Great wintersun break
About the only thing we found that wasn't great was the evening entertainment. The "local" evening was dreadful, and the staff show started well until you got the audience participation. Otherwise we had a lovely time, prices were reasonable bearing in mind you are staying in a "4 star" hotel, especially if you were in happy hour - which lasted quite some time. The food was plentiful, always great choice and enough variety not to be bored for a week. The rooms were adequate, a little tired but not bad. I have seen and read some poor reviews of this hotel, however what I don't think people take into account is the price paid, or the fact that this is a poor country in general and standards are not going to be the same as in other countries. People complained about bed bites, but I have to say I was bitten more by the pool then I was in the room.
I would recommend this hotel for a great break in the sun to recharge the batteries.
December 4, 2011
Brilliant holiday for the four of us.
Hotel was great, food good, lovely friendly staff. We had a pool view which was great, rooms were fine, clean and plenty of room. Nothing posh about them but nothing to complain about either. Private beach was gorgeous, leading onto a public beach which was great to chat to locals. They did not over pester you, just tried to earn a little money and were so nice, we went to the croc park and the monkey place all in one day, hired a taxi from the hotel who waited while we went into both and brought us back to the hotel, all for under £30 including entrance to both. Had a great day and back on the beach for the afternoon. Everyone we met were so nice, especially one of the guards of the hotel, lamin, who after working a shift kindly took us to the market and to where the Gambian fishermen were and to the smoke huts for the fish, a real experience. The experience of the holiday whole holiday was amazing and cannot stress enough how lovely the people are, would tell anyone to visit gambia and would recommend this hotel. Also did the roots trip, well worth doing. The phot is lamin , if you need a guide I would recommend him.
April 16, 2014
Just terrible, and terrible T.C. customer service !
I could sit here all day writing a (very) long list about this 'holiday', but the worst part was the total lack of service by the staff. Going to meals was a joke. After 2 days we gave up hope of finding a properly 'made up' table or to be served tea or coffee, and we ended up doing it all ourselves! I asked one 'waiter' why and he basically said that he didn't get paid enough and now as it had become an all inclusive hotel they didn't get tips anymore.
I had to walk to reception #as all room telephones out of order for entire stay#, to request a pair of new batteries for the air-con remote control, but each time they kept saying, 'no the batteries are ok'. Eventually, I did get new batteries and guess what - tada! - it was ok thereafter.
Also got fed up of staff 'touting' for tips or for you to go with them to meet their families etc.
It really was awful but i'm getting fed up of writing now. The only good things I can say about our 2 week stay was that the weather was good, and the food was also quite nice. That's it!
We did complain to TC upon our return, but they either got out complaint mixed up with someone else's because the reply we eventually didn't actually address any of the issues complained about#?#. Just seemed to be a 'oh sorry you weren't happy, but heh'! - not very good really.
April 15, 2014
7 days wasn't long enough
We stayed at the laico Atlantic in February for 7 days. Take out the travelling it's more like 6 days.
Upon arrival to the hotel we were greeted by a very friendly guy who took our bags to our room while we checked in. Realising we were in a twin room and were in fact a couple he quickly rearranged the beds as a double and also provided us with a mosquito net-always make use of the nets, the Mosquitos love you on the first night! I was pleasantly surprised at how well the room was, after reading previous reviews that rooms were worn down, showers broken etc, this couldn't be further from the truth, it was extremely clean up to date and the shower was better than ours at home! I've stayed in worse hotels in the Uk with higher star ratings!
The hotel staff(cleaners) are always about to help you whether you want trip advice or something provided eg.cheap cigarettes, they will go out of their way to make sure your happy.
make friends with the staff they will show you real Gambia. We didn't do any excursions with Thomas Cook, instead opted to 'take our chances' with locals to take us, which works out cheaper and more personal. I'm so glad we did, we saw places I doubt you would see on the hotel trips, seeing what life can really be like for those that don't live on the tourist track.
We spent 2 days in the hotel relaxing by the pool, it's very quiet with the odd activity through the day. We got involved as much as we could, volleyball, coconut ball. The entertainment team were such fun people they don't stop from morning until evening when they put on their shows. Only downside was entertainment stopped at 10pm and everyone seemed to go to bed.
Definitely treat yourself to the spa, one hour full body massage worked out at about £10, such a good price!
Hotel food was great, I'm a fussy eater but ate so much from the variety that was served. The BBQ night was really good. Breakfast choices were also fantastic.
The location of the hotel felt quite out the way, we had to get taxis to wherever we wanted to go. But then again 6 days for The Gambia wasn't long enough we could of just missed out seeing what was round the corner.
We had a fantastic time in The Gambia and will most certainly be returning.
March 24, 2014
Please don't go A/I as you are not allowed a sugar free drink unless you have a medical condition and then they can only offer diet coke
March 18, 2014
Gambia ideal for WInter Sun
This is my 9th year staying at the Laico Atlantic, Banjul Beach. The staff are wonderful and love seeing you return. The location is great and you are guaranteed wall-to-wall sunshine for the week. (I went last week of February) and with a choice of lounging on the beach or staying poolside. The facilities and entertainment are good, but the rooms are beginning to look shoddy and could do with refurbishment. Towels are clean but grey and hard. Bed linen is well worn with ocassional tears. Corridor carpets are worn and stained. The food in terms of quality and variety has much improved this year (Half board). The hotel has also worked hard to keep the levels of mosquitoes inside and in the grounds to a minimum level. I will return next year as I cosider Gambia to be excellent value for money for Winter Sun.
March 6, 2014
The Hotel is very tired and in need of a refurbishment.
I do not expect to have to tip the driver when doing coach transfers to and from the airport. The bedroom stank of tobacco and there are no non-smoking rooms in the hotel. The dining room at night was full of mosquitos and I ended the first night with over 20 bites on my feet. As with all hotels they ask you to save water by not having your towels replaced every day but still change them every day. The pool and beach area were fine with lots of sunbeds for all the hotel guests. There was a good deal of bird life to watch which as great. The hotel would be better if it was all 'all inclusive' as there was so few of us lunching they could not possible give much choice of food. The all inclusive did not start until 11.00 a.m. which in a hot climate is too late, it should be 10.00.
February 5, 2014
great base and fantastic staff
Hotel is in the capural away from the main strip of bars abd shops. The staff at the hitel cannot do enough to help you and make your stay fun and relaxing. Food can be repetitive in the buffet but you do have the restaurant if you don't mind waiting. Get out and about to see the real Gambia. If you can afford to tip please dobut it is nit expected
February 4, 2014