Chose to go to Sri Lanka this year rather than our usual Goa as we picked up nasty salmonella in Calangute last year. Everything at the Mermaid spotless and well organised and the whole country much cleaner. Our room was lovely and overlooked the pool and was close to all amenities - felt quite safe there. Staff extremely helpful and pleasant everywhere although bar got a bit crowded sometimes as did the buffet and they certainly were very attentive when they knew it was near your departure date. Evenings could get a bit boring with same old entertainment and no decent restaurants nearby (except the Paradise along the beach) for a change. Food a bit samey but always a great variety and tasty and fresh although we suspect they used the leftovers from each meal for the next - recycling at its best. Local drinks were fine although wine cost a bit. Massages were excellent - the head neck and shoulders we had almost daily were half the price of UK. Internet access difficult - just one small computer in the office and no wi-fi which nowadays is a must. Nothing was too much trouble and we would highly recommend this hotel - probably more fun if you went in a group. Kalutara very busy market town but is ideally situated for trips to the Temples in the north and the Animal Parks in the south. The Beach Boys are bona fida tour guides only trying to make a living. We had some fabulous trips with one of them - Indi de Silva and his driver Bala and in fact he looked after us splendidly throughout our whole holiday even inviting us to his home for lunch - thank you Indi!.The hotel and travel company try to dissuade you from using them but everyone who used them had a good time as far as I know. We wanted to do the trips on our own so we could dictate the pace etc and even though the travel companies do this they charge you for the pleasure and you follow a set route. I would particularly recommend the the trip to Kandy and Sigiriya - next time we will do Polonnaruwa and Dambula. The highlight for me was the safari at Yala and we also thoroughly enjoyed the Botanical Gardens (try and get Pali for your guide - brilliant) and the lake at Kandy. Even the culture show was far better than we thought and you get a drink as well. The Temple of the Tooth is an experience all on its own!!! Also next time we might just scale Sigiriya to the top - bit rickety at the moment! (Yes us as well as the spiral staircase). We booked with Mercury Direct who were excellent although we travelled on Gulf who were OK but I was amazed that they fed you asap and then nothing after that - no cup of tea or anything unless you asked for it - not really on for two 7 hour journeys (we changed at Bahrain). As for gems then this is your place. Moonlight Gems just outside the gates - with the charming Lal and Kumara and their Dad. We bought a fabulous 5 sapphire ring for my Xmas present and a Ruby guard ring for my Wedding Anniversary present next year - both exquisitely handmade - you even get to see it being made. They put a semi precious stone in my husband's coptic cross which is in fact his wedding ring re-worked. (They laughed at this but it was always too wide - as was mine and I shall be taking the earrings I had made out of it to be reworked by them next time). He is very pleased with it. Prices reasonable and you get to choose whatever you want - fab. They also made us a couple of silver necklaces for the girls in our family - their names in Sinhalese and adorned with their birthstones. Thanks Boys. Yes if you want a pleasant clean comfortable small and intimate hotel then this is for you - far better than the large impersonal conglomerates we feel. A mixture of English German and Russians with a few other nationalities thrown in appeared to frequent this place. If you are a sun lover then it is ideal - wall to wall sunbathing all day (except when it rains) The beach and sea are turbulent I would say but may be calmer at other times of the year. I have tried to be honest and relate the facts as we experienced them.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Mermaid Hotel & Club lies on the golden sands of Mahawaskaduwa; a cosy fishing village in the city of Kalutara which is of religious significance, just 24 miles south of Colombo and 45 miles from the International airport. It is cleverly nestled in a vast coconut grove along a stretch of golden, sandy beach; a perfect get-away for sun, sand and sea lovers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Mermaid And Club
- Resort All Inclusive Mermaid
- Mermaid Hotel Sri Lanka
- Hotel Mermaid & Club Sri Lanka/Kalutara