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“Sri Lanka - Awesome - Adventure and Beach Holiday”
Review of Sri Lanka

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London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
13 helpful votes
“Sri Lanka - Awesome - Adventure and Beach Holiday”
Reviewed 24 May 2011

March 2011

Our Sri Lanka Adventure was simply awesome!
Our thanks go to PRADEESH at SENSES HOLIDAY who organised our whole trip from the UK.
Pradeesh tendered the holiday tour to GOLDEN ISLE TRAVELS (goldenislesrilanka.com) who treated us to the exact holiday we had planned from the start.

We were treated to an air conditioned chauffeur driven car, driven by our favourite tour guide - MR SUMATHIPALA PERERA, a well spoken local man, who went out of his way to make our holiday a memorable one.
He showed us local culture, and taught us ways not to get ripped off as tourists, we saw parts of Sri Lanka which were off the tourist beaten track - making the adventure very exciting.

I recommend the tour to Sigiriya Rock, we stayed at the Sigiriya Village Hotel.
Grab an early breakfast and get started early, the travel guide says its a thigh burning climb, but its a good climb through the water gardens and up the steps to the top of the rock - the view from the top is simple amazing and worth the effort, take a guide as the history is also interesting.

Perera took us to meet his friend Deepthi the owner of the 'Sadilka Restaurant’ on the Anuradhapura Road, the buffet was great, the club sandwiches were great - and it wasnt at all over priced.

He recommended we take a safari from Habarana to the Hurulu Echo Park - we had planned to go to the Minneriya National Park but Deepthi told us that a large proportion of the elephants had moved over the last few weeks.... and he was right, we saw so many elephants! It was simply amazing - our safari driver Chaminda, a local man took us within 10 meters of the elephants, he knew all the paths - and driving through the thick undergrowth didnt scare him! We felt safe - and it was a brilliant adventure.

Of course my wife wouldn't let me take her on holiday without visiting the beach... so part of the deal was to go to the BENTOTA BEACH HOTEL in the south of the island.

The hotel was sensational, the rooms were clean, and were well decorated. Our room opened up into the gardens that surround the grounds.
Most of the sun loungers are in the gardens, where you can wheel it in and out of the shade from the palm trees - there was never a fight to get your space. The pool was excellent - and the heat of the day meant it wasn't crowded.
The beach is at the edge of the garden - and it is deserted! the water was clean and great to swim in!

The facilities are excellent - sports and water sports were great - and we had a couples massage treatment - expensive - but very relaxing!

The buffet was mostly good - i rate a buffet on the omelette they serve in the morning - and I must say it scored high!
Although - at this hotel - we discovered they have an A La Carte menu in another restaurant downstairs.
If you are All Inclusive they give you a discount, the food and service is far superior to that in the buffet. It was quiet, and it made for a romantic meal out of the touristic chaos upstairs!

A note to add is - the Maitre D, was very happy to serve, so we asked him at lunchtime for fresh fish that was not on the evening menu - he would come to my sun lounger 30 minutes later with a freshly caught Red Snapper on a silver platter to ask if this is what we wanted for dinner.

OVERALL, i'd say Sri Lanka was a brilliant place to go, it isn't a wealthy country - but it is filled with people with kind hearts.... the streets are lined with shacks selling local produce, and is refreshing to see local people working hard instead of the London streets lined with franchised outlets. The culture is very social, yet they are so willing to serve - and it didn't seem like they were doing it for financial gain - although they are well aware of the tipping culture - so it is worth carrying lots of 100 Rupees (<£1) for tips.

The scenery is simply amazing - everything is green!.... although being a tropical country - the tropical rain is something you will never experience in England!... but after 30 Degrees heat all day - the evening rain brings a refreshing coolness to the evening!

I would recommend this holiday to anyone - we are in our 20's but the whole adventure was accessible to all ages....

and i recommend MR SUMATHIPALA PERERA our chauffeur, ask for him via goldenislesrilanka.com

Helpful?
13 Thank GarethAndJessi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
23 helpful votes
“Driver in Sri Lanka”
Reviewed 7 March 2011

We have just come back from a fantastic 9 night trip to Sri Lanka. We went to Sigriya, Pollonuruwa, the Tea country and then to Negombo.
We went around the island in a private van with a driver, Mr Dimuthu. We found him through a previous review on tripadvisor and he was every bit as good as the previous review stated. He was punctual, friendly ( we have 2 kids and he was great with them) and a great guide as well.

If you are going to Sri Lanka and need a driver/guide I would highly recommend him. You can get intoch with Dimuthu on "dimuthu81@hotmail.com" or his mobile 0094776302070.

Helpful?
23 Thank Ruby B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Czech Republic
1 review
19 helpful votes
“Excellent Driver in Sri Lanka”
Reviewed 21 February 2011

I recently returned from a trip in Sri Lanka and my driver was so wonderful I wanted to post a review about him. I found my driver through another traveler's posting on the Lonely Planet website. Sudath Gunaratne <sudathgunaratne@hotmail.com> was the best driver you could ask for. He was waiting for me at the airport and was always on time (actually always early), which was very reassuring when I needed to get to a certain spot on time. He arranged very reasonable hotels and can arrange private guides for any area you need. Sudath was a very safe driver (important in Sri Lanka) and knows the history of each area. He would stop whenever I asked, to take photos or a detour to some other cultural area, or just for some coconut water along the side of the road. I am a solo female traveler and felt completely safe and comfortable traveling around Sri Lanka (partly because my driver was so wonderful). I would highly recommend contacting Sudath Gunaratne if you need a driver or help planning your trip in Sri Lanka. He has very reasonable rates and is a great guide/driver. He can help you plan as little or as much of your trip as needed. He can help you book budget to high end hotels and will get you a good rate.

Helpful?
19 Thank Single_Lady_00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UAE
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
21 helpful votes
“Arugam Bay, Danish Villa”
Reviewed 29 September 2010

Booked months in advance for this place in Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka having told the owner I was travelling with a young family and being told they would be very welcome.

The Danish owner arrived a day after we did and proceeded to make our fairly expensive stay there a complete nightmare. His utter contempt for our children and the possibility that they may damage something or somehow upset the obsessive compulsive colonialist vibe he had going on there ruined our stay in Sri Lanka.
By day he would plant himself in the living room and use his laptop with complete disregard for the privacy of the guests and any sense that the tariff we paid entitled us to some sense of ownership over our space there.
At night he would invite people who were not staying there to listen to music in the living area around which I, my children and the other guests slept. When I complained to him about his overall attitude his retort was that it was 'HIS' place and could do what he liked. Needless to say I tried to find alternative accommodation but the town was literally full.

It was a real shame because the property itself was fantastic and the local staff were friendly if a bit obsequious and distant no doubt as a result of having to refer to the owner as "MASTER" and out of fear for their jobs if something was discovered out of place...Crazy stuff and very very uncool in what is generally a very cool town.

Do not support this place or this person.
Ben, UAE

Helpful?
9 Thank Ben11Uae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
7 helpful votes
“Most important thing to do before booking a holiday to Sri Lanka”
Reviewed 18 September 2010

Rohana Rabel
22 Pamankada Road
Colombo
Sri Lanka
(tel no: 0773034679)

Fantastic holiday thanks to him!!

I went to Sri Lanka fo two weeks with my boyfriend in June before going on to the Maldives. We booked with First Choice who organised the Trip through Hayes and Jarvis. We had a chauffer guide provided by Aiken Spence who was fantastic. For anyone who is going to Sri Lanka I would strongly recommend booking him directly. He took us to the best local restaurants, shops, sights and told us everything we wanted to know. I would definately recommend having a guide when travelling around Sri Lanka and this guide made sure we paid the best prices for every experience. When going back to Sri Lanka I will definately contact our previous guide before booking anything. He can get the best prices on hotels, experiences and will take you anywhere you want to go. All you need to do is contact him, tell him your requirements and he will organise the rest for you, meet you from the airport and take you everywhere.

I would strongly recommend you do the same!!

Helpful?
7 Thank lovestotrravel01234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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