What a fantastic experience this was. We went on holiday to chill and relax, but managed so much more. With the help we have to say, of the now extremely famous Luba.
Travel: We flew via Dubai with Emirates, which was an experience in itself and on arrival in Columbo, we had taken the advice of trip advisors of old and booked a private transfer to the hotel. For the £15 each, each way, this is more than worthwhile as it is a long journey after such long flights. To sit in the comfort of a car instead, of being stuck on a coach carrying numerous people to other hotel destinations was certainly a good way to start our visit to Sri Lanka and the driver was most helpful and informative during the journey. Something we would highly recommend, no matter how many are in your party.
Hotel: Location is in such a fantastic setting, it would be hard not to be impressed on arrival. Staff were extremely helpfull, very curteous and soon had us on our way to our room. Unfortunately the initial room allocated to us wasn't really up to scratch, being a bit claustrophobic and somewhat tired. However, we spoke with reception who thankfully managed to change the room for us, at no extra charge. Our new room was 216 and was deemed as delux, it may not have been but it was certaily better. Point to note is that there are UK 3 pin plugs in the rooms, so need to pack the travel adapters. Overall the hotel was a little tired in its decor, but nothing too awful that it deserves some of the comments written about it. The rooms are pretty basic, but at the end of the day if booking here, you are not aiming for 5 star luxury and what you do get is pretty good value. The food is okay and there is always something different on offer, if you don't fancy the curry. I have to say though that after 2 weeks I did get a little bored with the fayre on offer as it did reapeat itself a little. Drinks are okay, but are local brands, you won't find quality brands of spirits or wines here. But what they do have isn't as bad as some reports lead you to believe. The pool and beach atendants are really good and keep you in supply of towels and mattresses for your sun bed. The ones by the beach though are a bit hard, but if you look after the attendant he will put 2 mattresses on your bed, which is a lot better, the ones by the pool are quite comfy though. With regards to "looking after" the staff, it can be a off putting the way in which they go about seeking tips. Some of them do hang around a little and tell you that "tomorrow is their holiday" (day off) and are obviously looking for money off you. In the main 200 rupee's is the norm (£1) so it doesn't cost much, its just a bit in your face. However this did seem to be a select few who opertaed in this manner and most were okay and gratefull for anything you gave them.
Trips: Now this is where the hotel excells. We travelled with Kuoni, who run their own excursions and do tend to warn you of dealing with the operators off the beach. I have to say that everywhere else we have been we have followed such advice and only booked via the travel company. Believe me here you should do exactly the opposite. The local opperator on the beach Luba is excellent and you don't need to worry about locating him, he will very deffinately find you within hours of you booking in. Inside our first hour of walking around the hotel, Luba had introduced himself to us explained what he did, introduced us to people he had already had booked with him and in a very relaxed manner told us that if we wanted to do any trips he would be happy to help. Luba also advise us to go to the welcome meeting, listen to what Kuoni had to offer and if we wished, speak to him later to see if he had anything different we would prefer. What an absolute star this guy is. He managed to introduce us to a couple who were willing to share a trip, thus lowering his cost. The people he introduced us to Nigel and Sara, proved to be really good company and we spent a considerable ammount of time enjoying Sri Lanka with them. Never stopping laughing or having a great time. The trips we undertook were a river cruise, which resulted in us spending double the time allocated to us out on the river with Luba, as he was making sure that we got the most from the experience. After the cruise Luba handed us over to his colleague Baba who then took us off to a turtle hatchery all for about 75% of the price Kuoni offered us. Following this trip we booked a full day excurison to Udawalawe to see the national park and elephant sanctuary. This was absolutely mind blowing and a must for everyone. First off is a visit to the sanctuary where you witness orphan elephants being fed but more importantly being prepared for release back into the wild. Then we were off on a 2 hour safari, which again took much longer due to the incedible sites we saw. Heards of wild elephants, walking around your open top jeep is something you will not forget in a hurry. Really a fantastic experience that we could not thank Luba enough for. We did one final trip to a lagoon, which was okay in itself, but the real experience here was travelling by Tuc tuc through the villages and seeing Sri Lankan life as it truly is. We did feel once over that the trips Luba had recommended realy did show us what this wonderful country had to offer.
Overall we had a fantastic time, much aided by Luba, who introduced us to friends who I think got as much out of the holiday as we did. The hotel was certainly good enough to prompt us to want to return and we did leave enough to do, to make that something we would like to do
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda, Hotels.com, Ebookers, TripOnline SA, Evoline ltd, 5viajes2012 S.L. and Cancelon so you can book your Bentota Beach by Cinnamon reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Bentota Beach Hotel Sri Lanka