Article by Kathryn Burrington, the Gambian specialist for Fleewinter, a UK based tour operator offering tailor-made holidays & expert advice.
 

This stylish, contemporary hotel is in a stunning location overlooking a secluded golden sand beach. With just five double rooms, one suite and an adult-only policy, Leo’s Beach Hotel is a tranquil haven.

 

Meet Nina and Alois at home in The Gambia

The Austrian owners, Nina and Alois, left their careers in publishing to build their dream home with a small, family-run hotel attached. They invite you to experience it with them. I loved the calm atmosphere here and the views out to sea. Nina and Alois are charming and, together with their staff, will work hard to make sure that you have the perfect holiday.

Each of the five double bedrooms is spacious and light. They are simply furnished yet with all the usual modern conveniences you would expect to find. Each room has a balcony looking out across the pool to the gardens and ocean beyond. The suite has a large living area and separate bedroom. However, the balcony does not directly face the sea.

The pool is the focal point of the garden. One of my favourite touches is the Jacuzzi corner in the pool. There’s a tabletop in the middle with two buttons. One turns on the Jacuzzi and the other summons a waiter – my kind of pool!

The restaurant at Leo’s Beach Hotel offers just a small choice of beautifully prepared dishes, made with fresh, local produce. It’s popular with the local ex-pat community.

Leos Beach Hotel pool view
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There’s a spacious garden with sunbeds under shade-giving palm trees. Steps lead down to a short sandy path that will guide you through more palm trees to the beach. It’s a vast expanse of sand with barely a soul in sight and the perfect setting for a romantic walk at sunset.

Leos Beach Hotel, The Gambia
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Sustainability at Leo’s Beach Hotel

When designing their dream hotel, sustainability and the impact they might have on the environment and the local community was of utmost importance. Under the guidance of the young Austrian architect Angelika Mitterer, Leo’s Beach Hotel was planned to make the most of natural ventilation and shading. All the energy requirements of the hotel, including the air-conditioning, are met using a photovoltaic solar power system.

Local carpenters, including those from the SOS-Children’s Village training centre, made all the wooden furniture found throughout the hotel.

Leo’s Beach Hotel location

Leo’s is located in a quiet area of Brufut, about a 30-minute transfer from the airport. The country’s busiest tourist resort, Kololi, however, with its many restaurants, nightlife and shop,s is just a ten-minute taxi ride away. The nearby fishing village of Tanji is well worth visiting to watch the colourful pirogues returning with their catch. Tanji Bird Reserve, a popular site for birdwatchers, is just a ten-minute drive away.

For more information about tailor-made holidays to The Gambia visit Fleewinter.

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