Kombo Beach Hotel
20 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Really Enjoyed Our Time Here
"My partner and I stayed here in April a few wks before area due to clothes up for their rainy season. Was pleasantly supprised regarding the area and The Gambia generally their is lots of signs of regeneration going on. The hotel was alot smaller than i thought it was but it was pretty to look at, very clean our cleaner came into our rooms every day and tidied up all our mess shoes straightened bed made all clothes folded, we had a safe in our room for more expesive items but feel anything we left out would have been safe. All the staff our absolutely great cannot do enough for you. Pool was not large but ok beautiful clean water all pool area immaculate... loved the food around the pool area food was great quality loved my shrimp salad everyday the shrips are much bigger and tastier than our large king size prawns... we were half board as it was a bargain when booking. but ate out most nights as the buffet food was ok clean fresh but not alot of choice at the end of the season.. and it was very cheap to eat out all for the week i ate fish fish fish even had lobster one night cheap as chips compared to home. Would reccommed Baracuda resturant cheap and bleeding lovely... as anyone and they will walk you there. The beach is lovely but you can get harrassed a lil by the locals they can be quite hardcore sellers so you have to be quite strong willed to say no or ****off but the security around your hotel will look after you. I have a brill time talking to the natives..If you are on the beach and wish for some fruit ask for big fatimer and say Claudia said you would take good care of them.. she is a really lovely lady... went on safair with lots of good people we met while there. You can end up spending quite a bit of money so keep and eye on your spending it adds up... If you want to book any trips I advise you go just outside your hotel turn left to the shops a few yards or so and ask for Sherife.... He is a very good man with a big heart and great family he will look after you with his life and just a really nice person to be around and spend time with... we will all miss him and i know him us to... Have a great holiday.. it is safe to venture out which is brilliant... will be going back just to visit people we have met... regards"
- Travel date: Tue 29th of June 2010
hotel needs some tlc
"I have visited this Hotel lots of times, and as always a great holiday.
It does need some tlc though.
Public areas looking very tired.
broken tables and chairs and chair covers in main bar stained and dirty.
pool area toilets need desperate attention. smell of urine and dark and damp.
staff are fantastic
rooms ok, but not up to 4 star standards.
same curtains, hanging in places not on rails, dull and faded.
bedcovers need updating.
some days towels smell of damp.
cleaning of rooms ok, but could be better
gardens as always wonderful, well done gardening staff.
some days no cups or plates ready in breakfast room.
have to wait for spoons, buffet not replenished quick enough.
on several occasions at the bar, no glasses available, staff had to hand wash glasses and
dry them before they could serve.
the hotel needs some work, but still a great holiday
go with open mind.
- Travel date: Tue 21st of April 2009
Goog Hotel That Could be Great!
"This was our first time in the Gambia. ater dropping of other holiday makers to various hotels, i can honnestly say we were pleasently impressed by what we saw when we arrived at the Kombo beach hotel. we were met by a muscian playing music on a tribal instrument was a real nice touch. The hotel grounds are kept beautifuly and are green and lush with many interesting flowers and shrubs. Everyone in the hotel must be under orders to be friendly to us untanned tourists!!!! the rooms were clean and tidy with a fridge hair drier but that was about it!!!! the tv in the room had a terrible ariel and didnt get a picture that u could watch!!!!( before anyone says it no i dont go to the Gambia to watch tv!!! but while the gf is getting ready a bit of new etc can pass the time!!!!!!) The telephone didnt work in the room and the staff were reluctant to look at the phone or the tv! but they did arrange for me to make an international call from the hotel reception. The bedding and towels were clean, The towels were forgotten one day and the staff took an hour and a half to bring some clean ones!!!!, but i dont want to be completely negative as the rooms were cleaned beautifully by the room staff, which i must also say were friendly and pleasent.One thing to note AIR CONDTIONING IS CHARGED AT Â£12 PER NIGHT RIP OFF!!!!!!!!!! The food was widely varied i think everyone would find something to their liking lunch and dinner were great and run smoothly with waiters always close and helpful!...breakfast was another story the buffet breakfast lacked organisation and i think out of the 8 breakfasts we had 4 days we hade to wait for plates as they never seemed to bring enough out this also applied to the glasses situation for fresh orange juice!!!!!
The pool area was clean and tidy and the children were contained to one area and had plenty to do, The beach was spitting distance and mattresses were supplied and beach towels although i must note the one day we had a lie-in they ran out of towels so make sure you get in early!!!!! The entertainment was basic but culturaly interesting with lots of dancing and drums, bingo and quizzes were offered to pass the evening. Hotel prices are not cheap bottles of beer 330ml being nearly Â£1.80 not the 90p pint price that i was so excited about!!!! if you venture out u can get bottled beer much cheaper!!.....But be prepared to fight of the locals thay will decorate u in jewellery and try and get you in there taxis clubs or bars we became used to this through the week. I WOULD DEFFINATLEY RETURN HERE.... However this is a good hotel that could be potentially great"
- Travel date: Sat 18th of April 2009
What a fabulous country! Even at the ver...
"What a fabulous country! Even at the very end of the peak season the weather was beautiful (apart from a couple of rainy moments in the two weeks we were there). It is, however, very humid in the Summer so need to be prepared when going on trips - drink lots of water, wear a hat etc. And make sure you have all the injections, malaria tabs, 'tummy bug' medication etc. just in case.
Lots of people advise to get out of the resorts as much as possible and NOT to use the tour operators if you want to go on trips etc. - this is absolutely correct. You will pay over the odds for excursions that you can arrange yourself for a fraction of the price, as long as you have a 'guide' to help you. The best way to meet guides is to speak to other hotel guests or ask your waiter! Lots of the Gambian staff will be happy to take you out on their days off and take you to see local schools and even invite you to their compound for food and meet their families (it is customary to take a sack of rice with you or something similar as a gift) Try NOT to use the local 'bumsters' as you are encouraging kids to give up school etc. to work on the streets begging or 'scamming' for money and this is not good for the ecomomy. (they are harmless enough though)
In saying all this, we DID do a couple of the organised tours (purely because we were first-timers and wanted to find our feet a bit) and they were comfortable and well organised. Just make sure you take money for the markets, sweets for the kiddies and stationary for the schools (if you go) ... one of the trips we did we didn't have too much cash on us and we were gutted as we wanted to buy from the remote markets and give to some of the compounds.
The beaches are gorgeous, there is fruit in abundance (coconuts, mangos etc.) and the people are wonderful. There is 0% crime (so we were told by our rep) so wandering around is safe enough (just be as wary as you would be at home).
Something interesting to note - no bugs during the winter time (apart from mosquitos of course!) but once the rain comes, the bugs come too, along with the frogs and lizards which are so cool!
- Travel date: Mon 7th of July 2008
Lovely hotel, quite lively for the time...
"Lovely hotel, quite lively for the time of year (end of peak season, start of rainy season) and staff were incredible. Everyone was polite, friendly and welcoming. Always ready to help (although things take a little longer out there as culture is very laid back!) and very keen to talk to you about their favourite English footie teams!
Rooms are basic but kept very clean (although same old orange towels and bed spreads I'd read about previously!). A couple of minor things went wrong ... leaky taps in bathroom, TV not working for a couple of days (not essential but nice for background noise when getting showered etc.) but that was all. Food was to a good standard, although lots of British fare on the menu when we were very keen to eat African dishes as often as possible. Brekki was great, couldn't ask for more.
Pool area was lovely, beach was beautiful and the security guards kept the bumsters away which was helpful, although a few did slip through the net! (annoying but nothing to be worried about).
All in all a great resort for couples and older families, although not the one if you are looking for 5* luxury. "
- Travel date: Mon 7th of July 2008
We've had 3 holidays here and some of ou...
"We've had 3 holidays here and some of our friends have been 7 times. In our opinion this is not the best place to stay in The Gambia, its the nicest !!
A hotel where all the staff are really friendly and do their utmost to make your holiday enjoyable.
We go B&B and prefer to eat out of the hotel of a night. There are loads of decent restaurants in and around the Senegambia area which is 15 minutes by taxi.
The taxi rank is at the front of your hotel and there is a Taxi Inspector who'll shout over to ask you if you need one. There are 2 types - the yellow which are bush taxis for the locals and the green for the tourists. There's not much difference but the green are slightly better. If he's about, shout to the taxi inspector for Dembo. He's a really nice guy who works extremely hard and he's got the best taxi - a Landrover. He does trips to Senegal and the schools and more, so you'll be in good hands with him. He's building his own house when he's not in his Taxi, and someone stole his wheelbarrow - i brought him a brand new one for Â£15 - almost had him in tears !!
If you're thinking of going to the schools - please do as they really, really need the equipment and the kids love to see the tourists. Buy the pens, penclis and excercise books in the local supermarket, they're really cheap. When the teacher hands them out the kids will sing to you as a thankyou - nearly had me in tears. Don't forget a few family bags of fruity sweets for the kids in the small villages on the way to the schools.
If you are a keen sea angler, then this is heaven. I've caught fish everyday from all different locations within 30 minutes drive from the hotel, and the staff really appreciate it if you take the fish back. Ask one of the chefs at breakfast if you can have some shrimps, he'll duly oblige and you can repay him with a fish.
There are local lads who have very basic tackle, they'll find you and befriend you but dont worry, they'll get your shrimps every morning from the fishmarket in Bakau and meet you on the beach outside your hotel whenever you specify. I met a lad called Llamin on our first visit, and the second, and the third !!!
If you want to fish somewhere else, one of the hotel porters Kunta will take you on his days off - its brilliant and he's really great company with a good sense of humour.
The old pool guy Sung is a keen angler, but his rod and reel were rusty and useless, so I took him a brand new rod and reel I won in a competition - he was overjoyed and took us to a lovely spot where we caught loads of Catfish and Sting Ray.
You can use a standard 12 or 13 foot beachcaster with a multiplyer or fixed spool loaded with 20lb line and 50lb shockleader. Dont forget your tripod or rod-rest. I use a 2/0 or 3/0 on a wire trace as the Butterfish will bite through mono snoods. The Shrimps which are actually Prawns thread up the hook and are held in place with bait elastic, this is clipped down on a 170g breakaway lead.
We went with friends the first time and they've just booked their 3rd holiday to the Kombo in November 2008. In the 3 times we have been, we've met load of guests who are on their 3rd, 4th or 8th time back, i think that says something about this hotel.
Finally a word about the local lads - they are known as Bumsters and they know every scam in the book !!! Don't worry they won't harm you, just say a polite NO and tell them this is NOT YOUR FIRST VISIT. They will try to sell you everything, but they are not aggressive just trying to earn money and if they think you have been before they will assume you know score and try someone else who looks white and pasty. They have a remarkable memory so you wont see the same one twice. Again don't worry, its known as the "Smiling Coast".
- Travel date: Fri 14th of March 2008
Gorgeous location-hotel is right on the...
"Gorgeous location-hotel is right on the beach and you can have meals on the terrace right on the beach to watch a gorgeous sunrise/sunset.
Would advise not going too far along beach-simply because you get the locals coming and offering goods-very very friendly and know a lot about English football teams-but had offerings of 'wacky backy' too so best to avoid haha!
Rooms basic but nice and very clean, maid service excellent and they are very appreciative of any cosmetics/perfumes/deodorants you leave behind at the end of your holiday.
Entertainment every night-local dances and music, and lots of activities during the day.
Food lovely-best breakfast ever-all buffet style and so much choice-very fresh and local fruits to die for!
Hotel has since been refurbished so must go back and see!
would definitely recommend!"
- Travel date: Mon 21st of January 2008
Great Hotel fantastic location Public a...
"Great Hotel fantastic location
Public areas now much improved from previous years.
Room - block one. Although very clean and bright, same old smelly towels of the mucky orange colour, same old orange bedspreads. Cracked floor tiles. Same old wardrobes.
Same curtains. Bathroom new tiles, but been tiled over old ones, and although cleaner looking, of poor quality.
Restaurant. Breakfast good choice. Coffee / tea service very slow.
Evening buffet. Good choice and well presented - needs to be kept hotter.
Brassiere. Very very slow service. Good food, but often tepid, rather than hot. A little over priced.
Geko. Snack menu good choice, service sometimes slow, and everything cooked on same
Plancha so if you have meat after someone who has had fish, you can taste the fish !!!
New sunbeds around the pool, good service with mattresses and pool towels
The staff make this Hotel, they are wonderful, very kind and helpful."
- Travel date: Thu 20th of December 2007
Pretty basic hotel but the staff do work...
"Pretty basic hotel but the staff do work hard.
The weather was lovely in January - a great place to go for some guaranteed winter sun.
Rooms are basic but they are clean.
The food was OK but the breakfast was a little 'thin' and not very appetising, but hey, you have to remember you are in a very poor area of Africa.
Pool was clean and the staff did their best to keep you entertained.
There is not a great deal of note to see in this part of Africa - certainly not the big game reserves, but there is a national park nearby worthy of a visit. Banjul market is definitely worth a visit too. The beach is nice but being on the Atlantic, the sea is very rough - not really suitable to swim in and lots of beach hawkers make it impossible to relax there, as the interruptions are constant.
It is very difficult getting around outside the hotel because you do get an enormous amount of hassle with everyone constantly trying to befriend you (presumably in the hope you will sponsor them & their families). There is also quite a large amount of poverty ...you should prepare yourself mentally. Do take old clothes and shoes to give them if you can - they are grateful for anything!
- Travel date: Sun 9th of December 2007
Kombo Beach hotel is a brilliantly run h...
"Kombo Beach hotel is a brilliantly run hotel. Such helpful and friendly staff. Food was amazing! A different theme every night. Try the ladyfish, mmm.
The rooms very kept clean and flowers put on our bed every day. We went half board and enjoyed out lunch as the eating area by the beach. Didnât have one meal or snack that wasnât mouth watering.
One thing I would warn anyone who is planning to go to The Gambia is wash your hands every time you handle their money or you will experience "Banjul belly" itâs not pleasant, trust me..
Apart from that this is a beautiful country well worth a visit. Take advantage of the many trips available. Local are likely to offer you a trip for less money than your rep however we decided just to go along with Thomsons anyway and had a lovely time.
If you do go to visit a school, be prepared and take some pencils or stationary equipment. Highly appreciated by the Gambian children.
The locals will pester you to buy things but just keep saying no and they will go away. Don't let that put you off visiting this place though. Itâs such a short flight and while youâre on the beach you will feel as though youâre on a Caribbean beach! again I canât tell you how beautiful the place is."
- Travel date: Fri 5th of October 2007
A Good Winter Holiday
"Returning guests and just got back in yesterday from a 7 day holiday at the Kombo Beach Hotel. Had a relaxing time. Staff were excellent who were always there to exchange a conversation. Nothing was too much trouble. Rooms were comfortable and clean but still look dated. The hotel is in an excellent location , it is quiet and in a great position for sunbathing. Great to be able to have a good walk on the beach. However, bumpsters are plentyful but like it as been said before, be polite and firm and you get no trouble. You do have to remember though the Gambian people do what they can to scratch a living.
The live entertainment is excellent. Our previous visit to the Kombo Beach hotel then, always offered good entertainment and it still offers that good standard.
If you fancy a change we found that you could always get a taxi to take us out to where other night life was happening e.g. Senegambia strip. Be warned they do over price the taxi fares outside of the hotel. If you walk down the road across the bridge (300 metres) you can pick up a taxi on route for less than half the price e.g tourist taxi's charge to the Senegambia 300 dalaisi one way (we paid just 75dalaisi).
The breakfast was good and a variety too. They seemed to struggle with keeping the cooked breakfast hot. We booked bed and breakfast so cannot comment on the evening meals, we always ate out at some great restaurants. Ali-baba's down on the main road by the police station was excellent, you must try the Fillet of Lady Fish, at a reasonable price too. We found it entertaining to watch the main guy who motivates the waiters, he certainly has his finger on the pulse. Service and food is extremely good.
Another place we ate out at was Franciso's Hotel and Restaurant, Fajara. It is in such a relaxing setting they offer European and African food. Louise, Tony and Kassi gave us such a warm welcome.
Will certainly be going back again for a winter break next year."
- Travel date: Sat 17th of February 2007
best holiday ever!
"My husband and myself stayed in the kombo for one week in january. We have stayed in many 5 star hotels but have never received the exceptional service as the kombo! We stayed in room 150 which was a superior room. shower was fine no bath very comfy kingsize bed basic but very clean! We stayed half board which was good for us the food is fantastic, but there are plenty of places to eat if you grab a taxi and head to senagambia strip. If you need a good reliable taxi ask for wilson he took us on a few trips and really looked after us and is always on time, we became good friends and still text even thou we are home. So if you do meet my friend wilson say hello from tracey and damon!
We have fallen in love with gambia it is the only place we have been too that we really miss it really is the smiling coast! You must get out of the hotel and see the gambian way of life dont worry about all the bumsters on the beach they are harmless just say you have been before and you have gambian friends! anna maria works on the beach selling fruit she is a fantastic lady if you meet her say hello from tracey. When we left we also left shoes and clothes people are so poor it just amazed me how happy people can be we nothing. you must go to the crocodile pool you will not believe the drive just go and you will understand, we left our 3 children at home with my mum but we shall be taking them as soon as we can just so they can see how fortunate they are. It really was an experiance that we shall never forget"
- Travel date: Thu 15th of February 2007