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“Service with a smile!”

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Bentota Beach by Cinnamon
Ranked #7 of 26 Hotels in Bentota
Reviewed 30 March 2009

A beautiful hotel, built between the beach and a river. The food was very good with a wide variety of dishes to choose from at each buffet. Its only 60-75 minutes away from Colombo. Ideal for a weekend with the family. My 3 year old was surprised with a free elephant ride. Free Wifi always makes me smile. Super service!

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank RyanColombo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,060 - 1,066 of 1,463 reviews

Reviewed 6 January 2009

We stayed here for 8 nights after a week tour of the Island, booking through Kuoni. The tour wasextremely tiring and when we arrived at the hotel, i was a bit concerned about the gates with security and the view from the train line. However, once in the reception and being greeted with drinks and cold towels, we were looked after and shown to our exec room with a view of the sea. Fantastic view and a large room which was very clean. we were all inclusive, and the food was very good. We found that tipping small quanitites to the waiter at the restaurant at night,the groundsmen and at breakfast, made sure we were remembered and looked after when we needed sunbeds and drinks.
Only downside for us was the activities. It said there were sports events daily, but these never happened until a couple of days before we left, we got the guys from our tour to play a game of cricket and that got most of the sri lankans playing with us which was great! entertainment at night also something to be desired. We did a trip to Colombo in a prviate taxi which was good and also walked out of the hotel in bentota to do some shopping which was fine. Just prepare to be approached to buy souvenirs, which you expect after doing the tour.
A fantastic honeymoon.

Stayed: August 2008
1  Thank SLSNottingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2008

We stayed at this Hotel after a tour of the island for 8 nights on a half board basis, and we were ready for some much needed relaxation which we got at the Bentota Beach. On arrival we were presented with a cold towel and a drink and as a bit of a suprise we were asked what menu we would like in the A La Carte restaurant as we had booked early we were entitled to a free meal there. We then were shown to our room by a polite but cool lady from reception.

Our room (809) was clean and comfortable and we had a view of the gardens and pool area and the sea (just about). The rooms are basic and the Mini Bar is locked unless you request otherwise, the shower has a glass bricked wall which you can see in as soon as you come through the door - so beware of housekeeping if you dont hear them knock! Talking of housekeeping, they come twice a day in the morning and evening, they are very friendly and are always willing to stop and chat. We didnt find that we needed them though that often and made good use of the Do Not Disturb sign!

The main restaurant was above average but i wouldnt say excellent, the breakfasts were better than the evening meal, but it could get quite packed and you would have to time it right to get up and ask for an omellete! They rotate the evening meals so that you dont always get the same, but there always seemed to be something not quite right which i could never put my finger on - im not generally a fussy eater but i found that i was getting quite fussy. We went to the A La Carte restaurant for our free meal and it was so excellent we went back again, the fish was amazing and the chef will come and ask how your food was at the end. We regularly had a lunch at the pool restaurant or the bar, and i strongly recommend the burger, it was cracking!

The pool area is lovely, once the pool attendant recognises your face he will save you the beds that you like - which is usually worthy of a tip. Dennis (his English name!) was very helpful and really friendly. The pool itself was brilliant, its built round rocks, which had natural seats in and really makes it unusual. However, make sure you get your bearings the first time you get in as i can imagine you could really hurt yourself not realising they are there.

We didnt see much of the beach, as we were VERY put off by touts and begging on the tour, and as soon as you were out the gate to the beach you were pounced on. They do go if you say no, i found that if i said i was going 'this afternoon' then they would leave you alone. I understand their reasons, i just dont want to HAVE to say no to them, if i want to buy something i will. Shame really as the beach was gorgeous, but it was far too choppy to swim far.

It was the same for the actual town, which we didnt see an awful lot of as we had no reason to go to the shops and had heard that the touts were worse that way - however we didnt experience that for ourselves.

We didnt see much of the evening entertainment, and the little we did see was quite dubious!

You can go on various excursions from Bentota, we went on a river safari and a visit to the Turtle Hatchery which really was good value and well worth a visit.

I think i have covered everything about our stay, all in all it was an excellent place to stay, the one thing i owuld have changed is maybe the rain, but theres not an awful lot i could have done about that!

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Sh0es
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2008

we arrived at this hotel after a busy week touring india.we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the palm clad surroundings.the pool is one of best ive seen.this hotel is 10 out of 10 for beech location and surroundings with huge palm trees everywhere and a lake opposite.rooms nice.the only down side for me was the food.it was allways cold time you got to your table and it varied little.olough the breakfast ommletts were good.staff at hotel friendly.if you tip them a little service goes from average to exellant.you may be pestered on beech but just ignore them.entertainment a little drab but think we went off season.only allowed wine with meals at hotel too.beer very good though.all in all though a good clean hotel in magnificent surroundings.enjoy

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank spikeMaidstone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2008

Firstly on arrival at the airport we were met by our driver (if you are wondering how to get to the hotel take a taxi or book a tour driver - do not even attempt to get a bus or train) we departed the airport and entered what can only be described as traffic carnage - cows overtaking elephants and diggers - people overtaking cows - bikes overtaking people - tuk tuks overtaking the bikes - cars overtaking the tuk tuks - buses overtaking everyone its utter madness and quite scary. The one saving grace is that they all drive a lot slower than in Europe - crazy but slower so there are not actually that many accidents.

Anyway during the long 3 hour drive to the hotel (we arrived at morning rush hour) I realised that this was a very poor country - poorer than I had anticipated and I was a little worried about our safety when walking around by ourselves looking (in comparison) like super rich English people.
However I was quickly proved to be totally wrong - we arrived at the hotel and everyone was very friendly, we checked in within 5 minutes and checked out the rest of the hotel - we were in room 505 (away from the bar and restaurants) and found it to be very nice - cool in the evening (with the aircon on) clean and very comfortable.

The hotels food is excellent (particularly compared to the rest of the places we ate in Sri Lanka) a good variety which changes slightly each day.
The hotel pool was very nice too - clean and cool with a very nice design which has incorporated rocks to make it like a rock pool - a bar is situated a few steps from the pool and the gardens are sandwiched between a lagoon (on which you can do water sports or take boat trips through mangroves) and the beach.
If you find a spot by the pool you like - tip the pool man 500 rupees (£2.50) and he will reserve that spot for you all week so you don’t have to run down each morning to make sure you get there first.
I would say the hotel caters mainly for couples and has the odd wedding which can be seen going on at the Bentota or nearby hotels - the evening entertainment is pretty non existent but the bar has a large variety of drinks, a pool table and to be honest it makes a nice change not to have a band booming out all night where you cant hear, talk and meet new people - however there is a man playing the keyboard most nights.
There was a small band on a couple of the nights while we were there and a very amusing bingo game takes place once a week - for the more daring there is a snake show on once a week too!! This may well change in the high season when the hotel starts to fill up.

A few steps away from the pool is the beach and the first time I went onto the beach I was approached by a two men (who work that area of the beach) - one selling coco-nuts another t-shirts - I like most other people said no no go away im not interested and they do leave you alone to then walk on the beach and laze around (but you must tell them firm and straight) the only trouble with that is they all remember you have not bought anything and then do the same the next day.
In fact I found out the best thing to do is buy something ASAP from all the people on the beach (Im only talking about a coconut that you can drink from for 50p - a £1 t-shirt and a £1 necklace) and when you have done this they all remember you and just wave and smile the next time they see you leaving you alone for the rest of the holiday.
I also recommend taking tours with the tour guides on the beach - like anywhere check their credentials first - the good ones will have many recommendations from past hotel guests and will give you an excellent trip - also putting some money back into the local area rather than booking the trips through the hotel where you pay more and to be honest don’t get the service you will from the beach guys.
We used a guy called tilack who works most days outside the Bentota Beach hotel and he was great.
We did a few tours during our time here - a 2 full day (one night in a hotel) trip to Kandy which is around 4 hours inland but on route you visit the tea plantations - spice gardens - botanical gardens - elephant orphanages then in the evening you visit the tooth of Buda temple and then watch the traditional Kandy dancers etc etc….although a tiring 2 days well worth it.
Another short tour we did was to the turtle hatchery - only 10mins in a tuk-tuk (little taxi moped powered thing) - you can go early evening to release a number of the 3 week old babies back into the sea and you also get to take some pictures with some of the 15kg adults - bargain!

Sri Lanka itself is amazing - the wildlife and plant life are unbelievable - a mass of fruit everywhere you look and an even larger variety of lizards - chipmunks - elephants and monkeys.
The people are very friendly (yes they are very poor and want you to buy things) but they are genuinely nice too - obviously the North of the island is having its problems with the Tamils but hey so is the rest of the world including London so don’t let that put you off - particularly going to the South of the island where the population is around 80% Buddhist and there is no trouble at all.
One other thing to remember is the tourist centres such as the spice gardens and wood turning centres are very overpriced (compared to the markets / shops) because they cater for the tourists - we went to the spice garden and the guy tried to charge us 3000 rupees (£15) for some aloe vera oil which we later bought from the town for 500 rupees (£2.50) - so beware and remember you can always so no!!

As some other guests have explained on this site - visiting Bentota during the low season means you will probably encounter a few showers and some clouds (we went from 23rd of June to the 4th of July and had approximately three 10 minute showers and a couple more late at night and very early hours of the morning (which were actually a nice relief from the humidity) the rest of the time it was around 32c bright sunshine with a few tiny clouds in the sky.
The only downside to going at this time of year is the sea - its quite rough and the undercurrents mean its very murky and there is no chance of doing any diving - this is totally the opposite in the high season when its crystal clear waters are very calm and perfect for diving - I suppose it depends what you want - it was half the price to go out of season and it’s a lot quieter too - if you want to dive then obviously high season is your best bet - if not then save the cash!!
Be prepared for it to be very humid in the evenings whenever you go - if you go out at night (especially further in land) take mosquito sprays and ladies will want to cover their legs, arms & mid sections so as not to offend the locals.

Tips are a very important thing to remember whilst in Sri Lanka - tip your drivers - tip the people that serve you and help you out in the markets / hotels and centres - remember that a majority of of Sri Lankans are very poor and we are very rich in comparison - tips of 200 rupees (£1 or $2) are often enough for services, obviously raise that tip to 500 rupees (£2.50) for longer taxi drives and even 2000 rupees (£10) for the 2 day tour guides.
A tip on departure from the hotel for the room attendants and the waiters should also be given - again a tip of 500 rupees (£2.50) per person (max people 2 room attendants and 2 waiters) its not bad for a week tip considering in the UK we would tip 10% of the bill regardless if the service was any good - so come on don’t be tight!!

Blimey I have written an essay - In short the hotel and country were fab - unfortunately back to reality now but we had an excellent holiday all round - I well recommend it!!!!

Stayed: June 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2008

I checked reviews for this hotel before I travelled and was a little confused because they were very varied. I booked a late deal all inclusive about 3 weeks prior to leaving and did so through a Travel Agent because the usual supposed last minute deals on the net were not what they seemed. I have no particular love of Travel Agents but they were excellent and all went smoothly. I was met at the airport by a taxi and although it was a three hour transfer I got a good look at the streets and villages before reaching the hotel. At the hotel I was welcomed with the traditional Sri Lankan greeting and taken to my room without delay. I was a single traveller and expected a small room tucked out of the way but was very happy to be given a spacious and cool twin room facing a lake in a picturesque setting. The hotel itself was much better than I expected and was clean and neat with beautiful grounds right next to the beach. The next nice surprise was the restaurant and the food. Whilst it was a little canteen like as had been previously described I felt it was a bit unfair because it was clean crisp and well attended by the staff who were extremely diligent , polite and eager to please. I thought that the food was very good with a wide choice and I didn't have one bad meal during my stay. I didn't have any trips or excursions booked with my package so I explored on my own and walked around locally checking things out. There is an almost constant clamour from the locals for your custom and that can be tiresome but if you are reasonably firm they soon lose interest if they are not required. The main tactic is to engage you in smiling polite conversation and then tag along and gently guide you towards the attractions that they have an interest in. These are usually things like visits to gardens, temples, shops and river rides all of which involve some expenditure on your part and a commission for them. I used an unofficial guide from the local village who tagged along with me on the first day and eneded up walking 9 Kms with me! For 2 days after that he travelled with me interpreting, bartering and generally pointing out things of interest in the places we travelled to. I paid him a sum at the end of each day and paid his train fares and food expenses which were very small. All in all I was lucky with that arrangement because I found an honest chap who was quite a rough diamond but looked after me well. I wouldn't necessarily advise this arrangement for others but it worked well for me. The villages and local areas are very poor and the people have very little in material terms but they are a delight to be around because they are a happy, relaxed and welcoming bunch and tend to always stop and say hello. I used the trains and private air conditioned buses a fair bit and they are ridiculously cheap but can take a long time to get around. I didn't try the public buses because they were always packed and too hot to travel on. If you use the railway, buy a second class ticket because you should get a seat by doing so. There is no first class on the regular trains just second and third. I visited the port at Galle and didn't find it particularly inspiring but did visit the jewellry quarter and bought a nice piece of jewellry for a good price. Be prepared to barter hard because it can be pricey. I visitde Kandy by train and the scenery on the way is spectacular but it is a long day if done this way and does not leave a lot of time in the city itself. For the rest of the time I relaxed in the hotel and used the facilities which are very good. The sea is rough and has dangerous currents so be careful if you want to swim there. The hotel pool was too warm and I didn't find it refreshing but it was very clean (never complained about a pool being too hot before and never thought I would). Evening entertainment is there if you want it and there is usually a charge of some sort. I found tipping to be a difficult area in that I wasn't sure whether to tip on the spot or at the end. I chose to give an envelope to the restaurant and kitchen staff and also the room and reception staff at the end of my stay and that seemed fine. All in all I had a short but very satisfying stay at Bentota Beach and would commend it to anyone contemplating Sri Lanka. It was much better than expected and I will probably go back for 2 weeks next time and visit the places I missed this time.around .

Stayed: July 2008
11  Thank DFWTR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 July 2008

This is a lovely hotel for a relaxing holiday. I enjoyed my stay there although I've been not in a high season there (June), it rained occasionaly and the ocean wasn't calm, but you could still go in the ocean as the waves weren't too high.
The hotel has rather quiet atmosphere, except of 2 days when there was really an "invasion" of native Sri Lankans in a group of about 30-40 people (as we were told by the manager - they came for a corporative holiday just for the weekend), they were very loud near the pool, at the restaurant, in the garden - like everywhere and they were playing their national drums and other music instruments in the night...
Food is good there, with a selection of European food and spicy national food as well.
Room service not bad either, room cleaned twice a day and they put electric repellents on in the room every night.
The garden is beautiful there, they have an elephant, little chipmunks are running everywhere and also there's a big lizard.
Overall hotel is very good, but I wouldn't advice it for young singles as there's practically no entertainments in the night and generally, I went with a friend, but it was actually what we wanted - calm and relaxing atmosphere so we enjoyed it.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank xandtell
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

Address: Colombo-Galle-Hambantota-Wellawaya Highway | Galle, Bentota 80500, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Bentota
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:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Bentota
#6 Luxury Hotel in Bentota
#7 Spa Hotel in Bentota
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Bentota
Price Range: £1 - £1 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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