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“A gem!”

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Bentota Beach by Cinnamon
Ranked #8 of 25 Hotels in Bentota
Dorset
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“A gem!”
Reviewed 12 February 2012

Transfer
Our flight arrived at Colombo ahead of schedule as there was a technical fault which meant we didn’t stop at Male. Because we were early our transport hadn’t arrived so we waited in the Airport for over an hour. We made the 2 hour trip to Bentota Beach in a mini bus with one other couple. We were warned that the driving in Sri Lanka is somewhat chaotic, but we felt our driver was particularly aggressive in his driving manner. He had two accidents on the journey (both his fault) and as an employee of Kuoni we thought this was particularly poor. We gave him a $5 tip but he said it was not enough as he needed medicine! Not a great start to our holiday but this should have no reflection on Bentota Beach Hotel.

Check-in/Reception
On our arrival we were warmly greeted with a fruit juice and freshening towel. The reception area was cool, smelt beautiful and made a very good first impression. The reception staff were very friendly and efficient in processing our arrival and we were shown to our room with a guided tour of the hotel on the way.

Accommodation
Our Superior Room 206 was spacious, clean and well equipped with superb views over the Bentota River and The Indian Ocean.... we couldn’t have asked for a better room. We had a lovely platter of fruit and an arrangement of flowers on our arrival which was very much appreciated. The decor was a little dated but full of charm nonetheless. The bed was comfortable and there was a fantastic selection of pillows for your own comfort. We had a lovely seating area on our balcony with a candle which we thought was a lovely idea to sit out during the evenings (with mosquito repellent on of course). There was ample storage for our clothing and space for the luggage. The mini-bar was well stocked with branded beverages and complimentary bottled water was supplied. Our room was kept clean and well stocked daily with a turn-down service at night. The nightly flowers arranged on our bed were a delightful touch.

Resort
Bentota Beach is situated on the West coast halfway between Colombo and the South of Sri Lanka. On one side is the Indian Ocean and the Bentota River on the other. The River is a haven for wildlife and it is well worth a river cruise for a couple of hours to see the diverse variety of flora and fauna. Directly outside the Hotel are a few shops and restaurants. Be warned that you will encounter people touting for business, mainly taxi’s and Tuk-tuk drivers. We chose Bentota for its location as we wanted to see the Blue Whales (we were fortunate to see four whales and plenty of Spinner Dolphins) from Marissa and visit the Elephant reserves. It is worth noting that what seems to be a short distance on a map does take a long time due to the road links and driving. Be prepared to spend a lot of time travelling anywhere in Sri Lanka.

Food
We stayed on a bed and breakfast basis. The restaurant was spacious and staff very efficient. Seating was not reserved so you could sit wherever a table was available which meant we had a different waiter each time. There was a good variety of food available in a buffet style and possibly the tastiest food we have sampled in any hotel! We did have dinner in the Hotel main restaurant twice and enjoyed the food but it was quite pricey for the amount we ate (we are not big eaters at all). Again it was a buffet style meal with plenty of variety and the deserts were fabulous. We had a pizza one lunch time in the Hotel garden which was nice. The Hotel provided a good breakfast box for our daytrips and departure day as we had early starts. Most evenings we ate in Aviva Restaurant across the road. We were treated very well and enjoyed a great selection on the menu. The staff gave us gifts of souvenirs on our last night which was a lovely surprise and very touching.

Beach
The beach has beautiful white sand and you can have a lovely walk to the end of the peninsula to a temple at the end. We found we were pestered a lot on the first few days by people wanting to take us on daytrips. They say they work for the Hotel but they do not. They were not aggressive, just persistent but left us alone when we explained we just wanted to walk. There seems to be a lovely breeze on the beach but the sun is incredibly strong, so keep your sun lotion topped-up!

Water
There can be strong currents being the Indian Ocean and there are flags to warn you on the beach. There were also men keeping an eye on swimmers/bathers but we were not sure if they were lifeguards. They did alert people if they got too close to rocks, if the current changed or they swam too far out. Although visibility was not good for snorkelling, the waves were fabulous for body surfing.

Entertainment
Every night there were either dancers or singers and bands in the main lounge/bar. They performed different acts each night we were there. On the whole they were of a good standard and entertaining. The bands sang well known English/American music mostly. The dancers performed traditional acts. One night we were invited to watch a Fire dance show in the sports area for a charge of $7 each. It was clear this was a new venture for the entertainers and it was very standard poor indeed, unrehearsed and disjointed, even if there was a free cocktail.

Spa
I treated myself to a Spa treatment and would recommend the Azmaara Spa. I had the Azmaara Feelings treatment which was a 90 minute Full body massage and scrub by a lovely Balinese lady called Ayu. The Spa was very well equipped with experienced and friendly staff.

Hotel
Bentota Beach Hotel is a delight. It is very relaxing with superb friendly staff and great facilities. Out of the 200 guests staying at the Hotel, 150 were Russian... the remaining were English, French, Italian and Norwegian. We were made to feel special and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We would highly recommend this Hotel and would consider returning if we visit Sri Lanka again.

Room Tip: Superior rooms are on the top floor and have delighful views.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Travelling_Hardies
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 (267)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Slovak first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
melbourne
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2012

its a beautiful hotel located in bentota sri lanka, people and the service excellent

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank shaun m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2012

We have nothing but praise for the hotel and staff. Situated right on a lovely beach. Stayed for the last 2 weeks in January on All Inclusive. Booked a superior room but was upgraded to a deluxe for free. Super king size bed - room very large comfortable and clean. Great view of the river and sea. Staff were excellent, very friendly and helpful. Good choice of food including a good range of vegetarian dishes. Would recommend it to friends and family.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank DJD_one
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2012

Overall it's a good hotel but need bit of attention for small deatils. Other than that it's a great hotel and food was awesome !!!!! Great place to unwind and have a good holiday .

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Huluuu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 January 2012

Stayed one night in Bentota Beach Hotel as a stopover on our way further south. Check-in was throughly disorganised and inefficient. We were offered a seat and then had to wait about 20 minutes while the receptionist made several phone calls without attending to us. The sea-facing room was nice, however the mini bar which was open when we got to the room was locked later in the evening without any notice. Most annoying as we would have liked to have had an evening drink in the room without ordering from room service because this would inevitably mean that we would have to face obvious hints for a tip. Which was another thing - I absolutely don't mind tipping for good service and always do, but when a person is just doing their job (such as bringing a drink up to the room) then I don't see why we are compelled to tip them. This was a constant problem even just on a one night stay. Management really needs to look into this issue or raise the salaries of their staff!

Good points: The hotel is set on large, beautiful grounds with the beach on one side and the river on the other. Well-maintained swimming pool and comfortable rooms although the toilet seat had a big brown mark on it which looked very dodgy!! At tea-time, a plate of snacks, fruit and juice is brought to your room which is a nice touch.

The bad: this is a big, beach resort hotel which caters typically for package tourists so it is not exactly a quiet, relaxing retreat. Mealtimes in the restaurant felt like it was in a canteen - noisy, crowded with no hint of a chilled out beach-side ambience at all. Food was ok, nothing special but freshly made naan bread was nice. Would be better to book on b&b basis and have dinner at one of the many beach restaurants instead. Poolside bar service needs to improve and all barmen at the hotel need lessons in cocktail making. The cocktails are truly terrible! The ambience in the bar area by the restaurant is not great and what's worse, a band comes on in the evening playing awful keyboard music. Not necessary, just cut out the music or play a nice CD instead!! There were also large groups of package tourists who 'reserve' deck chairs by placing towels and books on them and not making an appearance for hours. This should not be allowed!!

All in all, a pretty average experience for quite a hefty price. Would not choose to stay here again.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank DRinlondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SheharaAnthony, Shehara Anthony - Assistant Manager at Bentota Beach by Cinnamon, responded to this review, 15 February 2012
Thank you for your review on Bentota Beach Hotel, it was a pleasure to have you stay with us. The comments that you had raised with regard to service, accommodation and the restaurants have been noted and will be taken up for improvement.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, MA
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 January 2012

Do yourself a favor and avoid this hotel: Poor service, dilapidated facilities and mediocre food all for more than $250/night! Save yourself the mosquito bites, microwaved food, bad staff and stay at the Taj Bentota, which is close by and wonderful by all accounts. Our experience here really took away from the warm hospitality, friendly people and great food/service that we encountered over the rest of our stay in Sri Lanka. The John Keells group clearly needs to renovate this property or rebrand it as a 3 star..


From our first glance of the wonderfully decorated lobby, when we checked in, we had high hopes for the hotel.

Rooms: We asked if we could be assigned rooms (we had booked two rooms) with a sea view and were told that none of the rooms have a direct sea view and that we were assigned rooms with an “indirect” view of the sea. The rooms clearly need to be renovated - the bathroom was old and smelled faintly of a clogged sewer; the faucets had rust stains on them; and the rooms were covered in mosquitoes.

Food: The hotel has four restaurants – a sit down, more formal restaurant with an a la carte menu, a restaurant upstairs with a breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet, a bar, which serviced bar food and a restaurant outside in the garden. Since the majority of tourists staying in the hotel are on package holidays with “meal plans”, lines around the buffet tables are really long, service is poor and the food is average (though fresh). Since we had mixed success with the buffet (the hotel’s saving grace is the Sri Lankan breakfast, especially the egg hoppers), we decided to try the a la carte restaurant downstairs on our last night. The atmosphere was sterile – dimly lit, no guests, tables decorated in 1980s style (silver platters, napkins folded like swans etc) and a sole pianist playing depressing music. We sat down amid a flurry of mosquito activity (a constant theme) and ordered what looked like delicious (and not cheap!) entrees. While we were waiting for our food, we heard a series of beeps that sounded like a microwave going off and since one of us had a direct view of the kitchen, we could see the chef (there was only one person in kitchen) popping all our food in the microwave!! When the food arrived, the food was tasteless and cold-lukewarm at best. When we mentioned it to the waiter, he remarked casually that he would put it back in the microwave and bring it out again! At this point, we were so appalled; we asked to speak to the Food & Beverage manager. After a 20 minute wait, the chef from the restaurant upstairs and another person (a manager who was clearly annoyed by our request) arrived in. They said the F&B manager was at a client dinner and asked how they could help us. We told them what had happened - how we saw the food being microwaved, bad quality of food etc (mind you, the entrees were priced on average at 2,000 Sri Lanka rupees…not cheap by any standard). Both of them went up to the kitchen and started questioning the chef in the kitchen and the waiter. After a lot of raised voices and head shaking, they came back to our table and said that none of the food was microwaved and everything was made fresh – despite, the fact that we had seen everything happen with our own eyes!!! After 15 minutes of arguing and going back and forth, during which the Chef was very aggressive towards us, they turned to the waiter and said “Just give them 10% off” and walked away without so much as an apology. We paid for the meal in disgust and on our way back to our rooms, spotted the F&B manager having an enjoyable time in the buffet restaurant upstairs with some other staff.

General Service: As one reviewer has posted previously, why do 3 guys have to accompany you to your hotel room during check-in? Why does the hotel staff keep popping up in the evening for random requests and linger around looking for tips?

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank dl329
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SheharaAnthony, Shehara Anthony - Assistant Manager at Bentota Beach by Cinnamon, responded to this review, 15 February 2012
Thank you for your comments on Bentota Beach Hotel, we are sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your stay at the resort, we appreciate you forwarding us the feedback so that we could work on the highlighted areas.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southampton, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2012

I know the Bentota Beach Hotel for the last 12 years.
It is a beautiful hotel with a huge gorgeous tropical garden surrounding it; there is the lagoon on one side, the Indian Ocean on the other.
The staff is very friendly and supportive.
The rooms are very nicely furnished.
Everything is clean and tidy.
The food is Western and Asian.
The sports club is catering for many different activities and so is the new spa with its interesting service portfolio.

It is always a treat to return to this beautiful hotel that is just 1 hour by car from Colombo.

Wilja Witcombe

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wilja W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bentota Beach by Cinnamon

Property: Bentota Beach by Cinnamon
Address: Colombo-Galle-Hambantota-Wellawaya Highway | Galle, Bentota 80500, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Bentota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Bentota
#6 Spa Hotel in Bentota
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Bentota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Bentota Beach by Cinnamon 4*
Number of rooms: 133
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Bentota Beach by Cinnamon is the perfect getaway from the buzzing city life. The resort specializes on water sports and other adventures at its own Water Sports centre with a variety of activities such as wind surfing, jet skiing, and banana boat riding. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bentota Beach Hotel Sri Lanka

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