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“Summer Grove Villa”
Review of Summer Grove Villa

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Summer Grove Villa
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Banjul
Reviewed 5 May 2012

What a great place for a family holiday if you're bored of the usual hotels. The apartments are very spacious and spotlessly clean. Neneh is great and was extremely helpful and accommodating. One word of warning, the largest three bedroom apartments have a tiny balcony and the two bedroom apartments have a huge balcony, doesn't really make much sense and we actually moved apartments because of it - Neneh sorted this out with no problem. There is 24 hour security and the guards are great - very helpful and always smiling. It is located close to the Senegambia strip but is in a quiet location, so it has the best of both worlds. We will be back I'm sure.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Blewy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank piptid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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!
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank vicksg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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Thank k_beeBucks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
3  Thank 123etheldog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 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
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Thank HarriCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2010

We have just returned from a wonderful holiday in The Gambia. We stayed in a Two Bedroomed Apartment at Summergrove Villas in Kololi.
We were met at Banjul Airport by one of Summergrove's drivers (this service is included in the price) and driven to Summergrove where we were met by Neneh the lovely manager.
Our Apartment was really beautiful, very clean and spacious, ideal for my husband, two grown up children (in their 30's) and myself.
Our Apartment was cleaned every day by a lovely young man named Babou, who also brought us clean towels every morning(.Babou carved a gift for us and gave it to us before we returned home)
Breakfast was available every day from 8 am until 2 pm if required (extra charge) and there was a bar area which was well stocked with bottled water, soft drinks, beers and spirits.
You served your self and wrote down every thing in the "Honesty" book and paid for your drinks at the end of your stay.
Summergrove has 22 units ranging from 3 Bedroomed Apartments down to studios with air conditioning and ceiling fans, within a gated complex, with a security guard 24 hours a day ( although this is not needed as the crime rate in the Gambia is 0.04% )
We met Jim the owner while we were there, who is a lovely guy and very helpful.
Neneh's father was visiting while we were staying there and we were all invited to a meal that she had cooked.
The weather was glorious all week with not a cloud in the sky.
Summergrove is very central to the beach (about 10/15 minutes walk ) and the senegambia strip( where all the Restaurants are) The food is excellent.
We spent a lot of time around the lovely pool at Summergrove, the beach is pretty,but the sea has strong undercurrents which makes swimming very difficult.
You may have heard a lot about Bumsters and I must admit I was a bit nervous after reading about them before we left, but there was not a problem with them at all, yes, you are approached, but just a " No Thank you " was sufficient and they left you alone.
The Gambian people are lovely and the most friendliest people we have ever met, they are always smiling even though they so poor.
There are some people that will try to rip you off, but you have to use your common sense and see through the scams.
We went to the monkey park while we were there (10 minutes walk) with a local guide and lots of peanuts, it was great fun, as the monkeys will come and take the peanuts out of your hand.
We also did two full day tours while we were there with ARCH- tours which are excellent ( they are next door to Safe-way supermarket on the senegambia strip.)
These tours were amazing, we did Roots by Boat, to the village where Kunta Kinteh lived before he was captured and taken into slavery and where his descendants still live today.
The second tour was by jeep, on this day we went to a few villages and a school and saw how the real Gambian people live, the poverty is terrible. It was very thought provoking.
We had an amazing holiday and hope to go back to Summergrove again next year.
We would highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank loveroftravel48
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

Address: Banjul, Gambia
Region: Gambia > Banjul Division > Banjul
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Banjul
Number of rooms: 44

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