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“Excellence in every respect”
Review of Elephant Stables

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Elephant Stables
Ranked #3 of 54 Hotels in Kandy
Certificate of Excellence
Aarhus
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Excellence in every respect”
Reviewed 23 February 2014

Our stay with children was in every respect wonderful. The cottage suite left the family plenty of living space, we were met with engaged personnel, the food was delicious (you must try the egg hoppers for breakfast) and the surroundings lovely.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JesperJypo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Inoka-Karunananda, Guest Relations Manager at Elephant Stables, responded to this review, 27 February 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for the lovely feedback you had sent us. We hope you will visit us again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2014

This is a great 6 bedroom hotel with really well appointed rooms and service that matches it. We ate at the hotel both nights and the food was outstanding, especially the sri lanka curry! It is a bit out of town, but in reality who goes there more than likely has a car and driver. Our driver was very pleased as to how he was taken care off. Loved Kandy and I think that this is really down to the hotel.

Room Tip: Any room but book early so you dont have to change during your stay.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Paul-Cup-Scotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Inoka-Karunananda, Guest Relations Manager at Elephant Stables, responded to this review, 27 February 2014
Dear Paul,

Many thanks for the lovely feedback and the staff is very happy to understand that your stay in Kandy was memorable because of Elephant Stables. We look forward to receiving you again in order to serve you better.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cirencester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2014

We couldn't recommend elephant stables enough. Clean, gorgeous interior, lovely pool, great service and great views. We have 3 young children and our room had a little side room with a bunk bed. It was perfect. It was our favourite hotel in Sri Lanka - and we stayed in one of the top hotels. Best food we ate.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Clare M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Inoka-Karunananda, Guest Relations Manager at Elephant Stables, responded to this review, 27 February 2014
Dear Clare,

We are extremely happy to understand that you enjoyed your stay in Elephant Stables and loved the Vanilla suite. We hope you will choose Elephant Stables as your accommodation provider, the next time you visit Kandy.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2014

We stayed here for 2 nights. Its location is slightly away from central Kandy, but it wasn’t inconvenient. It may have helped that we had our own car, so the Temple of tooth was just a 10-15 minute drive away, depending on the traffic. I can see it becoming a slight problem for those without their own vehicle, as you need to descend the small hill on which the hotel is located, in order to reach a road where you can get tuk-tuks. But, being on the hill did help cut off noise from the city, making it peaceful.

We booked directly with the hotel and e-mails were prompt. We were also given detailed directions to reach the hotel and didn’t have trouble finding it despite the lack of signage. Check-in was quick and efficient.

Our room was beautifully furnished and we could see that a lot of care had gone into selecting even the smallest accessory in the room. Both the room and the bathroom were spacious and very clean. They have a tea/coffee maker and a fresh-fruit basket, which is thoughtful. We were also given a mobile with numbers stored in; a good idea. They have an all-day snack menu, with room service.

Their breakfast (included in the tariff) was hearty and tasty. They offer a choice of breakfasts, including Sri Lankan. They also have a nice lawn, pool and deck; we were told that we could have a table set anywhere and we did enjoy having breakfast outdoors. The pool looked very inviting but we didn’t have the time for a swim. The view of the city from the poolside is beautiful. We used their laundry service (though extremely overpriced, as they outsource it) and it was efficient. Wi-Fi was fast. The staff is courteous and efficient (sometimes, they seemed a little short-staffed). Soon after checking in, we discovered that our bathroom drain was clogged and they fixed it promptly. They have comfortable common lounges, with a selection of books to read. With this end the positives of my experience.

There are a few things we found rather odd, which ended up affecting the quality of our stay:

The fact that they charge your credit card in GBP, even if you’ve been quoted a rate in USD - apparently, their main office is based in the UK. The GBP charge was then converted into LKR. As a result, we ended up paying more than the USD rate we were quoted, because of conversion charges (the difference was not a few hundreds, but as much as 3000 + LKR). I’d suggest that they quote all rates in GBP itself, or LKR (since they eventually charge your card in LKR) so guests are not in for a surprise.

They are a small, intimate boutique hotel and I can understand them offering a set menu for meals. However, they do send you an elaborate pre-check in form, which includes questions about your meal preferences, allergies, special needs etc. This definitely indicates that they want to offer you a custom dining experience. Despite mentioning in the form that I’m a vegetarian, I didn’t see them prepared for that. On both nights, we were offered their set menu. On one of the days, it had a few vegetarian options. On the second day, almost nothing except dessert was vegetarian. Because of this, we didn’t eat in both nights. Now this shouldn’t typically bother anybody, but considering that Kandy has limited eating options, and considering that we were celebrating our wedding anniversary there, I was disappointed at not being able to have an intimate dinner. In fact, we’d specifically booked Elephant Stables because we wanted to be in a special hotel on that day. When I asked in the morning if I could get vegetarian food at night, I was told that we could eat out and that they could suggest restaurants. When I repeated that we would like to have a candle-lit dinner on the lawn, we were told that we could discuss with the chef to see if something was possible, or, we could still eat out. By this point, it felt like a huge imposition to ask the chef to plan a vegetarian menu for us, so we ate out. Like I said before, this upset us because the pre-check in form and the website had set some expectations of personalised service in this hotel. They mention that vegetarian menus can be planned with advance notice, and we thought that writing it in the form will prepare them to expect it and hence offer us customised meal options each day, instead of us having to repeatedly ask after being shown the set menu.

The room we stayed in (Citronella) has a large window with a good view. However, we always had to keep the blinds shut because anybody walking on the front lawn could look in. So though I’d specifically chosen this room because it had a view, I couldn’t enjoy it. With so much thought into the design of the hotel, I’m surprised that this point has been overlooked. I’m an architect and I know how easily this problem could be solved through the use of one-way glass; something Elephant Stables can still strongly consider. Also, there is a lot of echo in the hotel and every time the phone rang in the reception, we could hear it in our room. We could also hear staff conversing. Something should be done about this.

Because of these reasons, we didn’t enjoy our stay as much as we’d expected, and felt that we could have spent our money elsewhere. We had more personalised service than this at many small B&Bs we stayed at, in Sri Lanka. However, they do have the potential to be a fantastic boutique hotel if they sort a few things out.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wanderlust1110
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Inoka-Karunananda, Guest Relations Manager at Elephant Stables, responded to this review, 28 February 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for the feedback you have provided us. While happily accepting the positive comments let me acknowledge the negative comments too with explanations.

The window frames and glass windows in the Citronella Suite are the original ones from the 1930’s and are probably not replaceable any more. It would be heartbreaking for us to change this over an issue that no other client has ever mentioned so far. We do however take your comments in good faith.

About your request for vegetarian meals, we have spoken to the on-site management and we must clearly accept that your request was not picked up in time by our staff. Please accept our very sincere apologies for this oversight. Procedures for double checking client requests have been put in place immediately to ensure that this does not happen again.

About Forex issues, unlike most boutique hotels in Sri Lanka, we do not always insist on full payment upfront or at the time of booking. This is usually a great bonus to our valued guests. If clients request a deposit (which can be paid online in GBP) and the remainder payment on check out at the hotel itself, we must legally ask for that in Sri Lankan Rupees only. No other currencies are allowed to be traded in Sri Lanka other than the Sri Lankan Rupee.

Once again, thank you so much for your exhaustive comments, all of which we have digested thoroughly and will make us persevere in our continuing efforts at making The Elephant Stables a world-class property on the island.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colchester
Level Contributor
192 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2014

My last destination on this trip to Sri Lanka and a very good one at that. Elephant Stables is conveniently close to Kandy centre but not too much so and the ten minute ride to it is more than compensated for by the spectacular views.

This is a new property and the accommodation is very good indeed. Everything is state of the art and very upmarket, even had dual air-conditioning in my bedroom and a huge flat screen TV - not that there is anything worth watching on it! A magnificent four poster bed ensured a very good night's rest though one noisy awakening early morning with staff crashing about below. Only ate breakfast here but it was plentiful and delicious.

The Manager and Manjula, the chief steward, were very attentive and helpful but I did find one other member of the staff a little overbearing and gave the impression that he was hanging around for tips.

Would definitely recommend this six room property over any of the larger tourist hotels. It is certainly much better value for money in terms of the quality of accommodation and surroundings.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DM51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Inoka-Karunananda, Guest Relations Manager at Elephant Stables, responded to this review, 3 March 2014
Dear Guest,

Many thanks for the very positive feedback you had sent us. About your comments, we are planning to upgrade the satellite TV package to the premier one which includes HBO, all major worldwide sports channels and most other international satellite channels. The next project will be a DVD library that will be kept in each room with over 100 all time classic films too! We are compiling this at the moment.

As per the previous reviewer, we will train the staff to be extra silent, especially in the mornings. Thank you again for pointing this issue out to us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norway
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2014 via mobile

Super in every way. Lovely food, superiore staff and lovely rooms. They have an exiting signature drink; Elephant Unstable. One of our friends celebrated birthday and they made an awsome cake for her. We enjoyed the stay in evry way - recomended!

Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Håkon S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Inoka-Karunananda, Guest Relations Manager at Elephant Stables, responded to this review, 27 February 2014
Dear Guest,

It's a pleasure to know that you had a great time and your friend liked the b'day cake. We wish to see you soon again in Elephant Stables.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 February 2014 via mobile

Spent three days at Elephant Stables high on the mountain overlooking Kandy. Breakfast under the mango tree on a misty morning, dinner in the garden. Food well prepared, western and Sri Lankan choices on offer. Fruit platter a must as well as buffalo curd (yoghurt like) with Sri Lankan sweet syrup. Coffee not their strongest point but not surprising in the home of Ceylon Tea which was made to perfection. Staff very friendly and polite, attentive without being intrusive. Accommodation excellent. Can recommend for relaxing time. Six rooms, boutique.

Stayed February 2014
Helpful?
Thank anva_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Inoka-Karunananda, Guest Relations Manager at Elephant Stables, responded to this review, 27 February 2014
Dear Anva,

We are very pleased to know that you enjoyed your stay at Elephant Stables. Especially, the cheff is very happy as you liked the food a lot. We look forward to receiving you in Elephant stables again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Elephant Stables

Property: Elephant Stables
Address: 46 Nittawela Road, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Kandy District > Kandy
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 54 Hotels in Kandy
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Elephant Stables 3.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Elephant Stables is a beautiful colonial era bungalow on a hill overlooking Kandy city that has been converted into a luxurious boutique hotel offering elegant colonial style living in Sri Lanka. It features a unique blend of original mid-century furniture with modern chic interiors with an exceptional level of personalized service. ... more   less 
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