Rather expensive, especially for The Gambia Great location
In Kololi, near the beach and next to The Senegambia Beach hotel.
well such an extraordinarily well run venue in Gambia. German influence, very efficient. What grounds there are, are well kempt, unusual flora is name plated, nice little idyl with cleanliness plus excellence in service and quality facilities.
Unique Quality: The pool, it's just posh sunbathing even if not massive. It's just such a sexy bridge and shape, great bar and lovely waiters.
Must eat at Shikra restaurant- It blew my mind. If you want a special dinner, romantic or just one of the best meals ever, you just have to.
Directions: beach front, next to kololi laundry, a minute to the main plaza. right by my most lovely dutch owned restaurant- allitaliana- very good food, some interesting entries on the menu too for the discerning palate.
This is what I wrote in my travel journal at the time of arrival at the hotel:
"The Kairaba is nice. Good sized rooms, nicely furnished, friendly staff etc. The grounds are nice, with trees full of exotic birds. I think I am going to like it here."
Rooms are set around the grounds in a few different buildings. The first time we stayed there we were on the ground flor with large patio doors opening up onto the lawns leading to the pool. One of the workers carried some sunbeds from the pool area to our terrace and we enjoyed room service lunch. Very nice indeed.
The second time we stayed we had a room above the restaurant in the main building, which wasn't quite so nice.
Unique Quality: The Kairaba is situated right on the beach in extensive grounds. One of the things we liked about it at the time was the way the grounds were maintained and watered regularly, making a welcome haven from the dry. dusty surroundings.
Rather expensive, especially for The Gambia Great location
In Kololi, near the beach and next to The Senegambia Beach hotel.
From the moment you walk through the door and receive you welcome drink and cooling face towel the Kairabe Hotel makes you feel welcome.
The staff are all friendly and willing to provide whatever you want.
Accomodation is very comfortable with all the amenities expected in an up-market hotel.
The food is excellent - 3 restaurants offering Local cuisine, Western delights and Latin American food.
The Havana bar is a haven away from the heat - happy hour lasts and hour and a half!!
Make sure you take advantage of the weekly Manager's Cocktail Party. Great pool with poolside bar.
Fantastic grounds and setting - lush in a dry climate
The small nice hotel Safari Garden Small and intim with good service , you can get massage and
use the small swimingpool.
central located in Fajara around 5 min walk to Kairaba Avenue (Pipeline)the mainstreet and about 10 minutes walk to the Fajara beach passing the Fajara Golf Club.
Dont miss to visit mr Ibrahima with his small small shop just opposit the hotel,he got all stuff you need as fresh water,cocacola,cigarettes,nescafé,matches and is the most gentle man I ever met on my journeys to the Gambia.
My girlfriend and I recently returned from a 10-night stay at the Kairaba hotel. Having checked out a few other hotels whilst in Gambia, I would say the Kairaba tops the lot (possibly apart from the extremely exclusive Coconut Residence).
I've never stayed at a hotel where there are quite so many staff, all really friendly and keen to make your stay as great as possible. It made for a very relaxing break.
Apart from anything else, the location of the hotel is perfect. It's just a 15-20 minute drive from the airport, it's next to Bijillo forest park and when you walk out the entrance you've got the official tourist guide 'office' in front of you. Then of course you've got the short strip full of some really good places to eat. We tried a different place each night and I would say Chossan and African Queen were my favourites. We ate in the hotel a couple of times, which was fine, but you will pay around double (maybe £13 each for dinner instead of £6)
There's also a craft market at the end of the strip, which is good to visit, although try not to go to it when there are no other tourists or you will get pulled in all directions by the stall holders trying to get you into their stall! As a general guide, try not to pay over a third of their first price. If in doubt, check out how much the equivalent item costs in the Kairaba's little shop. I bought a necklace thinking I'd bartered pretty well, only to see it significantly cheaper in the shop!
As for bumsters, I can honestly say they were almost never an issue on the strip outside the hotel. Yes, you do get spoken to many times walking from the hotel to the top of the strip, but it tends to be by the taxi rank asking if you need a taxi and those working in the restaurants trying to pull you into their establishment. Other than that, there was maybe the occasional guy furtively asking you if you want to buy sunglasses before scuttling away when you say no.
Sure, bumsters were sometimes a problem in other areas of the country (on Samyang beach in the south we particularly had problems with them), but not around the hotel and the strip. The only place you might get some hassle from them around the hotel is on the beach between the raised bit of beach (where you can lie in the sun and hotel security don't let the bumsters walk) and the sea. But they're easily avoidable as long as you time your dip between them walking past. I actually quite liked the lady who appeared every day selling fruit - she is quite a character!
A word of caution about the sea - watch where you tread in the cloudy water. No joke, I was lucky to spot the jagged neck of a beer bottle six inches from my feet as I paddled. Plus there was some other sharp detritus around. Just be careful, but do go in as it's a perfect temperature.
Finally, do go on as many trips as you can while you're in Gambia as it's an amazing country. And you don't have to rely on the large group tours - the official tour guides outside the hotel are likely to be cheaper and of course can tailor specific itineraries for you. For instance, we brought out a lot of materials for school kids, but we didn't want to give them to the schools who regularly get these on the organised tourist trips. Instead, a guide took us to a school off the beaten track that never gets these visits and so was extremely grateful for anything donated.
And just as a final word, we struck gold with the official tour guide we used - ask for Lams at the tour guide HQ outside the hotel entrance - he's one of the nicest, most knowledgeable and honest guides (indeed, person) I have ever gone on a trip with.
I really enjoyed my stay at Kairaba. I wish I went for longer. After checking into the hotel, the only thing I would say about the standard room is that it is a bit small, but it's clean.
All the telephones in the rooms were not working throughout my stay due to a storm and they were never fixed. September is the low season as it tends to rain for a little bit on most days. It sometimes rained at night, so it didn't really affect us. It was good to have the pool to ourselves.
People outside the hotel are friendly. Some will ask for money in one way or another. Staff at the hotel are brillant. They are a great laugh and entertaining. I always used to play table football with the pool attendants.
The 4x4 safari was interesting. It's a rip off at £25 per person. You could hire a driver and do it yourself for about £5 each.
The food was good, the breakfast was very filling. There a lot of nice restaurants outside the hotel, which are worth trying. A meal would cost £5 each.
The hotel itself is very nice. You feel in the middle of nature with all the animal inhabitants. The pool is nice, although it looks bigger in the photos. The beach was good, nice and sandy. Watch out for the jelly fish!
I would return to the Kairaba!
I've been meaning to write this since our return. We visited the Kairaba for 1 week at the beginning of the season so the hotel seemed fairly quiet.
It seems that we were upgraded to a better room which was great, with a nice comfortable bed, a balcony, a lovely bathroom, air conditioning that worked and a TV with 'MIdsomer Murders' on every day (UK travellers beware!!!!). ALL the staff were VERY friendly and helpful and we had a great breakfast every day. We then spent the day around the pool where all our needs were looked after. Every body in Gambia wants money from you though so remember tips are expected - so we charged to our room and just paid once. Be aware that the waiter will bring your bill mid afternoon - maybe before you're ready. We were sure that this was so they would get their tip. We read a lot about the people asking you for money but this is not so at the Hotel, not directly anyway, but even outside it is not intimidating.
My wife and I went for a week to 'chill out' and went home saying that we would definitely return to the Gambia and most definitely to the Kairaba
I just spent a week at the Kairaba with my husband and what a totally fantastic experience. The hotel was stunning very clean spacious rooms. The pool was gorgeous and the beach attached to the hotel was just as gorgeous. There were security guards on the beach so that local bumsters could not come and hassle you into buying things if you did not want to. We stayed bed and breakfast and it was gorgeous, pancakes/waffles cereals, toast fry up you name it they did it. You can also go half board but we wanted to taste all the restaurants in the resort and lovely they were. All the staff at the Karaiba couldn't do enough for you from the pool attendants to the gardeners to the reception staff, we left our safe open one day and when we came back it had all been taken to security for safekeeping by our room girl and they brought it back to us and made us check everything was there - we felt so at ease and safe at this hotel. The minibar was cheap so we didn't have to worry about not using it. The hotel is also a conference centre so there were many dignatories around the grounds.
My wife and I have been staying here for years so it came as a little shock when we arrived on the first plane out of Manchester on Nov 3rd into sunny Gambia to find the hotel having been bought by a Middle Easten gentleman and the vast majority of the local managers having being replaced by European managers.
I say slippery slope......rooms are not to as high a standard as usual: ie mildrew / mould showing through, general lack of pride & time in cleaning, general dress standards-woman allowed to sit at breakfast in Bikinis, I am not a prude but I hardly want to eat my breakfast with woman walking around the area in bikinis.
The gardens are still bueatiful, watch out for the 4 foot lizards they have certainly grown, spoke to quite few old timers and they are all saying the same......Kairaba is heading down wards. 5* Sherraton opens in Feb 07 not 10 miles away I will be staying there next.
Lots of the local boys who work as waiters / pool attendants all gone and anybody who has been there before will be saddened to hear that BeGee the Guest Relation Manageress was sacked day 2 of the new management. Her replacement can not even send invitations out for the VERY FIRST managers cocktail party, my wife and I were walking past at 18:30 in shorts and T shirts, one of the managers asked why we and everybody else was not at the party?????? No invitations......she telpehoned the rooms in the afternoon....when people were on the beach or by the pool....ops.
Its sad to see as my wife and I loved that place.
You will be glad to hear Mr Cham & Mr Gibba are trying their hardest to revert back to the old style.....heres hoping
hi everyone, we are travelling to gambia shortly and staying at the kairaba hotel. have read most of the forum and was wondering what currency is best to take, and has anyone an approx idea how much you would spend on average during a weeks stay.
also i read in the lonely planet that it can be very windy, and the sea is not the best for swimming...is this true or just depends on the weather.
thanks for anyones help.
PMB 390, Serekunda, Gambia
P.O. Box 2373 , Kololi
Kololi Beach, Kololi
Badala Highway, near Kololi beach, Kololi
Latest Kololi hotel reviews
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Address: PMB 390, Serekunda, Gambia