.
In all honestly I don't know, I have since been aware that the hotel has been sold, and that at the bottom of the gardens there is now a swimming pool been built, but that experience put me off. If I ever went back again I would want a superior room.
=Would I go back=
Although the hotel is marketed as 4 stars, compared to the 4 star hotels that I have stayed at in Tunisia, and the Dom Rep, I would say 4 stars is too high.
Summary: If you don't want posh this is ok
Product Information : Senegambia Beach Hotel
Manufacturer's product description
Listed on Ciao since: 13/10/2002