I spent 3 weeks at Koggala Village Hotel on a bargain trip with Mercury Direct, which gave me 2 weeks on All-Inclusive plus a 3rd week free on room only, and I didn't have to pay a single supplement, so it was an excellent value holiday. This is a 3 star hotel so I didn't expect much luxury, and although the rooms and facilities were quite plain, I found it very comfortable, with excellent staff and a delicious buffet at every meal. I had a bungalow room which faced directly onto the sea, so the view of huge crashing waves was spectacular! Unfortunately it was still the wet season so everything felt damp and occasionally rainwater flowed into my room under the door, but this was no problem as my friendly helpful room-boy was always on hand to mop it up. The restaurant upstairs was lovely with views in all directions, and a terrace where you could take your meal if you liked (weather permitting, which it often didn't!). The buffet was very generous with many different foods available - some European items such as pizza and pasta, but also a great range of Sri Lankan dishes to enjoy, including plenty of choices for vegetarians. The only problem was that it was very difficult to get drinks served in the restaurant as there was usually just one waiter serving the drinks, and he had to go downstairs to the bar to fetch each order. I found the best way was to order a drink at the bar beforehand, and carry it upstairs to the restaurant. I mentioned this problem to the staff, and was told they were about to install a fridge upstairs so drinks would be available. This will definitely improve mealtimes, if it actually happens.
There was entertainment in the restaurant every night from a 3-piece band who moved around the tables playing and singing to guests. They were very professional and played a great choice of music, both Sri Lankan songs, and also German, Russian and British music to suit guests' tastes. Apart from the band, the only other entertainment during my 3 week stay was one cultural evening, with traditional costumed dancers and a drummer, which was spectacular and very entertaining. I think entertainment of this kind should be provided at least once a week.
My room backed onto the very large swimming-pool, and there was a choice of sunbathing by the pool, or on the grassed area along the seafront, a few feet above the gorgeous sandy beach. There were plenty of sunbeds available for everyone, and I really appreciated the lovely big pool, as at this time of year the sea was too rough to swim comfortably. Altogether I found all the facilities at the hotel excellent, and ideal for a perfect holiday. It's easy to get about the area as tuktuks are always available outside the hotel, and buses go past every 5 minutes, so transport is convenient and very cheap. The town of Habaraduwa is 1km away, with local shops where you can get everything you need. There's a cheap internet cafe there too if you don't have your own smartphone, laptop etc., as using the hotel's computer is far too expensive, although wi-fi is free. Also at Habaraduwa is a money-changer who offers a better rate than banks, and FAR better than the hotel's very low rate.
There are plenty of interesting places to visit nearby, such as Martin Wickramasinghe Museum of Sri Lankan culture, just a short walk from the hotel. I also enjoyed Kathaluwa Buddhist Temple, and the Turtle Hatchery on the beach at Habaraduwa. Koggala Lake is a huge and beautiful sight, but shop around for a boat trip as the main providers charge far too much. Also in the area is the very interesting Handunugoda Tea Estate, where you can have a totally free tour of tea gardens and factory, and a tea-tasting session, plus taking tea and cake on the terrace of a beautiful bungalow. Just ask a tuktuk driver to take you to any of these places, but be sure to fix the price of the ride first! My favourite trip was the ultimate, to see real live blue whales and dolphins, not far away at Mirissa. This is definitely not to be missed!
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- Also Known As:
- Club Koggala Village Hotel Koggala
- Club Koggala Village Sri Lanka