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“Amazing setting, fantastic staff and immaculate rooms. 10/10.”

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The Waterside Bentota
Ranked #12 of 23 Hotels in Bentota
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
85 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Amazing setting, fantastic staff and immaculate rooms. 10/10.”
Reviewed 17 February 2009

Simply stunning, no other words will suffice. The rooms were immaculately decorated and the position and staff were superb.

My girlfriend and I were the only residents at the hotel on the night we stayed (Valentines Night) and the service was second to none. The staff were attentive without being instrusive, they seemed to disappear when they weren't needed and appear when our glasses were empty or we needed to ask them a question. Lucky and Little Lucky were great, we went on an early morning boatride and had a great time, Water Monitors and birds everywhere, we even saw Jellyfish swimming up the river!!

The owner, Susan was lovely, she told us how she came to settle in the area and was the perfect host. We felt that we were her guests and not customers paying for the privilege of staying in this glorious hotel.

All in all a truly memorable stay, it's a shame we couldn't stay for longer but we had to come back to England. With only 5/6 rooms this hotel has a very personal feel and we'd recommend this hotel for everyone. It's in a very rural location, about 2km from the busy Bentota resort, so you have the best of both worlds.

Thanks to Susan and the staff for letting us stay with you.
Jon

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank faceman01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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133 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
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English first
Worksop, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2009

I must begin this review by saying that not many tourists stay in the same hotel in this part of the world for 2 weeks - but we did. We had visited Sri Lanka some years ago and had already done the vast majority of the sightseeing, so we decided to go back and have a very restful holiday, take short trips in the tuc tuc, see the local beaches and mix with the local people.

What a joy it turned out to be. Despite the fact that the hotel was empty for most of our stay (this was the same for most of the hotels in Bentota which seemed to be as a result of both the credit crunch throughout the world, plus the Tamil Tiger problems which are so much in the news at the moment) the whole experience was like home from home. Susan and her business partner Kamal were the perfect hosts, and the staff, EVERY ONE OF THEM, were wonderful. It was really difficult to say goodbye to such genuinely lovely people.

The location of the hotel is superb and the grounds and pool area are pristine and well furnished. The pool is spotlessly clean and very suitable for anyone with mobility difficulties as the steps make getting in and out very easy. The pool area and surrounding garden is furnished really well, with comfortable sunbeds beds, umbrellas and fresh pool towels

We had already chosen a room on the ground floor when we originally booked, but on arrival the hotel was host to a local wedding, which meant the grounds were quite busy, so after a very welcome drink and cold towels to spruce up after the long journey, our host “Lucky” suggested we use a room on the upper floor and we could transfer later. On seeing the room we were both hooked – it was absolutely beautiful (Room 5). The room was light, airy and spacious, with the most wonderful furniture, paintings, wood calvings and wall hangings made by local craftsmen. and a huge balcony with a view to die for. The full bathroom (double wash hand basin/ full bath/overhead shower) provided light and space and was well stocked with soft fluffy towels (changed daily). I would agree with the previous review that complimentary toiletries would have been very welcome. As we were there for 2 weeks we had taken our own, but on previous holidays where we have moved from hotel to hotel we have relied on toiletries being available.

The village behind the hotel is, in effect, the jungle, splattered with a few local houses, smallholdings, a working elephant, lazy well mannered dogs resting in the road, the odd cow here and there, a temple down the road, children playing, young boys getting coconuts from the trees, in fact an oasis of green with all the sounds and smells that are part of this far from the madding crowd environment. If you want a typical resort based holiday then don’t come here it’s far too tranquil. If you're looking to be a night owl, then this is not the place for you.

As far as the food was concerned in comparison to the other hotels in Bentota the food at The Waterside was excellent. We had only 2 nights eating alone, but that didn't bother us one bit. On other nights tourists (mostly from the Taj ) were eating in the restaurant and the atmosphere was very congenial. We did eat elsewhere on some nights and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I suppose on this holiday we were a little lazy and didn’t tend to move too far. The sea food (King Prawns) were excellent as was the Sri Lankan curry. My husband particularly enjoyed the grilled whole parawa fish. Breakfast was whatever you wanted it to be, either the usual bacon and egg or continental. Would suggest you ask for the “brown bread” at breakfast as the standard white sliced bread is not particularly good. I can certainly recommend the “porridge” and also the wonderful plate of fruit which always finished off the breakfast. We were so full we had to take it up to our room and store in the fridge for later.

My husband spent 2 very happy evenings fishing with “Little Lucky”, but unfortunately on both nights the fish didn’t bite. Little Lucky also ferried passengers over to the beach in the boat and would arrange to pick you up later if need be. We used the boat one way and took a tuc tuc back from wherever we happened to be.

We spent a lovely half day with “Lucky” on a tuc tuc tour around the surrounding area, seeing and experiencing the sights and sounds of the surrounding villages, visited a local school and a tea plantation, the rice paddy fields, rubber plantation and turtle hatchery followed by a very pleasant half hour taking tea and cakes.

We took advantage of the taxi service both to and from the airport and what a godsend it turned out to be. Wouldn’t hesitate to use this service again. Both drivers were terrific and to be quite honest deserve a medal for driving in those conditions. It took 3.5 hours to drive maybe 100km (compare this to 3.5 hours from home to Gatwick (218 miles)!!!! Sri Lanka is the only destination where we never hire a moped or motor bike (we certainly do in India, Malaysia and Thailand), but Sri Lanka is definitely a “no no”.

We would like to thank everyone at The Waterside for making our stay so special. Unfortunately we don’t ever go back to the same place twice as there is so much of the world to see, but we would certainly recommend this place to anyone who is thinking of visiting Sri Lanka.

Jan & Harry Morgan
15th – 29th Jan 2009

  • Liked — Everything, but especially the staff - they are all wonderful - thankyou to everyone.
  • Disliked — Leaving
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank jan.morgan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
39 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2009

This hotel is in a good location on the river and has a very pretty garden and pool area. The restaurant however was a great disappointment... no atmosphere whatever, though that may have been partly because the hotel was almost empty when we were there. The food although adequate was in no way special. We had expected more from the reviews we had read.
If you don't smoke I suggest you request a non smokuing room at the time of booking (our room was very smokey)
Also remember to pack your own shampoo. All 8 other hotels we stayed in supplied it but here I was told I would have to go to the shops!
We had planned to stay for 4 days but left after one, only too happy to forfeit our deposit and move on.

Pat and Julian Shearer

  • Liked — Leaving
  • Disliked — Most things
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank julianshearer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warwickshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2009

This boutique hotel lives up to all previous reviews. We were greeted, after a long coastal drive, with a refreshing cool flannel and our bags were whisked to our room by smartly dressed waiters. The bedroom was immaculate, spacious and with the mini-bar, drinking water, sky TV and air con, everything you could wish for. The kingsize beds are turned down every night with fresh flower petals.
The staff made us feel extremely welcome and were always on sight to offer us advice for excursions; we wanted to chill and escape but we did enjoy night fishing, the local temple, a beach trip and a look at the local Primary school. (I am a teacher!) The food is exquisite, especially the Jumbo King Prawns!!
We had a most relaxing week, with perfect weather and the quiet atmosphere you crave for when on a romantic getaway. We wish the Waterside much success and would not hesitate to recommend this beautiful hidden gem.

  • Liked — View over lagoon
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank RachandPaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
abu dhabi
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2008

I've just spent three very relaxing days at the Waterside and can only agree with what has been said before. The hotel has it all: peaceful location, light, airy and very comfortable rooms, a nice swimming pool, good food and excellent staff. This is a place I would certainly want to go back to. Highly recommended.

  • Liked — everything
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank laAbuDhabi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton, UK
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2008

Stayed at Waterside with my 18 year old daughter and had a wonderful chill out few days before embarking on a tour. Booked hotel direct over the internet and was a little apprehensive as it was our first visit to Sri Lanka and wasn't sure what to expect. The hotel organised a car to pick us up from the airport and take us on to our next destination and nothing was too much trouble during our stay ( waking up the first couple of days due to jet lag/humidity was a problem but they still served us breakfast even though it was nearly lunchtime!). The boys took us into town in the tuk tuk a couple of times (loved it!) but we were quite happy to relax by the pool, read and be looked after by the attentive (but not intrusive) staff.
Our first evening was spent having a drink watching the bats (fascinating even though we both hate bats!) come out of the trees around the lagoon. Dinner was served on the terrrace during a spectacular thunderstorm. Take up the offer of the boat trip - saw water monitors, baby crocodiles and numerous bird life. If you like small boutique hotels, you will love Waterside.

  • Liked — The service and quality of the accomodation
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Sarah-Emily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Waterside Bentota

Property: The Waterside Bentota
Address: Yathramulla Road | Yathramulla Bentota, Bentota 80500, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Bentota
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Bentota
#5 Family Hotel in Bentota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Waterside Bentota 3.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Waterside is an elegant well maintained Villa with restaurant,which is situated in a unique riverside location,and has magnificent views over the wide Bentota Ganga. Waterside is popular with guests of all nationalities.We have 6 ensuite (with bathtub and shower) A/C rooms with bar fridge,fan and satellite TV.The large open restaurant serves delicious Sri Lankan and Western dishes as well as mouth watering seafood.During your stay you can relax by our pool which is only a few steps from all the rooms, whilst enjoying the surrounding mature tropical garden and river views.We offer complimentary boat transfer to nearby beach, water sports or town.If you require Ayuvedic massage we can recommend several treatment centres.Excursions and tours to all the magnificent sites in this beautiful island can be arranged.If you wish to explore the local area we provide bicycles or we can organise local scenic tuk tuk rides . Fishing trips ,bird watching and river trips are available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Waterside Bentota Hotel Bentota
The Waterside Hotel Bentota

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