Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort
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TravelPod Member ReviewsOcean Bay Hotel & Resort Bakau
For the price we really can't complain. Although it isn't 5 star!
In 11 days we also stayed at Keur Saloum in Toubacouta, Senegambia Beach Hotel, and Laico Atlantic in Banjul, so can give a bit of a comparison..
This hotel had a very good sized room, but had no bath. Toileteries were provided. Beakfast good, but the least tasty Baobab juice we had!
Had room with sea view, first floor, it was pleasant and a much better balcony than at Laico.
Exchange rate of 47.5 to the pound in Laico Alantic, 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 stayed B&B, which meant that we tried local restaurants for food. Only had drinks at Calypsos as a bit pricey, but nice ambience and crocs! Taj was excellent, Mr Bass fine for a drink, One for the Road good and cheap. Happy hour limited and prices in hotel by far the highest we experienced on our trip, as a result we didn't eat or drink anything in hotel. Also plenty of cheap eateries near the market which looked ok, but we didn't try.
Grounds are small compared to other hotels we went too, we would have been bored if here for a week. Pool fine, but bit cold.
Beach worst of the hotels we went too, but still looks ok, however a pleasant walk along the beach not really possible as turns to rocks at the cape point. We didn't attempt to swim, but a few people were. Senegambia is best here.
Wifi free, but bit unpredictable, stll good to have though. Safe free, as it was at Lacio Atlantic. Senegambia charged.
During the day, local sightseeing is easy, but not much to see. We went to croc pool by tuk-tuk (50D) as saved being bumpstered and was a fun thing to do. We walked back, in about 10 mins, with no hassle. We also walked to fish area and market; easy walk, but you get a bit of bumpster trouble, speaking a few Woolof words helped make these bumpster encounters short. However, not too much else to see in locale, so 2 nights was enough for us. For taxi We spent 250D with backbacks to get from Banjul to Bakau, and same again to get to Senegambia - I think it is possible to do cheaper, but with all our stuff we couldn't be bothered to have a too lengthy discussion! Both destinations about 20 mins away by car.
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, very low key sightseeing. More to do at night here than in Banjul, rooms better than Senegambia, but grounds and pool far inferior. Laico happy medium. Bumsters a bit more annoying than Banjul, and had sob stories and blatant begging.
Would recommend though.
I am 6ft 1 and the flights with Thomas Cook should not be legal. Crazy small legroom, luckily the person in front did not recline to much or I would not have survived!! They use same legroom for Greece flights as confirmed by air hostess. Apart from this flight was fine.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort Bakau
This was our 2nd visit to the Ocean Bay, and this trip we took friends. I have got to say I went out and about a lot more this time and was a bit disheartened. The Hotel is fantastic, the staff lovely and the food fantastic. However, the staff once they know you ask if you can forward old mobiles, clothes etc from England. It is safe to go out and about but the locals don't understand the meaning of the word no!!!
We ate out a few times the 2nd week of our stay at the Shanghai Chinese Restaurant and Chapmans which is run by an english family. The food at both was great!
We did the Roots trip which takes you to the island where Kunte Kinte lived, his family still remain there, and then onto the island where the slaves were held captive, it was a long day and to be honest not very interesting!!!
I doubt I would go back as I have been twice but I would say the hotel is fantastic so if anyone is thinking of going, I would recommend it.
Memorable visit to the Ocean Bay Hotel
My wife Rosemary and I have just returned from a two weeks holiday at the Ocean Bay Hotel. We are experienced travellers but this was our first visit to the African Continent. Our main holiday is always taken in November as we need to recharge our batteries due to a frenetic and stressful working life. The Ocean Bay Hotel was a good choice as it was ideally situated in a quiet area with direct access to a very large, sandy beach. The beach was wide and offered a walk of approximately 150m on hot sand to the sea where the water was warm and shallow and ideal for swimming. During our stay the average afternoon temperature was 30ºC. We preferred the beach to the pool area as it offered a more peaceful environment. The hotel staff who provided the sun loungers, side tables and towels were very helpful and a small tip ensured first class treatment and a good spot under your favourite coconut sunshade the following day. The hotel Beach Bar provided liquid refreshment and snacks and the waiters would gladly bring the drinks to the table next to your sun-lounger.................that's what I call being pampered. Also 40m away on the beach is a Juice Bar which served wonderful and healthy freshly squeezed juice. Try one of Peter's orange and grapefruit cocktail for only 30 dalasis. Good value considering a bottle of water from the Hotel beach bar cost 10 dalasis more! My wife and I spent some time each day talking to Peter, Opa, Dan & Rastaman the juicemen and we learnt much about the daily trials and tribulations of living in the Gambia and the things to do and not to do. Please drop in and see them and let them know that Rosemary and Ian send their best wishes and I am sure you will get a very warm welcome and lots of vitamin C.
The hotel rooms were adequate without being luxurious and it was sometimes wise to get a shower before 18.30 hrs as on one or two occasions the mains electricity supply would get overloaded around 19.00 hrs and standing in a dark shower cubicle for 5 minutes waiting for the hotel generator to kick in was not exactly 5 star service. Remember that this is an African 5 star hotel. The cleaning staff worked hard and were quick to report any small problems which we reported. The hotel grounds and beach area are patrolled 24 hours by uniformed personnel from a private security company and they were very polite, friendly and unobtrusive. We are still wondering why they were necessary as our whole stay was trouble free with not a hint of any problems in the area.
Our stay was on a B/B basis as we like to experience different local restaurants every evening. The buffet breakfast was wonderful and offered everything from salads to a full English including tailor-made omelettes. Try the wonderful tasty bacon. We ate in the hotel restaurant on a couple of evenings and the a la carte was very good. The local restaurants were a short walk away and provided good fish dishes but the meat on offer was of poor quality so stick to the grilled butter fish, lady fish and barracuda. If you fancy a treat take a 10 minutes taxi ride to the Butcher's Shop..................the food is excellent but your bill would feed a Gambian family for two months!
We hired the services of Abraham a private tour guide and it proved a good move and much more interesting than touring around with a large group organised through the hotel tourist reps. We took with us to the Gambia a lot of school equipment including pens, pencils, notebooks etc and were advised to visit a rural school off the beaten track as they were in greater need of assistance than the schools in the tourist areas. In this respect Abraham took us to the school in Kiti which was a 60 minutes taxi ride away. We were warmly greeted by the teachers and especially by the children whose smiling faces will never be forgotten plus their laughing when confronted with their photos on my digital camera................probably the first time they have seen a picture of themselves. Don't miss a visit to the bustling Serrakunda market and to see the oysters hanging from the mangrove trees in the creeks at Lamin Lodge.
We would not hesitate to visit the Hotel Ocean Bay again but now knowing the area, the things to do and what not to do a visit of one week would prove ideal.............especially for the winter sun. The hotel staff were wonderful, friendly and always willing to assist and advise which helped to make our stay so memorable.
Friendly place for guarenteed sunshine break
We stayed at the Ocean Bay for a cheap week of sunshine and we were not disappointed. The hotel was clean, well maintained and tidy, the rooms spacious with good air con & facilites. The the staff were very friendly and helpful - with the exception of the receptionists (the hotel manager cant have read the previous reviews!) and I would recommend that a tip for the pool staff guarentees a sunbed. The hotel food was about as good as you would expect for the money and OK if you like buffets. We only ate dinner in the hotel main restaurant once as we discovered the Ocean Clipper a la carte restaurant, which although expensive, was excellent and would hold up well against many in London's West End! The beach was paradise, but the sea needed care due to rip tides.
Our second time Gambia, last year we stayed in Sunbeach next door. We found Ocean Bay just as good as Sunbeach. The rooms were very clean and staff very friendly and helpfull.
A little "donation" here and there does miracles. As real Dutchmen we cleaned out the minibar and filled it with cheap drinks from outside the hotel, never any comment. Because of bed/breakfast we had all our meals outside the hotel. Calypso, Mr. Bass and Chapmans nearby and Butcher Shop, Clay Oven by taxi 350 dalasi return including 2 hours of waiting.
The Ocean Clipper that belongs to the hotel serves your food so fast that it beats McDonalds by far, too expensive for what they do. At all we were very satisfied.
Great place to chill in the sun, no nightlife though
Stayed at the Ocean Bay in March 2006 and the weather was gorgeous. Some days a bit too hot, when there was no breeze. Bring a cardigan, as it does get a bit chilly at night sometimes. Definitely take malaria tablets and plenty of bug spray, or you will get bitten (30 times on the first night after forgetting to put spray on). The hotel is very nice, the best in The Gambia, all the others looked like they needed a good refurbishment. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The food is very nice and everywhere is very clean and tidy. The breakfasts are excellent - everything you can imagine and more. Please do not let the bumsters put you off leaving the hotel, as there are some really nice restaurants in the neighbouring area. Prices vary - some very cheap, others around the same price as England. Just be friendly with the bumsters, shake their hands and tell them where you are going, they might walk you there, but they are harmless. Do go on a few trips to see the real Gambia. The beach is nice, hardly anyone on it and the waiters are up and down so you can get regular drinks. The sea is choppy. An eye opener of a country, we moan when we have so much and a lot of these people have hardly anything. Came back home totally relaxed after a week there.
Perfect Winter Sunshine break
Dont come here if you want hussle and bussle! The Hotel is situated in a perfect spot for peace and quiet. We had wanted a beach break and thats exactly what we got! The bumsters were around and were a pain to start with but you got used to them and they to you. Kevin was quite amusing! the Taxis are a bit of shock at first and our tourist taxi had to have an oil top up and plug change on the way to the airport before finally breaking down! Alex the driver found us another one and we left him with his sad broken down jeep at the side of the road!Everything happens in Gambia time!
We found the waiting and housekeeping staff to be very friendly and did not have to wait long for our bills as other reports have stated, maybe they have improved this service. However the reception staff were unhelpful, slow and you were made to feel that you were disturbing them from whatever they were doing!
We can recommend the Clay Oven, Scala and Al Basha. We also went to an Italian, just near the hotel, but the food was ok, nothing special and Chapmans, which we have mixed views on dependant on what you had from the menu. the food in the Ocean Clipper (hotel restaurant) was good, but pricier than the external restaurants.
If you want to relax in guarenteed winter sunshine with no time difference and only five and a half hour flight, then Gambia is for you!
we stayed for 1 week in dec. b&b. food was excellent, staff friendly(some a little too friendly)room was spacious and very clean. plenty of comfy sunbeds and the beach is very nice. entertainment in the evening was not great a bit repetative-sunbeach just down the road was good,nice bar and good food. Calypso bar well worth a visit.
would deff. stay at this hotel again
Hotel in good location right on the beach. Bedrooms of a good standard. Food average. Hotel very quiet, every night they had an African Cultureal Band on which got quite boring - entertainment needed to be more varied. Drinks were expensive, much cheaper at the Sunset Beach a few yards further down. Calaypso bar also good just down the beach they have live music every week which is very good. Staff were all friendly and helpful. Biggest problem was bar service. After waiting ages to get served, when you did it then became a "paper chase" to pay for your drinks. They assumed that you wanted everything charging to your room. Guides outside the hotel are useful espeically one call Mass, he speaks very good english and is always happy to take you wherever you want to go.
Unfriendly and unexperienced staff and very expensive
We stayed at this hotel in November 2005, having previously stayed at the Sunbeach Hotel just a short stroll up the beach from here.
We found the staff to be very in-experienced and not really friendly and the prices for drinks etc were very very expensive, almost twice the price of the Sunbeach (which we visited daily and the staff made a real effort). On the 2 ocassions that we used the bar at Ocean Bay we waited 20 minutes for 2 drinks (2 beers and 2 cocktails)
We stayed on a B&B basis, and the breakfast was quite good, fresh omelettes, eggs, pancakes etc, but the problem was finding a clean table, and the staff didn't seem to want to clear used plates etc.
The rooms were very nice, and the hotel is in a really good spot.
When visiting The Gambia you MUST visit some of the excellent restaraunts such as Clay Oven (exquisite Indian) Bamboo Garden (Very cheap but top quality Chinese) African Queen (Steaks etc African style) Scala, Butchers Shop and many many more.
I would much recommend the Sunbeach Hotel over ocean Bay, and whichever of these you stay at PLEASE, PLEASE visit Calypso Bar - free sunbeds on the beach, excellent waiter service, really nice food and cheap (drinks half price of Ocean Bay and it's only 50 yards away)
We spent 10 nights at the Ocean Bay hotel, which used to be the Mariatou but has now been refurbished and upgraded. The rooms are pretty good, by no means internation 5*, but very comfortable, clean and with decent tv and mini-bar. The pool area was quite nice and had properly cushioned loungers, plenty of space, and some entertainment but thankfully not blasting music all day. The beach area is alos very good and is kept clear of bumsters by the security staff. Food and drink were both good and occasionally excellent, with happy hour at the beach bar being a very popular way to kick off the evening. The location is, we thought, pretty good - there are a few bars and restaurants nearby (although you are likely to want to head down to Kololi for dinner a few times) and it is very peaceful. Also, its not too far to head into Banjul, which is worth a wander, and we very much recommend taking the Barra ferry for a slice of local life. Only one gripe, which is that while most of the service there is good to excellent, two areas were the service was consistently annoying: the girls on reception - rude, slow and reluctant to do anything at all (a real shame that with most of the staff being wonderfully friendly that the girls on the front desk were plain useless) and second that paying for drinks and food involved a paper trail among several members of staff before the properly auhthorised and for all i know notarised bill could be presented - it usually took about 30 mins at the bar, so ask for the bill well ahead of when you want to leave!
However, those matters did not distract from what was in sum a wonderful holiday, and a long way from the cheap-and-cheerful reputation of the Gambia.
TripAdvisor Reviews Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort Bakau
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