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“A most interesting trip!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Summer Grove Villa

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Summer Grove Villa
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Banjul
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A most interesting trip!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2012

We too booked Summer Grove Villa on the strength of the reviews. I found Nenneh to be very helpful. The breakfasts and snacks were good always served up with the Gambian smile! The trip had its interesting moments with the car picking us up from the airport breaking down requiring a push from children who were at the same time trying to sell us fruit! Everyone fell about laughing-us, driver, children. This set the tone for the rest of the holiday, yes the bumsters were a little tiring but we took it all as part of the experience!
The room was spacious and clean. Water went off a couple of times when they were fixing the pool but there you go -it happens! Found all the staff to be warm and friendly and would recommend if you don't like hotels.
Also recommend Arch tours-very good certainly for the first visit to the Gambia. Only stayed a week but warmed very quickly to the Gambian people and their lovely country

Room Tip: Book a 'luxury' room
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank piptid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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25 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    14
    7
    2
    2
    0
See reviews for
7
10
3
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London, UK
Level Contributor
66 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2012

I booked Summer Grove Villa on the strength of its glowing reviews on Trip Advisor, but was bitterly disappointed. As I was a bit uncertain about The Gambia, particularly in terms of bumsters and knowing who to trust/book things with, I was taken with the promise that Nenneh and her team would help us out. I looked forward to their recommendations, their offers of drivers, and their general care for us.

Disappointment 1:
NONE of these were forthcoming. We were not offered any help or assistance or made to feel welcome in any way. The transfers to and from the airport were, to be fair, punctual, but the driver on both trips was not in the least friendly.

Disappointment 2:
The air conditioning in our apartment, for which we paid extra, was only in the living room, not the bedroom. Therefore, when you need it most (to sleep) it was useless.

Disappointment 3:
On one day they left only enough towels for 1 person. On another day, no towels at all. On one day they left us with only a tiny amount of toilet roll, on another day they left us with none at all. If there was a manned reception this would be okay, but when you have to hunt down anyone willing to help you, and are greeted with indifference (and sometimes rudeness) at every turn, it's not so simple and downright aggravating.

Disappointment 4:
The pool was tiny and due to surrounding buildings, didn't see much sun. We spent absolutely no time at the villa - we went out and about every day. The atmosphere just wasn't nice.

Disappointment 5:
On the first day we ordered breakfast. The service was again unfriendly. It took 45 minutes for 2 bacon sandwiches to arrive. Needless to say we went out for breakfast thereafter, which was friendlier, cheaper and definitely quicker!

I would not recommend Summer Grove Villa. However, in the interests of balance, here are some positives:

Positive 1:
The location is good

Positive 2:
The apartment was huge, with a lounge, kitchenette and walk in cupboards

Positive 3:
The security doormen were delightful and very friendly

Positive 4:
Beer in the honest bar was well stocked and very cheap. If you don't like beer however, you're stuck!

Positive 5: There was free wifi (officially in reception but this did just about reach our apartment (9)

Some tips for Summer Grove and Gambia in general:

1) Don't take any fancy footwear. You have to walk through a great deal of sand to get anywhere from the villa.
2) Bring plenty of insect repellent/killer. One of those 'zappers' from Boots was my absolute lifeline
3) Book activities with Arch Tours. Totally professional, punctual, courteous, friendly and all round excellent
4) When offered taxis, say 'we're walking'. When offered tours say 'we've already booked' and when offered restaurants say 'we've already eaten'. This won't always stop the bumsters, but it helps!
5) Be polite but firm. Most of the bumsters are harmless and just trying to make a living, and nice people. But some will (and did during our trip) take advantage of any friendliness and trust shown
6) If staying at accommodation without its own beach, as we were, then simply pay to use the facilities of Senegambia Beach Hotel (about £6 per day) and you'll be treated very well. You get to use their sun beds, pools etc, with waiter service.
7) You do not NEED a guide for the Monkey Park, no matter what anyone tells you

Although I sound bitter, we did have a wonderful time in The Gambia. The weather is amazing, , everything is cheap, the trips very interesting, and watching all the sex tourism interaction is most enlightening!

Room Tip: Our apartment (9) benefitted from being close enough to the free wifi!
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank vicksg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
51 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 January 2011

I spent christmas with my partner and teenager son in a two bed apartment. Most apartments are lived in so the villa doesnt advertise. Rooms and pool were cleaned daily, and excellently. Staff and the owner were friendly, helpful and totally approachable at all times of the day and night. Christmas dinner was provided as complimentary, as was transfers and trips were organised in house for the price of petrol. Satellite TV, and full kitchen meant we could cook in house if we wanted. Supermarkets are expensive!! Same cost, if not more, than the UK - beware!!
Average dinner for three with drinks in a local resturant about £20-£25. Overall i would thouroughly recommend the villas.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank k_beeBucks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cumbia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2010

recently returned from a wonderful holiday staying at Summergrove ..we were met at the airport free of charge ...Nennah and her team were fantastic... recommending restaurants, days out ... they did our laundry ... driving us everywhere and anywhere ...no problem... we were there when the volcanic ash was falling and Nennah made numerous calls daily to keep us updated with our onward journey (albeit 6 days later) but we didnt mind being stranded at the Summergrove...

we walked around the resort and looked in other hotels and had to stay in one for a few days (due to the delay with the volcano) and we know if you are planning a trip to the Gambia STAY at Summergrove ITS THE BEST THERE IS

Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank 123etheldog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Level Contributor
37 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2010

Contrary to the other people who reviewed this hotel, I stayed here during 8 days for business. My luxury room was very spacious and clean, but definitely not something I can rave about. I would have liked to have a more functional room, with a safety box, soap and shampoo, more diversity in storage, less but better-positioned light switches, etc. Since I was absent during the day, I did not see much of the personnel but realized that cleaning was done every second day. The internet was of good speed, but availability was rather intermittent.

Personally I do not find the hotel’s location very attractive, even though once you know how to get around there is no problem at all. My biggest disappointment with Summer Grove Villa was that at my arrival at midnight the promised pick-up did not show at the airport. Believe me it is not easy to find a taxi at this time in Banjul.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank HarriCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Summer Grove Villa

Property: Summer Grove Villa
Address: Banjul, Gambia
Region: Gambia > Banjul Division > Banjul
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Banjul
Number of rooms: 44

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