What We Think
The Bakotu Hotel has been a firm favourite of our guests and BBC presenter Chris Packham for many years, mainly thanks to the warm welcome the staff provide and the fantastic birdwatching opportunities available within the hotel's lush gardens. It is also in a good location close to the beach and there are a couple of other hotels, small restaurants, beach bars and a craft market nearby.
The hotel provides a peaceful sanctuary for those looking for a quiet relaxing holiday, with no loud music or organised pool games to disturb the tranquillity, except for an occasional visit from local cultural entertainers. There is also a birdwatching deck overlooking Kotu stream which is a perfect location to spot a wide variety of birdlife, enjoyable even for amateur twitchers!
The simple yet comfortable rooms are located throughout the lovingly tended, mature tropical gardens and, although they are all furnished to the same standard, the decor varies from room to room. Family rooms with additional bunk beds are available and a limited number of rooms have air-conditioning which is available at a supplement; these can be booked in advance exclusively by Gambia Experience guests to ensure availability.
Once again, we have arranged for your choice of cooked breakfast or other hot dish from the à la carte breakfast menu to be included in the price of your holiday, in addition to the basic continental breakfast provided. For dinner Captain's Table, the hotel's à la carte restaurant, is very popular and enjoys a good reputation for evening food, especially its shrimp specials. There is also a pool bar, plus a second restaurant on their hotel frontage adding to the increased choice of places to eat and drink in the area -one main dish is included at Captain's Table weekly for guests staying on a half board basis. The hotel also has its own mini-market for your convenience. With the Kombo Beach and Bungalow Beach hotels nearby, plus a couple of further beach bars, Kotu is becoming a busier area during the day and evening but remains quiet in comparison to the nearby resort of Kololi.
Although Bakotu is not directly on the beach, the welcoming sand is only 100 metres away and can be reached by strolling through the craft market. The time this takes will depend on the amount of bartering and shopping undertaken en route!
Bakotu has been chosen by BBC Springwatch/Autumnwatch presenter and ornithologist Chris Packham as the base for his birdwatching tours for several years, and the hotel is a real treat for nature lovers with its visiting monkeys and monitor lizards, plus the resident giant tortoise and her offspring wandering around the lush gardens. To quote Chris: 'I love Bakotu because it feels like a home from home - the friendly, family atmosphere, the wonderful lush gardens so good for birdwatching, the excellent restaurant... Essentially, its the perfect place for me and my family and I wouldn't think of going anywhere else'. Chris will be returning to Bakotu in February 2014 and places on his tours are proving very popular once again.