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“If you want to ruin your vacation, this hotel is the place to be!” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Surf Hotel

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The Surf Hotel
Ranked #8 of 30 Hotels in Bentota
Paris, France
Level Contributor
33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“If you want to ruin your vacation, this hotel is the place to be!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 April 2014

I spent 3 nights in this hotel and used it to wrap our vacation to Sri lanka and Maldives. I was excited to go and chill out on the beach, pay the amount of money that will guarantee a suitable enviroment for a beach hotel. Everything was simply amazing, room location was perfectly good next to the pool. Bed was overlooking the beach and the pool. However, the staff there miss the professionalism and the politness in dealing with guests to the extent of shouting over guests. What i know is that even if the guest is mistaken, as a hotelier (professional one) you just keep quiet and get along with whatever. It is the first time in my whole life that i receive that reaction and such an attitude from a hotelier. They did not have the standards of dealing with guests, and it gets worse when as a hotel, you know that you are mistaken yet you do not admit it and you do not do the corrective answers. I have stayed in exactly 8 hotels in Srilanka and they charged less, yet indeed this was the worst interms of service. Would stay in any of the hotels next door. At the end of the day, we pay for the service we get and not for the bed!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mohammad A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lee W, Manager at The Surf Hotel, responded to this review, 22 April 2014
Dear Mr. Mohammad,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback.
I’m pleased that you were very positive regarding the facility “ Everything was simply amazing, room location was perfectly good next to the pool. Bed was overlooking the beach and the pool”

We really take any suggestions for improvement very seriously and investigate each area where we might have fallen short in satisfying our guests.
We believe that among the issues you encountered was our policy of ‘hotel guests only’ for the two swimming pools.
This policy has been adopted to ensure access, availability and service to our guests.
As a hotelier yourself I’m sure you can understand this policy.

Of course we are disappointed that you couldn’t endorse our hotel but are glad that you enjoyed your holiday in Sri Lanka.
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776 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (190)
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English first
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2014 via mobile

Spent 2 nights here as part of a trip around Sri Lanka and had a wonderful time. Staff were very polite and friendly though not overbearing. Room was lovely and as you would expect for a 4 star hotel. Buffets were lovely and good value for the amount of food on offer; breakfast was especially tasty. Pools were well maintained with comfy sunbeds. Only minor issue was the temperature in the shower fluctuated quite a lot but not enough to bother us.

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank stephtrueman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lee W, Manager at The Surf Hotel, responded to this review, 16 April 2014
Dear Stephn,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience about our hotel on TripAdvisor. We are happy to see that you were able to enjoy your stay (even if it was a short one) and our services and facilities met your expectation. I do apologize about the problem you had with the temperature of the shower (even if it was a minor issue for you) and will make sure to inform our maintenance staff to check on it. Again. thank you for visiting us and hope we would see you again in the near future.
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Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2014

We stayed here in early Jan 2014. This is a great place - clean, large and private beach, every room faces the ocean and the food was good. The only complaint is that I purchased this via Bookings.Com. When I arrived to the hotel, there was an additional government tax which increased the rate by 15% or so (I think this # is correct). This was a surprise, and likely not the hotel's fault.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jmichael2410
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lee W, Manager at The Surf Hotel, responded to this review, 2 April 2014
Dear Michael,

Thank you very much for recommending us on TripAdvisor. We are happy to see that you were able to enjoy the facilities provided by us at the Surf. As you mentioned, booking.com and other online sites does not publish the nett rate including the taxes and other service fees but mentions that on the confirmation once the reservation is finalized. It is only calculated at the time of payment and we do apologize if there was confusion from our end. Again, thank you very much for choosing our property, and looking forward to see back here during your next visit to Bentota.
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wales
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2014

Stayed here in January as part of a six day extension following a tour of Northern Sri Lanka with Archers Direct.The quality of accommodation,cleanliness and food was excellent.The hotel has a wonderful location on the beach looking on to the Indian ocean and with a train station nearby and taxies and tuk tuks outside the hotel gates,it is very easy to explore under your own steam if you wish.
We were the only two British guests staying at the hotel at this time.The majority of the guests were either Russian,Ukranian or German,so the hotel staff soon got to recognise us.
At each entrance to the dining room,there were polite notices asking guests not to remove food from the dining area and smart casual attire should be worn in the evening at the restaurant.Food was removed quite openly.
When you have made an effort to "smarten up" for dinner it is disappointing to see guests arrive in their beach clothes and flip flops.It is a four star hotel,but doesnt seem to have the backbone to maintain this standard.
Housekeeping need a reminder to do up the rooms in the evening,in fact my room was only attended to three times in the evening out of six nights.
On the last but one day of the holiday,the housekeeping "boy" made a point of calling me to inspect the room,even though I was sunbathing on the patio.On the final day he again called me to inform me he was the room boy!I always tip ,leaving money in the room when vacated,but this practice is a turn off.The hotel porter also,when tipped for carrying a case just a few yards,stated that it was not enough!Management should be made aware of this practice to prevent intimidation by staff.
However a mostly very pleasant stay and I would be happy to return again in the future.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank nomadvaleofglamorgan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lee W, Manager at The Surf Hotel, responded to this review, 1 March 2014
Dear Guest,

It is great to see the comments you have made about our property. While it's great to see that many of the hotel facilities were up to your liking, we appreciate you bringing up about the areas we should look into. We will make sure to attend to staff related matters to avoid such problems for future guests. As far as the restaurant goes, even though we request our guests of dress code for meals it is not a requirement as we are a beach hotel. We are glad to hear overall your stay with us was a great one and we would love to see you back at the Surf.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DoBuy
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 February 2014

Stayed there Oct 13 for 7 days. They try hard, and the G.M personally does rounds to check on your satisfaction. I found the quality of acommodation and cleanliness to be good, and on par with any comparible hotel in the West in this regard. I took my wife and children, and we are quite discerning when it comes to service and cleanliness. We had no complaints in those areas. I know that the G.M. reads these reviews, so I would like to propose the following actions for him to consider implementing: The entertainment seems limited to karaoke and lying on the beach or at the pool orp wandering around the village 2 km away (not great at night). The hotel really needs some more self contained entertainment. I know that the sea is too rough for pedal boats and kayaks, and a seven day stay felt too long versus the activities available. Second, the buffet was good, but tended to repeat itself every third day. Third, although the rooms are very nice, I cannot figure why the rooms on the 300 numbers side (left wing if your back is to the sea) did not have shower curtains or more of an enclosed area. I know it is meant to fit in with the whole stylish minimalistic decor but the reality is that the entire bathroom floor becomes soaked when a person showers. I do like the lovely foliage and decor of your hotel; great price (something like USD 90 or 100 per night if I recall correctly). Tips for people considering staying here: 4 to 5 days max, as activities are limited and even after you have visited the informal turtle sanctuaries and taken a boat on the river to pet the baby crocs, then thats it, unless you visit the souvenir and leather stalls in the village. Sea is too rough for kids and most adults to swim in. Please note that the ride to Bentota from Colombo is pretty "interesting" - a single lane road most of the way and trucks and busses overtake each other on blind rises- you should have a few drinks beforehand if you tend to be a nervous passenger. The 60 km trip takes around 3 hours. Overall a nice hotel. P.S. do not buy seafood from the little restaurants around the villages, as their prices are higher than any European fine dining restaurant, and you get ripped off mega deluxe. I observed one of the restaurants displaying the Trip Advisor sticker, whilst having rusted pieces of scrap iron and scrawny dogs and chickens in the restaurant yard in plain sight of the diners.. They know how to play old Trip Advisor signs with tourists. Also please note that certain guest houses or hotels with wonderfully European sounding names e.g. in German or other languages are not always owned and managed by Europeans: I met a local from the village with no hospitality training who owns such an establishment, and whose only connection to the European name, was less than 6 months he worked in Europe doing manual stuff. I digress, but the point is to not take everything at face value.

Room Tip: Ask for a room not near the service yard and not near the pool. Rooms on right side of hotel ( if yo...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DubaiGuyblahwhatever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lee W, Manager at The Surf Hotel, responded to this review, 21 February 2014
Dear Guest,

It's great to hear from you even after such a long time. We are happy to see that many aspects of the hotel was to your liking and will take in to consideration the suggestions you made.
We have added few items to our daily programs and offer activities such as beach volleyball, darts, mini golf, movie night and few other options since you have last visited us. Also, we are now providing variety of live entertainment in our main restaurant during dinner.
But, as you suggested we will do our best to increase the options when it comes to entertainment to keep our guests occupied and happy. Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts on TripAdvisor and feel free to contact us with any other suggestions or issues you may have.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2014

We had a reservation for three nights but the hotel made a mistake and double-booked so we couldn't stay the first night. They admitted their error and put us in another hotel for that night. As compensation they agreed to include dinner for the remaining 2 days. They had on computers for customers to use so I asked reception if they would check of in online, which was when I realised that the staff could barely use a computer. Needless to say they were unable to manage my online check-in. The staff appeared poorly trained and the housekeeping staff had a very poor command of English. Food unremarkable. A bog standard tourist hotel

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ladams888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lee W, Manager at The Surf Hotel, responded to this review, 21 February 2014
Dear Sir,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience about our property. Even though initially there was an issue with your room, I'm happy to see that we were able to take care of the transfer and the compensation to minimize the inconvenience.
Unfortunately, as a resort type of hotel we do not offer the business center facilities. But we do offer complimentary Wi-Fi service through out the hotel for guest to use their own devices. As in your case, I know that option was not helpful and we will try to implement a better solution for the future. Once again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and giving us an opportunity to improve ourselves.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
68 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 February 2014 via mobile

I arrived very early morning of the 27th of Jan at the hotel and was welcomed and quickly ushered to the room. 
The porter/proudly told me that i get a seaview room which isn't so surprising as all rooms offered are so.
The first and second impression  was that the room was worn and that the last renovation happend years back. (learned later that the hotel is only 1 year old!?!)

The aircon was on a very noisy full blast mode - it felt like in the Arctic - the porter turned it down which meant he turned it off - apparently it has only those to stages!?

After the porter left i realized that the bed was full with mostly dead but also alive animals!!

The bedsheet was dirty and the pillow case torn. The cover of the aircon ventilation shaft covered in dust/dirt.

In the night the temprature dropped to about 21 degrees as the double bed was fitted with only a thin sheet I woke up feeling cold. Checking the room for an extra sheet/blanket but to no success. I used towels to keep warm.

Diectly behind the hotel is a gasoline filling station (or something similar) for trucks which produces at times huge noice and rudely awakend me. That noice was followed by the rumble of the enormous diesel locomotive running down- the track just about 50 meters away from the hotel.
On the positive side - the wifi in the room works fine and the bathroom was roomy.

So far the hotel does by all means not satisfy me nor is it up to the promised 4star standard.

Defenitly too expensive for what it is and i dont recommend this hotel.

I m soon heading down to see the management and give them a chance to explain before I post this review.
-----
After requesting a response from the GM to my email for 3 times -

Management sent instead of the addressed GM the Vice relationship manager expressing that they did repair the aircon in the morning - funny as I was in the room until 13:00 and nobody came.
The animals were explained as normal!!
Extra sheets to be added even so the manager thought they are usually not needed.
A change of room was denied as there were no other room available.


No other viable explanation were given and no other solution than sending the repair team (again) to the room and to leave the hotel when not satisftied.

2days later after the aircon was still not fixed we were "allowed" to change the room.

In case you swim in the smaller pool be VERYcareful about the broken underwater lamp with visible bare wire (!) and sharp edge!!!

Final conclusion - it's a serious management problem and a lack of willingness to serve up to the promised standard and costs charged - therefore my recommendation avoid at all costs you can get it better and cheaper at other places.
I hope the shareholders of the hotel are reading this and act on it.

Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank MarqueeHK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lee W, Manager at The Surf Hotel, responded to this review, 21 February 2014
Dear Sir,

Thank you very much for sharing the issues you faced during your recent visit to The Surf. First of all, I apologize for any inconvenience you had to go through as a result.
Once the problems were brought up to our attention, our staff have attended to them at your earliest convenience. Our front office found that those rectifications did not resolve the issues you were experiencing, and offered a room change away from the area you were in to avoid the noise problems.
However, I'm disappointed that we could not give the experience you were expecting and to let you down. Even though, you may not consider us during your next visit to the area, we will take do our best to avoid such issues in the future. Thank you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Surf Hotel

Property: The Surf Hotel
Address: Beach Road, Bentota, Bentota 80500, Sri Lanka (Formerly Lihiniya Surf Hotel)
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Bentota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Bentota
#6 Spa Hotel in Bentota
#7 Family Hotel in Bentota
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Bentota
#10 Romantic Hotel in Bentota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — The Surf Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 95
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Surf Bentota Hotel Bentota
Lihiniya Surf Bentota
Hotel Lihiniya Surf
Lihiniya Surf Hotel

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