Kombo Beach Hotel
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Historical Traveler Reviews Kombo Beach Hotel Kotu
Just returned from gambia after a 10 day vacation we stayed at the Kombo Beach Hotel (1 night) after it being recommended after a full refurbishment. The hotel was average the rooms were disgusting the air-con didnt work(our rep told us they were waiting for a part from senegal but we got told they have been waiting for it for 3 weeks) the shower only had 4 sprinkles the tap had come off the wall the room had a smell with it. We transferred to the Ocen Bay hotel at crown point that was a 5star and less hassle outside the hotel recommended. The people of Gambia are really nice and dont let this review put you off we would always go for a 4 or 5star hotel in the Gambia
Excellent Hotel - Fantastic Staff
Having never been to the Gambia before and travelling on my own, I wanted a hotel where there was a variety of visitors, so after doing some research I plumped for the Kombo Beach. You have to remember you are in a 3rd world country, so of course there are power cuts and the hot water sometimes isn't! but ignore all that and get to know the staff, go out and about and see some of the country. I did 2 trips - the Roots trip and a 4x4, both well worth while and you get to see the country.
The hotel is great - the rooms are clean and simple, the food is lovely and the staff are the best I've come across - they can't do enough to help you out and are genuinely friendly people - spend time talking to them and find out about their backgrounds and the country.
I would recommend this hotel to anyone and will be going back myself without a doubt.
My favourite hotel and destination
went to kombo last march 04 absolutely fantastic that was my 3 third trip to The Gambia this hotel is far superior to any previous i have stayed at staff are very helpfull and chearfull food is top class best breakfast i have ever had in many hotels around the world. returning to kombo on my own 8 dec 05 for 2 wks any other single people interested in fishing ie Denton Creek or bird watching please contact me on --- [ i am malcolm] or if i can give any advice or tips on the gambia
The place to stay in Gambia
I'd never been to the Gambia before and didn't know anyone else who'd been, so this holiday was going to be a step into the unknown. Before booking, I did some searching about on sites like this to get reviews of where to stay etc and the Kombo Beach stood out a mile. I was travelling alone, but on the flight out there was soon talking to people who'd been several times before and was given hints and tips about where to eat and most importantly, how to deal with the bumsters ! The later could be viewed by some as a real nuisance, but they are easily dealt with. If walking along the beach, walk in the water - they don't like getting their Nike trainers wet ! Other tricks to use - tell them you are meeting a friend - they seem to accept this and look for someone else. A straight 'No' works too!!
I found absolutely nothing wrong with the hotel. The rooms were great and very clean - the shower was fantastic - better than the one I have at home!The food at breakfast was wonderful: cooked, cereal, bread, cold meats, a fantastic assortment - something for everyone. There are 4 restaurants at the hotel - my favourite was the snack bar - burgers, pizza etc plus some local dishes. The staff at the hotel must be the friendliest people on the planet - they always keen to talk to you. I got friendly with a couple of the security guards and even went back to their homes (well huts really) to meet their families. You should really do this - you see the real Gambia - it's a real eye opener. Take sweets/paper/pencils etc for the kids - they'll love you for that. The guys I spoke to only earnt about £18 per month. I gave them £10 each for their trouble and it made their day.
I only went on one tour - the Roots tour. It was interesting, but obviously, the 'typical' Gambian village they take you to isn't really, because hundreds of tourists pass through each week! To see the real Gambia, get friendly with a local!
There are one of two restaurants around the hotel. The Captains Table and Ali Baba I thought were ok, but the one I liked best, the name of which I can't remember, was a little place next to Ali Babas. The food there was fantastic - their spicey chicken was hotter than any curry I've ever had!!
The walk along the beach to Senegambia takes about 45 minutes and is well worth it. There are more bars/restaurants there. Taxis are cheap - if you get a bush taxi (green and yellow) beware, they pick other people up on the way and may take them to their destination first - but they are really cheap !!
I had two weeks out there from 25th November to 9th December 2004. During that time, there were a couple of mornings when the sun was hazy until around midday, but other than that, didn't see a cloud! Came back with a lovely tan for Christmas!
I was so impressed, I've booked again - will be back there on 24th November 2005 for a couple of weeks.
Hope this helps you.
The friendliest place on earth!!!
We stayed here for 1 week as part of our honeymoon. When we arrived in the Gambia it was a bit of a culture shock driving from the airport, and we stopped at a few hotels and some of them looked a bit run down. When we arrived at Kombo there were staff ready to greet us with cooling towels and our bags were delivered straight to our room - we didn't even have to check in at the front desk which was great. The hotel staff were so friendly, and there was so much choice in the way of food and there were 3 seperate bars. The breakfast were amazing and there was so much choice. After the first night in the hotel we ventured out to a few restaurants in the busier areas, one called Tao which serves the best Chinese and Thai food. The hotel is pretty much on its own in the area and you will need to get taxis to places - very cheap and you hire them for the night abpprox £5 + a tip if you want. The taxis are always waiting outside of the hotel. The only thing to watch out for are the people who hassle you on the beach, but if you go into the water they leave alone as they apparently don't want to get their shoes wet! The hotel had a games person in charge of organising things like volleyball, water polo and skittles. This happened 3 times a day and there was always some traditional entertainment at night. We loved it and would definitely go back there.
We were unsure where to go for a week and not too far to travel, when recommended to Gambia by a friend. Being a third world country we were not sure what to expect. Well the whole Gambian Experiance was one of the best relaxing holidays I have ever had. The Gambian people were all happy and very friendly, the hotel was excellant as was the food. I will be going back and now understand why people do back time and time again.
Give the Kombo a Go!
My husband's first visit to Africa and it certainly is a culture shock. Hearts sank as soon as we got through airport and were faced with all manner of people hassling us. Hearts sank even further as we dropped off at hotels along the way. However, as soon as we saw the front of the Kombo Beach we knew we would be OK. Very good hotel - rooms basic but clean and with great ocean views. Food very good with plenty of choice - do try Kotu kitchen on Sunday nights. Staff excellent - so ready to talk and smile (particularly the men - ladies could be a little reserved - their culture I think). Very reassuring that the Kombo beach provides security staff - at front of hotel, also at night but most importantly always 3 security people on beach outside hotel to provide 'protection' from the bumsters. These we were apprehensive about - need to have your wits about you but found that if you simply say 'no' nicely they normally go away.
Found whole Gambia experience brilliant and we went with major worries about food, health, bumsters e.t.c. We didn't do any trips (regrettably) as we went for a much needed relaxing break. Hotel and Gambia in general excellent value for money. Am presently trying to see if we can afford to take whole family back for Christmas - speaks for itself!
A bit of peace & quiet.
It was our first visit to Gambia,and may I say it was a little bit of a shock at first, but the Hotel Kombo Beach was very nice. The staff were so friendly and did their best to make sure every thing was "Hunky Dory" for us. The rooms were cleaned every day,and our Room Lady "Haddy" well she was a Gem,there was a few of us in our group and she knew all our names straight off and was very polite. The food also was very nice,and the pool area was kept nice and clean as were the immediate beach areas.
I do realise that the area outside the hotel have people who try hard to make a living but they need to get rid of the so called Bumsters, these are people who dont work for a living and just try to exploit tourists any way they can.they spoil it for people making a living on the craft markets.
I would go back to the Kombo Beach Hotel,as yes my stay was really most enjoyable.A nice rest,with family and friends.
Maybe next year!! Who knows!!!
The advertising literature rated the hotel as 3/4 star so we were not sure what to expect in a developing 3rd world country. No problems, however, the location was fantastic, room good with excellent view, food was 1st class with a choice of restaurants, and the staff were always very helpful and cheery. We will be going back at some stage.
Try it - good hotel, friendly people, climate excellent.
Great value for money
This was our frist time to the Gambia, so did not know what to expect.Allthough we have been to Africa on lots of occassions, this was not a dissapointment,the people are so friendly and always seem to have a smile on there faces.The rooms are a bit basic but have everything you need.The food is o.k. but do go out and about to the local resturants,you can get a cab to go further affield,and you don`t pay until the driver brings you back to the hotel,so you can stay as long as you like.The enterainment team are a great laugh, and really good dancers,the show they put on is frist class.If you want to go on any trips don`t book them through the reps, just go to the front of the hotel and get yourself a cab it will be at least half the price.If you want to know anything else just e-mail me and i will let you know if i can.
TripAdvisor Reviews Kombo Beach Hotel Kotu
Travel Blogs from Kotu
... Kotu Beach. We paid him £10 each for the 3 hour walking tour and £30 each for the Birds and Breakfast. Expensive for Gambia - but excellent value. Booking the Lamin Lodge tour would have cost £45 each normally, but because the Ebola scare in other African countries has (foolishly) caused the scandinavian countries to cancel all flights to Gambia, prices can be negotiated down very easily.
Be prepared for ...
... the village and onto our bus once again. Before going back to the Braemar our last visit was to Albert Market, which sold meat, fish, fruit and vegetables as well as clothing and souvenirs.
Well, I can’t imagine why the tour company ever thought that we’d want to go to this place. It was absolutely horrendous. You’ve heard of a “flea market” – this was a fly market. The fish and meat products were covered in ...
... about an enormous peanut based products factory paid for with Chinese dosh which is opening in the Ndinguairaye in the Saloum where ‘Les paysans ne se contentment plus de cultiver et de vendre leurs récoltes.’ Le Soleil says that the factory will give humans that thing which I do not understand called work and will make sure that there are more researchings in to the wonders of the all singing and all prancing peanut. ...
... resort; something we daren't do in Johannesburg or Nairobi. Tourists seem to freely interact with locals than I have seen anywhere else in sub-Saharan Africa.
There seem to be a lot of taxis and local minibuses around. Taxi drivers actively solicit for trade and are quite competitive which works out to the advantage of the customers. Contrast this with Sierra Leone where customers have to literarily beg and offer to pay more to be transported. The ...
... village children.
The whole day really was amazing. It was incredibly organised, with us always having some work to do. Both my husband and I felt like we got to know Gambia so much better in that one day than our previous time there. We got to see the local culture and learn more about the challenges the country face and got to meet some amazing people. It really was inspiring to see the great work the charity was doing and to get involved and help in a small way.