Laico Atlantic Banjul Hotel
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Travel Blogs from Banjul
We docked in Banjul, the capital of Gambia, today. It is Africa's smallest country, an ex British colony and almost totally surrounded by Senegal. It is just a 300km strip of land with the River Gambia running through the middle.
Our guide for the day spoke excellent English, and was obviously well used to tourism. This was a ...
It was with interest that we went out onto our balcony this morning to take in our surroundings, as it’s our first visit to West Africa (other than Morocco). The weather was warm and the sun, when it came out from behind the clouds, was very hot. Trevor made sure to pack our insect repellent in his rucksack before we left the Braemar to board the bus for our excursion, which was the Banjul City Tour.
Banjul was founded in 1816 and the town’s ...
... forest bush. Ansu took care of the border crossing and gave the questioning soldier a hard time for wasting so much of our time. We were through, and a couple of hours later we popped out of the bush onto the asphalt approaching Kafountine. After many speed bumps and a few turns, we were at Mame Diarra's [Mom Jarra's] house. We were welcomed with a late supper of fish and rice, and were ready to sleep so we could wake up and see this place in the light. We made ...
... kingfisher. That night (and every night) I realised that we had a bat in our room! Tony refused to believe me but I could hear it squeaking as it flitted past the bed!
Birds seen today: Long-tailed Cormorant, Great Cormorant, African Darter, Purple Heron, Vegetarian Vulture, Black Kite, Senegal Thick-knee, Ringed Plover, Whimbrel, Common Redshank, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Blue-breasted Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher and a ...
... added the Splendid Sunbird to the list. But no sign of the Cordon Bleus.We went back to the lodge to retrieve our bags and finally leave. A few short meters from the lodge, at the exact location that V had noticed them before, a flock of blue landed under a tree, their cheeks fiery red. Both cameras went snap-happy. A mixed flock of Cordon Bleu and Fire Finch. M ...
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- Swimming pool
- Room service
- Wheelchair accessibility
- Fitness/Health center
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TravelPod Member ReviewsLaico Atlantic Banjul Hotel
For the price we really can't complain. I understand that some travel agents sell this as a 'First Class' hotel (which it isn't), which may lead to some negative revews!
In 11 days we also stayed at Keur Saloum in Toubacouta, Senegambia Beach Hotel, and Ocean Bay in Bakau, so can give a bit of a comparison..
This hotel had a good sized room, and was the only hotel to have a bath. Toileteries were provided. Beakfast good, but only the Keur Saloum disappointed here.
Internet expensive here, but free at all other hotels we went too. This is one reason why we only rated 4 out of 5. They need to address this to be on par with the others. Safe free, as it was at Ocean Bay. Senegambia charged.
Mosquitos are about at dusk and can be annoying. But they spray them with 'Bop' whilst you're at dinner. We bought a can (50D) which was useful for the rest of our trip.
Exchange rate of 47.5 to the pound, when official rate was about 47, so we were pretty happy. Best we could do in town was 48. Ocean Bay in Bakau took the proverbial here as rate was 40 to he pound!! Close to Ocean Bay in Bakau the money changers offered 44, but 5-10 minute walk to fishing port, we used a small booth that also did 48. In Senegambia the hotel did 47.6, 48 was easy to get on strip, but Barry's offered a bit more (also cheapest large water at 25D).
We staid B&B, which meant that we tried local restaurants for food. Billy's, with a view of Arch 22, was the best food we had on our holiday. Very good portions and quality at very good prices (less than £4 a meal). Michel's seafood is now something like Bamboung, but the food was a bit disappointing. Nefretiti on beach is only open until 6pm and had a much nicer ambience, but cost more (still less than hotel). Happy hour and prices in hotel, much better than the others we visited, and therefore we had far more on drinks in this hotel than we did in the others (in Ocean Bay we refused to buy any as crazy prices). The only food we had in hotel was a pizza (£4) and was good. For us there is no need to pay extra for the big buffet (£13) as we would only get fat. A la carte 3 course could be had for about £11. Other than places mentioned here, there isn't really much else about, except juice bars and black & white for cheap, good drinks. Both other Gambia hotels are better in this respect.
Grounds are very good, there is squash, tennis, bird garden, mini golf area, table tennis etc. All a bit tired looking, but good nonetheless. Ocean Bay is really lacking in the department. Pool fine, but bit cold, however jacuzzi nice and warm.
Beach looks nice, but not really any good for swimming. Senegambia best here.
During the day, sightseeing is easy as very close to the capital. Museum (£1), Arch 22 (£1 plus 2p tip!), and July 22 square can all easily be visited within minutes and no need for a local guide. Yes, the bumsters can be a bit annoying, but they are just trying to offer a service for those that may need. We stated where we were going, said they were wasting their time being with us and we wouldn't pay, and we were fine! However one did tag along one morning and showed us the commercial port, fish smoking areas etc in about 2 hours. We could not have seen this on our own, so we tipped him £1 and he was happy! Trip on ferry (20p) to Barra recommended and no need for guide, you can get a Pirogue back for about a £1 to speed things up. To Senegal border was 20 mins from Barra, we paid £4 for a cab. Across border in less than 10 mins, all very easy, if you want to do a day trip. However, you wont see much difference to Gambia, except the people speak French!
Would recommend walking to see the mosque after going to museum, that way you are off main street, so don't get bumstered! You get to see local life and are greeted by people not expecting anything in return, very pleasant. We were not allowed in mosque as not muslim, but they seemed very apologetic!
We went to international football match Gambia v Algeria which was quite an experience, although result (1-2) was a shame. Took green taxi from Bakau for 50D, and tickets for 100D - we would recommened these over the 50D tickets as are out of the sun, and the crowd are a bit less crazy! For the 50D tickets people were climbing on each other..! You can always go with someone from hotel/street if worried about doing alone.
In summary this hotel is good for those wanting to spend time in hotel and do local, low key sightseeing. We found it friendlier here than Bakau or Senegambia, and received no sob stories or blatant begging, unlike the other places. Staff good, price great - highly recommended
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Laico Atlantic Banjul Hotel
Great time had at the Atlantic
We have just returned from staying a week at the Atlantic Hotel. Very enjoyable, rooms very clean and comfortable, Hotel staff very helpful and friendly, buffet food excellent with local produce but would have liked Gambian night i.e. Chicken Yassa or Domodah etc. Hotel guides very friendly and overall helpful. Definitley suggest you take one with you especially into Banjul/Albert Market. Albert Market is not the place to buy your souvenirs. An experience to visit though. For wood try Brikama wood carving factory. 1/3 price of Albert Market's starting prices!
Drinks are expensive but it is a 4 star hotel.
Definitely go and meet Lamin (Birdman) in the Garden - very knowledgable! The other recommendation would be to have a meal at Lamin Lodge - if you have time, taxi in then crusie back to Denton Bridge where your taxi will meet you.
Roots and 4x4 trips definitely worth doing.
Stayed at the hotel in April 2005. Very clean. Food good selection, might not suit younger children. Expensive food and drinksas there is no competition. Beach lots of space. Locals very friendly. Hotel Tour Guides excellent especially
Seedy Kinteh. Air Con works only when key in lock cannnot leave it running while your out.
Just what we needed....
We booked this holiday about 3 months before travelling. We wanted a relaxing, hot break, where we could sit by the pool and completley do nothing. We got exactly this!!
Upon arriving into Banjul and after dropping some other visitors to their hotels, we must admit we were slightly concerned with the standards of accomodation we were seeing!! Thankfully, arriving into the Corinthia Atlantic hotel we were completley reassured by the welcome and first impressions!!
The staff at the hotel were very friendly and would do anything for you (including marriage!), all they ask for in return is a small tip! Don't be put off by this, they will happily walk away with a polite "No Thanks".
The food was always fresh and well prepared and presented. There was always plenty of choice and constant chaging selection. However, do not expect to experience a lot of local Gambian cuisine - it is all well known food aimed at the British pallet!
The hotel itself was incredibly clean and had all the facilities you would need - swimming pool, bars, restauarnt, wine bar etc. The rooms were fully equipped and air conditioned. The hotel was also sitauted on a very clean beach.
Overall we had a fantastic time in Gambia and at this hotel. We met lots of people who had returned year after year not only to Gambia but to this particular hotel. It has apprently undergone a major refurbishment last year which has ment it's increase to a 4 star hotel - it clearly shows and we would recommend.
Nothing but praise!
I have stayed in this hotel on several occasions over the years and have always found the staff and services to be excellent, I'm just in the process of booking again for April and looking forward to being able to sit on the newly reclaimed beach again!!
First visited for Xmas 2003 and New Year 2004, best holiday in a long time, spent Xmas day jet sking with Santa. Hotel and staff brilliant. Food excellent. Made some good friends with the Gambians felt very safe. Children throughly enjoyed the relaxed surroundings. When you first arrive it is a culture shock but the people are friendly and always happy. We were so taken with the country my husband and I returned at Easter. We visited again for New Year 2004 and enjoyed it just as much. We met up with people that had been there the previous year, it would appear that people return year after year. We have just rebooked for three weeks over Xmas and New Year this year. The locals remember you year after year and they do not hassle you, we have kept in touch with several of them. Fantastic place to visit.
The Corinthia Atlantic is a super hotel in a direct beach location with friendly helpful staff and excellent amenities within the complex. The food is great and there`s a wide choice to suit everyone. BUT - This is not just my opinion but a general concensus voiced by most visitors which the management should surely look into and that is that the bar and beach restaurant facilities have no competition from outside the hotel due owing to its remote location. The hotel is isolated within 2 minutes walk from the town of Banjul and as there are no worthwhile bars or eating places in Banjul it means that a taxi costing £10.00 plus tips is required to go to where there is a little more life just down the coast at Kololi to dine out. Also, a walk down the road requires the assistance of a hotel guide plus tips to head off the inevitable hangers on (bumsters). Subsequently the hotel are able to charge maximum prices for soft and alcoholic drinks which cost less than half the price elsewhere. They are equivalnt to UK prices. We would certainly holiday in The Gambia again but not at the Corinthia.
The hotel is very nice. The staff are always helpful and pleasant. Good food. But the price they charge for drinks and snacks is very expensive compared to Hotels at/near Kotu Beach and senegambia. There are no other bars or restaurants in the vicinity so you are stuck in the Hotel unless you get a taxi. You cannot walk out of the Hotel entrance without being accosted by the Bumsters who refuse to go away no matter what you say to them so don't expect to be able to have any nice romantic strolls along the beach you'll be joined by these pests like it or not.
Arrived at Hotel on 31st Dec, delighted to hear traditional music being played as you arrived by staff in very colourful traditional outfits, handed a fruit drink, although the reception was busy with the arrivals as about 5 parties departed from our coach the staff were very efficient & you had the keys to your room in no time. Porter took you along to your room with the luggage & advised you how to operate air conditioning, tv & fridge. The room was a good size & had plenty of wardrope & drawer space. Bathroom had a bath & an excellent shower. Clean towels & sheets changed daily.
Relaxed before heading to the Gala Dinner & enjoyed the entertainment afterwards, fireworks display on the beach directly after 12pm was a surprise.
Also ate in the a la carte resturant twice as an upgrade to this only costs an additional £10.00 per person.
Took in two trips during our week, Classic Cruise & the Truck Safari, both very enjoyable, especially as we had to rise early at 7am for the departure of the truck safari at 8am.
Also enjoyed beauty treatments for a fraction of the price you would pay in the UK & all were excellent.
We enjoyed it that much that after our arrival home at the week-end we have re-booked for this New Year & will look forward to the sunshine, the pampering I can have in the beauty room & meeting up with the friendly staff who made you feel very welcome & did their utmost to ensure you had such an excellent time you would want to return to their country.
If anyone has any questions feel free to contact me.
went to the corintha on new years eve 2004 , arrived at 4.30 in the afternoon to music in rececption and a lovely drink, very quick check in and then shown to room. we had a interconnecting room for the children brill. the rooms were kept well clean and were nice ,we were at the bottom with balcony facing pool lovely view. cant fault the food always lovely , the gala dinner was great, entertainment was good we enjoyed the dancing and the bob marly songs. we had no problems getting sunloungers in the morning the staff came over ang gave you the cover to sit on. the pool was on the small size but never got full ,jump in at the deep end not as cold i found. the beach was nice sea looked great but did not go in as we were told it had a bit of a strong current . the staff were all very friendly and helpful and all spoke good english. all in all we really enjoyed our stay and would go back. any questions please get in touch.
Very eye opening
The hotel was very modern and well kept. The staff were very helpful and friendly and all spoke good english. Although the pool was small, the beach was only inches away.
The food was excellent and catered for all varieties, and you could pay a little extra to eat a la carte, altough we didn't bother as the buffet was sufficient enough.
We also paid for two trips with our hotel which were the South Gambia Adventure and Makasutu Magic which were both fantastic and eye-opening experiences. We would definately reccomend these to anyone.
The only problems with this holiday was that we were restricted to the complex unless you paid for a guide provided by the hotel to take you out around the city. Again very interesting to see how the locals live. However, do not go out alone at night.
Another tip for the holiday is to take goodies for the local children i.e pens, pencils and sweets. They are very much appreciated.