This is a tough review to write.
We looked hard at our lodging in Kandy. We considered Kandy House, but liked that we could choose the exact room we wanted at Elephant Stables, and what we wanted was the Lemongrass room, with it's balcony with a view. We wanted to sit on that balcony and eat breakfast. Have a nightcap on that balcony and enjoy the cool night breeze. So we booked the Lemongrass room for one night on Agoda.
When we arrived at approximately 6pm, however, we were told that we would be staying in the Saffron room. Which is basically the Lemongrass room...but WITHOUT the balcony. We were told by the staff (the manager was not present) that the people in Lemongrass were on the second night of their two night stay. The staff kept trying to assure us that Saffron was better...their BEST room. They could not understand why we would not just take the room they were offering rather than the room we booked. But we knew better and insisted on speaking to the manager.
So the manager was called and he promised to be there by 7. We were taken to the Cottage Suite as an alternative and to shower off the day's sweat and dust. When the manager arrived he apologized profusely, including apologizing for staff trying to convince us that what was being offered was better than what we had booked and paid for. He noted that this was not the first time they had a booking dot com snafu. He bought us dinner by way of apology. And while his apologies and dinner were appreciated, we did not get the experience we wanted.
So. That total screw up and disappointment to the side, once we got settled and accepted our fate in 'the bunker,' as I came to call the Cottage Suite, one has to acknowledge that the service, hospitality and attentiveness are all 5 star if, in interior Sri Lankan way, a bit hovery (honestly, please leave us to chew our food rather than stand over us while we eat!).
So I can't, in good conscience, give the place less than 4 stars based on the booking dot com screw up.
Although I really wanted to after I noticed the guests sitting on 'OUR' balcony smoking and thought to myself, 'I wonder if they asked for the balcony because they are smokers and the staff thought we'd not notice the difference between Lemongrass and Saffron'.
My wife says I should just let it go, and let people know that if specific room booking preference matter to you as much as it did to us, to call a day before and confirm your specific room choice and that it will be available.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Ebookers, Agoda, Hotels.com, Traveltool, S.L.U., Odigeo, Priceline and Evoline ltd so you can book your Elephant Stables reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.