Laico Atlantic Banjul Hotel

7  / 10
Average rating (27 reviews)
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9 / 10
what an experience

"we went to this hotel in 2004 and found it fabulous, the staff brilliant, food great the only downside was we could not swim in the sea as it was too rough and not clear or warm

mozzie's not a problem if you take repellent and malaria tablets.

The hotel staff are great and look for Omar on the beach sellig postcards he a good source of information and will take you round the markets which have a distinct smell of fish and raw chicken. We visited all the attractions which were not expensive. We got to know the locals and the taxi;s which are shared minibus's are fun. Its upsetting to see the poverty in the Gambia and the politics around the country is also disturbing when you speak to the locals. We would love to go back one day, the weather is always hot in october to april, we went in march and it was too hot to stay on the beach at lunchtime, great place to go would recommend to anyone.

  • Holiday details: Mar 2006, All Inclusive, booked with Direct Holidays
  • Advice: explore its great lots of culture travel to senegal and definitely do the ferries
  • Good For: Beach

4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

8 / 10
amazing hotel, harrased alot though

"the corinthia atlantic is a beautiful holiday and a very beautiful place.

when we arrived there though we got of the coach to find a man carrying my suitcase! when we asked him for it back he said no its fine we'll carry it to your hotel for you, so we thought great! when he got to the hotel he asked us to pay! beware of these people. for a 3rd world country its a wonderful place but everywhere you go you get harrased.

the rooms were very run down the ceiling was falling appart and we found a lizard in our room. one night we smelt burning so we called reception, they clamed it was the birds pooing on the roof!

the people who work at th hotel are amazing people! they are so helpful and kind. they are easy to make friends with and are polite. the pool is lovely and very clean. we woke up every morning to the beautiful sound coming from the bird garden, it was amazing. there are a few cats and dogs at the hotel but they dont bother you.

There is a wide selection of food on offer every night and we never had the same. breakfast was lovely aswell. the pool bar had very friendly staff and i fully enjoyed my time there. would deffinatly go back.

  • Holiday details: Jun 2009, All Inclusive, Booked Independently
  • Advice: yes deffinatly.
  • Good For: Beach

3 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10
best holiday ever

"This hotel was very good staff was lovley and it was very clean got a private beach and you dont get mathered they are just friendley .Did two trips roots and bush tucker night both very good this is a chilling place i had a meal on the car park at back of hotel with the bumsters and taxi drivers there really cool and interesting,even though my boyfriend wouldnt eat i did n i was fine with that food so take no notice of the people sayin food gave them dicky tummy poss a change in climate they not used too ."

  • Holiday details: Feb 2008, All Inclusive, Booked Independently
  • Advice: take the chance its amazin
  • Good For: Beach

2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

5 / 10

"The hotel was good for a 3rd world country, staff very helpful and would go out of their way to help.

Although it was 35c and above the pool was cold but clean, position of the hotel was ideal.

The only downside to the holiday was the cost of the drinks!! Very very expensive. For a double bacardi and bottle of coke 450 delasi (approx £9)bottle of wine ( £16) beware take your own and top up!

Food was excellent.

You will get hassled from the so called 'Bumsters' but just keep walking......

Only take Dalasis with you, if you go into the main town you will get a better rate than here we got 33 here, and it was 37 over there. DO NOT take this new card which will take over the traveller cheques, as they do not accept it.

A 'MUST' trip is the 'Lasy Day' we did this on our last day, it was fabulous a trip through the mangroves, with coffee, champange, lunch, fishing and also swimming, take your binoculars as the bird life was fantastic, beeeaters, ospreys, pelicans etc.

Overall would go back for the winter sun, take plenty of suncream and misquito sprays!!!

  • Holiday details: Feb 2009, Half Board, booked with Thomas Cook
  • Good For: Beach

25 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

5 / 10
Not 4 parrots

"We wanted a fly and flop in the sun holiday which we got.Hotel staff pleasant and helpful. Hotel was clean but well worn, holes in carpets and leaky roof (Not raining during our stay). Sheets on bed once white but now grey. Local people extremly friendly and helpful but in the words of one little boy the bumsters who pounce on everyone leaving the hotel spoil his country for tourists. Elderly GB female sex tourists also a bore. The beach is on an estuary so do not expect blue sea. Late night disco music to 1am and activities like Butlins."

  • Holiday details: Feb 2009, Half Board, Booked Independently
  • Advice: An experiance to see another country I enjoyed it but would not go back.
  • Activities: Stayed in hotel but it was bland.
  • Good For: Beach

8 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

8 / 10
would definatley recommend...

"Please remember that The Gambia is a third world country!!

To be honest after reading some of the other reviews on this site i was very worried about going but to my relief the hotel was lovely and clean and the staff are very friendly and helpful.

We decided to pay the extra money (£21 per room per week)for a pool/sea facing room and im really glad we did, the view was great and whilst there we spoke to a few couples that had a room facing the bird garden and they had a few problems with mosquitos, we on the other hand next to none.

The beach is lovely but there are small pretty sharp shells that are sore on your feet and the farmers walk there cattle (cows and goats) on the beach too, so you can expect a bit of poo aswell (its not that bad tho!). The bumsters on the beach are a bit of a pain but the juice they make is lovely and the fruit you can get from the women there too is nice and fresh, the are pretty persistent but you just have to be nice and say no, sometimes more than once :), remember this is how they make a living so try not to be too harsh on them.

We used one of the guides that the hotel provide - Malik, he was great. he took us to the monkey park, crocodile park and to a local school - Bakau school.

We also did 2 excursions with First Choice/Thomson.

Firstly we did the "After Dark" one, thats when you go to Senegambia strip (lots of bars), they take you to 4 bars, spend an hour in each then back to the hotel, really good crack but takes a while to pick everyone up and get going but would recommend it. Secondly we did the "Lazy Day Boat Trip", its exactly that - i found it a bit boring until we stopped and went for a swim and started fishing, the food and the champagne provided was really good (although i realised i didnt like papya, yuck! lol).

one other recommendation i would make is to take lots of hand sanitising gel, when you see the money you'll understand and the money is the main way of catching "banjul belly" is from the money.

We went to a few of the local restaurants for lunch as the hotel was quite expensive (bit more expensive than britain), try out Billy's and Michells, they are both about 10 mins walk from the hotel and are great value for money.

Oh id also suggest that you go to a local shop and buy alcohol for your room as it is pretty pricy in the hotel.

  • Holiday details: Feb 2009, Half Board, booked with First Choice

15 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

9 / 10
Great Hotel + Country

"I have just returned from Gambia, staying at the Corinthia Atlantic and found the hotel very good. The staff are extremely helpful and friendly, the hotel is very clean and the food is great. Gambia is a beautiful country, but very poor. I visited the local hospital and believe me they are desperate for aid - in fact I am now fundraising for them. We visited schools taking books and pencils which were very much appreciated, had drumming lessons and went out of our way to meet Gambians away from the tourist areas. I certainly can't wait to go back and I will definitely stay at the Corinthia Atlantic Hotel!"

  • Holiday details: Feb 2009, Half Board, booked with Thomas Cook

11 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

3 / 10
gambia ? please think twice

"I have just come back from a weeks break at the corinthia atlantic hotel and feel compelled to write my expereinces down. The hotel is situated in a very poor area, think tin shacks, rubbish , excrement , desparate people. The beach is lovely but populated by bumsters who make it almost impossible to move out of the area that isn't guarded by the security guards, and don't even think about swimming in the water. It is not the sea as suggested in many tourist leaflets it is the river and a very dirty one at that as many gambians use they river for a varity of different domestic reasons. The staff at the hotel are ok but you get the distinct feeling that any kind or thoughtful action on their behalf invovles some payement from you. It is also expensive on par with uk prices for both drinks and food. I ventured to the gym one day of course I expected the equipment to be poor but having to deal with the sexual harassemnt from hotel employees was dreadful. It is almost comical watching the male staff latch onto female guests and the female staff the male guests. Leaving the hotel for a look around is not recommended without hiring a guide. People say the gambians are friendly people ..yes when they want something.Refuse or ignore their unwanted advances they say "its nice to be nice" as if to make you feel guilty. The local boys work in gangs and know exactly what they are doing spinning stories and lies to anyone unfortunate enough to get taken in. On top of that we both caught banjul belly and let me tell you this is a painful and prolonged condition completly disabling and lasts for days.Finally the transfer coach back to the airport was literally falling apart with no air conditioning you begin to wonder what exactly the english tour operaters are spending their money on in the gambian . I am a poor english person used to backpacking and staying in guest houses and hostels all over the world however there was something wrong about tourism in The gambian that is unless of course you are a middle aged single female best to donate to a gambian charity instead."

  • Holiday details: Nov 2008, Bed & Breakfast, booked with Lastminute

5 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

8 / 10
the corinthia atlantic hotel amazing

"the corinthia atlantic hotel was a very welcoming beautiful hotel. we stayed there on the 11 nov 2008 and had a amazing time there. the hotel is very clean every area is covered with staff very freindly food was a nice standard. service was excellent from the cleaners to chefs to waiters to the gentlemen who sprays your room at night to every one in the hotel.the pool area was very looked after with the guys asking you were you would like your beds they would carry them for you and set them out amazing service.There two new jacuzzi was lovely and relaxing. afternoon tea and cake free of charge for the guest was a nice touch.being two young girls on our own in the gambia i ve never been so looked after and protected specialy on the beach with the guards excellent!!!!!! and i can say that on behalf of my freind louisa. the hotel drink taffif was expensive compared to the out side and the measures was very small.get your self a taxi for your trips its half the price.If you can bring out rice,pens,paper ect a bag or rice can feed a family over there for a month. the gambia is the smiling coast. thank you corinthia staff. x"

  • Holiday details: Nov 2008, Half Board, booked with Thomas Cook

6 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10
In reply to the negative comments...

"In reply to the negative comments made by holiday makers visiting the Corinthian Atlantic in Banjul, i can only assume you haven't visited the Gambia for the experience.

I went to the Corinthian last year and it was the most satisfying holiday i've ever been on. Yes i was aware of the bumsters trying to make money and i was only to pleased to think that i was helping people less fortunate than myself.

I was never made to feel anything but welcome through out my stay by the locals. Both inside and outside the hotel. I was treated with a lot of respect and in return i respected them and there culture.

I visted their compounds, was invited to local gatherings and made more genuine friends than in any other country ive visted. Nothing was to much trouble and i was even offered to share their meagre meal.

I found that just having time for them and letting them no that we are all equals made a big impact in Banjul.

Regarding critisism of the hotel i was pleasantly surprised with all aspects of the Corinthian Atlantic. We had no problems with any of the issues that have been stated by other holiday makers on this website. As for the staff they bent over backwards to meet all our needs with out expecting anything in return except friendship.

I suggest the people that have left negative feedback about the Gambia should choose a destination that suits their snobbish personality. Africa is not England you should have gone to Blackpool!

Im only 17 and feel so fortunate to have been able to be part of the "Smiling Coast" of Africa for two beautiful weeks and i can't wait to go back in November this year.

  • Holiday details: Nov 2007, Half Board, booked with Thomas Cook

10 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

6 / 10
Disappointing overall though staff...

"Disappointing overall though staff were very helpful when we asked to upgrade our rooms as they originally looked out on to a tree! For another #3 per night we upgraded to sea views. Huge comfortable bed but shappy tiling in bathroom and stains running down wall in main area. Carpet in corridor worn in places. Prompt response to complaints.

Not many sun loungers beach and a long way to trip down to the sea itself! English priced drinks in small measures. One ply napkins which were a NUISANCE.

Entertainment was very good, though, especially the stick man.

Do look out for Fabs, he is a fantastic guide and also Embe a taxi driver in a Suzuki SJ10. You must visit the hospital as well, that was an experience in itself and oh don't forget Michel's restaurant, fantastic.

Very quiet on the beach and we had to get a taxi down to the next one to do some horse riding.

I would not go back to this hotel.

  • Holiday details: Mar 2008, Half Board, booked with Thomas Cook

3 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10
We purchased the holiday as a 20th...

"We purchased the holiday as a 20th Wedding Anniversary get away, we were warned that the country itself is basic, like Egypt and Tunisia, this is certainly true, and you get beggars and requests for hiring a "guide" Just as you would in any of those countries. However in general this is where the similarities end as the people of Gambia are SO friendly, it was a delight to visit.

A lot of other travellers were there for the weather alone but there is so much to do and see, it’s a real experience, we went to a School, bee hive centre, winery, farm and other such tours. It was all brilliant and the overall food and experience was excellent.

Even though this was for my wedding anniversary I took my 15 and 13 year old and they loved it and would go again.

The hotel was excellent and rivals any similar starred European hotel, all the services you would expect from a 4 or 5*. I have found all hotels in countries where the food is very cheap to be a little on the expensive side, this was no exception although it didn't affect us as we were full board but its still cheap by British standards apart from imported soft drinks.

We had to stay in the annexe building for the first night as they were overbooked. This was serviceable and OK, clean, they upgraded our food to al a carte for one night to compensate, but I would have been happy enough without that and said it didn't matter but they insisted :o)

The "proper" rooms were lovely. I got bitten to death by mosquitoes though even though I had my own spray and the hotel guy came around every evening and sprayed the room!

To sum up, you could go to this hotel and sun yourself around the pool and have a lovely time for your holiday OR be totally adventurous, keep an open mind and have an absolute ball. In the time we were there we did everything going so I don't know if I would go back, but I certainly recommend it!

  • Holiday details: Feb 2007, Full Board, booked with Thomas Cook

4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

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Top traveller tips for Laico Atlantic Banjul Hotel

  • by emmie44

    " South Gambia villages and schools, Roots and sailing through the mangroves drinking champagne "

  • by a fellow traveller

    " Nice wide beach, but lots of tiny broken shells that get inside your flipflops! "

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Laico Atlantic Banjul Hotel is also called:

  • atlantic hotel banjul
  • corinthia atlantic

Address: Avenue Marina Parade P.O. Box 296, Banjul Beach 1602, Gambia