Sheraton Gambia

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by SirRagnar, Feb 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. SirRagnar
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    SirRagnar Silver Member

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    Warning: This is a rather long review of the Sheraton Gambia Resort and Spa and it is not very positive.

    I'm just back from a week vacation in The Gambia, that I took with my brother and for 2 of the nights we stayed at the Sheraton Gambia Resort and Spa in a points and cash stay. Here is my thoughts on this hotel;

    Check-in time at the hotel says 3.30 pm and we arrived at the hotel around 3.30 pm. First impression was good, but boy, was it about to change.
    As an SPG Gold I asked if there was any upgrade possibility and we were told we had already been upgraded to one of their best room. Very nice we thought. It turned out that upgrade was not an upgrade and we had in fact gotten the same room as we booked (Deluxe Sunset Baobab room). Either way, this was acceptable, as I know the upgrades are always a hit and miss for a Gold member like me.

    The room was not ready when we came (although it was 3.45pm by the time we were done with the check-in), so we were asked to go to the bar to get a drink meanwhile and they would come get us in 5 minutes. 5 minutes went, but we thought, "Hey, this is Africa", so we gave it another 30 minutes before we decided to ask if it was ready. And by chance it had just become ready in the very same minute we asked (if we should believe the receptionist :)).
    A nice gentleman escorted us to the room which turned out to have a queen bed and not the twin beds we had ordered. (As mentioned I traveled with my brother and we are not THAT close that we will share one duvet).
    I went back and told him about the mistake, but he said they didn't have any other room so we would have to come back in the morning to ask if there was a new room. That seemed odd considering there wasn't a whole lot of people in the hotel, but who were we to tell if they had another room or not.
    Instead we asked for an extra duvet so my brother could sleep on the couch - and we asked again - and we asked again. We asked in total 4 times before someone finally came with a duvet around 23pm. This should prove to be standard procedure whenever you asked for anything at this resort - not what you would expect from a 5* hotel bearing the Sheraton name.

    Either ways, we enjoyed the room and the facilities are flawless. Very nice resort with a nice pool area, which you can see here:

    DSC00122.jpg

    The resort had only one restaurant, which seemed a bit odd for a resort this size. What was worse though, was that this restaurant was very poor. I know this is Africa, but we had just spent 4 nights in Senegambia Beach Hotel, which is on paper a lower grade hotel (in reality I would always take this over the Sheraton Gambia), so we knew the Gambians could easily cook decent food.

    The service was extremely slow in the restaurant as well as the bar - and I mean extremely slow. I timed it when I ordered a cocktail consiting of Mango juice, Pineapple juice and Rhum - it took 23 minutes to get those two drinks and I was practically the only one in the bar!

    In the restaurant you usually had to wait anything from 45-60 minutes for even a simple thing as a pizza and mind you, most the guests in the hotel were all-inclusive so took from the buffet (we only did once, it was terrible and unhygienic). That meant the numerous waiters and cooks we could see wander around had nothing really to do, so a pizza should not take 55 minutes as it did when we tried that. The pizza was half decent though.
    It should also be mentioned that several people got sick with stomach bug from eating the buffet - myself including and we even only ate of it once. The food was under-heated and recycled for lunch, dinner and then again later the next day.
    Oh and the bill; Not a single time did the bill come the first time we asked, they always forgot it so we had to ask 2-3 times everytime.

    Entertainment in the evening was boring, we were only there for 3 days (we left around 22pm the last day) and it was the same African dancers entertaining for an hour followed by the same karaoke with sub-par Italians and drunken brits. We're glad we didn't stay for more than 2 nights - I pity the people that stayed for 14 days. This hotel is located 15 minutes by taxi from the Senegambia hot spots (by the way, don't take the hotel taxis there - they charge 4 times as much as a normal yellow taxi).

    While we were there we wondered if we had just been unlucky with the service, but it would seem not. Twice did we witness very angry people complaining in BIG words at the reception - and it was not like we were just hanging around in the reception, so it's likely frequent. Both of them complained about extreme slowness of service and about having to ask 4-5 times for simple things as towels.
    We also talked to a British couple and a Dutch couple of both of them also mentioned the ridiculous service level.
    There were plenty of staff members, but none of them were well trained so no one really knew what to do, which is a shame because it spoils the nice facilities.

    This hotel is extremely poorly managed and it does not deserve the Sheraton name. I wonder why they are allowed to use that name.
    I would rate the resort facilities as 4 stars and the service level as 1-2 stars. I have had much better service in hostels.
    Overall, don't take this hotel. It is remote, poorly managed, food is unsafe and it is just as expensive as a Sheraton Resort anywhere else in the world.

    That being said, The Gambia is a lovely country and I would definitely go back - but never again to the Sheraton though. Even though I am a point-whore so I hate to sleep somewhere I don't get points for - I would take the Senegambia Beach Hotel which is half the price and 10 times the service.
     

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