Palma Rima Hotel

Address: Badala Highway, Kololi, Gambia | Hotel
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This hotel, located on Badala Highway, Kololi, is near Cathedral (Le Seu), Placa Major, Palau de l'Almudaina, and Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum.
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          Historical Traveler Reviews Palma Rima Hotel Kololi

          Wasn't upto scratch!!!


          the hotel room was basic but came with free scratchin rats in the false ceiling,hot water was brown but very very hot,hotel staff was freindly only becouse the most of them wanted cash and anything off you when you leave(but mainly cash)breakfast was ok if you liked slimey fried eggs and fried cubed potatoes,real nescaf coffee,we talked to most of the staff but at the end of our stay the only 2 people who never expected cash was the dj(glempse)and a person called john who was a porter/maintainance not eat or drink in the hotel as it is expensive,7 for a meal and 1 a drink(bottle julbrew)compared to outside the hotel 2 for a far better meal and 1.20 for a pint of julbrew in most places outside the hotel,we used churchills and ali babas in senagambia,and it was worth going to ali babas(live music every night).200 ciggerettes are 350dalasi(7)in the hotel and 6 in the airport,the pool was big,but if you want a sunbed you have to become a german and put your towel out at about 4am.we whent on the 11th to the 18th march,i took a clock with a temp on it and at about 10am every morning it said 112" in the sun and 95" in the shade.the hotel had security on the gate to keep out the bumsters(do not go with the reps or the so called "official tourist guides,they are expensive)there is a board to the right of the maingate with cost of local taxis or ask for the "taxi controller"he is the best rates.everyone outside the hotel wants your cash,they try and be your best friend but as i said all they want is me if you want to know more about my stay at palma rima kotu.

          Fun in the Gambia


          We stayed at the Palma Rima hotel in the Gambia at the end of February and had a great time! We stayed in one of the bungalows which although was basic was really big and very clean and really good value for money. The staff at the hotel were all really helpfull and so friendly even down to the gardener bringing us fresh flowers from the beautifull gardens. The swiming pool was huge and also very clean. We had some hassle from the locals outside the hotel but after a few days they left us alone. We found a really great taxi driver called Soloman who made our stay better as he didnt hassle us to take his trips so we went back to him night after night! You can find him outside the hotel just ask the controller for him and say Scottish James sent you!! We took a 4x4 wheel adventure day out which was immense fun and areal eye opener of Gambian life. We booked through The Gambian Experience and cant wait to go back!!! We are total converts!

          Unanswered Letter to Thomas Cook


          I'm writing to express my profound disappointment & on-going discomfort following our recent Sunset holiday to Palma Rima Hotel, Gambia.

          All of the matters referred to below were discussed with the local representative (Lenny) during our stay.

          I have 3 major complaints:

          1.Hotel quality - fit for purpose

          2.Hotel staff

          3.Hotel food - hygiene

          I will deal with each of the above in turn;

          Hotel quality - whilst the picture in your brochure is accurate the hotel is dilapidated. We were initially allocated a room (319) that had not been adequately cleaned. In addition, it became immediately evident that the room was swamping with ants. The hotel reception staff were made aware of this and the following day sprayed the room with insecticide which had the room total uninhabitable since the room was filled with an acrid stench.

          Whilst the insecticide did kill a vast number of ants, see attached photo, these were not cleared away for 2 days despite repeated requests.

          The final stray was on the third night when we returned to the room @ 00:30 to find that the beds were covered in ants. I immediately went to reception and insisted that something be done.

          The young man on reception telephoned our room 20 minutes later to say that he could not leave the reception unattended therefore we would have to await the arrival of another member of staff. An hour later another member of staff came to the room with the same foul smelling insecticide spray that had been used previously.

          I insisted on reading the label of the spray can and explained to him that this type of spray should not be used in a confined space and could not be used in the room if we were expected to sleep in this room tonight.

          The receptionist returned to the front desk without suggesting any solution.

          We removed all the bed coverings, moved the beds away from the ants trail and spent a very uncomfortable night in the room. Thankfully this was our last night in room 319.

          Hotel Staff - whilst it was difficult to explain to the night reception staff that the insecticide spray was harmful to humans this is not my major complaint regarding the hotel staff.

          The following morning we spoke to reception about changing our room. The reception staff informed us that we would need to talk to the person responsible for allocating room when he arrived to start work @ 10:00.

          The man responsible for allocating rooms was totally obnoxious and unhelpful. Initially he insisted that there were no other rooms although were aware that the hotel was not full.

          Eventually we were offered another room provided we paid an additional 1500 Dalasi. This we did - receipt attached.

          There was no help offered by way of assistance in moving from room 319 to the replacement room.

          Hotel food - we, along with most of our fellow guests experienced stomach upsets during our stay. Unfortunately this complaint is still ongoing.

          Yesterday I provided a stool sample to my GP for analysis. Results of this analysis are awaited although he suspects gastroenteritis.

          Whilst I have no proof that the hotel food was prepared in an unhygienic manner, based on the number of guest affected, I would suggest that there is strong circumstantial evidence.

          As mentioned earlier, all of the above was discussed with your local representative who unfortunately was immune to the above observations. This approach may be understandable given that similar comments were being made by most of the guests. In addition, I would strongly encourage your representative trainers to consider a more responsive approach to complaints. I don't want to hear about different peoples expectations or the fact that Gambia is a third world country which were regularly used platitudes from your representative. I wanted your representative to resolve the issues.

          I believe that my expectations are similar to most, that is, that the hotel rooms are clean, the beds adequate and the food prepared in a hygienic manner. None of these reasonable expectations were meet.

          Whilst we were in Gambia we viewed a couple of other hotels close to Hotel Palma Rima charging a similar headline room-rate. Suffice to say, both were vastly superior. As the number of hotels available increases, and hence the competition, is the strategy of the Hotel Palma Rima, to allow standards to fall further whilst maintaining their profits.

          I believe you have a duty of care to your customers which based on my recent experience is not being met. Whilst the weather was superb, our holiday was spoilt.

          We do intend to visit Gambia again shortly but we will not be staying @ the Hotel Palma Rima.

          I intent to post a copy of this letter on the Trip Advisor website.

          Your faithfully,

          Don't expect too much


          Went to the Palma Rima in March 2002, when we arrived it was a terrible shock, we were not expecting so much poverty etc. A bit shocked at the state of the hotel as well, but after 24 hrs and seeing everything around you, and the people of the Gambia then we were in luxury, these people have nothing and are happy, so as long as you go to the Gambia, not expecting too much and remember this is a very poor country you cannot be dissappointed.

          The staff were fantastic, the food lovely and the weather perfect. it was my husbands 40th when we were there and the cleaners found a card in the room and put 40 flowers over the bed for him, it was lovely.

          The staff are paid peanuts and work more hours than anyone i know and nothing is too much for them. We had a lovely holiday once we got over the culture shock, and maybe one day we will return.

          Think the travel agents should prepare you for the shock though. We stayed in a bungalow, and it was cleaned every day and everyone was very friendly. Heard the hotel has been improved since our visit so don't know what is like now but once you get over the poverty (if you can) then its a very enjoyable holiday. The entertainment team were supposed to be the best in the Gambia, they were ok but repetative and the nightclub was always empty. oh yes and if you try to find the tv room which is advertised, and you actually do you will be lucky.

          Anyone wanting go find out whats going on at home then there is a nice pub called Churchills round the corner, with nice food and drink and a TV.

          The holiday reps will try to scare you about going out and talking to the locals, they also told us that if you left anything in your room then be prepared for it to go missing. This was not true, everything was safe we left the cleaner money on several occassions and she never touched it, in the end we had to hand it to her. And dont be afraid to go out the bumbsters will come up to you and talk but just say no, or be friendly with them, they will show you everything and just give them a tip. They are lovely people. enjoy your holiday

          A wonderful holiday


          The rooms in the hotel are functional but forget luxurious : I suspect that this is fairly typical of the Gambia. We were somewhat taken aback at first by how basic the facilities in the rooms were. In the end, they served their purpose well as we spent most of our time outside in the sun or asleep. On the plus side, the beds were stripped and fresh sheets provided daily as were the towels in the bathroom.

          The outstanding feature of the hotel was the food (it's well worth going at least half board for this reason). All meals were buffet style and you could eat as much as you wanted. Everynight of the week a different country's cuisine was featured. I was amazed at how fresh the food was despite being prepared in such quantity. Also, the food had real flavour. The chef was not afraid frying when this was called for so it is quite possible to expand your waistband without too much trouble.

          The staff were a tonic : the most friendly, helpful people I have ever encountered anywhere. Nothing was too much trouble and english, despite not being the first language of the country, was spoken by all of the staff. They are not well paid (even by Gambian standards) so their cheerful outlook is doubly astonishing !

          This is a personal comment but I found the amount and volume of music played constantly around the pool to be annoying : if you want quiet either go down to the beach or stay somewhere else.

          It will pay to go to the beach as the cost of meals (if you are not full board) and drinks is less than half that charged in the hotel. There is much conjecture about bumsters (hustlers) but they are overrated as a problem : polite refusal of their offers usually works as does giving the impression that you come to the Gambia regularly. Avoid rudeness but as a last resort simply say that you are surprised at the hustler's continued presence as you didn't invite him! They hate to be rude!



          We got this as last minute holiday through a holiday shop and to a certain degree you do take pot luck but this hotel was terrible.

          It turned out we were travelling with Cosmos and I can't understand why they still have it in their brochure. Somehow it has been allocated three stars.

          The first room we were shown in the main building was like entering a prison block and the room itself was dank, dark and tatty. The furniture was falling apart, the bathroom smelt of smoke & mould and the view was non descript.

          We quickly complained and were shown to a bungalow style accomodation which was hardly any better (and incurred an upgrade fee!!). Nicer garden surroundings but still tatty furniture and a revolting bathroom.

          Can't really say anything good about the hotel. As others have mentioned the pool is a good size. The pathway to the beach was closed and had been for over 3 weeks plus, awaiting maintenance. Maintenance is a word unfamiliar to this hotel. Shabby is the only word to describe it.

          What makes the whole situation ludicrous is the number of staff the hotel has. They are crawling everywhere but you still struggle to get a drink and they certainly don't do any repair work.

          Outside the hotel is a rat run of hustlers and petty crooks, the beach seemed nice although as we demanded to be moved to a new hotel we didn't spend much time there.

          I would not want to stay at this hotel even if someone paid me - avoid it at all costs!

          (For your information we transferred to the Atlantic Hotel in Banjul for which I will write a positive review!!)

          Palma Rima as it is...


          On our return trip to this hotel we found the condition of the hotel buildings and amenities had deteriorated to an unacceptable level, this was obviously due to lack of monies being spent on maintainence and upkeep. The majority of staff were untrained i.e. bar service was spasmodic. The food at breakfast was bland, unimaginative and repetitive. The housekeeping service left alot to be desired. We still enjoyed our holiday, the weather was good and the time spent by the exceptional pool made up for this hotel's downfalls.

          Warm and friendly staff


          This was our first time in The Gambia, we will definately be going back. Palma Rima has everything on site and a fantastic swimming pool. The entertainment was brill for the first 2 nights, but nearby Senegambia offers a varied assortment of nightlife. Personally we would not chose to take the holiday reps' excursions again as local tourist taxi's can take you to all the places of attraction for less than half the price of the tours run by the reps!

          Not one of the best!


          This was my second time to the Gambia, and i wished i`d gone back to the Kombo Beach.The Palma Rima was a bit tatty in comparision.The food was very samey if you know what i mean. The entertainment was the same on the second week, so if you add allready seen it the night was a bit boreing.The entertainment team was not really interested in making your day, unless you were a single white female, then they could not do enough for you. But if you were married or a bloke forget it.The one good thing about the Gambia is the weather, and this made up for the hotels short comings.

          A very good hotel friendly staff


          Excellent holiday people very friendly food lovely will be going back in 6 months time

          TripAdvisor Reviews Palma Rima Hotel Kololi

          3.50 of 5 stars Very Good

          Travel Blogs from Kololi

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