The tropical holiday paradise of The Gambia, known in tourism circles 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 Hampshire-based Serenity Holidays trading as The Gambia Experience, together with other investors.
This winter, the tropical paradise opened two new splendid beach hotels which will not only increase bed capacity but will also raise the bar as far as standard and service are concerned.
The new facilities are both located on the white sandy shores of the Atlantic, onKotu Beach in the heart of the main resort area.
The first is a four-star facility called the SunPrime Tamala Beach– a Thomas Cooked branded hotel with 140 rooms in the first phase with a 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 Gambian promoters 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 new hotel is The African Princess Hotel, (http://africanprincesshotel.com/) built with funding from a Gambian businessman, Mr. CharbelHobeika, and his partners. Mr.Hobeika owns a local Destination Management Company called Gambia Tours. The four-star facility has 140 rooms and a villa
Built at a cost of about USD$10 million, the African Princess Beach 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”.
Mr. Hobeika and one of his partners, Mr. Freddie Blell, together own the biggest hotel in The Gambia called The Senegambia.
There is also a third but smaller jewel called the Metzy Residence Hotel (http://metzyresidence.com-hotel.website) built by Gambian entrepreneur, Mr. Pa MusaSecka. The beautiful hotel located close to Palma Rima beach has 70 large rooms and 2 apartments with balconies and each 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 in the destination 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 Kombo is also located on Kotu Beach and offers European standards to its mainly European clientele. The 3.5 star hotel 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 major UK tour operator that offers The Gambia is Olympic Travel.
For more information, please contact the operators directly or the Gambia Tourism Board office in London.
Gambia Tourism Board
57 Kensington Court
London W8 5DG
Tourism Destination Manager