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All reviewsbrook boutiquesri lankaswimming poolthe main roadhidden gemkaraoke roommouth wateringhis wifelong driveremote locationpersonalized servicespacious roommust visit placehave a good timejunglechefplantation
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Reviewed 23 June 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Brook Boutique Hotel for 11 nights in November 2012. We had been in Sri Lanka before and visited the heritage sites then, but this time, I had recently undergone an operation on my foot and my mobility was limited, as was my husband's due to a trapped nerve, so we needed a hotel where we could relax and be pampered.
We couldn't have found anywhere in the world that would have looked after us better than they did at the Brook. The owners, Karen and Pubudu, have picked the most wonderful staff who follow their friendly, caring and efficient example. Nothing is too much trouble. When we sat relaxing in the air conditioned lounge, they would quietly come in from time to time to see if we needed anything. Likewise, the chef would ask what we would like to eat in the evening, or would help us decide if we asked. The food was always superb and beautifully presented, with an excellent selection of wines available. The breakfasts were also fantastic, with fresh homemade cakes and pastries, cooked breakfast and Sri Lankan choices, or all of them if you could manage it. We never could. Karen and Pubudu greet all newly arrived guests with a management cocktail in the bar before dinner, staying for a chat and making them very welcome.
We stayed in the luxury garden chalet with a very private garden and a Jacuzzi, which we made very good use of. The room was very large and so was the bed, with the most comfortable mattress we have ever slept on and an excellent choice of pillows. We had a huge shower and twin washbasins, which is always a good idea. I had a very well lit make-up area, which you always look for in a hotel, but rarely get.
We spent a lot of time at the splendid swimming pool. The view from up there was so beautiful and relaxing, overlooking the coconut plantation, with the ever attentive staff bringing cooling drinks to order.
During our 11 days we were never bored, there was always something to do, with lots of books and a massive DVD library available, many beautiful birds to watch, or having a relaxing massage in the spa.
It is a long time since we were at the Brook, but the sheer enjoyment we got from our visit has stayed with us and we can thoroughly recommend it. It is the most fantastic, welcoming and relaxing hotel, in a really beautiful setting. We shall; certainly be going back.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Norman E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2013

We went to Brook Boutique on our honeymoon. We was amazed by the surrounding & hard to believe such a fantastic place exists. I'm glad we stayed there for two days. Service is top class & food is delicious too. They made food for our preference which is quite rare. Must visit place for honeymooners..

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Rumesh W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Karen W, Co-founder/Dir of Operations at Brook Boutique Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2013

Thank you very much for choosing Brook Boutique Hotel & Spa for your honeymoon, it was a pleasure having you with us.

We are delighted that you enjoyed the hotel & that you loved the surroundings. We are very proud of our award winning hotel & we are always thrilled when our guests tell us how wonderful it is. It makes our chef & his team glow with pride when our guests mention his wonderful cooking. The food is prepared & cooked especially for you, so we are happy you appreciated the lovely choices you were given.

Please return to visit us before too long.

From Karen & the team at Brook

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Reviewed 3 June 2013

Great find, i was surprised at their quality and service being a new hotel. Very friendly staff (hotel manager sets the example), they went out of their way to make our stay a comfortable one. Would recommend this hotel to anyone who is looking for a peaceful and relaxing getaway. Almost forgot to mention about the master chef who made all different kinds of food dishes we asked for. Its one of the best places we have ever been to and we are planning to go there again soon.

Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Praveen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Karen W, Co-founder/Dir of Operations at Brook Boutique Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2013

Thank you for choosing to stay at Brook Boutique Hotel & Spa and for your kind comments about your experience here with us. Our friendly, professional staff go beyond what is expected because they genuinely love to see our guests happy while staying with us.

We consider ourselves very fortunate to have our executive chef & his team working away behind the scenes to provide such fantastic food for your pleasure.

We are taking you at your word & expect to have you join us again, very soon, for another wonderful stay; until then, tell all your friends how much you enjoyed your moments at Brook.

Looking forward to welcoming back.

From Karen & all the Team @ Brook.

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Reviewed 25 May 2013

We stayed five nights at Brook and it was the best holiday we ever had. We stayed in Galle, Kandy and Melsiripura during our stay in Sri Lanka. Excellent welcome by resident manager and few staff on arrival. Welcome towels beautiful welcome drink smiles all the time( Very happy team). Chef had a chat with us and discussed our favourites. We stayed in a garden chalet with a plunge pool. WOW it was the best room. Food was always excellent throughout our stay. Underground karaoke bar was really nice touch. Hilltop pool is the best swimming pool. Very romantic swimming pool located in the highest point of the large estate. We used the Golf buggy to drive around the estate. Both of us used hotel mountain bikes to visit the village. Our tracker was very nice guy. Very helpful and had very good local knowledge.We visited Na Uyana Monastery with the tracker and it was a great experience. Like a walk in the Amazon jungle. Hotel is located in a beautiful location. When you entered through bamboo gates we felt like we were in a different planet. Drive through mango trees was stunning feeling. Service was the best ever experienced for last twenty years travel. We wish we could have stayed for a few more days.Both of us got wonderful suntans by the pool. Great holiday. Reserved for two weeks next year before I left Brook.
Price is very reasonable for the value they give. We recommend this hotel. It is a WOW.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank michael j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2013

Arriving at the Brooke Boutique Hotel after a long drive from Colombo via the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, we were extremely tired and would have liked to just check in to the room and relax. However as they had had a big “new year” party the night before, minimal occupancy that night and limited options on the dinner menu we had to sit and decide what we wanted for dinner prior to being shown to our room, which was not ideal. However I should point on that the service was extremely friendly and they were always there if you needed something. The Sri-Lankan food was excellent and given the low occupancy the chef was extremely accommodating in discussing exactly what we wanted to have not necessarily from the menu which was fantastic as some of the menu was trying to be too westernised which was a shame. The wine however was a real disappointment as we think it might have gone off. The Sri-Lankan breakfast they prepared us was however excellent. We stayed in a pool cottage and the room was large and nicely furnished and the pool nice and secluded, however the bathroom was extremely poor and in need of updating. The room servicing was also poor, no turning down of the beds or refilling the mini bar (then trying to charge us at the end for drinks they had not replenished). The managers cocktail hour was a nice touch. The main pool looked great with fabulous views, it is worth pointing out that there are a large number of steps in this hotel including up to the pool so would not be ideal for those with poor health. If you want to explore the area directly surrounding this hotel it would be a really nice base but for seeing the main historical sites of Dambulla or Sigiriya it is too far away.
No Wifi.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank OxfordRicky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Karen W, Co-owner/Director of Operations at Brook Boutique Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 23 May 2013

Dear OxfordRicky,
First of all thank you for staying at Brook Boutique Hotel for two nights during your short stay in Sri Lanka and the nice comments such as “Service was extremely friendly”, “The Sri-Lankan food was excellent”, “chef was extremely accommodating in discussing exactly what we wanted to have not necessarily from the menu which was fantastic”, “The Sri-Lankan breakfast they prepared us was however excellent”, “Room was large and nicely furnished”, “the Managers Cocktail hour which was a nice touch”, “main pool looked great with fabulous views” and your review started with “Great setting”.
With respect, in the hospitality industry our customers’ satisfaction is our reward and we take our guests reviews very seriously, so much so, that we carried out an internal investigation to be able to address your negative comments.
About the 1st comment “Just too far from main attractions” : Brook Boutique was the “2012 World Luxury Hotel Award” Continent Winner for the best “Country” Hotel in the Indian Ocean region, based on customer votes and mystery guest visits by awarding organisation . Its location deep in the heart of ‘jungle territory’ & a remote village close by, is to give our guests the experience of the real Sri Lanka. Distance is a “personal concept” which differs from traveller to traveller and we are only 23 miles before Dambulla Temple, closer to the airport & Colombo. (There are very limited options for “Boutique Hotels” located in Dambulla or Sigiriya). On the day you arrived to us, you had visited Pinnawala elephant orphanage on the way from Colombo; but still you managed to reach the hotel in the early afternoon and had late lunch as per our investigation.
We recommend day tours to Dambulla, Sigiriya, Silver temple, Matale, Yapahuwa ancient kingdom ( Brook is located on the shortest route to Yapahuwa ancient Kingdom) Arankelle Monastery, Na Uyana Monastery and Kandy Temple. All can be reached within a one to two hour leisurely journey. After an unhurried breakfast you could start the day tour and return to the hotel in the evening for a nice swim and great dining experience. Brook is trying its best to communicate to the clients and travel agents not to consider Brook as a cultural tour “package” hotel; we are a Boutique concept hotel, catering to holiday makers who have time to relax, unwind and enjoy local surroundings with unmatchable friendly professional service and to experience great food. Some of above mentioned attractions are within half an hour driveable distance as an option to explore Sri Lanka.
Brook estate itself has 1 mile (2km) stream within the hotel property with 80 acres of green garden to enjoy which is an unique feature compared to many other artificially developed landscaped hotels located in highly touristic and noisy main tourist attractions. Many of our clientele appreciate the fact that Brook is a bit away from the ‘hustle & bustle’ of the main tourist attractions but at a reachable distance.
Our hotel does not accept large group outings, big weddings and noisy parties except on New Year’s Eve and Sinhala and Tamil New year days. We try our best to avoid room reservations during these special events to maintain in-house guests privacy and comfort. This has nothing to do with choices of menus or service of the following day as you implied. We have an ‘a la carte’ menu, fine dining menu and room service menu and daily special set menus and as you mentioned the most luxurious facility, that of selecting your own choice of food preparation with the help of one of our chefs, which you were able to experience. This option is open to all our guests 365 days of the year! If you tried the fine dining menu you can find steaks, grills, duck, salmon, caviar, foie gras, Seafood etc. The only two items we had unfortunately run out of on the first day of your visit were Iceberg lettuce and fresh Tuna. We try to provide “home away from home” comfort at Brook with a warm welcome in an air-conditioned lounge with refreshing drinks and cool perfumed towels while filling a registration form and to have a little chat with chef and manager to discuss food preference and allergies and your preferred meal times. Unfortunately I feel you still prefer standard average hotel style with filling registration form at front desk, collecting room key and straight to room. Sorry that we have not reached your expectations.
‘Westernised menus and not enough Sri Lankan items’: You experienced the Sri Lankan breakfast was excellent. We do Sri Lankan food on requests for other main meals that is one of the reasons we discuss clients’ food preferences and food allergies at the arrival in advance, which you obviously considered a trouble but most guests appreciate the lengths we go to for their benefit. The best traditional Sri Lankan cooking takes a little extra time over western food. Our practice of early discussion on food preference may be new to travellers but appreciated by many who were not rushing a holiday. Please refer to our previous guest comments on our food quality and experience, Western or Sri Lankan, fifty-odd travellers on Trip Advisor & more comments in our hotel guest book cannot be wrong!. We cater to many nationalities from all over the world and with our experience we know that spicy food is not everyone’s favourite all the time. We noted that your review of another Sri Lankan boutique hotel (close to airport) stated that “spicy prawns were so spicy I was barely able to eat them” In our hotel review you mention you like Sri Lankan food and in another hotel review you mention that it was too spicy. Chilli and spices are normal in Sri Lankan food. When you say you want to try it, try it ‘natural’. We always encourage our guests to try and experience Sri Lankan food; we make it mild if they prefer. The reasons we have more western options in menus is simply to cater to all tastes!
About wine: You mentioned “we think it may have gone off”: What a pity you never mentioned this to the server at the meal time. Brook service staff is well trained for wine tasting and serving. Quality of the wine depends on producer, transportation to seller and storage, before being purchased by the outlets such as ourselves, to supply our guests. We wish you had mentioned to one of our staff your uncertainty about the wine as you would have been offered another choice at no extra cost or you could have visited our underground wine cellar to select your wine yourself.
Point on “Bathroom needs updating”: We are confused with the statement as, particular chalet you stayed has the following. Approx 70 sq ft wall to wall tiled bathroom; his and her washbasin with designer wooden base and mirrors, shaving mirror, upmarket Grohe fittings, hair dryer, Jacuzzi unit with state of the art body shower, rain shower, foot massage, lights, waterproof radio, modern commode ( not outdated squatting pan) 4 bath towels, 2 hand towels, 2 face towels, 2 pool towels, sanitary bags, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, soap, glasses, bottled water and extra toilet paper rolls; hot and cold water. All this built only two years ago, modern but sympathetic to our ‘country styling’. Youtube video clip of our product explains the variety of style at our establishment; a link is available from the Brook Boutique Hotel website. Sorry, if we have not met with your expected ‘updated bathroom standard’ all our other guests in this room have been perfectly happy with the décor & standards, personally designed by me.
Point on “Turndown service and mini bar refill”: When the ‘Do not disturb’ sign is placed on door, our room attendants respect the guests request & do not enter rooms to do service and mini-bar refilling.
At the checkout, receptionist politely apologized for the mistake of doubled up bill on your beer from mini bar and he has billed only for the beers you consumed when you noted the error. Sorry, we never expect or advise our staff to add items to bills. You may understand how generous we are to offer free pre dinner cocktails and canapés at management cocktail which was not paid by you or the agent. Management cocktail was totally a hotel gesture which is not even mentioned in our website.
About the wifi: You need to collect the password from reception to access internet and it is free of charge.
Thank you for your review on Trip Advisor and we will make sure to explain the use of Do Not Disturb sign on arrival tour in the future. We are disappointed that we were given 3 points out of 5; yours is our first average review after many ‘Excellent’ ones. We try our best to delight our customers and you have given our team motivation to do even better in future. We won Trip Advisor Travellers Choice Award for best service and best small hotel Sri Lanka in 2013. Just announced is we are awarded the Certificate of Excellence 2013 which only goes to 10% of all listed hotels etc on Trip Advisor. Our team is geared to win this next year as well. Your reviews greatly help to spur our team on to achieve this target. We hope to see you back with us soon & it would be more comfortable to come straight to Brook without rushing about sight-seeing out of the route on the way.

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