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“excellent place/country to visit, highly recommend”
Review of Club Hotel Dolphin

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Club Hotel Dolphin
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Waikkal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 December 2013

The holiday was in November which is just the start of the season in Sri Lanka. The first plus that I give is the restaurant and the all inclusive service which is the best I ever met untill now ( over Turkish one, considered one of the best)- variety of the food is impresive. Fresh fruits are amazing- first time I tasted red banana and a lot of fruits I don even know what they are but I do receommand you to taste.
Regarding the hotel I do recommend that you double check information provided or some bookings that you made. I booked the airport transfer and I found myself forgotten in Colombo airport. The staff have a lack of tracking issues asked bu customers or unusual bookings that you make. Any way the airport pick up and drop was solved - I payed 80 USD for this- there are cheaper ways ( around 50 USD).
I want to congratulate Thyagi from Customer Care who was an exceptional employee ready to solve any problem and asking all the time about the time spent there.
Room - I had superior sea view- was big enough- we booked a triple room which was arranged when we arrived. Problems regarding cleaning- attention to the details is something that management has to pay more attention. The shower gels were not filled everyday as i requested. Water is provided daily base. I mention that there is no drinking water- you can find at every bar ( pool bar, theatre bar, main bar, near gym rooms).
The entertaiment team is amazing- funny guys as Lala, Johny, Pali which will ask you for different games during the day or invite you at the theatre to see their shows.
The beach is public, going into the ocen is on your own risk- powerfull waves, the resort has 2 big pools where you can swim. Beach towels are provided in the room and you can have sunbeds where you want. On the beach you can find some wodden banches- look for ASDA Tour because you will find 2 guys( Thamel and Ishan- alis Harry) which will give some ideas for trips. I took Negombo tuk tuk trip-twice- is 20 USD/trip and one day trip to: pinneapple garden, spicy garden, elephant orphanage-feeding elephant, elephant bath, Kandy temple, tea factory. That case ask the reception for lunch wrapped to go.
The local currency is SLR( sri Lankan rupee) you can exchange from USD or EUR at the reception- a better rate you can get in Negombo, you can pay by credit card also some services you buy (bingo ticket 2000 SLR payed at the reception). You have some stores in the resort- but you can pay only with an emborssed card-old fashion POS mashine ;) Rate 1 USD=125 SLR ( in Negombo you get 130). Everything you pay in a foreign currency you will get the exchange in rupees.
WI-fi provided in the whole resort, I had even on the beach- a big plus for the Club Dolphin!
The stuff is extremelly friendly and willing to help as far as they understand what you wish :)
the are different types for rooms- bungalows, sea view, garden view. You have a gym, squash room, badminton arena.
I highly recoomand Sri Lanka, is an amazing experience.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Loredana I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SLML, General Manager at Club Hotel Dolphin, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking your time to share a detailed account of your stay with us. It brings us great joy to be a part of a wonderful experience in discovering Sri Lanka.

Your kind sentiments on our service, facilities and entertainment are much appreciated. I consider our associates as the heart of Club Hotel Dolphin and your kind words of praise will provide encouragement for them in strive even harder to improve our service.

We have noted your suggestions and concerns, especially regarding the airport transfer service and we will work on further improvements in the process to ensure standards and reliability is maintained.

Thank you again for spending your holiday with us at the Club Hotel Dolphin, Waikkal.

We look forward to your next visit!

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Ludwig,
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,198 - 1,204 of 2,385 reviews

Reviewed 6 December 2013

Airport pick up was prompt and check in quick.
As we arrived at 2am we were promptly shown to our beach bungalow and were given no information about the hotel - location of breakfast/pools etc. Staff in the morning were only too happy to help!

On the first morning I found ordering drinks with cash an issue. I immediately 'upgraded' to all inclusive at a cost of $40 per day. This was the easiest option for me whilst travelling alone with a 3yr old. The food was good and worth the cash just for ease.

As we were on a short trip (4 days) I immediately booked a trip to the elephant orphanage with Emanuel who had collected us from the airport. He constantly asked where my husband was and I found this quite unsettling and ended up lying about him joining me. Later that day he saw me talking to a another tour operator, I got a knock on my bungalow door and it was Emanuel, telling me I should not talk to them, especially as I was a lone woman with a child. He told me I needed to be careful as the younger men come and smoke drugs on the beach at night and would probably come to my door during the night now as they knew I was alone. He then assured me he had warned the young guy off by saying he was friends with me. This was quite worrying as I was in a beach bungalow away from the main hotel and was alone with my child.
After talking to the hotel I was assured there is 24hr security on the beach and that nobody goes there at night, which I found to be true. I presume Emanuel told me this to stop me talking to his competition, but intimidation is not the way to do this and made me very nervous at night time.
The presence of the local tour guides outside the beach bungalows I found to be too much. They were all friendly but were constantly there, I didn't feel like I could sit out there and be left alone.

The hotel staff were all friendly and extremely helpful, even with a fully booked hotel they knew my daughters name after 2 days and nothing was too much trouble. The opening celebration of the hotel (which we unknowingly were there for) was lovely, lots of food/entertainment and there was a really good atmosphere.

I agree with other reviewers however that towels need to be replaced more frequently as do the shower gel etc in the bathroom.

The beach bungalow itself was lovely. Clean, spacious and obviously newly renovated.
The pool was great and my daughter loved it. Food was plentiful and a good variety on offer. Apparently there was a kids club, we never found it, the hotel grounds are big and there are a few thing we never saw.

I would go back to this hotel and would love to stay in a bungalow again, just the tour guides that put me off.

Room Tip: Beach bungalow was finished very well, clean and spacious. Rooms in the low 50s are closest to the m...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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Thank candy3009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2013

On arrival the transfer was ok, just be aware of the baggage boys as you exit the arrivals lounge, they will politely offer to carry your cases/push your trolley only to request a substantial tip as you get outside, it’s not far and a firm but polite “No” will suffice.
The trip from the airport to the hotel is approximately 40 minutes and on arrival the normal procedures are completed. We upgraded when booking the holiday to a Superior Sea View room and were initially allocated Room Number 206, a sea view yes, if you call four degrees of sea in view whilst craning your neck around the adjoining room, the balcony was also tiny. After returning to reception and viewing another two rooms, not acceptable we finally compromised and we were given room number 324. The hotel is totally transparent about Sea View and Superior Sea View, their prices are in reception, the virgin site however is not, ensure you ask the question. The room serves a purpose and has all the required amenities expected with no hot water issues at all. Housekeeping requires more training on attention to detail, like cleaning under beds, replacing used towels and shower gels etc.
Our Virgin holiday Rep, Shirley (male) gave an average brief on day two of the holiday and we never saw or heard from him again till our last day when we received a phone call after his refusal to arrange our leaving brief from Friday to Saturday as I was away diving Friday morning. Any issues you may have find Thyagi, the hotel Customer Relations Manager who is a pro-active, polite and very efficient.
Previous comments on this thread complain about works being undertaken which during our two week stay were increased due to a large reception at the hotel on Sunday 1 Dec 13. Yes there are construction noises at times during the day but this does not overpower the music in the pool bar and compliments to the hotel on continually trying to improve the hotels appearance.
The pools and adjoining bars are excellent and kept immaculately clean on a daily basis. The sea however can be rough with a steep slope with crashing waves, strong swimmer advisable. They have created a groin which does allow for a sheltered swim however the waves are still present. The sand is very course. The pool bars reduce the strain on the bar staff by having permanent access to the soft drinks machines, this is a fantastic idea, wish all inclusive deals/hotels did the same.
The food at all meal times within the restaurant was varied and caters for all tastes. Yes at times things were not as hot as you may like it but there was always a chef on hand at the hotplate to flash it in the pan for the required heat effect. The selection of local food was available and with varying heats and spices. For those of you with a sweet tooth the deserts were excellent. A special mention goes to Madumi who was always so happy, smiling and very efficient when serving us in the restaurant.
The animation team have a fine mixture of individuals who do walk around asking for volunteers for the daily activities and again a “No” is sufficient for them to find willing participants. A mention here to Richie, Pali, Kumar & Jimmy who are fantastic sports and engage with all nationalities.
The hotel has a predominately German/Russian clientele but we had no issues at all throughout the holiday.
We went on two trips with Asda Tours, (you can find them to right of the hotel on the beach). We did the Tuk Tuk, Train and Boat Trip to and from Negombo (half day) and the Elephant Orphanage & Rides, Kandy Temple, Spice Garden and Tea Factory (one day). Well organised and the information throughout given by Nishan is excellent who also pulls out all the stops to get tickets to feed the baby elephants at the orphanage.
Be aware at the elephant orphanage when they are taken to be bathed in the river and you are invited down to wash them, many people take up the offer only to be hounded for a tip by the staff (they are currently asking for 2000 Rupees (£10) for a two minute back scrub). One couple were hounded up the street as they refused to pay, good on them.
Overall the holiday was enjoyable, the local people were fantastic, lovely people who could not do enough for you, always with a smile on their face.
I would return to this hotel again as they are heading in the right direction, the attention to detail throughout could improve, but hey, this tourism thing is only 5-6 years in the making after the end of the countries’ civil war.
The only real negatives all stem from Virgin Holidays and their sub standard customer relations services.

Room Tip: Ensure you ensure that when your tour operator sells you a Sea view room ensure that it is.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Lee S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2013

Where to start is the question....

We went for our short honeymoon of 9 days to his hotel. It was really beautiful, as good if not better than any 4star European hotel.
We stayed in a garden bungalow, as unfortunately all the sea view ones were booked up and we were a but last minute as we just decided to go there about 3 weeks before.
The hotel is being refurbished, but most of the work is completed, and the ongoing work that is left does not affect the stay at all, but they should be completely finished in a couple of weeks.

As it was our honeymoon, we went for the "gold package" all inclusive, which allowed us a few extras which were not on the normal all inclusive. The nice thing about this, has to be that you can eat in the a la carte restaurant, seafood market & snack bar and it includes wine with your meals. We also had a private tour to Waikkal and Negombo which was also very nice. However, there is a very good buffet restaurant and should you wish to try the seafood restaurant or the waves restaurant it is not so expensive to do so.

My only downside with the area, was that the beach was not exactly as I had expected, it was very nice but it was a bit rough, ( this may be as it was end of monsoon season though) and that the sand was also rough. However there is 2 pools. 1 bigger one and another quieter one. We heard the nicer beaches are in the south, but with the roads, traveling a long distance is difficult.

We also took two tours, one via our tour rep to Sigiriya, which we were disappointed with. And 1 from a local guide called Edward to Kandy, he has a small shop to the left of the main pool called Tesco.. The price from all the external guides are about the same but after taken the one from the tour rep in the hotel, Edwards tour was much better. Not to miss tours would be to Sigiriya and to Kandy which also includes an elephant ride and if you want you can also wash one.Be advised to bring some small notes for tipping as the people working in the tea plantations, factory etc. earn very little money - about €2-3 per day. 100 rupees is about 60c.

All in all, we had a wonderful time, and would love to make it back there.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank Janet T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2013

Had the most fantastic 10 days at the club dolphin, we stayed in one of the newly refurbished superior sea view rooms, the room boys do a amaizing job as do all the staff so friendly and helpful, we really enjoyed the wide choice of food and fab puddings. Some of the hotel was still undergoing some building work so some of the hotel was unavailable for most of our holiday but this didn't effect our stay , the work was completed a couple of days before we left and were fortunate to be given a tour of the improvements and carnt wait to return next year. We booked 3 trips with asda tours ( hi to thamel ) I was with my friend and our 2 daughters and thamel and Gary really looked after us we would highly recommend asda tours great service and excellent value for money, we did the elephant orphanage,(brilliant) tuk tuk to fish market train trip and boat ride (£10 each bargain) amaizing day, train ride is an experience not to be missed, we also did a 2 day safari to Yale national park, nothing was to much trouble for the asda team and they made our holiday one we will never forget

  • Stayed: October 2013
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1  Thank Pamelabally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2013

Visited Dolphin Hotel in November and found the accommodation to be excellent, we stayed in a superior sea view room which had been refurbished to a high standard, our only criticism was the position of the toilet which did not leave a lot of room between the it and the shower.
There was a wide choice of food at all meals, yes you could have curry at every meal or choose more European cuisine, we enjoyed both. Also the sweets were delicious, top marks for the ginger and date pudding.
We booked a day trip to the Elephant Orphanage and Kandy with Sam the Hayes and Jarvis rep from the Hotel which was excellent and we also booked a Tuk Tuk, Train and River Boat tour into Negambo with Harry from Asda Tours (off the beach) this was a super half day trip and excellent value for money NOT TO BE MISSED.
The Hotel staff were all friendly and helpful as were the locals.
A very enjoyable holiday and one we would highly recommend.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jenx2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2013

An experience never to be forgotten. We spent the first week of our honeymoon at this hotel and there were plenty of positives:
Great Service
Great food
Lovely sea view villa - good vantage point for amazing sunsets
Clean rooms (room boys do a good job)
But a few negatives:
Stray dogs - around the pool and beach
Horses kept next to the spa (can ruin a nice peaceful massage)
Monkey chained up on beach - not to mention Mr Asda and Mr Tesco trying to sell excursions ALL of the time!
Hint - we went with Virgin - the rep was very annoying!!

Room Tip: Sea view villa's definitely worth the extra. 57 was great
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Simona326
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Club Hotel Dolphin

Address: Kammala South | St. Sebastian Mawatha, Waikkal 61110, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Region: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Waikkal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Waikkal
Price Range: £68 - £178 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Club Hotel Dolphin 4*
Number of rooms: 154
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Here on Sri Lanka's golden west coast, we believe that every moment of your time spent with us is precious. . Precisely why we offer a host of facilities for your comfort and opportunities for you and your loved ones to enjoy an unforgettable stay with us in Sri Lanka. Whether you want to PLAY or PAUSE you can have the best of both worlds at Club Hotel Dolphin Waikkal. Our hotel is known to be the ultimate family beach holiday destination in the region.. PAUSE... Find a place under the swaying coconut palms, and re-discover that inner peace that you've been missing for so long. Take a long walk on the golden beach. Enjoy the sensation of curling your toes in the pure sands and revel in the warmth of the sun on your skin. Lie back and listen to the soothing roar of the waves as you slip into a deep state of relaxation at the spa. PLAY... Dive into Sri Lanka's longest swimming pool and score the winning point at water polo! Hit the gym, or take a water aerobics class. Say yes to adventure! Learn to paddle a kayak and explore the mangroves, or feel the wind whistle past, as you see the world from horseback trekking along the beach. Enjoy top notch entertainment and live shows, indulge in beach-side BBQ s and delicious buffets, take time for a romantic meal for two under the moon and stars... Whether you want to PLAY or PAUSE at Club Dolphin you can enjoy the very best of both worlds... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dolphin Hotel Waikkal
Club Hotel Dolphin Sri Lanka/Waikkal
Dolphin Hotel Sri Lanka

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