The tropical holiday paradise of The Gambia, known as The Smiling Coast of Africa, is continuing to expand and improve its tourism infrastructure with the help of two leading UK tour operators, Thomas Cook and The Gambia Experience, along with other investors.
Two splendid new beach hotels have opened which not only increase bed capacity but also raise the bar as far as standards and service are concerned. Both are located on the white sandy shores of the Atlantic, on Kotu Beach in the heart of the main resort area.
The first is the SunPrime Tamala Beach – a 4-star Thomas Cook branded hotel with 140 rooms in the first phase with potential for growth to 350 rooms. Nineteen of the rooms are Seaview premium with private pool access and the remainder are all premium rooms.
The multi-million pound facility was wholly funded by Gambians with support from a local bank. The Tamala has an exotic spa, two restaurants and bars, a fully equipped gym and a fitness studio, a mini-market and a beach club. The Tamala has provided employment for 180 Gambians.
The second is The African Princess Hotel, (http://africanprincesshotel.com/) built with funding from Gambian businessman, Mr. Charbel Hobeika, and his partners. Mr. Hobeika owns Gambia Tours, a local DMC. and along with one of his partners, Mr. Freddie Blell, also owns the biggest hotel in The Gambia, The Senegambia.
The four-star African Princess Hotel has 140 rooms and a villa. Built at a cost of about USD$10 million, it combines modern décor with an African-style design has been described by guests as "one of the finest hotels in West Africa both in terms of facilities and service”.
There is also a third but smaller jewel called the Metzy Residence Hotel ( http://metzyresidence.com-hotel.website) built by Gambian entrepreneur, Mr. Pa Musa Secka. This beautiful hotel is located close to Palma Rima beach and has 70 large rooms and 2 apartments with balconies and each is equipped with 47” flat screen Smart TVs, a mini fridge, in-room safe, and a remote controlled air conditioner.
Another UK tour operator that has invested in The Gambia’s hotel infrastructure is Hamsphire-based Serenity Holidays, trading as The Gambia Experience. In 2003, they took over a former Novotel facility, which became The Kombo Beach and have invested heavily over the years to enhance and improve its facilities.
The 258-room, 3.5 star Kombo is also located on Kotu Beach and has 80 superior and Premium rooms as well as 8 family rooms. The Kombo offers jobs to 250 Gambians.
The Gambia Experience operates charter flights to The Gambia throughout the year while Thomas Cook flies only during the winter months. Both operators fly out of Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham.
Another third major UK tour operator offering The Gambia is Olympic Travel.
For more information, please contact the operators directly or the Gambia Tourism Board office in London.
Gambia Tourism Board - UK
57 Kensington Court
London W8 5DG
Contact: Mr. Malick Jeng, Tel : 07 535 476 494