More about LAICO Atlantic Hotel
Corinthia Atlantic Resort
We stayed at the Corinthia Atlantic as part of a flight and accommodation package. We purchased the half board and had a room facing the birdwatching area.The hotel was clean, the staff wonderful and the food was tastyvaried.
However this is not the Gambia.
I strongly suggest using the hotel as a base but get out there and travel. While it's not easy to get around, it's worth it. If all you want to do is sit on a beach there's Spain and Cuba for that. Recently renovated. Nice pool. Large beach. Billiard/games room. I think there was even a spa and salon. Basically all mod cons.
The Best Hotel in Banjul
We stayed at the Corinthia Atlantic for two weeks in January 2006 on a bed and breakfast basis. The hotel is kept beautifully clean by the most pleasant cleaning staff of any hotel we have stayed in, it's easy to see why The Gambia is called the smiling coast. The rooms are cleaned and the sheets are changed every day and the air conditioning kept the rooms cool as the temperature peaked at just over40 degrees. The breakfast was buffet style and there was a huge variety of food, just about everthing a person could want. The waiting staff were there as soon as you put your cup down to offer you a refill and again, they are all smiles. The evening meals, if you wanted to stay in the hotel were good but expensive as were all the drinks, but a light lunch around the pool was good value. (There are two very good and inexpensive restaurants close to the hotel) There is plenty of sunbeds both around the pool and some out on the beach under straw umbrellas, but if you want one of these you need to get up early, I was up at six thirty to take photograhs of the sunrise and some of the sunbeds had already been claimed!!! The gardens are well kept and are visited by dozens of birds that can dazzle you with there bright colours.. The hotel has everthing you could possibly need for your holiday, the the view from some rooms are poor, sea views in particular are in short supply. there is a huge, beach which is kept clean in front of the hotel, select neighbours, (the presidents palace is just a couple of doors down) kids are well catered for, there is a gym, and the best hairdresser in The Gambia has a salon there
corrinthia atlantic hotel-banjul
just returned from the gambia having stayed at the corinthia atlantic hotel.
we were a group of four ladies varying in ages 19 to 66 years old. we were led to believe that we would be hasseled by the bumpsters and would need a guide wherever we went and was not safe to leave the hotel without one.
we went on a bush and beach tour organised through our rep at a cost of 3o.oopounds each. we was expecting to see the real poverty but felt there was alot worse conditions than what we saw on the tour.
we would not do this tour again. we were very aprrehensive at the beggining of our holiday, but soon realised the bumpsters and local people only wanted to make friends. The gambians are very warm, and alwyas greet you with a smile and want to shake your hands. look out for tony's juice bar, go on to the beach and turn left from the back of the hotel. just a short stroll away. tony and his helpers wil go out of their way to make you happy and escort you back to the hotel. say hi from karen,lee,kelly and ria. we have only been back two days and are already talking of returning, when we return we would deffinatly do things differently and would not bother with a local guide. on the subject of mobiles, if you have a contract phone it will work. if you are pay as you go you will need to buy a gambian sim card at a small price. The gambian money is very easily accessable from the airport and local areas, i would reccomend taking stirling rather than travellers cheques. for ciggerettes cross the road from the front of the hotel, dirrectly oposite is a little man selling ciggies for around 40p a packet and will do his upmost to get the brands you need.
ATLANTIC HOTEL, Banjul
Rooms 200. Air conditioned rooms and 4 delux suites
Business Support Service
Daily entertainment program
Pizzeria, Snack Bar & Grill
Restaurants (Buffet and A La Carte)
Snack and grill bar
Tennis, squash, beach volley, crazy golf
An experience to remember
We travelled with First Choice to The Gambia and stayed at the Corinthia Atlantic Hotel for a week. This was our first trip to The Gambia and found this to be a fantastic place to visit. The hotel was very comfortable and clean with good facilities. The staff were very friendly and helpful with permanent smiles on their faces. The food was of a good standard and the drinks were on the expensive side. We were advised that the 'bumpsters' could be a nuisance but found this not to be the case. Once you told them you were not interested they did not pursue you any further. Walking from the hotel into Banjul and through the local market was an experience that I would recommend. Don't forget to barter if you want to buy anything and be firm when doing this. You could came away with a bargain if it is something you really want. We went on the 'Roots' trip travelling up the river Gambia discovering the history behind the slave trade and visiting the fortress (now a ruin)on St.James's Island. Also try the Makasuto by moonlight trip where you visit a forest in the evening, receive a meal and local African entertainment all under palm trees and the stars. Overall this was a great holiday where several people return to this hotel again and again. We will be returning to The Gambia and to the Corinthia Atlantic Hotel.
lovely holiday and very moving
We have just returned from the gambia,having had a very moving and wonderful experiance of this beautiful country,yes it is a third world country and the poverty is very real,but its people are so genuine
and happy,they make you so welcome.I witnessed some very moving sights of caring and sharing it made me feel so humble.On this my first visit to the Gambia I did not take my children I wish I had,to see the local children entertain themselves with an old oil drum marching down the streets bare footed,singing and making their own music was a sheer delight.
We stayed at the Corinthia Atlantic Hotel,which in my opinion I would rate it as a good 3* hotel.
The food was ok,some nights were better than others,I was expecting lots of fresh fruit apart from melon the rest was tinned!!! The red meat was mostly tough,the chicken seemed to be the better option.
We thought the breakfasts were better,the fresh omlettes and pancakes were lovely,and they had very nice rolls,and bread,good choice of cereal,at lunch time they did serve very nice freshly cooked by the beach. We used the a la carte restaurant which carries an £8 discount for people on half board. The Ladyfish was superb and the portions were good. As read in previous reviews drinks at the hotel are more expensive,so we went to the juice bars for a beer or down to Michelles bar as advised by trip advisors.
As for the juice bars,do not feel intimidated by the guys who work there,they are real Gambians trying to make an honest living,you will be put of by the reps discouraging you to use them,dont be!!! They are completly harmless.They will take you around the market a local school that doesent normally have visitors,or even welcome you into their own homes!
We only went for one week,so by the time we had found our comfort zone it was too late we ran out of time we could have done so much more,so just go for it and get a friend from the juice bar as soon as you arrive and you will see the real Gambia!
There are no tea making facilities in the rooms
so we took our own.There are fridges in the rooms but you have to pay for them to be unlocked,we waited three days,and had to constantly ask, this seemed to annoy a few other guests too,and the drinks were pricey! If you want water dont by it from the hotel
get it from the boothes outside the hotel and dont pay more than 25 dalassis. (Hotel charges 80)
Rooms are very clean,we did have to ask for our shampoos to be replenished daily,the air conditioning was modern with a remote control,you can put it on sleep mode,and the flaps can be manually flipped up and down so you dont get cold.Some rooms were very dark,opposite the tennis and squash courts you had trees in front of your balcony some people couldnt sit out as the branches hung over onto the seating area outside your room.We stayed in room 147 it had a loveley view over the pool,but it was on the ground floor and we were woken up earley hours with people coming back from the night club or people going out early in the morning,so if you want a bit more peace and mobility isn't a problem you would be better on the second floor.We were recomended to tip the cleaner 50 dals per week .
If you go out take a guide from outside the hotel or a lad from the juice bar,you will not get hassled by the bumsters,to be honest they are harmless,they will tell you lots of porky pies that they are waiters or from the hotel band etc but they can be quite amusing if you play along with them,you do get used to it,if you dont want the hassle take a guide.
Make sure you cover up well early morning and evenings with a good mosquito repellant with 50% deet,the mosquitos are a real problem,somtimes it is too humid to cover up!!!You will need to take Malarone
one week prior to your holiday and for one week on return we took ours in the evening with our meal wih no ill efects.They are cheaper if you order them on the internet.Fly spray is very effective in your room at night and I would reccomend a plug in,housekeeping will spray your room in the evening.Yellow fever is also reccomended 10 days minimum to departure.
If you are only going for a week I would recommend the SOS trip (Called Working Day by some of the operators), it takes you out for the morning to the childrens orphanage,a hospital clinic,tye dying market and a local vineyard you get a good overall feel of their culture in just a morning,my husband only came to keep me company and he felt it was the best trip he went on. A hotel tourist guide organised a private boat for four of us to go to Lamin lodge through the mangroves where we had a lovely lunch
and did some fishing,although it worked out about the same price as a trip with our rep it was great to have the boat to our selves,although Sarge our guide came with us he kept in the back ground and didnt get in our faces at all.
Take a fleece or cardigan if you go out on a trip in an open truck as it can get chilly on route,a hair brush is handy for when you stop and visit somewhere,also toilet paper and wipes as some trips you have to wee behind a bush!!!!Save any water bottles and give them to the kids on route they go mad for them as they like to take them to school.the children will all ask for sweets,pens,pencils etc,if you want to take any baby clothes etc some airlines will give you extra baggage allowance.
This hotel is good value for money and you must remember you are in a third world country if you are open minded and take everything in your stride,dont sit around by the hotel all day go out and give somthing back to the gambian people the majority have no wealth but they are rich in their love and hospitality and I yearn to go back!!!
Over attentive staff!!!
I spent Xmas at the Corinthia Atlantic with a friend. We were warned that two (blonde) female travellers would probably get a certain amount of attention in the Gambia but we have travelled to other countries and have managed to deter even the most determined ... Unfortunately, the hotel staff were a little too attentive - in fact, the majority of the waiters, barstaff and even the guards became real pests. They were 'phoning our rooms and pestering us for dates constantly. We really began to feel as if we were almost being stalked by some of them. The Gambians are reknowned for being friendly but this attention was really a step too far. The other guests noticed and informed our rep who was great and had a word with the hotel manager, who in turn, warned away the staff. This helped (slightly).
We found our rooms well appointed although a little dark inside? Mind you, we were placed right next door to the 'bird watching area' so our rooms were shaded by the trees. The food was excellent - so much choice and not a chip in sight for the whole two weeks! The hotel was fully booked for the Xmas break so the pool area was pretty crowded. This was no problem as the beach is literally on the doorstep and is fabulous. Look out for the cattle and goats which stroll along the sea front every day! Don't be put off by the 'bumsters' - they are very friendly and even walked us around Banjul town for no cost (or hassle). If you are after a bargain, they will take you to the 'non-tourist' market where they will haggle on your behalf and even carry your bags!
The drinks are a bit on the steep side in the hotel and seem to be watered down so if you like a tipple make sure you take your credit card with you ... Check out Micheal's (pronounced Michelle's) Bar just down the road from the hotel - the drinks are far cheaper there and the staff are lovely. The road is not lit and you will be approached by locals offering to escort you - you will have to pay them for the priviledge! We were so hacked off by the hotel staff that we ventured out alone and just firmly told them we could make our own way.
My verdict? I would definitely return to the hotel - but only if I visited with a bloke!
We returned from the Gambia on the 23rd, and I felt I had to contribute to this review as I found it invaluable prior to going, we stayed at the Corinthia Atlantic and went with first choice, apart from a cramped 6 hour flight and the coach getting stuck in a hole on the way to the hotel, we arrived at the Atlantic relieved that the standard was above average and we received a welcome drink and was checked in very quickly.
The rooms were adequate for our needs and the beach was fantastic, you will get hassled if you stray towards the water, but its only to try to get you to go to the juice bars, do it once, make a friend, then get on with your holiday! the juice bars are a great source of knowledge and they will go out of their way to help you (for a price!)
Great excursions are the truck safari, and of course roots, both are full days and you see heartbreaking poverty, but its the real africa!, whats the point of going all that way to sit by the pool!
The food in the hotel is above average and the buffet offers a good choice, the evening entertainment ranges from very good to poor, there is a nightclub bar in the hotel open until 2am, and the bar is 24hr.
The pool area is very good, with lots of free sunbeds, drinks/meals are UK prices, for basics like water (180 dalasi in hotel, 40 dalasi outside) go outside turn left and you will find a small shop, be prepard for some "hanger ons" or pay a guide to take you.
Guides are approx 200 dalasi (£4.00) for a morning if you want to go to the market, well worth it, or get your friend from the juice bar to go with you!
All in all a great holiday, fantastic weather, really friendly people, but you get out what you put in with the excursions, dont confine yourself to the hotel, its perfectly safe and like I said if your worried take a guide.
Tip - take plenty of £1 coins, you will do a lot of tipping in your first two hours!!
Tip - On roots tours etc, let the guides give any sweets out to the kids, if you try you will get mobbed.
Tip - use the best mossie killer on the market, especially early morning and evening, lots didnt, lots got bitten!
Tip - go at least once to the juice bars on the beach, the guys are friendly, and will give you good local info, if you dont want to be hassled just be firm and say NO! even better go with a tan already so you do not stick out!
If you would like any further info just drop us an email.
Loved the staff
Corinthian Atlantic is set on its own beach, pool small for the size of the hotel so sunbeds were a bit close together but plenty of them. Food was buffet style and extremely good, waiters could not do enough for you always with a smile, Rooms cleaned to a high standard by friendly chamber maids always with a smile. Bar staff a bit slow at the beach bar. The bar prices are atronomical. Banjul is definitely not a tourist area. We found one bar called Mitchell's, very cheap and not bad for lunch. Banjul market is a must but a real culture shock, find Bob the man who sells postcards on the beach he can usually be found to the right as you go onto the beach, we christened him Bob the postman', Bob wears a flat cap. He will take you to banjul and the market and is genuine, friendly speaks very good english and is cheaper than the hotel guides. We paid him 150 dalasi and were out for 2-3hrs
We're going to Gambia for the first time due to troubles in Kenya. Has anyone stayed at this hotel? What is there to do locally as regards things to see/restaurants/bars. Also is it possible to go to Niokolo Koba from Banjul and if so what sort of price could we expect to pay in March and would we need visas. Any info would be greatly appreciated
Re: Corinthia Atlantic
well, there's not too much to di in Banjul itself. Bars and restaurants ware mre in Bakau, Kotu and Kololi ("Seneambia").
I was in Niokolo Koba in 2002. I arranged for the trip on privat basis, which I wouldn't recommand to somebody who doesn't know the country. Unless you do it with someone who has been recommmended to you. I know 2 tourguides who can help you. Otherwise go to Kololi, between the gaes of Senegambia and Kairaba hotel is a spot where guides are waiting for customers. They also have a blackboard for the prices. Niokolo Koba is very expensive to stax there for longer. Don't choose the hotel in Siminti, but the camp. And hire a park guide at the gate, otherwise you will not see much.
But please bear in mid that the Gambia is not Keniy, the landscape is different, and you will not see as many different animals.
To cross the border to Senegal is no problem, I did it many times. But make sure the driver and cat you hire in the Gambia have a license for Senegal, otherwise you will have to bribe many policemen on your way!
Re: Corinthia Atlantic
I have been to both Kenya & Gambia, and I much prefure Gambia. The people are very friendly and you feel safe to wonder freely on the beach, although it is best to take up a local guide for the week when traveling in-land only to stop everyone else wanting to be your guide , this is negotiated from about £10 a day. When I last visited Gambia from the UK we paid for your visa on entry to the country with a £5 note inserted in our passport. I stayed at the Senegambia Hotel. If you like suits there are local taylors that will come to your hotel to measure you and make you a handmade suit within days.
Re: Corinthia Atlantic
I never inserted any money in my passport, and the visa has never been a problem ;-)
Re: Corinthia Atlantic
hang on, uk citizens dont need visa to gambia