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“A delight”
Review of The Wallawwa

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The Wallawwa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kotugoda
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“A delight”
Reviewed 9 November 2013

We stayed at Wallawwa for 2 nights at the end of Sri Lankan holiday. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful holiday. The hotel has maintained the elegant charm of yesteryear blended with modern facilities set in a tropical oasis.
The restaurant opens onto the lawns & gardens with really good food.
Staff are very pleasant & efficient.
Enjoyed our swims & a special treat was when the waiter (unannounced) brought us complimentary sorbets to the pool.
(husband says it is the best hotel he has stayed at - has stayed at many many hotels over the years ).

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Polly255060
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (158)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2013

On a recent trip to Sri Lanka, with a side trip to Kerala, we stayed at The Wallawwa twice. As our flight arrived into Colombo late at night, our first stay at the hotel was short — less than 10 hours before being picked up by our driver for the start of our tour of the island. But the hotel, which stands on 3 acres of gardens, made such a lovely impression we returned there one night early at the end of our holiday in order to have more time to enjoy it.
On our first night, given our late arrival and early departure the next day, we'd booked a standard room but were upgraded to a garden suite (W9), which opened onto a sloping lawn bordered with shrubs. For our return stay we booked a garden suite (W3), which was on the other side of the central water courtyard. Both rooms were spacious and nicely furnished, with built-in day beds, cool terrazzo floors and very large bathrooms. While the main building (housing guest lounges, a library room, shop and office) is an old colonial manor house around 200 years old, the wings housing the guest rooms were added when the property was turned into a hotel. The staff were all lovely, and the food in the restaurant which looks onto the gardens was very well presented. On our return visit we enjoyed spa treatments at the hands of two very experienced therapists, and also paid to use the hotel's car to take us into Colombo (about an hour's drive) to visit Geoffrey Bawa's house, which is open to tours by appointment.

Room Tip: The garden suites are larger than standard rooms, so are worth the extra expense if you're stayi...
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JoyFlight101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abergavenny, Wales, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2013

Very quiet and peaceful. The staff are extremely well trained and polite, courteous and attentive. The house and grounds are lovely and the bedrroms cool and delightful. Pool a bit chilly but beautiful sun loungers. Croquet and games for the kids.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Helen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 October 2013

The grounds and environment of this hotel are exceptional. We stayed in the Mountbatten Suite for 1 night prior to leaving Sri Lanka at the end of a 10 day visit. The room is beautiful but we were let down by the very poor service.

On arrival the reception desk was not staffed. I unloaded the bags from our vehicle and our driver left. I waited for a few minutes for someone to come and then started trying to work the phones in the back office. Eventually someone came to ask us what we wanted. Not what you expect when you are paying over $400 per night. We were then shown around our room by a "butler" who seemed oblivious to the river of water across the room caused by the A/C. I asked one of the cleaning staff if they could help with this and he and a friend arrived immediately and fixed it - they provided the best and most efficient service of our stay. One of the bulbs in the bathroom was not working either. We loved the private garden and plunge pool that came with the suite but were surprised by how dirty the loungers were and our enjoyment was curtailed by the bonfire lit outside which meant we had to leave our garden early. The smell of burning tyres was still there in the morning.

I then went to try and print out boarding passes. There was no paper or ink in the printer. I had to go to the central office 3 times to get this fixed. Four staff were in the office. The first time a lady answered the door quite quickly and asked another staff member to fix things but they didnt. On the 2 subsequent occasions I had to knock 3 times before anyone even looked up from their desks (there is a glass door so it isn't as though they couldn't see me!). I suspect I was interrupting busy people but it wasn't clear where else to get help.

The food in the restaurant was good and the kitchen clean and efficient. The waiters were however poorly trained. They were very helpful and pleasant but didn't know what they were doing. At lunch we sat down and ordered. The waiter needed to go to the kitchen 5 times to find out if food was available (it was) and then brought us the wrong thing despite me correcting him 3 times and pointing at the menu. The first thing to arrive were our drinks which took 45 minutes to arrive (4 lime sodas!).

After dinner (also excellent but with very slow service) we were offered the opportunity to pay the bill for our whole stay which I did but our waiter didn't know how to use the credit card machine. After breakfast I said to one of the red shirted staff (butlers I think) that we were leaving - they said goodbye and didn't offer to help with the bags. I therefore went down with my family to the transport booked for the airport and a member of staff came running down just as I was dragging the bags back to the car. I pointed out that the lack of staff at reception on arrival and departure made the hotel seem unwelcoming. He told me they dont staff reception and he would "pass my message on". I suggest the staff in the main office take turns greeting guests unless of course they are too senior for this.

Overall this is one of the most beautiful hotels I have been to and the food is good. Food service is slow which I can understand as everything is freshly cooked. I cant understand why 30 minutes was the quickest it took for drinks to arrive. The staff (with the exception of the staff in the main office) are friendly and kind but its clear they are poorly lead. They are insufficiently trained and the reception and departure arrangements are incompetent and leave you feeling cheated and unwelcome.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank JamesC43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheWallawwa, Managing Director at The Wallawwa, responded to this review, 1 November 2013
Dear Sir,
Thank you for your review. Though we're disappointed to be rated as a '3 out of 5', the feedback provided helps us to improve and we appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with other Trip Advisor users.

As mentioned to you in my email, we have taken all of your points on board and will make improvements to our service levels where necessary. Although it is no excuse, we were short staffed in our Welcome Pavilion on the day of your arrival and this seems to have affected the friendly welcome and departure every guest usually receives.

I hope you had a fantastic time in Sri Lanka and that we may have the opportunity to welcome you back to The Wallawwa in the future to see how we’ve improved.

Warm regards,
Henry

Henry Fitch
Managing Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, UK
Level Contributor
56 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 October 2013

My husband and I stayed here one night after arriving in Sri Lanka as part of a 16 day tour booked via Red Dot Tours and we wish we had come back the end of our trip! The hotel was beautiful and there were lots of little thoughtful gestures in the room. Our room was spacious and very comfortable and the breakfast was absolutely gorgeous...the best I had on the whole trip. We did not get time to explore the pool or spa, but wish we had organised to go back the end of our tour....maybe next time!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Trinibelini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 October 2013

...the place was really attractive, the rooms were large and well-equipped, and the food was top-notch, but the whole place was full of screaming children. Even the spa, which otherwise looked very inviting, had an obnoxious eleven year old blowing out the candles.

I know it is the fault of their ineffective parents, and not the hotel, and other reviews suggest that we were unlucky and it sometimes really is 'lush and peaceful', but for 250 USD a night, I wouldn't run the risk again.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mattthematelot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheWallawwa, Managing Director at The Wallawwa, responded to this review, 29 October 2013
Dear Guest,
Thank you for your feedback via Trip Advisor.

We are, however, extremely disappointed to receive the low score you have given, but are glad to see that you found everything that we provided to your satisfaction.

That said, we’re sorry you were disturbed by other guests’ children. As you suggest, I’m afraid there’s not a huge amount we can do to control children while they are with us - and to not allow families would be unfair on the vast majority we have to stay who have very well behaved offspring.

I’m sure, had you voiced your disapproval at the time of your stay, a member of the team would have either tried to accommodate you in a quieter area of the hotel or could have asked the children to keep the volume down.

If you have any further feedback as to how you feel we can improve, or could have dealt with the matter at the time, please do contact me directly on henry@thewallawwa.com
Warm regards,
Henry

Henry Fitch
Managing Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 20 October 2013

We stayed here at the beginning and the end of our Sri Lankan holiday.
A fantastic way to start, fabulous surroundings and rooms and service made our arrival (and jet lag) into Sri Lanka dissolve easily.
The surrounds were lush and peaceful, but with the pool, friendly staff and amenities also made us feel at home with our 4 year old.
The perfect place either for couples or families.
Location close to the airport made it a great start and finish point, but did not feel like a "stop off point".
Would recommend to anyone flying in or out - or to stay for a few days.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rowang345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Wallawwa

Property: The Wallawwa
Address: Minuwangoda Road | Nr Ja-Ela & Bandaranaike Int Airport, Kotugoda, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Kotugoda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Kotugoda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Wallawwa 5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Wallawwa was once the country estate of the head chieftan of Galle. It is now home to The Wallawwa, Sri Lanka's first and only boutique airport hotel. Perfectly situated and designed to welcome weary travelers in style and seclusion. Just 15 minutes from Colombo airport and within touching distance of Colombo, there is now no reason to take on long car journeys after arriving at the airport. Join us, sit back and relax at the Z spa or at the Verandah restaurant and start or finish your holiday in heavenly luxury. A 17 room private boutique hotel, restaurant, spa and gardens. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Wallawwa Hotel Kotugoda
Wallawwa Hotel Colombo
Wallawwa Boutique Hotel Colombo
The Wallawwa Sri Lanka/Kotugoda

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