Holiday Beach Club Hotel
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Historical Traveler Reviews Holiday Beach Club Hotel Kololi
Gambia as it is
I have been doing charity work in the Gambia for 5 years now and visited the country 11 times.The Holiday Beach Club gives people exactly what it says in the brochures. Of course parts are basic, but you are talking Africa not Spain. The people will do anything they can to help all you have to do is ask. The people on the streets and the beach generally only wish to talk. If you do not wish them to walk with you ask them to leave you alone and they will. If people want luxury then all they have to do is book into the Kairaba or Kololi Beach club and you will get it. The cost will obviously reflect the improvement. The Holiday Beach Club is not a noisy or dirty place, rather a basic place with alovely pool area, private beach and a restaurant that if asked will try to provide for you. When you go to Gambia you have to expect third world problems but get to know the people and you will return for many years.
january 2006. the gambia.
we have just got back from the gambia, beautiful place lots of sunshine. the hotel was only basic but clean, we had to hire a fan for the room as it was to hot without one. the food wasnt all that good in the hotel on christmas eve, and the same on new years eve. the sea is not safe for children to swim in,really not for adults to. you get a lot of hassle on the street and on the beach, so you really dont get any piece no matteer where you go.you are better of staying in the complex. i like to go out and have a wander, so just tell them to go away. the prices are much the same aas here, you get ripped off,a 29p bottle of lemonade they wanted 125dilasi nearly £2-30.there were rats in our complex and they were big.now that i have been i would neveer go back to much poverty the people get nothing and the wages are terrible. its about time some thing was done.
We have just returned from a holiday at the holiday beach culb hotel, and were very dissapointed,we were put in room more like a very old butlins camp room, the toilet was not attached to the floor, the sink was hanging off the wall,and it smelt awful.The first night we arrived, were very tired so went to bed,was woken up at 12-30 by someone breaking in through the sliding window,we reported it but we did not even get an apology.
Every day for breakfast it was salty ham and prossesed cheese, if you wanted a boiled egg and they were very small eggs you had to pay roughly 55p, and the bottles of water were over a £1 a bottle.
Extremely basic, make sure you get a good room.
Have just returned from a week at the Holiday Beach Club. We where put in Block A with is doulble storey nearest to the road but a long hike from the pool, breakfast area, beach etc.
The room was small with two single beds and a shower room with an ant problem (but hey this is the Gambia) but always plenty of hot water. To be fair the rooms nearest the pool and in the single storey blocks looked far better and certainly larger.
This room was fine if you just want to get you head down but otherwise I would recoemend that you request a room elsewhere and avoid blocks A and B. The gardens are well maintained around the pool but decidely shabby at this end of the site.
I had the suspicion that they place you here in the hope that you will upgrade. Breakfast was basic but the pool fine.
So a rustic hotel where the room you are given maters but a good location.
i have been to this hotel many times
and will continue to
the staff are excellent and that is the main reason i go back time and time again
my children cry when they have to say goodbye at the end of the 2 weeks
to me the hotel is like home away from home you are made so welcome
it is the only hotel where you will never forget the names of all the staff
the beach is close by
that hotel got me addicted to the gambia and since the first time more and more of my family and friends have visited and they too became addicted
i deffinatly see why it has the name "the smiling coast "
much love to the hotel staff
i recommend anyone to visit you will not be dissapointed
having arrived in gambia and finding myself initially horrified wondering what i had done on seeing sheep being tied to the top of cars etc it was a complete culture shock and the pestering initially it was a feeling of anxiousness and feer for my safety i soon realised this was a different culture and way of life the pestering was stopped by a firm no thankyou and the staff at the holiday beach club were more than helpful the food and accomodation was basic as one would expect but the weekly bbques and the excursions were excellent topped with the weather we had a fantastic fortnight proving first impressions can be deceptive just go with the flow and have a fantastic time as we did its an experiance we will never forget and the roots river boat tour gave the children food for thought...
Basic but what do you expect?
Just returned from week at the Holiday Beach Club. The hotel is basic. If you want a room with a tv, aircon etc then you're not going to be happy. The food, as the other reviews say, is pretty awful compared to what you can get outside the hotel. The bathroom is very basic! On the plus side, a decent size pool, nice spacious gardens, relaxed atmosphere, right on the beach (at the quiet end) and I think at the right end of the Strip (the quiet end with the decent restaurants). So if you want a basic hotel but in a good location, right on the beach and you are not the kind of person to have to upgrade to a superior room to get matching curtains or something to enjoy your holiday then this hotel is fine. We're quite fussy and if you just think about how cheap it is (without the upgrades) and dont expect a European standard hotel then you'll be fine. Besides, we checked out the other hotels and apart from the Karriba or the Coconut Residence (which seem worth the money), the others (including the Senagambia) arent much better.
Couple of other points, yes they all want "tips" from you at the end of your stay but that's not unique to the Holiday Beach Club. Just be firm if that offends you. The "management" (although god knows who is in charge!) might not be that helpful/efficient but are generally willing to help if you approach them in the right way. Getting annoyed will just result in them doing nothing. The "Bumsters" are a pain but not much more than that. Again, just be firm and say no thanks and you'll have no further trouble. They are no worse around the Holiday Beach Club than anywhere else. On reading some of the reviews you would be seriously put off going and fear for your safety. Have to say, didnt feel unsafe/threatened at any time and it's only a problem if you let it become one. We had a great week and would go back.
Food tips - if you want a special meal - book a pool side table at the Coconut Residence (they'll pick you up and take you home to your hotel). It's streets ahead in Kololi. Scala (next to the Holiday Beach Club) has really good quality food (fish, seafood, steak) at reasonable prices. Other than that, most places are ok and good value.
Hotel tips - try to get a room near the beach/pool. The ones near the entrance are 2 story blocks and look a bit severe. Offering a "tip" to the check-in person or person carrying your bags may help!
Just returned from this hotel have been to the gambia 4 times, this stay was somewhat what I would say the last hotel on the list, as a previous visiter stated the rooms are very basic to stay in a room with air-con and a decent bathroom we had to upgrade on top of that the air-con was not included so another cost total around another £230 for a week. extra.
The grounds and pool are great the food leaves a lot to be desired and as for the ala carte Rest forget it, this has not put us of the gambia but will certainly not be visiting Holiday Beach Club again.
Not very happy!
We have just got back from The Gambia on 25/2/05 after one week at The Holiday Beach. This was our second visit in two years( Please see our review on The Tafbel) . The location and grounds of the hotel are fantastic but the rooms less so (See attached photos) . The owner of the complex is very arrogant and if you have any complaints doesn't want to know. If you want a half decent room book a superior, if you don't you will get a very basic possibly smelly room and it appears the scam here is to charge you around £100 a week/ room to upgrade to a superior room and it appears after talking to other guests they always seem to have these superior rooms available! The staff as always are friendly but thats only because they want something from you- money/ old mobiles etc etc.
Forget the breakfast its very basic and not very appetising.
If you do stay here look out for the "Captain" he's the gardener and he is a lovely genuine man
Beware of the "Smiling Coast" routine- this is just a front to rip you off!
I would'nt recomend The Gambia if you have kids between 16- 25 who like to party as they will be targets for the bumsters outside on the street who will offer drugs and prostitutes etc.
In conclusion if we ever go back it will be just the two of us and we'll go 4/5 star at the Senegambia or Kariaba.
TripAdvisor Reviews Holiday Beach Club Hotel Kololi
Travel Blogs from Kololi
... countries of Senegal, Gambia and Guinea-Bissau to mountainous Guinea, and from the CFA (central african bank) currency for which the exchange rate is 1,000 CFA for $2
American to the Guinea Franc which is 7,000 to the $1. I withdrew 1,000,000 Francs on the first day alone! Now ...
... city 5 times a day starting at 6am! I'm becoming increasingly attached to quiet Christianity. To make things worse the imams clearly haven't synchronised their watches so each call to prayer lasts about an hour. Quote of the day goes to Lauren for suggesting that "if the imams ever start synchronizing watches we should probably get worried"
And on that note I'm off to the bar for a cool Julbrew (national beer) to cool down
... hotter in than outside, with monkeys running across the lawns from the nearby monkey park! We took a stroll down the beach, accompanied by endless Gambians wanting to sell us stuff or become our friend so we'll take a tour with them. There's security with the villas who keep them away when you're by the villas. Dinner overlooking the beach as the sun set was ...
... well. Service slower and not as friendly as in Najul and Bakau. Food prices in hotel for pool snack seemed resonable. We had a spag bol and water there, which were a bot more than on the strip, but nothing major.
Grounds are very, very good, you can see monkeys, vultures, hornbills etc. Two pools, one near reception and the busier one near the beach. This was far warmer than the other pools we went too and we spent a fair amount of time here. ...
i couldnt take a bus that would go directly to university, since all the taxi drivers of Senegal where on a 48 h strike, so i had to take many lil cars the next day and pass via Gambia. Luckily the brother accompanied me, another wise i wouldve probably gotton lost. So i got to see a bit of Gambia aswell, which was nice. ...