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.
- 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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- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, Ebookers, 5viajes2012 S.L., Evoline ltd 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