24 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Manger!!! Do not go here
"First time i stayed there was ok nothing special but the second time was worse. The staff was unhappy because i didn't need their services and had friends out side of the hotel. They even refused to serve me drinks pass 12 at the bar.
This manager picked an argument with my cab driver after he dropped me off. Then he came to my room at 5am just walked in with a beer to talk about his problem with my driver. Basically jealous im not using his staff.
Here is my full complaint.
My hotel was Badala park. This is the second time i have stayed there. One of the nights my friend a green cab driver dropped me off i invited him and another friend to come in. They both signed in my driver didn't have his driving number but they was happy to let him in.
After a little while of been in the room we wanted drinks where one of my friends went to the bar only to be refused saying its closed. Which i know is false from the night before and on a previous holiday there. So i went and was also refused rudely while they sat drinking their drink watching tv at 11:45pm.
The following night i was dropped back by my friend at 5am. After i left him, he and the manager got into a disagreement over the signing in, the previous night.
About an hour after been dropped off this was around 6am the manager knocks on my door with two beers which offended me as i don't drink. He asked to come in while walking in my room i didn't have time to put clothes on so I'm there in boxers.
He starts complaining to me about my friend tell me he's ban from the hotel for speaking rude to the staff i said fair enough its your business. I said ill get my friend to apologies. Then i realized he was drunk he started talking about he's connected and i don't know Africa i took this as a treat, i could see he was getting angry do i ended the conversation. This conversation went on till 7am when he left my room.
The next day the hotel staff seem to be funny around me and not been helpful. My friend came to picked me up i called the manager to have a word with him. My friend apologies to the manager only to be insulted in return by saying he would be nothing if it wasn't because of him. Which i found very offensives too.
After the manager just walks away.
This same day i was traveling far so i took all my stuff but left my charger and wires for the camera. I told them i haven't gone that im coming back in a day or so.
When i got back to the hotel my bed had been striped and my wires and charger taken
I told them to fix the room and return my chargers and wires. As i said before it was very uncomfortable in the hotel i could tell i was hot topic. I ended up leaving the hotel for an apartment.
I would not recommend this hotel as it can get very intimidating when the staff don't like you. I found it very scary to get a knock on the door at 6am from a stranger with beers claiming to be manager only to moan and complain to me about something i have no control over. He also seemed to be treating me by saying he's well connected and arguing with me for telling him to stop talking like that.
I did not know Olympic offer these hotels where you don't feel safe and know your not safe because people give threats early hour of the morning. Or been refused drinks before 12.
As i only stayed in the hotel 2 nights would like the rest refunded and my iPhone 6 charger and camera aux wires replaced also 5000 dalasis i paid for an apartment refunded, compensations for the troubles and treats by the hotel manager.
I look forward to your response.
If this hotel is your cheapest option book it then get an apartment.
- Travel date: Mon 15th of June 2015
THE MANAGER IS INSANE
"The manager Jarga Mboge has sent me lots of threatening emails because i put a review on here & TripAdvisor, so did my friend & his emails to her also are disgusting, with bad language, he has threatened to sue us when he comes to the UK next month, he also got TripAdvisor to remove our reviews, it seems you can't have an opinion about Badala Park as far as he is concerned, please do not use this hotel, the managers father owns the hotel so he thinks he can do anything he wants."
- Travel date: Fri 29th of May 2015
"The rooms are in blocks it looks like a prison camp. breakfast is the same every day. There are a lot of locals who loiter around the hotel trying to scam money from you and the manager does not even bother to ask them to leave. never accept a gift of a beaded necklace as there is always a price. Often you will get locals sitting at your table around the pool area expecting you to buy them drinks and sob stories of how they work for free. I would advise an upstairs room as downstairs you are likely to get your washing and swimwear stolen if you hang it out to dry. There is a local beach behind the hotel and past palm beach hotel. on your walk there you will get pestered by locals,they always want to know if it is your first time in Gambia, tell them you have been before is the best answer or you will be a big target for scam. "
- Travel date: Thu 21st of May 2015
A Delapidated Bumster Infested Dump - Worst Hotel In The Gambia - Avoid!
"It beggars belief that Thomas Cook and Gambia Experience are sending people to this dump - the worst hotel in the Gambia.
The owner - who is exploiting his own people by not paying staff but conning the on the scam of 'work experience', should be ashamed of himself.Some of the staff are painfully thin, they walk miles to work at this dump and all they receive is lunch. So do tip well.
The owner is very smug and does not both to invest one dalasi into this dilapidated dump infested not just with bums (you can't tell the bums from the staff) but also the mosquito's due to the sewage pit at the back of the hotel, the small is vile.
The rooms are in dire need of updating, rusty fittings in the bathroom falling off the wall, locks that do not work, dark dingy rooms. A film of dirt on the pool that you risk your health by entering. Power outages. You would having a shower and all of a sudden the water turns icy cold and the lights go off. The front desk will tell you the generator has no fuel and they have no credit on their phones to call for fuel. The Faulty Towers of the Gambia.
Now you might ask how does the owner get away with conning tourists to stay here. Well Thomas Cook are partly to blame with their less than honest advertising. The owner's son - Jarga Mboge, sits in the lobby all day at his computer writing fiction on his computer, fictitious reviews.
He also sends insulting comments to anyone who dares to tell the truth about this hotel. Just as the last reviewer pointed out, he will have honest reviews removed from TripAdvisor and then insult the writer of their honest account.
The front desk manager will try to scam you out of your mobile or i pad. He is paid, unlike the staff he is a scam called Ibbou, and is not very friendly terms with the Thomas Cook rep.
Old men use this hotel as a brothel and book young Gambian working girls in for the duration of their stay, no questions asked. It is not a family hotel.
The truth needs to be told about this dump which is doing nothing to enhance Gambia Tourism. President Jammeh and the Minister For Tourism need to wake up and condemn this hotel because it is doing nothing at all for Gambia's reputation as a tourism destination. It is Bums central. They gather at the front and back of the hotel and will hound you for the duration of your stay.
Do yourself a favor do not stay here, there are far better options in the Gambia for the same price or even less. Just avoid for the safeness of your health."
- Travel date: Sat 16th of May 2015
"I had written to complain about a certain member of staff & received nothing but negative & insulting emails from the owners son (manager) Jarga Mboge, he called me a racist that i needed to see a doctor & that i was an old woman that was acting like a thug, i would not recommend this hotel to anyone, great customer care he provides not."
- Travel date: Tue 28th of April 2015
Your satisfaction is our guarantee
"As with others we read these reviews before we left so we had an idea of what we had got ourselves into.... although we really had a great time overall there were a few downs but mostly ups.
The hotel is a little ragged around the seems but improvements are being made, whilst we were there our room received new bins and toilet brushes and nice little handsoaps(admittedly small things but improvements nonetheless). Also the entertainment area gained a new TV projector although despite much fiddling with only seemed to show a bollywood movie and football !!
Our room was in C block on the top floor and was cleaned by Lamin who is a very honest and hard working boy who always had a friendly smile and hello. The room itself was upto our needs, beds, shower, fan, safe and was clean. The balcony looked out over a portion of 'the jungle' and I even saw a red colubus monkey in the trees on the first day along with a spectacular array of birds. Alas the balcony also had a view of the 'Happy corner' which sometimes offered views which would offend more genteel personage !!??
The hotel staff were numerous and sometimes it was hard to discern the staff from others who seemed to loiter around the grounds, and some of the attention from some verged on the intrusive. We particularly liked the following people around the hotel who we discoverd were trustworthy and attentive...... Lamin the C-block cleaner, Mohammed the big smiling waiter, Cheeky Jay the waitress with a great sense of humour(ask her for a cappucino !), Mariamma the waitress who served us most regularly and who we liked alot, Awa on reception who is a cute as a button, BB our bag man and fix it boy and most importantly Abdullah the cigarette seller right next to the front gate who is a great guy and always gives you a straight answer to any question, buy your cigarettes from him, he gives a good price and has a lovely family which would benefit from your business.
The food in the hotel is passable, the chinese restaraunt is probably the best of the three but we ate outside the hotel more often as the choice of restaraunts locally and in Senegambia is really good....highlights include African Queen and Paradiso on the strip, Kunta Kinteh, Tam Tams and Barracuda in Kotu.
The hotels evening entertainment is OK but a little erratic and often similar in its style, although one night there was a 'pub quiz' which was highly entertaining due to its total lack of organisation. If you want a night of true Gambian culture try outside of the hotel. Kunta Kinteh organise a fabulous BBQ on Sundays and the entertainment is absolutely top notch.
When leaving the hotel it is always like running the gauntlet....and could become a bit much if you just want a peaceful stroll... the walk to Kotu village and the walk to the beach via the palm beach hotel are particularly entertaining/annoying(delete where applicable). Common phrases which you will hear...."Happy couples", "your satisfaction is my gaurantee", "your happiness is my pleasure", "a gift from my heart", "nice to be nice", "the more you smile the browner you get" and so on, generally these are proffered to elicit cash in some manner.
Gambia is a beautiful country and its people are wonderful so it really is rewarding to leave the hotel and do some trips to some of the attractions and local villages. We initially booked 2 through the holiday company which is a good idea as you do get a good level of organisation and you can speak to other tourists of their experiences. We would highly recommend the 'Treasure Island' trip but wouldn't advise the trip to Fatarah in Senegal as you pay a lot and see very little. The organised trips are ok but expensive and the money doesn't go to the locals so it is better to find someone you can trust who offers trips..... The two people below we used and we cannot recommend them enough...
OMAR SHERIFF(yes, as in the actor) our good friend who looked after us from the first time we went to the Kunta Kinteh beach bar on Kotu beach. A really good rasta guy with a heart of gold and strong sense of fairness. He took us to the monkey park and we also did the Roots tour with him. He can be found most days at the Kunta Kinteh beach bar or give him a call on ([--]).
ENSA SAIDY a taxi driver from the Senegambia strip who is a cool guy, a real big personality and also a man who can be trusted wholly. We used him to ferry us from the hotel to the Senegambia strip and back most nights and found his company and choice of music hugely entertaining. We also took a day trip with him which took in the Crocodile park, Lamin Lodge, the batique factory, Serekunda market, Brikama and a thoroughly humbling visit to his mother and his village. He also took us to JOKOR, the famous mbalax nightclub. We enjoyed all our time with Ensa who we now class as a good friend. Find him and his jeep on the Senegambia strip or call([--])
Other highlights of our stay........
KUNTAH KINTEH beach bar on Kotu beach, great food, great staff,(thanks Yousef), the best cappucino in Gambia and a place to really feel safe to relax and enjoy the sun.
OUSMAN the aeroplane boy. This guy makes the most incredible things from scrap metal to sell to make his fees to go to engineering school. We got him to make us a helicopter complete with lights and spinning blades. This young man and his determination and ingenuity reduced us to tears. His smile and honest nature along with such talent made him No.1 on our list of favourite Gambians.... Email him to meet him and see his work [--].... you won't be dissappointed.
Overall Gambia is a great place to visit and the people are lovely. It can be relaxing, hard work, emotional and exhillerating, just remember to take loads of sweets and pens and excersize books for the kids....."TOUBAB" "MINTY"
If you use any of the contacts mentioned above please remember to say BIG HELLO and THANK YOU from Ian and Kay in Manchester."
- Travel date: Thu 11th of February 2010
"We have spend 2 very nice weeks in Badala Park Hotel.
Rooms are basic, but if we need something hotel staff is always there to help and they will help you without asking for tips, opposite to people form outside of the hotel.
First room we have been offered had window looking at the wall, not nice view for holiday. We have asked for another and we had it. They said if we do not like it, they will show us next one and next... Our 3.5 year old son enjoyed holiday as well, there wasn't any kids garden or other eqipment design for little ones however two corners of the pool were sepatate for kids and there is always something to do if you use your imagination.
Compare to other hotels in Kotu which we have visited it is the most friendly one in the area.
We will try to go back there again and it will Badala Park Hotel!"
- Travel date: Tue 14th of April 2009
We loved it
"When we first got to the hotel we were a bit taken aback at the amount of attention you get from the staff (altho at this point you dont know who are staff and who is just hanging around)so we stayed in the complex all day.
The rooms were basic but you get what your paying for and I always say the room is where you sleep and get ready and would never let it effect my holiday but there was hot water a toilet places to keep things and a bed. The balcony was large but we didnt get the sun on it due to trees (the whole complex was built around the trees). The pool was lovely and gets the sun all day but get your towel down early, I wouldnt usually do this but had no choice as there are as many dutch people as English!
Really close to the beach but we went to paradise beach most days as it is beautiful calm and you get waited on all day and there is lovely food (go to sailors bar, the do lovely food brought out to you on the beach, free sunloungers and they keep the local market people away if they can see you look uncomfortable)
Didnt have a bad meal out there there are 4 restaurants about 2 mins walk from the front of the hotel and you dont get much hassle from the bunsters on your way. TIP the restaurant people will be outside the restaurant dont follow the people who tell you about there restaurant and try to take you with them.
Getting back to my earlier comment in the complex there are the people who work there who will offer to take you out and about, you will work out who works there as they never come as far in! If you do go look out for Ratty he is lovely, knows alot about the country and is always happy to help, he is a gardener and my boyfriend and I would of been lost without him.
We did 2 trips on our own one to the monkey park which was amazing it was about 90p to get in and they sit on your shoulders and eat out of your hands (your not meant to feed them but no one listens) and if they offer you a guide turn it down no matter what they say! The crocodile park was good you can stroke some of them its abit surreal but i wouldnt walk there as you go thru a very poor village to get to the entrance and you will get alot of people around you. We did a lazy boat day as an excursion with the tour operater and that was a lovely day a really good lunch and a pims!
Only thing that most people out there were moaning about was the breakfast, eggs (boiled or fried) cheese, bread, toast, cornflakes. Im not a breakfast person but i quite enjoyed it myself!
GO THERE it was the best experience of my life and am now looking into sponsoring a Gambian child."
- Travel date: Wed 18th of March 2009
"we have just returned from a fortnight in the badala park hotel,only thing i can say is amazing!there was 3 adults and a child that went.there realy is something for every age in the gambia!the hotel is basic but comfortable,we did have a few hiccups,the tap in bathroom fell off plus the shower door but all were imediatly fixed.The rooms are cleaned daily by very friendy staff,fresh towels daily too.breaffast changes every day but they do have ur basic eggs,beans,mushrooms etc.. The staff in the hotel are very friendly and will do anything to help you,the entertainment in the hotel is brilliant they are great with kids and yet again will do anything to help you and make your stay the best it can be they call themselves the A team.we didnt think a fortnight was long enough so we are booking again in december to go for 3 weeks.would recomend this hotel to everyone.once you have had a taste of the gambia youl just keep going back!!"
- Travel date: Sat 14th of February 2009
well ive got to say..... everythink abou...
"well ive got to say..... everythink about badala park was absolutley fantastic. my husband and i chose to spend our honeymoon there. our room was average but nevertheless very clean all the staff made us feel very welcome and couldnt do enough for us.the maid was also nice and kept our room clean daily. the food was good and the entertainment at night was excellent. i thought gambia and the people i met treated us like royalty. beautiful country and people. has for the hotel...romantic palm trees overlooking our balcony and smiling faces everywhere you looked. we will be returning back to gambia and badala park hotel soon. i felt that a five star hotel wouldnt have been any better. my husband is a gambian man he said i would have loved it when i had been once. yes he was right."
- Travel date: Sun 29th of June 2008
It was basic but I had a fantastic holid...
"It was basic but I had a fantastic holiday so did everyone we went with.
Breakfast was basic but you can have as much as you want. Rooms ok, cleaned everyday but have a shower between 6 and 7 you get hot water then.
Eat at Al Baba up the road, you get a massive portion of chicken and chips for 90 d and have family size pizza - you've got to do it.
Senegambia is brilliant, it has the monkey park, loads of restaurants and a wicked Indian. Go to Jambenjelly and see the nursery we built from scratch, it's called Winnies. Everyone in the village are so friendly.
You should go to Gambia, its amazing and great value for money.
- Travel date: Mon 14th of January 2008
This being our first trip to The Gambia...
"This being our first trip to The Gambia we were not sure of what to expect, but that can happen on any holiday.
The hotel was basic. The room was cleaned every day, being there for 7 days, only twice we did not have any hot water for a shower and only had a power cut for a few minutes on our first night.
The staff were friendly and everything is done in "Gambian Time" in other words abit slow but in that heat what do you expect.
We went on a trip which you visited a school where we took pencils and paper, what a eye opener. 1300 kids, split into two shifts morning and afternoon and 20 teachers. All the Gambians speak English so it was easy to chat.
Breakfast was basic: fried eggs, sausage, mushrooms one day, another would be boiled egg, sausage, beans, but there was cereal, toast, ham and cheese, watermelon, juice, tea and coffee.
The brochure does say for the economical traveller but we had a great time and would go back either to here to another hotel depends on price.
By the way neither of us were ill with Banjul belly!
- Travel date: Fri 21st of December 2007