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which hotel,which beach?????????????

london
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which hotel,which beach?????????????

Hi All

It looks like we may be going to SL this August, The two hotels I’m looking at are Browns and Neptune. Now I’ve read a lot of posts on the forum to glean as much info as possible, but like most people I have some questions!

Browns is closer to the airport and from what I read closer to town, Neptune has better reviews but the journey looks like 3+ hours from the airport.. Which hotel in your opinion is better, we are a family of five (three teenage daughters). Also is one beach better than the other? I understand swimming may be a little risky, the girls do love to swim so is it possible? They are all very good swimmers. Lastly is there a good hotel on a beach that is safe for swimming that won’t break the bank? And is not too far from the airport?

Thanks in advance

Peter

Colombo
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1. Re: which hotel,which beach?????????????

Hi Peter,

During this period of the year i don't think swimming in the sea around Negombo & Beruwala both are not advisable.If you are that interested in swimming in the sea the only beach comes to my mind is Polhena beach near Matara which is about 160 kilometers away from colombo. All of your requirements cannot be fulfilled from a one place.That is what i can say.

Nishantha

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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for Sri Lanka
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2. Re: which hotel,which beach?????????????

Hi Peter,

We haven't been in those particular hotels but HAVE been in Negombo and Beruwela, even 2 weeks back. So some general answers:

* Indeed Negombo has more of a 'tourist ecosystem', with restaurants and shops at walking distance from many hotels, than Beruwela. At Neptune you often need a tuktuk if you want to venture out.

* The beach of Beruwela is a lot better than that of Negombo. Negombo area is basically stony black beaches which have artifically been transformed to yellow sand, but only a thin area. Beruwela the sand goes for meters and meters till the hotel and for miles and miles wide...

* Bathing is possible, swimming NOT in August. Too strong undercurrents in the sea in both areas. However near both Negombo and Beruwela are lagoons, here of course swimming is very safe - but might be a tuktuk ride from each hotel.

* Beruwela is this 3 hours transfer, Negombo 30 mins. Can't help...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

london
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3. Re: which hotel,which beach?????????????

Many thanks for the reply, I thought the swimming bit would be a no no.

I have been trawling through and found :Unawatuna Beach Resort near Galle, the reviews on here are not good, does anyone have any knowlege of the hotel and beach I understand it have a reef which may make it safe for swimming

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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for Sri Lanka
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4. Re: which hotel,which beach?????????????

Hi again Peter,

Was there 2 weeks ago (in a cheaper guesthouse next door). Yep, just like Polhena the swimming _is_ safe there year round due to the coral reef. And just like Negombo there are plenty of restaurants and shops at walking distance, including two good veggie restaurants next to each other (yummy!). Last fall we had family staying at UBR hotel and they found it solid 2-star quality, quite like Neptune and Browns Beach.

Only downside: another extra 2 hours drive, from airport it's around 4-5 hours to there. Only the typically non-budget travellers can take a local flight to nearby Koggala, once a day, with Srilankan air taxi.

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

london
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5. Re: which hotel,which beach?????????????

Hi Eric

Very frustrating!!!!!!

if only it was closer.

It seems I can't have my cake and eat it! I think Browns will be the final choice mainly because it's closer to the town offering more chioce( things to see do and buy). Also I belive it will be more central for day trips out.

How much do you think the trip to the elephant orphanage should cost and time to do the journey?

Peter

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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for Sri Lanka
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6. Re: which hotel,which beach?????????????

Okay, it's your cake...

From Negombo indeed Pinawela is closest, around 100 km. That translates into around a 2.5 hours ride. And a top-end price, based on Rs 30 per km, of Rs 6000 for a sedan (with 5 people probably a minivan is better, maybe Rs 7000-8000?). With bargaining and comparing you _can_ get lower prices but sometimes lower quality: e.g. non-AC car or driver with bad English and no tourist board certificate.

Have fun,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

london
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7. Re: which hotel,which beach?????????????

Many thanks for evryones input. I just wish browns had a better beach,Like most things in life a compromise must be done!

Best wishes to all

Peter

Ahungalla, Sri Lanka
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for Sri Lanka, Kalutara, Ahungalla
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8. Re: which hotel,which beach?????????????

Hi Peter

Maybe my turn now??

Out of all hotels mentioned, Browns Beach, Neptune, and Unawatuna Beach resort, in my opinion the best is without a doubt.........

NEPTUNE!!

Ok so swimming from beach , as Erik and Nishantha have correctly said Neptune and Browns are NOT recommended due to weather conditions and strong undercurrents at both, and Una would be ok on this, but...... UBR is not in the same quality at all as Neptune, in fact no where near it!!., although beach is of course better.

Forget about the journey, you will be tired anyway after the flight, and most probably like most people (including me) you will tend to "Nod Off", so go for the better quailty for your 2 week holiday, and that is without a doubt Neptune!!

Beach wise?, Neptune has the much better one of the two between Browns & Neptune, much cleaner too for a start, also more hotels in and around Neptune, so scope for going walkies to visit them. .

Forget about Polhena, no All Inclusive hotels there at all, and i am guessing that being a family, this would be your preferred choice?

Regards

Dave

london
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9. Re: which hotel,which beach?????????????

Dave

I must admit for dithering over this, I have to agree the reviews are better for neptune.

every holiday I've been on so far,the transportation to the hotel has benn on a coach laid on by the tour opporator. on this trip i'll probably use mercury direct. would I be able to cut the journey time down if i use a private mini van with driver and if so by how much.

another question?

Paradise Island, Aluthgama. It looks great, does anyone have any info to travel times and or info of surrounding area?

Peter

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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10. Re: which hotel,which beach?????????????

Hi again,

No - minivan will hardly help, assuming that the bus/van of the tour operator solely serves Neptune and no other stops. The roads are same for both...

Aluthgama is basically Bentota; can't find this specific hotel but a few hotels (e.g. Club Bentota, Ceysands and Robinson Club) are on 'Paradise Island' which is the Bentota peninsula stretching 2 km along the river/coast across Aluthgama.

The area combines the good sides of Beruwela and Negombo: good 'ecosystem' (restaurants and shops at walking distance) and good sandy beaches. After all it's only 5 km south of Beruwela so landscape is same...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya] - still sticking to UBR having equal quality as western 3/4-star resorts! ;-)