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“Great Stay but yet again disappointing!” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa

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AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa
Ranked #6 of 30 Hotels in Bentota
Colombo Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great Stay but yet again disappointing!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2013

A few of us checked in to Avani Bentota on the 21st July 2013 for a day's stay, and found that the hotel is beautifully located and the rooms were fabulous! the staff at the entrance are friendly and helpful, the reception took a bit long to get our information and it took us almost 2 hours from time of arrival to get our rooms. We had ordered food to the bar area and it too them almost 2 1/2 hours just to get a sandwich across to us which once it did come was not up to standard.

The disappointing factor other than for the above is when you go for for the buffet and there is no food! on the 21st night the buffet was empty even at 21.00 hrs where as they close the buffet at 22.30 hrs and we ended up eating ONLY spaghetti which we thought the chef at the action station to do, it was a repeat for breakfast here once again they ran short of food, and it was disappointing to know that even lunch was the same until my husband had a very nasty word with the chef which also provoked other guest to do the same and then finally they managed to fill up the dishes. The funny part in all of it is once you do serve your food and need seconds you will not get the same thing twice as it has been replaced with a completely different dish as they have run short again.

It is no point in having such a beautiful location and room comfort if they do not have the rest in tact. if everything is what we expect then charging such absorbedent prices for a one night stay is excepted but now at this point we feel cheated!

This hotel will not be recommended by me to anyone as it has left a bitter taste in our mouths.

Room Tip: rooms facing the beach are more spacious
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Salome J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SLML, General Manager at AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 30 July 2013
Dear Guest,

We thank you for taking the time to review our resort and we are pleased to know that you found the location and rooms of the property to be fabulous.

We are sorry that you felt frustrated during the meal times due to the delay of refills and unavailability of waiting staff for service. We have taken your comments seriously and would certainly review the situation which prevailed during the weekend that you stayed with us. After you sharing your experience we are now in consideration whether we should extend our serving hours for the buffet meals in the main restaurant and our kitchen and waiting associates will be provided further training on these areas as well. Thank you again for providing this feedback which will assist us to better our services and operation.

I assure you that this is not the level of service and standard associated with our hotel and we would really value your return so it would provide us another chance to make it up to you and provide you an enhanced experience at our resort.

If you require any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Yours sincerely,

Sigrid Stelling
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (276)
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English first
Level Contributor
70 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2013 via mobile

Simply the best in all respects. The location, rooms,staff, food everything was very nice. The rooms were spacious with great views of sea and pool, the staff was very friendly and caring, food was delicious( room dining had limited variety though). Simply this was a great resort experience with our two year old kid. Would definitely come here again soon.

Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank sacmis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2013

The location is incredibly beautiful with the hotel right on one of the fabulous beaches of Bentota. The design and architecture of the hotel is exquisite with a wonderful local touch.
Breakfast and dinner buffet are good value with decent variety. Decent variety of drinks also fairly priced. However, room service food was very poor (the burger we ordered was uneatable) and happy hour experience was very frustrating (has to be the same drink and you can have the free one only after finishing the first one.
It felt like a continuous string of frustrating events. Our electricity in the room would break down at least once a day, when I lost a golden chain in the gym no one knew what happened to it until I started complaining loudly and one of the cleaners 'just'returned it to me tho he picked it up hours before that. Or when we asked the hotel for a taxi to colombo we were asked for 6500 rupees although when asking the first cab just outside the hotel we were asked for 6000 and quickly negotiated it down to 5000.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lizuca17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SLML, General Manager at AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 5 August 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience of your recent stay with us. We truly appreciate your kind comments on our resort's landscape and design. Nevertheless, we are concerned and sorry to hear of your disappointment about our service quality. We will certainly review our room service menu and will focus future training on service delivery areas.
We are located in a village environment with good infrastructure but unfortunately the consistency of electrical supply varies once in a while. Also be assured that we do not quote higher rates for taxi services. As this is a third party service, the rates with the hotel are based on the rates provided by the taxi drivers. We usually recommend our guests to discuss pricing for transport directly with the drivers and it seems there has been a gap in communicating this to you.

We would like to apologize for making you feel frustrated, mainly due to a lack of proper communication from our side.
I would further like to bring to your attention that your gold chain had been handed to lost & found and was retrieved after your inquiry with our associates.
We hope you will provide us with another opportunity to serve you in the future!

Yours sincerely,

Sigrid Stelling
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2013 via mobile

Situated in a calm and wonderful location along the western coast of Sri Lanka. The rooms are spacious and aesthetically pleasing. The food is satisfactory with a variety of Sri Lankan and western cuisine.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Maleesh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
40 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 July 2013

Yes, what a beautiful and romantic resort. What a potential for excellence. I respect hotel's management efforts, therefore I am going to point out some drawbacks as well, but I do not want readers to focus on them first - but I have to be honest, certainly there are some shortages.
Advantages first.
Romantic, wonderful beaches, gardens like from the sweetest dreams, interiors - sophisticated, modern, stylish tasteful. Sundecks with swimming pools are amazing - comfortable, well maintained, and clean (most of the time). Buffet-the Breeze Restaurant, presents surprisingly good quality (for Europeans) of lunches and diners. Breakfasts amazing - but we are early birds, so the food choice, and overall ambience was perfect - later, I don't know, therefore I don't want to say anything. Chatters Bar with an excellent staff. Generally hotel's staff is on a very positive side with some exceptionally friendly and polite people among. We did spent wonderful, marvelous two weeks during the monsoon season, and it was the best idea we could have had.
There was enough sun daily and sunny days overall, and tropical rains added only spices to our great impressions.
Wonderful and not really overpriced Spa - I recommend that experience all the way.
Interesting local music events during the weekends.
Definitely I would recommend to visit and spend some time in Avani Bentota - especially to those who are to visit Sri Lanka for the first time. There is one condition - there are some drawbacks you should approach your way and decide for yourself if they can spoil your time in Sri Lanka or not.
A la carte Frangipani Restaurant. After a very good impressions from the Breeze evening buffet, you may expect even better impressions from a la carte. Mistake. It is below expectations and quality level you can experience for the same price 300 meters from the hotel in Malli's Restaurant.
There is a HUGE room for improvement. Firstly look at the menu - no indications which dishes are spicy, which are not. Waiting staff inexperienced - suitable to assist in buffet but not in an a la carte. Seafood choice limited to prawns only - and the taste too far from excellence. As for now - wasting a time and money.
Swimming pools during my stay there was an issue with the quality of water in the main pool - it happened it became "milky" due to the negligence in maintenance during the Full Moon Holiday - improper pH caused that situation - swimming pool did not look good for two days. It should not have happened.
Sri Lanka it means tropics - there is a specific fauna there. Sometimes, rarely but it happened "fauna" reaches the rooms, bathrooms especially. Nothing dangerous, but if you are not prepared for such meetings you may feel disgusted.
Internet - theoretically wireless covers all areas and rooms but it happened that during three days there was no connectivity at all. The reason - Dialog - local network had problems after Full Moon Holiday.
And the last issue - the most nagging - there are troublesome "beach boys". Beaches in Sri Lanka are all public, therefore a certain type of informal profession has been developed - "beach boy salesmen". One has to practice an assertiveness in saying "no, we need nothing , please" every ten minutes in order to protect one's own privacy. It is general problem of Sri Lanka, not only Avani, but really bothersome when you are not interested in being served by these mainly nice and polite people. Not all are nice and polite - you should also know that.
And finally, something what really can spoil your holidays even when you know about that.
Credit cards.
They are not widely accepted, and there are numerous limitations. Even Avani Bentota reception was not free from that problem. Be prepared for cash transactions in many places. ATM cards work to some limit only - there is an info in ATM locations that ATM cards might be blocked by issuer if issuer was not informed prior to travel. It happened to me. I was aware of such problems, and irrespective of the fact I did my homework it became a problem for me last days. I asked reception for assistance in contacting my bank, but willingly or not, they only increased the problem - what made me really angry at the last five minutes of my stay. Luckily measures I had taken before coming to Sri Lanka were enough to sort out the issue.

If you were able to stand reading to that point - I am going to confirm it for you - Avani Bentota is worth time and money spent over there - I had wonderful and unforgettable holidays in Sri Lanka mainly due to the right hotel choice.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Herbert Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2013

We have just returned from a 10 day stay at the Avani Bentota Resort and Spa (23rd June to 3rd July 2013) during which we had our wedding ceremony.

I want to write this review to let others know that the staff at the hotel exceeded our expectations of the wedding in terms of the efforts that they went to and how special they made us feel. This together with the location and the setting of the hotel allows me to recommend the Avani Bentota without hesitation.

We booked the wedding package through Tropical Sky and could not fault the travel agents. They were very efficient and we received all our documents promptly and in plenty of time. The price was also very good value for money, probably because it is off-peak. Tropical Sky provided as much information as they could about the wedding package, however, my wife and I were still nervous about the arrangements for the big day.

I did read some of the reviews of the Avani Bentota and was needlessly concerned about some negative reviews who had raised the issue of noise from the train station, quality of buffet and wifi problems. You can hear the train which passes near by but this does not disturb you in anyway, in fact I felt that this adds to the atmosphere of the place. We booked on a bed and breakfast basis but we choose to eat at the two restaurants within the resort and were very satisfied on every time. We had a room close to the lobby and so had strong wifi signal and had no issues accessing the internet.

My wife had a very detailed image of a beach wedding including a bamboo gazebo with purple and white materials flowing in the wind, flowers and lanterns all around. In her image everything was colour coordinated, even down to the colour that the registrar would be wearing! She is also a photographer so she also had specific requirements for the wedding photographer.

On the first day we arrived at the Avani Bentota, we were met by the wedding coordinator Mr Thissa, who tried his best to understand exactly what my wife wanted. Despite the specific requirements he said that he would do everything to match our requirements.

On the next day, Mr Thissa showed us the options for the location of the wedding on the beach, he arranged for Mr Tulhan, the photographer and the florist to come and meet us. He arranged for the hairdresser to come and do a dry run of my wife's hair and make up. This settled many of our anxieties about the event.

The night before the wedding, the restaurant manger Mr Pradeep, arranged a special dinner for us on the beach as this was also my wife's birthday. We had a six course meal, sea food platter and a birthday cake was provided for my wife. My wife really felt special.

On the day of the wedding, Mr Thissa and Mr Pradeep constructed the bamboo gazebo exactly to specifications and decorated it with the coloured materials and flowers that my wife had dreamt of. They had even asked the registrar to wear purple so that she would also match the wedding colours.

The weather was perfect on the day and the photographer captured all the shots that we wanted. Mr Thissa had also arranged for us to have the wedding dinner in the restaurants wine cellar and he surprised us by upgrading our room to a suite for the wedding night.

We then spent seven days at the hotel, relaxing by the pool and the fantastic beach. We did also take a couple of trips from the hotel.

All in all the staff and the hotel exceeded all our expectations and I would recommend it for others.

Hooman Ghalamkari
Bristol, UK.

Room Tip: Choose a room near the lobby for example 206-208 where the wifi signal is strong.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank hosseing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
59 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2013

What a beautiful romantic resort . Nice and clean . State of the art room. Excellent staffs. Live music . Wow best of the best location. Love to go there again . Nice prices compared to 5 stars Around this area. This is 4.5 but exceed 5 star service and quality

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank thabo v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa

Property: AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa
Address: Bentota, Bentota 80500, Sri Lanka (Formerly Hotel Serendib)
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Bentota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Bentota
#5 Luxury Hotel in Bentota
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Bentota
#7 Romantic Hotel in Bentota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 76
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Avani Bentota Resort And Spa
Avani Bentota Hotel Bentota
Serendib Hotel Bentota

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