Rated 1 out of 5 by Fronkle New Senior Management Required
As a seasoned traveller, I have experienced many fine hotels. Sadly, The Sheraton Gambia is not one of them. The problem here is one of a lack of execution. This is not a "mom and pop" operation and as such there is no excuse for the poor logistics employed within this establishment.
This is not a critique of the employees themselves. All junior operational staff are extremely friendly and helpful. Sadly, senior management do not appear to have any active presence in this establishment.
a) Check-in: I expect to see head of house at check-in, especially on Fridays which are big change over days. Yet, on arrival there is not even a welcoming drink available. Check in staff are not aware that I am SPG Gold, so I am requested to re-enter all the check-in details manually.
b) Food: The biggest problem of this hotel. The lack of variety of the food available in the "all inclusive" package, combined with the glaring omissions cause me to recommend that you avoid this option as most things that you expect to be inclusive are not.
Breakfast has no common fruit juices. No apple, orange or grapefruit. Only 2 types of fruit available ever: watermelon and honeydew melon. No bread other than trash white sliced. Bacon is slimy, greasy. This place does not know what a grill is. There is no grilled food ever. Everything swims in some type of stew sauce, which is a shame because there is plenty of great fish around, just always boiled in some way. Breakfast sausages ran out on Thursday and did not reappear before I left Friday.
Lunch is the same salad selection as dinner, with very little variety. No cold sliced meats other than breakfast. No sliced cheese ever. Incorrect cheese in what is supposed to be the Greek salad as they have never obviously heard of feta. No french fries available other than for lunch on one day in 7. No burgers on the barbeque for lunch other than one day in 7. However BBQ liver is available, which is somebody's idea of a joke, I guess.
No apples, no oranges, no grapefruits......no lemons, no limes......
No shellfish ever. No prawns ever. No salmon. No sandwiches available on the all inclusive. One white and red Italian wine available in all inclusive (10% alcohol and I am talking turpentine here). Wine for sale is expensive. Yellow Tail (£4.99 at Tesco) sells for about £20/bottle at the hotel. Only 5 or 6 cocktails available on all inclusive. No hard drinks available on all inclusive. No liquers available on all inclusive. Only one type of local beer available on all inclusive.
No steak. No grilled fish. No egg salad. No hot dogs ever, no spare ribs ever....No snacks at the bar, i.e. no chips or crisps or pretzels or cheese puffs...I will now stop on the food before I cry.
Gym & Spa: I normally like to use the gym when I go away to stop from gaining weight after enjoying all the food. However, my first visit to the gym noted that both rowing machines were out of order for numerous faults (broken foot straps, dead batteries, broken arms) and obviously had been for some time. One tread mill out of 3 stayed out of operation during my entire stay. Towels were only available from desk staff that were never at their post.
Huge abandoned hair salon dwelt within the premises. Obviously a failed idea and the space was left to rot away in a dismal dark condition. External spa beds were cracked and foam exposed.
Steam room was out of order and in a bad state of repair, with outer door warped and unable to close properly. Dry sauna was usually shut down, but could be made operational if staff could be located and you were willing to wait 20 minutes for it to heat up. Woodwork in sauna was at the end of its life, and as such dry, brittle and coming away from the walls. Outer door warped and not closing properly. Rubber seals clipped at edges to remove rotted bits. No emergency alarm in sauna. (Be careful, it gets hot in there when running).
Room: I had a deluxe beach Beobob room, so expected a high standard. However.......No screens on patio doors, so unable to sleep with fresh air or sounds of the sea. Despite Sat TV available in lobby with many channels available, only 9 - 10 channels in room (3 or 4 in English with poor sound on one).
WiFi in room was very poor and not useable for business purposes. The Netgear routers do not appear to like playing with Apple iPhones so struggled to remain connected. Watching a film online was not possible for me as I kept losing connection. IT was unable to resolve the problem.
Very basic selection of bar soap and shampoo. Such a shame, as locally produced soap seemed widely available but management prefers to supply dinky standard mini pucks instead.
Wattage of standard energy saving lights in room were very bright, with no rheostat available to turn down. So if your partner likes to read with their sidelight on, bring a facemask, you'll need it.
No watersports available near site, so forget that. Very nice beach though. Plenty of lounge chairs. Pool is chlorinated once a day and in the evening, so when I arrived and took a late dip, beware of the chlorine level.
There were other things that hit me on arrival that were attended to quickly once I mentioned them. Still, they served as an indication of the management's poor attention to detail. The flag of the host nation was in tatters and the Sheraton flag had the washed out colour of a dishrag. As the flags are the first thing you see, it was remarkable to me that these were in such poor condition. In fairness, these had been magically replaced within 24 hours of my comment to reception.
As you enter the hotel, there are numerous certificates on the walls attesting to the excellence of this establishment. Are they deserved? I think you know what I think.
If the General Manager, Helga ever bothers to read this, I would recommend that she visits some of the proper holiday hotels based in the Caribbean in order to understand what a good hotel does to make their guests feel special. This is a Sheraton, so I will not accept excuses of ignorance in not knowing how to run a world standard holiday hotel.
The Gambia is a great country. I felt safe there. The people and junior hotel staff were wonderful. The Gambia is currently having to deal with the challenge of the West African outbreak of communicable disease that is not present in The Gambia. That is why I came. I am happy I went and want to return. If the Sheraton get around to running this hotel properly, I may even consider going back there.
Good luck to them. Please let me know if things change.
Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
February 22, 2015
Rated 3 out of 5 by bill1939 great sea veiws
milk for tea needed in room,room service menu required,jaded decor in room and around hotel,a la carte menu has no variation buffet meal has no means of being kept warm as no heaters under dishes wind breakers and better lighting reuired when evening meals are served outsid signposting for rooms and faci;ities inadequet guest should be made aware that there is a lot of steps on site
February 11, 2015
Rated 2 out of 5 by Matt1103 Bad Service
Everybody has an own view on tips for service. In case of this Sheraton hotel, be absolutely aware that the hotel staff will provide "no service" or "very bad service" if you do not tip them for every action they take. That goes for the cleaning lady, to the guy serving coffee at breakfast and the poolboy. Not tipping or not tipping enough actually results in unfriendly behaviour of the staff. This Sheraton does not maintain a minimum level of service that goes with a five star rating and price. Nor belongs to the brandname of Sheraton.
January 14, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Julie7014 A welcome return to the smiling coast!!
After a very stressful 2013 my husband and I decided to visit the Sheraton once more as we both wanted a relaxing and uncomplicated holiday. On arrival at the Sheraton on 3rd January, exactly the same time as last year. It was like coming home! We were welcomed with open arms by Francois and the rest of the staff on reception. We were shown to our room within minutes and once again it was a beautiful palm beach room with the sea just a stones throw away! It was lovely to see so many of the staff had been retained from the previous year., Maire with her radiant smile, Chris with his great sense of humour, Mohammed and Forday from the bar and Dtinnue, who is responsible for the great guest activities, to name but a few of the excellent staff! The food and wine was up to its usual high standard, all freshly cooked and prepared with a huge choice, all prepared under the watchful eye of the french head chef, Laurant, who once again excelled himself when cooking my favorite, Lobster! All in all it was an excellent holiday and just what we needed and I personally wouldnt hesitate to recommend this hotel to our family and friends.
It must be remembered though that this is Africa, and sometimes things do lack the polish and sophistication of perhaps some of the Carribean islands, but to be honest, too much polish would ruin what is the natural ambient beauty of a wonderful country.
With our thanks to you all, Julie & Chris 'S'
January 29, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Hatasisay Dr.
Great location, wonderful food excellent and excellent customer service. The artwork was extraordinary. I enjoyed my stay with the Sheraton Gambia. Keep up the great work.
August 14, 2013
Rated 1 out of 5 by abraham stay
never recognize at all what so ever with my platinum status.My room was dirty ,aircondition did not work,no amenities at all(soap&shampoo),sewage flowing in fron of my room,mosqitos in the room,bad breakfast ,bad service from ALL STAFF member,low qulity food at dinner.
March 19, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Lelpune A Fabulous Stay
Just returned from Sheraton Gambia, after a weeks stay. Absolute paradise! The hotel is situated on a beautiful private beach. All rooms have a fabulous sea view. The hotel is designed in the style of an African village ( looking a little more North African than West African, I think). The staff are very friendly and helpful, without being over bearing. Rooms are clean and well equipped. The food is delicious...and so much choice! The Manager of this hotel is to be highly commended, as are all the staff, from the gardeners, to the pool boys, cleaners, waiters, chefs security guards, and reception staff. My ideal holiday also includes birdwatching, and I was not disappointed! The hotel grounds are teeming with bird life, and it is not far from Lamin Lodge (a birdwatching paradise set in the mangroves), or Abuku Nature Reserve. If you want expert help with identifying the birds, or birdwatching trips arranged,, speak to 'Doctor Owl', the hotel's resident bird expert. He is usually available during the afternoons, to the right of the pool bar, and has a telescope set up, bird books and binoculars. I am already planning my return trip.
February 26, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Happy A superb holiday
A most enjoyable, friendly, relaxed stay.
Lovely people and very helpful staff from security to reception, without exception
March 4, 2013