Palm Beach Hotel

The Palm Beach Hotel is a unique and exotic holiday destination on Gambia's world famous golden coastline. It consists of a handful of buildings dispersed among tropical gardens in what amounts to an ornithological paradise. This secluded location, 20 minutes from the capital Banjul and close to the beach at Kotu is within easy reach of both shops and restaurants. The hotel offers a distinct blend of traditional yet simple accommodation where the visitor can relax and enjoy Gambian hospitality while taking in the stunning sea views.

Kotu lies at the heart of the country's tourist industry and attracts large numbers of young people, particularly in the evening and at weekends. The hotels are located on the beach set back from the coastal road while the Palm Beach resort rests beside a creek to which access is gained by the lower bridge. This area, 65 square km, is largely un-developed with only a single dirt free trail leading to Kololi. It is at times prone to flooding but affords unmatched opportunities for ornithologists. Kotu Beach itself bounded by lush green palm trees constitutes a decent size, the sand is soft and white and the water clean. It varies from still calm to choppy but is shallow up to 30m off shore then drops sharply, waves break 200-300m out and the shore break to surf is flat.

There are plenty of bars, night clubs, casinos and several international standard restaurants as well as an 18 holes golf course, most of them immediately adjacent to the local hotel resorts. Boss Lady is an open air restaurant and cafe and a great place to sample real Gambian food, the Jewel of India provides excellent value for money and quality food in cosy surroundings, while Dominos is open 24/7 during the season. The Tiger Tiger, Paradise Beach Bar and the Blue Parrot are all to be found in the vicinity. Travel closer to Fajara and you come across Elite's Club, a first class restaurant and nightclub, which sits on the beach and affords a stunning ocean panorama.

For those who prefer a little light shopping Kotu Bendula Craft Market (BB Market) which was started in 1975 is held at the entrance to the Kotu beach. Circular in shape, it sells all sorts of tourist trinkets and souvenirs ranging from African drums to local jewellery. A host of women traders sell mangos, bananas and other tropical fruits on stalls. It represents a great opportunity to buy traditional goods and produce and to put some of the "tourist dollar" back into the local economy.

The area has a rich natural environment, a haven for both resident and migratory birds such as the Long Tailed Cormorant and the Whimbrel, particularly around the palm trees, swamps and water creeks. Visitors can take in a river or mangrove safari, experience the culture, enjoy the empty beeches, go and explore the capital Banjul and the nearby local towns. There is also an enormous range of physical activities to suit all tastes from deep sea fishing to horse riding and quad bike riding. You can even view the Gambia from the sky in a piloted micro light plane. In addition Fajara golf course has a complex of squash and tennis courts that are open to tourists.

The Palm Beach Hotel is under thirty minutes transfer time from Yundum international airport. It has 160 twin rooms all of which offer air conditioning, satellite TV, shower room, balcony or terrace and fridges can be hired on request. There is no shortage of opportunities to have a meal in the main restaurant or simply grab a bight to eat or drink in one of the many bars (the piano bar, the El Dorado beach bar and restaurant or the pool bar). The hotel also has an excellent range of entertainment and leisure facilities. These encompass; a swimming pool, free sun loungers, 24 hour reception, table tennis, internet cafe, a gift shop and a full entertainment programme including a disco. The tariff is based on bed and breakfast accommodation with two people sharing.

In terms of getting around, if you choose to travel or explore the back country by bicycle these can be rented just outside the hotel. Taxis are available from Badala Park or Palma Rima junction to London Corner in Serrekunda. The Gambia is an English speaking former British colony in West Africa less than six hours flying time from London with the extra bonus of having no time difference.

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