Laico Atlantic Banjul Hotel

, Banjul, Gambia
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Laico Atlantic Banjul Hotel

Banjul, - Banjul - Gambia Hotel Website | 422-8601
513 Traveller

Reviews - Laico Atlantic Banjul Hotel

great hotel
Submitted by: joanne in 06/02/10
  • Age Group: 4150
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Adventurer
stayed in the gambia for the first time this year, went on my own, one of the locals took off with my case at the airport, but managed to retrieve it, this hotel is fantastic, friendly, great food, great room with all the amenities, would advise to request mosquito net. If however you are like me and travel alone be warned you are constantly bombarded by the bumstars when leaving the hotel however be wary of the hotel guides, if you show a slight interest in how much they cost daily then they are likely to get the wrong idea and come to your room without permission to try it on with you, as an ex prison officer i was able to deal with this problem but someone else may not. I would however recommend trying to go out and about by yourself, or find yourself a decent local you can trust to take you about, my suggestion is to try and find someone who does not want paying, hard to find I know, the corinthia does not have much in the line of entertainment on a night but the staff are happy to chat to you at the bar and there are a couple of nightclubs on site if thats what you want, the pool is great and everything you need is free. enjoy your stay and relax, dont be scared to venture out just tell them you have a friend and they generally leave you alone. going again in november but staying with the locals
Fab place
Submitted by: debbie in 26/10/08
  • Age Group: 41 - 50
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Relaxation Seeker
Third time to The gambia and 2nd time to this hotel. We are also planning to go back to the Atlantic at Christmas. Really friendly staff, very relaxing, good facilities. Also good choice of food - buffet style usually with different themes. Highly recommended.
Great Holiday
Submitted by: john in 02/11/07
  • Age Group: 60 +
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Mature Couple
We are a mature couple and, together with our seven year old grandson, have just spent a week at the Corinthia Atlantic.
We all had a fantastic holiday and have nothing but praise for the hotel, the staff and the management.
The entertainments team were also first class.
There were some moans about the price of the drinks in the hotel but in view of the service, the surroundings the friendly staff, we found the prices reasonable.
Management were excellent and dealt with queries swiftly and efficiently. We were particularly impressed with Tim the new Food and Beverage manager. A real gent.
All round a lovely experience.
Submitted by: Richard in 23/03/07
  • Age Group: 31 - 40
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Sun Seeker
You wont know till you go. When you go YOU WILL KNOW.
Be aware
Submitted by: Graham in 22/01/07
  • Age Group: 41 - 50
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Young Couple
The hotel is 'well worn' in need of a tidy up. The service and staff are all very friendly but be aware all they are after is a tip or bribe to do something, I know we expect our own porters to expect this but the Gambians can very very persistent and you can find yourself pulling your case away from them.
The room had a sliding door that was stuck this was not fixed so, as we were there on a special occasion we upgraded to a suite. We are not rich people so don't get the wrong impression here. My partner (female) went to speak with the desk manager and quoted a price which changed when she said she'd pay. I went in there and got a massive discount. Then when I asked about the fridge he said "that's nothing to do with me" I had to order 6 drinks to get it unlocked !!!(its empty by the way and you will use it to put your water in or any drinks you buy from the town. Another guest only had to buy one drink and another paid the sun bed man to open it !! its all going on there staff will do anything for money. I wasn't playing their game so I paid a member of staff £1.00 to open it for me.
The food is basic, a buffet which to be fair went from poor to ok. The air conditioned a la carte restaurant was very poor and we had to send both meals back...and so did others (and I've never done that before)
The staff were fine and we didn't have to pay. we were booking our drinks to our room....2 days before we were due to leave they put a sign up in reception saying that if you wished to pay your room bill by any credit card then the exchange rate would be 44 dalasi the hotel rate was 46, another we visited (the combo..) was 50 exchange rate !!!
We all had been conned and in this country, they wouldn't get away with it.
The rep advised everyone NOT to hire a car as you will have to pay bribes to drive. If they show you the trip to the school and a village just be aware its an English put your hands in your pockets tour that YOU pay to go on....if you think you can cure all their poverty by giving them money then carry on.
The beach is ok and 100%, there is security all day to keep the locals away and you are only hassled by a couple of girls selling fruit which is actually very good and the girls are pleasant.
The entertainment is of a low standard especially when compared to an enforced visit to the combo (flight delay) who had a great band playing sax and all !!.
Other residents had bad experiences too .....Oh the gym they can call it a gym would find better equipment at a car boot sale and I'm not joking it was dangerous....but the service of the salon e.g beauty treatment and massage we found good.
The hassle from the bumsters was unacceptable (we are white) and the police do nothing. One young couple got conned into going to a Gambians house and when they tried to leave the man said you give us money when they refused he said you insult me and they were virtually robbed although unharmed.
Oh I also witnessed an English guy shouting at the rep saying that the boat trip he had just been on had 30 life jackets to short. If British tour companies are supporting these trips then we must have British standards where possible...and this is possible.
I think if you knew what to expect you may enjoy a stay at this hotel but it wasn't for us and we've both traveled a little.
Submitted by: Sarah McGlynn in 20/01/07
  • Age Group: 26 - 30
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Sun Seeker
This hotel was fantastic - great food, great entertainment and ok value. During the day I wouldn't suggest getting drinks from the hotel bar, but would suggest walking out to the beach and taking a left turn. Go up to Big Mo's juice bar. Get a juice from them - its like nothing you have ever tasted before and the guys are so friendly. Tell them Becky and Sarah miss them!! The rooms in the hotel are very nice, the staff really friendly - make sure you take lots of mozzy spray both for yourself and your room!!
Perfect to Relax and Recharge
Submitted by: Kevin in 05/04/06
  • Age Group: 31 - 40
  • From: United Kingdom
  • Traveller type: Young Couple
Attention to detail is what usually makes (or breaks) a holiday and the Corinthia Atlantic certainly prides itself on this. As soon as we arrived, porters were on hand to carry our luggage to our room and enough staff were available on reception to ensure that the booking in process was quick and effortless.

The hotel itself is situated on the "Downing Street" of The Gambia. The President lives opposite and the presence of police and millitary personnel is re-assuring rather than intimidating. The only inconvenience caused is from the "bumsters" (I will comment on this later) and the occasional closing of the main road when the President decides to pop out for whatever presidents pop out for.

The plan for my two weeks here was to relax, keep up my newly found enthusiasm for a daily workout in the gym and to explore Banjul. My partner's agenda was simply sunbathe and work on the perfect tan.

Day 1 & 2 was spent on the beach. The secton of beach owned by the hotel is vey clean. The hotel has security staff who patrol this area. They do a good job keeping the bumsters away who historically have continually pestered tourists.

Tip 1: A small tip (or bribe) to James the pool attendant at the start of your stay will ensure your favourite sunbathing spot without the need for the early morning rush for sunbeds.

The price of drinks at the hotel are similar to the prices that you would pay in the UK. However on the beach are two sets of juice bars. The juice bars to the right are run by Sammy and his pals. Their drinks are half the price of the hotel's and he does serve ice cold bottled beer with good conversation (Sammy is the only Gambian I met with a cockney twang. It's worth going to his bar just to hear him speak!)

I also ventured out of the hotel. Many other guests warned against this after they were hassled by the local bumsters. The bumsters are quite friendly and will readily engage you in conversation. They will often offer to buy goods for you claiming that you will be ripped off, spin you a sob story about one thing or another, or try some other scam to ensure that you part with your well earned money. One thing is for sure, almost every conversation with them will end with an attempt to squeeze money out of you.

Tip 2: Don't be too upset if you fall victim to their persuasive chat and part with your money. They are very good at what they do. Just remember, be a firm no thank you is usually enough. Gambia is trying to promote tourism and the police will readily arrest bumsters if they see them hassling tourists or if you complain to the police about them.

Banjul itself is a small town. I personally was not hassled too much when I walked about but I am a black British citizen and I did not stand out in the crowd like many other tourists. It is advisable to speak with a member of the hotel staff who will escort you around the town and show you the sights. You can see everything in Banjul in a day or two at a steady pace. If sightseeing is for you then I would advise going on the tour operators trips. These did seem expensive (I recall one costing £89) and some guests managed to find willing members of the hotel staff who would take them to these places for far less money.

There are not too many places to eat in Banjul. The food at the hotel was very good. You were spoilt for choice at the buffet style breakfast and dinner. The A la Carte restaurant also served fantastic food however the choice of dishes is more limited. You can eat a different fish dish every day and the African special night should not be missed. You can try a range of traditional dishes and the entertainment staff will dazzle you with traditional African music and dance.

One the whole the food was very good but it was let down by the fruit. The fresh fruit was often under ripe and tinned fruit often was served.

The entertainment team kept the day flowing with many activities including water basketball against the guests, volleyball and my partners favourite aqua aerobics (The young toned instructor in his gym gear may be the reason why she liked it so much. She never took part!).

My partner also had three massages in the health suite. The full body massage lasted about an hour and cost the equivalent of £13 - £15. Her tip is that Lisa was the best out of all the staff and she was well worth the money.

The housemaids cleaned the rooms daily and changed towels and bedding daily also. I had no complaints about the room: it was air conditioned, clean and spacious. Many other reviews I have read complained about the frequent loss of power. I did not experience any power cuts at all.

Tip 3: Bring plenty of mosquito repellent and apply it regularly especially in the evenings. There were many guests covered in bites. Also bring some fly spray so that you can spray your room a couple of times a day.

Overall The Corinthia Atlantic was an excellent place to relax in beautiful surroundings.

Historical Traveller Reviews of Laico Atlantic Banjul Hotel

Great Honeymoon

from A TripAdvisor Member
Just returned from 2 weeks in Corinthia Atlantic Hotel. Very nice place very clean and comfortable great staff. Dont buy drinks in the hotel very expensive . Buy from local shops or juice bars. Hotel is a bit out of the way not realy near anywhere. Had to take taxi rides to Senegambia which ended up costing us a fair bit. We joined the Gambia Tourist Support before we went and they made our holiay. For a fee of £12.50 per year it is wel worth the money. They are a fanatastic bunch of people . Cant wait to return but will stay in Senegambia next time .

Had a fantastic time

from A TripAdvisor Member
Myself and my wife stayed here from Jan 26th to Feb 9th. We had never been to The Gambia before but had read good reviews and gave it a go. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would recomend both the destination and the hotel.

The hotel is very clean and well appointed. The staff are excellent, always willing to help with a smile and we made some good friends with the staff. Without exaggeration I would say over half of the guests had been to the hotel before, some as many as 10-15 times! The food was good with a wide choice. I would definately recomend half board as the choice of eateries outside the hotel is very limited (without a cab ride).

All the trips we took were excellent and we especially enjoyed the Truck Safari to southern Gambia to see some of the real Gambian life. Many people say that you should book your trips with the locals rather than the tour companies, but I think first timers may feel more comfortable going with the tour companies. We would probably do some trips organised locally next time now we know the score.

Now to the famous (or is that infamous!) Bumsters. We didn't find them half as bad as we had expected. The hotel security staff and military pretty much keep the hotel beach clear - although they are "in waiting" for you as soon as you go beyond! In all our encounters with them we found them to be polite and fiendly, but yes, persistent! If you want to visit the City definately hire a guide for about 100D (£2!) for the day and the Bumsters will stay away.

All in all a great winter destination and we will very likely return.

best holiday ever

from A TripAdvisor Member
just got back from the atlantic hotel on the 26 january. the weather was brillant it went up to 48 degrees. the food was great a selection of meals to choose from. the entertaiment was good with a childrens club the evening entertaiment was good especially the staff shows which was brillant. they also had a nightclub which was open until 2am. the drinks were expensive in the hotel about £2 a pint if you went outside you could pay about 40p a bottle. if you get a chance to go out in the night go as its a experience go to the irish bar in banjul get a guide to take you as it down the dark streets with no lights on. the staff in the hotel was brillant could not fault them at all they were so friendly. cant wait to go again next time 2 weeks instead of 1 week

Nice Hotel, But Off The Beaten Track

from KLAIRE1975
We have just returned from the Corinthia Atlantic Hotel in Banjul,after staying from 5th -12th January. Overall the hotel was very nice, with rooms being especially well maintained by the Cleaning staff. Food in the buffet restaurant was fair but could have been labelled as to what each was as on occasions it was difficult to see what you were eating. We did not visit the A la Carte as were advised my other hotel guests that it was not worth the money. Drinks in the hotel were very expensive as there is no competition outside the hotel. We did venture out on one evening to Micheal's (pronounced Michelle's) for food which was good and we would recommend visiting just for the bar if you are a drinker as the alcoholic drinks are very very cheap compared to the hotel. We did not have a problem with Bumpsters. We would recommend getting a green Mercedes estate taxi outside the hotel and ask for Keema (he took us all around the area for £10 each and was a lovely guy)! All in all we would go back to the hotel but only if we could obtain a cheap deal. The weather was fantastic and we left with great tans, but would return to Gambia in a different area where there was slightly more to do outside the hotel. We picked people up from the Ocean Village Hotel and Sunbeach and in our opinion these were in a better location. Staff at the Cornithia were friendly and if all you wanted to do was lay by the pool then this is the place for you. The pool temperatures are freezing cold, but compared to the sea (which was very dirty) this was our preference. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Fabulous place, fabulous people

from Boggly eyed monster
Sorry folks, this is a long one. Have just returned from a fabulous holiday at the Corinthia Atlantic in Banjul...and the highlight of the holiday...THE GAMBIAN PEOPLE!!

We were lucky enough to have been in Gambia during the Muslim festival of Tobaski and were invited back to a compound (family home) of Modou's, owner of one of the Juice bars on the beach. We were overwhelmed to have been made so welcome and to have met such lovely children who had never seen themselves on a digital camera before and danced and sang for us 'welcome, welcome'.

We enjoyed this holiday because it wasn't a tourist hotspot and we were able to have a little taste of the real Gambia, if you want bars and touristy restaurants I would recommend that you stay at a hotel in Serracunda. The hotel location was quite off the beaten track, but this suited us just fine, close to the market and within walking distance of the arch 22. We felt safe wherever we were but did keep valuable in the hotel safe. The trip was an 'experience' as well as a holiday. One that was eyeopening, fabulous, and heartwarming at the same time. Not to be missed.

Talk to the guys at the local Juice bars, you can stroll along in an afternoon and get freshly squeezed Juice at a fraction of the cost at the hotel. If you go back again they will really take care of you. We met some great people in the 'happy corner' at the juice bar!

We didn't find the 'bumsters' a problem at all, especially when with the tourist guides (a small fee and they will take you anywhere), even in the busy market there was no bother.

We did do the 'Roots' trip with the tour opperator which was a great day out, on the boat to Juffureh with a very emotional visit to the Museum of Slavery. Lots of people waiting to greet us and we visited the local school to donate our books and pencils. Then onto St James Island which we found a chilling place. On the way back we were escorted by 6 dolphins racing the boat, which was fantastic.

My top tips:
1/. Get Maleria tablets and take Mosquito spray (Our doctor didn't advise us of this and everyone else had taken tablets..the Mosquitos were'nt a huge problem but a few people did get bitten). They do spray the rooms on a night.
2/. Change some local currency to smaller notes of 5, 25 and 50 delassi before you go out on trips. You will tip a lot, from the moment you step off the plane, but if you have the smaller notes you can manage it better. We learn't this quickly after the first few days.
3/. Take pencils, Crayons & Paper for the children, lollies are cheap enough to buy there. Also if you go on trips save your empty water bottles, there are a lot of children and adults who will make good use out of this.
4/. If you want a kettle in your room buy a cheap one there.
5/. Haggle over prices, they expect you to do this and will tell you this too!
6/. Hire a 4x4 for a different view of rural villages and streets.
7/. Don't forget your sunscreen, even in the shade it can be quite strong and bring a hat, you will need it.
8/. Take something warm for your shoulders in the evening as it did cool down a bit.
9/. Take a beach towel with you (not provided at the hotel).
10/. Change your money in Gambia, you will get better rates and a lot of the people accept sterling as payment anyway, £1 coins are very useful.

A good hotel. very relaxing

from A TripAdvisor Member
We were five, including 3 adult children, 21-25. We took B&B so had most of our dinners in the hotel. As everyone says, the service was very friendly and pretty efficient. General food standard was good, if a bit variable; however the salads were fabulous. Wine is both rather poor and expensive - the beer ("Julbrew") is cheap and very drinkable. Lunch at the pool-side bar is ok; takes a while to get your food as the kitchen is tiny.
The weather, of course, was perfect and the hotel beach is very well set up to take advantage; we didn't use the pool area because it was simply a bit too crowded.
We didn't find the 'bumsters' as aggressive as one might suppose from other hotel reviews I read; one trick on the beach is to walk in the water; bumsters don't want to take off their trainers! And in fact the several 'juice bars' on the beach are run by bumsters and they do excellent deals on beer, juice and water (pay 40 dalas for water, 30 for beer or juice compared to 80 and 70 respectively in the hotel) which you can store in the little fridge in the room.
Gambia as a whole was wonderful; the nicest people in the world. I don't think I've waved at so many kids in my life as we did in one week in Banjul.
We took a one-day tour/visit ("Gambia Experience") that took in the crocodile pool (incredible, lots of them all over the place), a primary school visit (gorgeous children, heartbreaking), the market, a boat trip (very relaxing), and a liqueur distillery (!!!) that was a very worthwhile day - made one feel one knew a bit about the place.
I think my only caution is that this hotel is really the only place to eat in the area except for one other restaurant (Michel's) which is okay as a change but not brilliant - incidentally, only the hotel accepted credit cards so have sufficient cash on you for meals outside the hotel, taxis, beer/water, etc.
Finally, we were impressed enough to enquire what the rates would be if we went back again and booked direct. Heartily recommended!

Excellent Hotel with some caveats

from A TripAdvisor Member
We have just returned from a trip to this hotel, and as I learned something about the hotel from this site before travelling there, felt I should contribute this.

Accomodation is excellent with a good quality daily maid service. The rooms are air conditioned, although I felt that ours had ran out of refrigerant, as the air blown from it was cool rather than cold. Each room has a fridge, although ours did not work, and satellite television. The rooms are compact but fitted to a high standard, and the safety deposit boxes are at reception. We found the beds commfortable, but the pillows were solid! The bathrooms are fitted with a hair dryer and electrical outlets are exactly the same as those in the UK, 3-pin 230v.

The pool is surprisingly cold, given the air temperature here. If you like swimming in the sea you will be very disappointed, as it's dirty, and there are strong currents. Very few guests swam in the sea. The man-made beach looks reasonably attractive, with plenty of parasols available, although you should be out early to reserve as they go quick.

Discussion of the beach leads to one of the drawbacks we found with this location, the bumsters. They are not too troublesome on the stretch of beach adjaacent to the hotel, due to the presence of (the not very vigilant) hotel security, although a number of them (bumsters) did weave through the sun loungers from time to time. There were quite a few bumsters on either side of this area though, and if you want a leisurely stroll along the beach with your partner forget it, as you will soon be joined by at least one persistent 'friend' from the Gambia! They throw a cordon around the hotel, so expect to be hassled if you decide to visit Banjul. We went into Banjul frequently for supplies (more on this later) and they always tried to walk with us, but we were able to shake them off. There are plenty of hotel appointed guides if you cannot be bothered with the hassle, who will accompany you (for a fee) and make sure you're left alone. A further word of caution. If you go into Banjul without a guide and someone tries to befriend you, saying they work at the hotel, if you don't know their face from the hotel, ASSUME THEY DON'T IN FACT WORK THERE, as they all claim this. We were nearly fooled by this and followed an alleged hotel employee into ever quieter areas of the town when out of the corner of my eye, I am sure we began to be followed by a number of people, we beat a hasty retreat back to the main areas! So, be polite but firm that you don't want to be accompanied, when approached by a bumster, they are not threatening. When I discussed the situation when we felt threatened above, our inexperience of the tactics used, contributed to the risk.

Hotel food is of good quality but European style. Food and drink prices are high, eg, 1.5 litres of water costs 80 dalasi in the hotel, but 25 dalasi in the kiosks outside the hotel (turn left when you reach the hotel entrance, the kiosks are a block away). That's about £1.60 versus 50p! For a family of 4, the savings can be tremendous. As with any shop in the Gambia, always ask the price before buying and haggle if you want to. Alcohol at the hotel is also served in miniscule measures, if like me you're used to a few drinks of an evening when on holiday, you can supplement the hotel's meagre offerrings with alcohol purchased from outside, many many people did this. Again, fantastic savings.

The hotel was quite good for families at this time of year, we have 13 and 16 year-old kids who found friends and enjoyed themselves.

Hotel staff are absolutely superb, and will go out of their way to help.

Caveats aside, this is a wonderful hotel, the Gambians are wonderful people. We will definitely consider returning. UK folk especially, must consider The Gambia in general, and The Corinthia Atlantic in particular for a Winter holiday.

Paradise !!

from icclebug
Went to the Corinthia for the last week of the season...fantastic!! Not crowded, excellent beach, good food and very friendly staff and locals. Locals are very keen to speak to you but they are just being friendly and mean no harm, just be firm but polite if you wish to say no. We would recommend using the guides based outside the hotel as they will take you anywhere you need to go for a silly fee (£1 per day!!).

We dropped off on some hotels on the way, not to be desired believe me, it's worth spending that bit more and go to the Corinthia.

The perfect place to relax and explore....we will be returning!!

Great People

from A TripAdvisor Member
The Hotel is very nice and the rooms are comfortable. The location is a bit out of the way and there is nothing to do outside the hotel. The staff were all very friendly and extremely helpful.
We went on the South Gambia tour which is very humbling and took a guide to visit Banjul market and the Monkey park, where you can feed the monkeys.
We recommend taking a trip with a guide they can be found outside the hotel dressed in Yellow shirts, they are very knowledgable and can be trusted, we recomend a guide called 'Speedy Seedy' who took us out twice.
In all Gambia is a wonderful and very interesting place with lots to see and lots of memories.

A week at the Corinthia Atlantic

from A TripAdvisor Member
We arrived in the late afternoon when it was hot and humid. The bedrooms are all air conditioned and fairly well appointed with satellite television and hairdryer in the bathroom. However the restaurant and lobby area were only cooled by fans. You could eat outside where it was cooler but you had to make sure you were sprayed with mosqueto protection or suffer the consequences. The food was of good variety although if you attended towards the end of the meal times the food started to run out. The cost of drinks were very expensive bearing in mind that this is Gambia and not London. At the hotel exchange rate of 46 Dalasi to the Pound Sterling a pint of beer was 100 Delasi = £2.18. A bottle of water was 80 Delasi = £1.73. If you pay by credit card you get 44 Dalasi to the pound as the hotel uses this exchange rate and then fills your card out in Pounds Sterling. The pool area has free sunbeds and mattresses but only 14 main sun umberellas around the pool for nearly 400 guests!! There are other umberellas on the beach. The beach is large but the sea is dirty. There was entertainment every night but most of it consisted of African dancers. The first time is nice, the second time OK but boring thereafter. The staff are wonderful and will do what ever they can to assist the guests. Nothing seems to be too much trouble. If only all hotel staff were like these people. An enjoyable holiday but would not go again.

Top Local Tips for Banjul

free taxi to Bacchus anyone?? If you fancy a night out at Bacchus (5 mins in a taxi) they will deduct to cost fo your cab from the bill providing four of you dine. They also have drink offers far cheaper than the hotel.

Mosquitoes Make sure you have adequate protection for these.. You really do need a Deet formula for bites and I find neat Lavender oil stops itching and swelling in minutes.

Money! You'll find that the Gambian Dulasi absolutely reeks and is filthy. Wash your hands regularly, and do what we did. We took some anti bacterial hand spray to use and kept it on us at all times. I'm positive that it is this + lack of water that creates the infamous' Banjul belly'. we used it at every available opportunity, and drank as much water as possible (6 litres each on safari). We both stayed healthy for the entire trip. Also, the mosquitoes are bad, so buy lots of Deet 50!


Other names for Laico Atlantic Banjul Hotel

  • corinthia atlantic hotel
  • corinthia atlantic
  • atlantic hotel banjul
  • Address: Banjul, - Banjul - Gambia
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"great hotel" - joanne

"Fab place" - debbie

"Great Holiday" - john

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