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“A Lovely Honeymoon Location”

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Bentota Beach by Cinnamon
Ranked #7 of 25 Hotels in Bentota
Reviewed 18 August 2010

We stayed here between 1st and 8th August as the first part of our honeymoon (2nd part was Meeru Island, Maldives).

We found the staff to be extremely friendly and helpful. Everybody you pass from the management grades to the room boys to the waiters always say hello to you in the corridors.

The rooms were lovely and clean. Room boys came twice a day and this seemed to coincide with breakfast and evening meal times. I used the laundry service once, it was cleaned pressed and returned in plastic packaging and on hangers by the following morning and the cost was very reasonable.

The food was of a very high quality. We were invited to take the tour of the kitchen at one point during our stay and met the pastry chef. The 'Chinese style spring rolls' are to die for. They are deep fried in breadcrumbs and actually contain curried vegetables rather than being of the 'Chinese style' as advertised. We were all inclusive and stuck to the buffet restaurant all week. I mostly stuck to vegetable or fish currys most of the week with chutneys etc. The vegetable and fish seemed to be far superior to the meat dishes. The restaurant has loosely themed nights. There is always a good curry selection every night however the themes seemed to be various European countries and the USA. Whilst the non-asian foods were very tasty they are not authentic and I assume this is the root of some of the complaint's I've read in other people's reviews. I doubt the chefs have ever been afforded the luxury to travel around Europe to perfect their recipes. If you want to eat perfect steak and ale pie, pistatio, ratatouille, spaghetti bolognese, lasagne etc then maybe you shouldn't be leaving Europe. Eat the curries. They are amazing. You are missing out in life if you choose not to.

What is AI and what is not can be clarified at the start of the stay quite easily and in fact whenever we went to a bar or restaurant we simply asked for the all inclusive cocktail or food menus. When I did decide to splash out on something that was not AI the staff always warned me that we would be charged so there were no nasty surprises. Anybody who has managed to misinterpret what is and is not within the AI must be a complete idiot as it was foolproof!

The hotel is undergoing some renovation. The bar was being painted during the first part of our stay but was finished and opened by the second half of the week. It is very big and has an outside terrace. You can also go down to the seating by the pool area and on the waterside decking. There was a very loud DJ playing 'banging tunes' on one particular night and most people opted to go outside to avoid this. If you use insect repellant make sure to cover up your AI wrist band as it strips the green paint from it which is very messy.

We were told that the war ended much sooner than most Sri Lankan's anticipated. They are expecting a boom in tourism and most of the hotels are renovating to remain competitive. The hotels cannot close whilst this happens as there is an all year round tourist season and tourism is very important to the Sri Lankan economy.

One entire wing of the hotel is currently having rooms renovated. We were checked into that wing unwittingly when we arrived at 9pm. We awoke at 8:30am the following morning to hammering, drilling, sawing coming from the room directly above us. I opened the blinds to the sight of the bottom half of a man hanging over the balcony in the room above us. The room above us was being renovated including replacement of the wooden balcony and sanding, varnishing etc.

We immediately asked the reception to move us. We got a bigger room with a better view (the new room was in the wing with the river views) on the opposite side of the hotel to the renovation and to be fair we didn't hear any building work again. We were moved within about an hour and a half.

Look out for the chipmunks and salamanders in the hotel grounds they are amazing! The cocktail in a coconut from the pool bar has to be tried it is awesome although you will have to pay extra for it, it is worth every penny.

If you decide to do some trips be aware the travelling is pretty gruelling. You will get a nice taste of this during the airport transfer. However, the Elephant Orphanage and the Rock Fortress at Sigiriya are 2 things you really must do. Sigiriya is mind blowing and is comparable with the Pyramids in Egypt. Look it up on wikipedia before you travel.

Overall I would say the hotel is worth 4 stars. The grounds are very large and there is plenty of space for sunbathing with lots of privacy. The location with a river on one side and the ocean on the other is very special.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank the_rubik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,009 - 1,015 of 1,459 reviews

Reviewed 18 August 2010

Since 1997 I have stayed in this hotel on several occassions, each time staying for about 7 nights.
It would be impossible to ask for a lovelier hotel. All the rooms are impeccilbly kept, and the staff are friendly, helpful and attentive. Then there are the hotel grounds, which are absolutely beautiful. The first time I visited this hotel in 1997, I was a young child, around 6 or 7 years old, and I remember being enchanted by the small playground, which is even better now after being updated! The playground, of couse, wasn't a patch on the hotel elephant which took guests on rides around the grounds and even picked people up with its trunk!
Then there is the watersports centre attached to the hotel which supplies a range of water activities including jet skiing and banana boating! The centre adheres to strict health and safety regulations, checking guest's ages for activities to ensure no underage guests use facilites. It is also a requirement to fill out forms to ensure rules are followed.
The beach attached to the hotel is absolutely stunning. There is no other word for it. The sand is white and free from any litter. More often than not, it is quiet. Possibly the only people a guest may meet on the beach are locals attempting to sell their goods, which make excellent presents to take home! However, unlike some hawkers, if they are given a straight no, they will either leave well alone straight away or just ask about your holiday and are genuinely friendly.
The hotel food is delicious and freshly cooked. On one occasion, we visited the hotel's kitchen and we were bowled over by the spectacular cleanliness and efficiency of the place.
As affore mentioned, the staff could not be more helpful. Again, on one occassion when I was about 8 or 9, my Mum had bought me a sari from the local bazaar, and we were having trouble trying to work out how to put it on properly! So, we called down to reception and within 5 minutes guest relation officer had arrived at our room and helped us put it on!
So to summarise, I cannot reccommend this hotel highly enough. It is the most beautiful hotel for anyone, be it honeymooners or families with young children. An absolute gem.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank emilyjanekent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2010

We stayed at Bentota Beach Hotel after the wedding. A Pleasant hotel fronting onto the beach and very relaxing. We enjoyed lots of sightseeing trips thanks to Neel our tour guide licensed with the Sri Lankan tourist board who we met on the beach whilst out running.(Bye the way he is a great runner if you can keep up with him). He organised several trips for us lasting between one and two days which included a boat trip. He is very knowledgeable both about the local area and all things Sri Lankan. He also took us shopping for spices, tea and clothes. We would highly recommend him as he is friendly and reliable.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank neelsfriend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2010

Stayed at the BBH for 7 days and had a great time after 6 days travelling around the island. We had a room problem when we arrived which was sorted and when I queried with our tour operator the terms of All Inclusive the manager came and found me and sorted out everything (even I think it was the tour operator which was wrong).

Good water sports facilities which the children (including the biggest one - Me!!) thoroughly enjoyed and I thought the quirky pool built into a rock was lovely.

Food was buffet style and we all enjoyed the variety and the choices were changed everyday unlike other buffet-restaurant hotels I have been to. All inclusive wine isn't the best but you can buy a bottle which they'll keep back for you (if it lasts for more than one meal) so you get the best of buying by the glass and the bottle.

The strong point was the friendliness of the staff. When I arrived, the registration form asked for birthday (did they mean DOB?) so I thought I'd try my luck and put down my daughter's birthday which was while we were there. I forgot about this until the head waiter came up to me (away from children) after a few days and asked if we'd like a cake which would go on "the hotel bill". They made it a great day for here with a cake brought out for her at dinner. When I paid my bill at the end, there was no charge for the cake; when I followed up on this it was because it was on the "hotel's bill" not mine. A lovely gesture by the staff who had arranged it and kept it a secret. She'll always remember it.

When you stay there, go the turtle sanctuary which allows you to release the baby turtles back into the sea - very moving.

One thing to watch out for is sea conditions. We went at wrong time of year to swim in sea on the West Coast and there was no diving so do your research. Luckily water sports made up for it.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank Churchill_family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2010

Stayed for five nights at 'BBH' after a tour of the island. I must admit from some of the reviews I read - I wasn't expecting much from this hotel, but was very pleasantly surprised. The food was fantastic with variety for our teenage children. Each day we were offered a massive selection of Sri lankan food and there were also different themed days for those that weren't keen on this - this included pastas, chinese and even american with a massive baked alaska being paraded into the restaurant !. We were all inclusive and had expected to use different restaurants but we just couldn't fault the main restaurant. Staff fantastic and friendly.
The hotel was in the process of being redecorated and upgraded while we were there so it should be even better next year !.
Great Pool with secluded areas in grounds for people who wanted peace.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank raffy082
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2010

We stayed three nights at bbh. The location was nice. The service was horrible. Staff, especially the receiptionests were very disrespectful. Try to accept a receptionest deliberately ignoring you and shouting at you. Our laundry took three days to arrive. The minibar and restaurant prices are high. Swiming pool was less than the surrounding hotels. I'd never stay there again unless there is no other choice.

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2  Thank timoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2010

stayed at this hotel in may 2010, for 5 days. i was there with my wife and two kids. we had a very relaxing time there. i agree that hotel needs upgrading but it is not shabby. we had a minor problem with AC in on of our rooms. they gave us another room immidiately.the staff were curteous and very friendly. they were not after tips as some people had mentioned. we thaught the food was good.it was buffet style. when we left bentota, we stayed at taj at gall face. apparently we had left some money in the hotel room. the roomboy handed over the cash to the management and they tracked us down at our new hotel. money was returned to us. we are from US. i don't think we will never see this money again if it was in a US hotel. we rewarded the roomboy for his honesty .

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with family
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Thank avatarNJ
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
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
#7 Spa Hotel in Bentota
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Bentota
Price Range: £149 - £342 (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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