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“Terrific resort”

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AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 23 Hotels in Bentota
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1,333 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Kalutara, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
57 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014

Stayed with family over a weekend at Avani Bentota and my experience was a mixed bag.

The hotel is nicely designed (by Geofferey Bawa) and has a welcoming feel to it. The premises are well maintained and so are the rooms. I found the rooms to be cozy and comfy with good size specially if you book a superior room. The pool was lovely and the beach was nice too. Unfortunately you don't get much of a view from the room towards the beach due to the tree line in between. There is a nice gym and a spa as well as a few recreational activities which you can engage in. Also, we were not troubled too much by the trains and we barely heard them from the rooms.

However, the biggest let down was in the restaurant. Perhaps due to the period being the off season not much interest was shown to provide the guests with a good dining experience. The varieties were limited and so were the quantities. Specially the action stations were unmanned and out of stuff. I ordered Spaghetti and got Penne instead and the portion was big enough to feed 4 people. Looks like all the remaining Penne has been served to me so that the chef can be done with it. Overall the food was a big disappointment since the taste was also not up to the mark when compared with similar hotels around the country.

However, the bar was in a totally different level with good selection, prompt service and quality in what was delivered as well as a good ambiance. Sadly the same can not be said of the restaurant.

Also, a word of caution with regard to keeping your room doors open. I had my door open for a few minutes while fiddling with the TV when somebody peeped in from the door. I just saw the movement and quickly went to the door. It was the guy who was doing the painting outside and said he just 'checked' since the door was open. It was a good thing I saw him coming in, otherwise no knowing what he was planning on checking. So never ever leave the doors open and since the doors here are not auto locking, make sure to manually lock all doors when leaving.

All in all the hotel has a good potential and can truly be world class but at the moment it is just average for me.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jayathu
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, 18 July 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for taking your valuable time to leave a comment about your experience with us. Your comments are important to us and I have discussed your concerns with our Executive chef and the Food and Beverage team to look at seriously uplifting in these areas. With the very recent improvements we carried out at our restaurants, we assure you that the culinary experience we offer is enhanced. Thank you also for the positive comments you’ve made about our bar service. We have shared your kind sentiments with our teams, in order to encourage them further.

It is wonderful to note that you enjoyed the hotel’s design and its facilities. We have also taken note of the incident mentioned and we have advised our maintenance and housekeeping associate to be mindful and exercise caution when checking if a room is utilized or not.

Thank you once again for your valuable thoughts and I hope that you would give us another opportunity to provide you with a truly memorable holiday experience.

Yours sincerely,

Roshan Adihetty
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

Before you finish your sentence you probably will get a No!

We were greeted by a smiling gentleman at the entrance, but the front office staff were appalling! After flying 4:45mins and a driving 2:40minutes they tell us to take a room on the upper floor ( im with a pregnant wife). Else I had to wait 3 hours to get a room on the ground floor. So I asked if I could spend 3 hours in the room and then later move down. NO! Apparently if you check in you MUST stay in that room all days and cant leave! I managed to call my travel agent representative and surprisingly he managed to get it 15mins! Amazing... ( we later found out the occupancy level was 40%!)

Front office staff - possibly the worst I have ever seen ( I come from the customer service industry and with a catering background, besides being in aviation over 14years )

The property was maintained well, the pool was clean and of a descent size. Location wise the beach is an extension of the property so that worked well for us with baby. Room service was really poor. We ordered pasta - boiled penne with yogurt and some cream arrived!

We booked the half board occupancy and were amazed at the service standard. The staff were pleasant though many were tuned to just say NO all the time! - can we have a coconut water please? No! - well why not - because its not there! ( there were coconuts behind the waitress! ) . Finally we exclaimed " look behind you " - guess what ? Coconuts arrived. After repeatedly advising us that we would have to pay for them. Despite agreeing to this we were daily put through the agony of assuring them the coconuts will be paid for!
Buffet spread not a 4* standard possibly 2*

On day 3 of our trip the pool was closed due to some cleaning very disappointing. The dinner buffet was shut and we were asked to choose any one starter, main and dessert. This was shocking. We never liked one of them. It took me a while to convince them that it was my sons birthday and this was unacceptable. In a great attempt to service recover this, the manager Mahesh got us a separate menu and had our evening made special with his company and the chefs efforts to create a menu we could enjoy. This was much appreciated.

Overall besides the house keeping staff and Mahesh, it was not the best customer service in anyway. We took a day out and decided to pop by the Taj Bentota to have lunch there. Clearly the Taj is in a different league besides the food, property and standards being more superior. The YES factor was there, we were addressed by name, we were offered choices and staff that were so kind and helpful. The Taj ;executive chef Sunny blew us away with his customer service and his staff leadership. Next time thats where we go!

I would stay away from Avani - the no hotel.

Room Tip: Dont choose the room. Go elsewhere!
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Advisor16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SLML, Manager at AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 18 July 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to leave your thoughts. It is with great despair that I note your sentiments about your experience with our associates being negative for most of your requests. Being a hotel which has its core focus on customer satisfaction; most of our training efforts are applied in this area. When carefully reviewing your detailed experience and also speaking to the associates in the briefing sessions which take place on a daily basis, the management has identified that a key contributor in creating this negative perception has been the lack of language proficiency in some frontline service levels. In order to overcome this language barrier, efforts have already been made by organizing special language classes for our associates. Even though this is a hotel wide training program, I have advised the front office manager and the food & beverage manager to organize a special training together with the training department to address the concerns you raised. I am happy to inform you that the training department is seriously looking at ways to improve the standard of our associates and their language skills. We apologies for the inconveniences caused during your stay with us and would like to thank you for bringing these concerns to our notice.

Front office associates had been very concerned that you were dissatisfied by their efforts to assist you in arranging a ground floor room. Since your original reservation was for a Standard room and since all Standard rooms apart from the one you were allocated in the third floor was occupied, this was the reason why you were requested to allow three hours to arrange a standard ground floor room. Subsequent to your discussions with the front office staff, your travel agent representative had contacted the hotel and requested for a room upgrade to a superior room which was not communicated to you. The hotel had made an exception and provided this for you, particularly because you were with your pregnant wife. We try our best to provide our guests their preferred room option, but this as you may agree is dependent on constraints such as room availability in the respective room category. I do apologize for the way you felt during the check-in process and for the lack of clarity in our communication.

Once again we apologize for the inconveniences you faced during your stay and appreciate your valuable feedback. I hope you will provide us another opportunity to provide a service and an experience that you will enjoy. If you require any assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Roshan Adihetty
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colombo, Sri Lanka
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 May 2014

Stayed there for a single night with family. Really enjoyed the ambience of the hotel. very seductive. Rooms are spacious with a small balcony. Lovely setting in the garden. Great swimming pool with a safe baby pool. Lobby is simple and elegant. Saff is way too nice some time you feel intimidated. Even the maintenance staff were very attentive.
Food was good, though I thought more spread would do good. But that doesn't mean it's not sufficient. I dn't think I have to elaborate on the super beach of Bentota.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JithB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bengaluru, India
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 May 2014 via mobile

I stayed in this hotel from the 15th of may till the 18th of may. I had a blast staying here and all the staff were very helpful and friendly. The hotel itself was amazing and very well maintained! The access to the beach was very easy and even the rooms were superb and super comfy. My only problem with the hotel is that during breakfast and dinner the variety for vegetarian food was very limited and hence I had to go almost straight to desserts. Plus the service when asked for water, spoons etc when we were at the buffet could have been better. Otherwise a great place to go for a holiday and would love to recommend it!!

Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Vishisht B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jersey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
80 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2014

Firstly, the good points which add up to the rating. Beautiful setting, pools and beach are fantastic, rooms clean, everything works, staff are friendly and helpful. Food good, drinks not expensive, hawkers are kept off of the promises. Only 75 rooms so no fighting for sunbeds. Of course, if you go off site you will get pestered but it is honest and good natured and there are bargains if you have the patience, if not polite and firm usually does the trick. We were upgraded to half board because of refurbishment, which saved searching too hard for good restaurants, of which there are few.

Now the problem. Whoever decided to build a hotel between the main Colombo/ Galle railway line and the beach needs shooting. The hotel is no more than 5 meters from the busiest railway in the country, worse still the track is on a bend and totally unfenced. Consequently every train sounds it's horns, no matter if it's 0100, 0300, 0500. As the rooms are not soundproofed, it is a real pain. Trust me EVERY train.

I can't.blame the hotel as all of the other beach hotels have the same situation, we met people from three other hotels who commented the same. After the first two nights we got used to it, but there is no denying it is something that would make us think twice about a revisit.

Siestas are a must.

Room Tip: Ask for one in the reception block with a sea or pool view. I can only assume it is better. Or take...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank peterrexwhite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SLML, Manager at AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 24 June 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for leaving your thoughts about your recent stay with us. We are pleased to note that you have enjoyed the property, our service and facilities. As you correctly mentioned, the southern coastal belt has some of the best beaches in Sri Lanka as well as rail tracks which travel close to them, laid hundreds of years ago. Therefore, even though we have less than 15 trains that go through the Bentota station within the course of a day, most guests staying in hotels on the coastal belt can experience train travel, and this provides our guests with a wonderful opportunity to use the rail to visit the UNESCO declared world heritage site of Galle where the charm and the beauty of colonial Sri Lanka is still evident and unblemished for most part. The heritage left by the visiting Portuguese, The Dutch and the English Sailors is still captured inside the walls of the old fort. You can also access the low country tea estates in the Galle district which produces some of world’s finest tea flavors and the journey in the rail is in itself a very cost effective way of travel enriched with local experiences.

We hope you will consider staying with us in the near future and savour the local experiences which I am sure will add more value to your holiday. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any assistance in the future.

Yours sincerely,

Roshan Adihetty
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Modiin Israel
Level Contributor
36 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2014

We spent our last three nights in Sri Lanka at this hotel. The service and cleanliness, as in Sri Lanka in general, is very good, with smiling staff who do their best. Other positive points are the location - a nice beach, although the ocean was too rough for bathing during our visit, and two great pools. Breakfast is fine but the dinner menu needs refining, including the addition of dishes suitable for the Western palate. (In addition to my husband and myself, there were many Europeans at the hotel during our stay.) Unfortunately, the air conditioning in our large deluxe room could not be adjusted and so it constantly blew on us. In addition, we had reserved a deluxe room with a view, but the view from our room gave us only a peek at the ocean.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a clear view of the ocean!
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ArnaModiinIsrael
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 > Galle District > 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
#4 Luxury Hotel in Bentota
#5 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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