11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
At least it had a roof!
"My family of 4 arrived at lunchtime and were dismayed. It states 2 star but I would say there are youth hostels nicer than this. Our rooms were very dark. No bath just a wet room that was filthy. Our sheets were torn and stained the rooms were dirty and dusty. The pool was filthy with a scum on the top so we didnt use it. We stayed one night and complained to our rep but he said it was "Gambian 2 Star" whatever that means. In the morning we went for breakfast and there was diy coffee - i e boil the kettle yourself etc. dried bread, thin ham and thin sliced cheese and some stale cornflakes. My husband was covered in bites from bed bugs in his bed and had flooded the room when the shower wouldnt turn off. After a day of complaining they offered for us to upgrade to their studio rooms at an extra Â£115 per room week. We felt this was unfair but as most of the other new arrivals decided to do this it seemed that this was the purpose of the hotel giving a "special offer" deal in the first place. After many arguments with the rep and the hotel staff we decided to move to another hotel (Senegambia) and paid an extra Â£500 each (for 13 nights). The Senegambia was an awesome hotel. All in all unless you dont mind bedbugs, cockroaches and filthy conditions I wouldnt book this hotel. I must say that the hotel staff were very nice and said they were used to customers constantly complaining! In fact Sarges is a joke in Kololi."
- Travel date: 15th January 2009
Basic. good enough
"I returned to the Tafbel or now known as The sarges for the second time, this time I found it wasnt as good as the initial time. It has been taken over and there was one night of entertainment in the whole of the week, compared to every night the first time. The rooms are basic but good enough,we did have to complain about one of the beds though because it was extremely lumpy, but I suppose compared to what the gambians have, we shouldnt moan.The food is good and also you have a huge range of bars, restaurants outside, do try the indian opposite, it was lovely. The Staff are amazing, so helpful, friendly, so please do tip well, even if its 50dalasis which is just under Â£1, this is alot to them, seeing as their avarage wage is about Â£10 a month in english money. Alex the official guide, who is based literally just outside the doors is a real 'diamond geezer', you cant miss him, he is the one with a official tourist guide top on and a front tooth missing! He will take you anywhere but best of all, when he is off duty or 'closed for the day' as they call it, he will take you to a local night club etc and look after you real well, you must buty them or him drinks all the time, because as I mentioned, their wages are crap! Overall the hotel is good enough and the people are fantastic, do go and if you stay at the tafbel, find the room man Abraham Toray, say Ali told you about him and he will look after you fantastically. Happy holiday!!!"
- Travel date: 29th May 2006
"We had a great time the staff had remembered us from a previos trip and made us feel like ld friends. The entertainment is fun and varied and is on most evenings. The atmosphere is happy and friendly. Like everyone says it's basic but clean. They are having work completed on rooms to up date them and they are opening the top floor bar which has a large seating area and dance floor. It will be nice and cool and the mosqueto doesn't fly high. I will be returning to the Tafbel or Sarges as it is now known next time I stay in the Gambia. The location is convenient for night life, the beach, shops and market."
- Travel date: 22nd April 2006
In need of a refurb!
"As others have pointed out this hotel is a little shabby and in need of refurb. The beds were fairly comfy and the rooms a decent size, but with a faint musty odour. The bathroom had minor leaks behind the sink and loo and so again had an odd smell. The room was clean and linen leaned daily. A good place just to crash. The pool area was good as everyone who wanted one had a sunbed and space to relax. The pool staff were friendly and once you got to kow the sunbed guy, he'd put one out ready for you in the morning. The breakfasts were pretty lame - make sure you get there before about 9 or else they begin to run out. The location was good - just outside the front door are all the main restaurants and bars. There are quite a few bumsters around the hotel but once they get to know you they leave you alone. They are really friendly and it feels mean to brush them off, but if you don't it will take you half an hour to walk a few metres. The best thing about the hotel was the friendly and helpful staff. They really looked after us and gave us good advice about where to eat, what to do and what to see. Outside the hotel is an official Gambian Tour guide called Alex. (The official guides wear beige shirts.) He's the man if you want help from anything to where to get stamps to a tour of the local area. A real star! Top tip - use the back entrance to the hotel to get to the beach through the 5* hotel. There are no bumsters at the back! Gambia is great - Kololi is not really an accurate representation of the country or the people. After all Blackpool is not really representative of the rest of Britain."
- Travel date: 22nd April 2006
A Bit Run Down But Will Do The Job
"The Tafbel is now called,Serges Hotel.When you arrive at the reception area it is dark and the reception staff are not very helpful.On going to your room it is very tired the furniture is basic and run down.The toilet was coming away from the base and flooded the bathroom,this was fixed in less than 1/4 hour.The staff inside the hotel were very cheerful and helpful,When you go to breakfast you may be lucky to get warm food if they remember to light the hotplates,When I was there we had no cups for coffee,but this is Africa.I came to Gambia on my own this was a mistake,as you are a target for the bumsters & Prostitutes in the town and on the beach.Some tips are for the best money exchange go to the Standard Charted bank.get there early as lots of people use it.Before going take some Boots Insect wipes with you.Go to the supermarket and buy some Bop insect spray,it only cost 75 delases.Places to eat Scala restaurant own by danish woman and the thai next door own by her daughter,Sherrillians Restaurant mine host is Omar has exellent menus and helpful staff.At the back of the Tafbel is Dolphin Restaurant this is value for money big helpings.For entertianment go to Alibarbas live gruop every night.when you want any help see Alex 118 who is always outside the hotel.he is a Gambian Tourist guide.Would I go to Gambia again only if I was with someone and not alone because of the hassle."
- Travel date: 5th February 2006
Fantastic Hotel and V Friendly Staff
"Tafbel is basic, however you still have everything required for a comfortable stay. Daily room cleaned and towel chnges. The staff are very friendly and always there to help. You walk out of the hotel into the main tourist strip which i thought was fantastic. I would advise anyone to stay at the Tafbel and I will be returning to the Tafbel on my next visit to Gambia which will be very soon its an amazing place."
- Travel date: 11th January 2006
Not bad but not good either
"Found the hotel rooms very basic but quite clean. Towels and bedding changed daily. Had some bites which could have been bed bugs as I was under a mossy net, so watch out. Pool area was nice and the staff were polite and helpful. The music around the pool was very annoyingly loud (and the same every day) and not relaxing, when asked it got turned down but only for a while then it was back to deafening levels. Doubt I'd go back to The Tafbel if I was to go back to The Gambia."
- Travel date: 23rd December 2005
loved the tafbel
"I thought it was a great hotel it was basic but great had a tv had a bar and restaurant everything you need also kept it clean and changed the towels every day"
- Travel date: 1st December 2005
"Very good, the staff were very helpful and nice. It is very healty clean and hygineic. The staff are very helpful and nice. The staff were very helpful and responsible with the kids and have very high standards of there staff. The are always there at you call and will without any delay be at your ready."
- Travel date: 24th June 2005
Nice time in the Tafbel
"We found the Tafbel pretty good, the rooms were kept very clean, sheets and towels changed every day, there was a few cockroaches, not bedbugs, but we were in the tropics weren`t we? They fumigated the rooms totally as soon as possible and the maid sprayed them every day. The breakfast was, contrary to the other review outstanding, something for everybody, cereals, all types of brad, jams, fruit, cheese ham, and cooked things like baked beans, sausages. Tea, coffee, milk and fruit drink galore. Everything was very nicely presented in an airconditioned room. The pool was nice but could have been kept cleaner, this is quite normal for Africa, there was towels provided for sunbathing and swimming. Every night, there was african dancers or other artists, very nice. We found the evening food too expensive and often ate in the Dolphin Bar just opposite the back entrance of the Tafbel. We met many people, who return to the Tafbel every time they visit the Gambia. We noticed that a fair few Africans and other Europeans were staying there too, and other Businessmen, we found it nice not to be purely among British Tourists who mainly stood out by excessive drinking, sunbathing and using local (male and female) prostitutes. Stay away from the Senegambia craft market as it is well overpriced and full of hassle. We bought our souvenirs from Bakau, and literally paid a fraction of the price. contact me if you got any questions"
- Travel date: 19th April 2005
Tafbel - no thanks!
"The Tafbel is a very basic hotel so don't expect much, they try to keep it clean but everythings just too old and the bed bugs are free, if you're lucky you may just have enough water for two showers! The other main issue is that its right in the middle of the tourist area and as soon as you leave the building all the local bumsters start hassling you- they are harmless enough but it just gets to be a pain after a couple of days. Forget the breakfast too we had ours on the beach every morning at a bar/ restaurant which I think is called The Sea View- if you go through the Hotel Senegambia to the beach and turn right its about 100 yards down to the right, we spent all day everyday there and it was around Â£10 for the two us- thats food and drink all day and if you want to dine there in the evening they will send a taxi for you. We also had the best Indian ever in a place called The Clay Oven where the mamager can remember your groups order without writing it down, a taxi will cost you around Â£3 and the driver will wait for you. Don't let this put you off The Gambia as its a beautiful country with lovely people, we are going back during February 2005 ( not staying at the Tafbel- but this time we'll know what to expect!"
- Travel date: 14th November 2004
Top traveller tips for Sunu Hotel
"Paradise beach- it is paradise, go on a tour to see the locals, visit a local in their home, Monkeys"
"not a lot to do really apart from eat & drink there. Millies & Ali Baba Clubs are worth a visit tho"
Sunu Hotel is also called
- sarges hotel tafbel kololi