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Review of Elephant Stables

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Elephant Stables
Ranked #3 of 54 Hotels in Kandy
Certificate of Excellence
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
60 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“If you care about your room confirm it!”
Reviewed 6 May 2014

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.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank kokonutzFT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (110)
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English first
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2014

We stayed here in early April for 2 nights. The hotel was a quiet oasis after a long, hot day's drive. I personally really like the way that polished concrete has been used to create a very modern-looking estate, but with colonial touches in the decor and choices of accessories. All the furnishings are of excellent quality and work beautifully together. We stayed in the cottage suite in the garden. This is a good-looking concrete bunker from the outside, but inside is a spacious 2 room suite which all four of us found comfortable, clean and relaxing. The staff were lovely; instantly welcoming and proved to be the same throughout our stay. They were very accommodating and my children really enjoyed their company. The food was great. I had the 8-dish curry both nights (different 8 dishes each night) which was delicious. The chef was happy to accommodate my daughter's more western tastes, with suggestions off the menu. In case I am blinkered in my view, it turns out our driver was very impressed with his accommodation too and enjoyed a relaxing stay. If there has to be a negative, the pool was a little chilly (we had just had a series of thunderstorms) and it took ages for a gin and tonic and a cocktail to arrive, but both these things were forgivable to be able to sit in the infinity pool watching the lightning hitting the mountains in the distance.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chris A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2014

We stayed in the Elephant Stables for 3 nights with teen children. Apart from the excellent set up of the hotel -spacious modern rooms with excellent beds , the beautiful separate house for 4 persons in the garden), the private places to dine or sit at the pool- I was struck by the engaged way the place is run by its manager. He is an example for a lot of responsible hotel managers who are stuck in paperwork. This person -Nalaka Weerasekara- takes his job as host literally and doesn't point to hospitality desks or concierges when specific questions regarding your stay pop up. He enjoys making his customers feel at home and at the same time tries to make their stay unforgettable, by advising on the best way to spend the day in the beautiful country. Furthermore the staff is very professional and seem to really enjoy what they are doing, which is certainly not always the case in larger hotels. The food -in the daily changing dinner menu- is also excellent, and no reason to take the trip to the city. Perhaps also because of the size of this hotel (6 rooms) you feel not seen a walking ATM machine but a family member of this hill house and its "owners". The small draw back could be the so called Head planning office people who in advance of the visit didn't give the emphatic feeling its manager is born with. In total a Gem both in place and people.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Yanne56
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, 5 May 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time to leave us your most encouraging comments. We will surely pass them through to Nalaka and and the team at the hotel. Due to the number of enquiries we receive at the Head Office, sometimes we tend to lose the personal touch as we need to get back to all of the clients as soon as possible. But we will make an effort to improve on this as well.

Hope you will visit us again in the near future. Cheers!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stafford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2014 via mobile

Spending 2 nights here in the vanilla suite has been a pleasure. The hotel and surroundings are truely beautiful, the views stunning.....the staff are attentive, helpful, relaxed and very friendly which also gives it a home from home feel.

The meals we have eaten have been of a high standard. Try their Sri Lankan Curry selection. Well worth £20 per head.

One suggestion would be to have a small wine list available and a cocktail list for sunset cocktails!

Highly recommend staying here.

Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank TastefulLady_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Inoka-Karunananda, Public Relations Manager at Elephant Stables, responded to this review, 5 May 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your lovely feedback. We are upgrading our wine and cocktail list so the next time you are at The Elephant Stables, you will have a good selection.

Looking forward to see you again. Cheers!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2014

It has taken a while to come down to earth after an amazing trip to Sri Lanka but now I have it's time to rave about our time at the Elephant Stables. We spent two amazing nights and from the moment we arrived we were made to feel as though the place were our own. The rooms (and the entire hotel) are beautifully decorated. The staff are incredibly attentive without being overbearing and the food….oh the food! We ate from both the European and Sri Lankan menu and both were equally fantastic - don't even think about eating out!
Our time was made more memorable by getting engaged on our last night, while the hotel was quiet and the stars were out. When we went us to bed that night there were swans and flowers on the bed and in the morning a delicious congratulatory cake was presented to us at breakfast. We will never forget the Elephant Stables and hope to visit again on out honeymoon.
Dan & Lucy April 2014

Room Tip: They are all amazing!
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lucyanika
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, 5 May 2014
Dear Dan & Lucy,

First of all, Congratulations on getting engaged!

We are glad that you enjoyed your stay at the Elephant Stables and will be looking forward to welcome you two on your honeymoon. Cheers!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Royston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2014

We stayed two nights at the Elephant Stables and could not fault it in any way. Our room was superb with lovely views and a good size balcony. The four poster bed was very comfortable with crisp white sheets, and the bathroom was modern with fluffy white towels. The staff were excellent and efficient - especially Nihal who assured me the curry would not be too hot and he was right - it was the best curry I have ever had - thank you Nihal. Breakfast in the garden was lovely especially the egg hoppers, with the added bonus of a kingfisher flying down to the swimming pool and other exotic birds in the trees. We celebrated our wedding anniversary here and were given a bowl of fruit and enjoyed cocktails before our evening meal in a wonderful setting. Would have loved to stay longer but as this was part of a tour it was not possible. Thank you for a lovely stay. We would recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dottyandjoe
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, 5 May 2014
Dear Dotty & Joe,

Thank you very much for your lovely feedback and its a pleasure to know that you've had a wonderful time while you were celebrating your Wedding Anniversary. We look forward to seeing you again. Cheers!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Muscat, Oman
Level Contributor
25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2014 via mobile

This is a fantastic place. Views to die for, beautiful rooms, and staff for whom nothing was too much trouble.
We stayed for three nights as a family.
Only thing I would have liked would have been maybe a choice of white wine to accompany our lovely dinner.
Other than that I can't say anything negative

Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Kampa64
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, 20 April 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for the very encouraging review you had given 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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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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