We went there for 8 days and it felt far too short! In terms of location, this place is perfect. Around 30 mins drive from the airport you drive through several small villages to get there. You then get taken to the hotel by a cute ferry pushed along by a man with a long bamboo stick - it is such a nice touch and adds to your holiday experience. This area is not built up with huge resorts yet which makes it special (there is 1 or 2resorts nearby but that's it) so area still very unspoilt from tourism.
Accommodation - we stayed in a standard bungalow, it was clean and functional, but very basic.Beds gets decorated with flower patterns every day, nice touch and it has aircon. I would recommend you choose a sea facing bungalow, we had one and the view was great.We spoke to people who had the 'deluxe' rooms, it seems the differences are that the deluxe rooms are more modern inside,has a TV,fridge,minibar etc. We were fine in the standard bungalow as we are out and about all day but if you are on your honeymoon or like to spend a lot of time in your room, to upgrade to deluxe.There is also no hawkers trying to sell you stuff on the beach which is a big plus.
Food - the selection of buffet food as this hotel is really great, and all very tasty and well prepared.Each night has a different live grill, ie one night noodle bar, BBQ (meat and fish), Sri Lankan, and there is a plethora of yummy starters and other dishes to choose from. There is a Sri Lankan food corner every meal time serving rice and around 7 different curries, I had some every night. As they are cooking for tourists their curries aren't very hot but you can add some sambols and spicy pickles to give it extra heat. The best of all is that their was not a chip in sight on the dinner buffets!! For those who are hardcore on wanting their chips you can get burgers,chips etc from the pool bar- but really, try the Sri Lankan food, it is fantastic. Their devilled chicken and prawn dishes (on the pool bar menu) is to die for and cost around £3 for a hearty main portion. We went half board as we were away on trips etc during the day. But like i said, even if you have to pay for your lunch and drinks it's only around £3-4 for a main lunch and £2 for a large beer (600ml). The pool is nice and big and the water lovely and warm but still refreshing.
Service - they were spot on with transporting our bags etc to our rooms, all the cleaners etc you meet on te walkways always greet you and smile.
Spa - I booked a 2 hour treatment and it was sooo good, you lie there being massaged with the sound of the sea, Nalmini did a great job and she was so lovely and professional.
Surrounding area - it is safe to walk into the village of Waikkal if you wish (takes about 15-20mins to walk to the village centre. They don't speak much English there but if you wanted an authentic Sri Lankan snack like egg hoppers,kottu rotti etc go to the double storey square blue building (about 3 mins walk when u turn left into main road in Waikkal) - I'd recommend it.There is also another restaurant opposite the entrance of the hotel gate called 'Anthoneys', where they serve very good food too and their drinks are cheaper there than Ranweli's.The town of Negombo is fairly close too and can be reached by boat and then a tuk-tuk ride into the village, or you can just get a taxi (there are several by the hotel gate and tuk-tuks), make sure you negotiate prices first -around 50Rs per kilometre is a fair price. Antoney (local restaurant onwner who will likely approach you on the beach), can arrange pretty much anything you want to do or see, he also offers the same trips that your holiday rep would, at a much lower price, and they are absolutely fine and even more tailor made, if u tell Anthoney or his tour guide you want to see, do or eat something specific, They'll do their best to accommodate you. Anthoneys cars are also airconditioned and his guides are very helpful - I would like to mention Mr Jerry who is a star and so very lovely.
There is just a bit of feedback I'd like to give to the hotel - reception was not always helpful, we asked them to photocopy a document for us and they just ignored us, I also advised them the matresses dissapeared from our sunbeds outside our bungalow, but never got any replacements, also the bar staff at the pool bar was very slow, we sometimes had to wait ages for our drinks despite there it being quiet.The beer at the hotel is also not very cold, and drinking warm beer is not good! There was some large cockroaches and lots of ants in our room too, I know they get in from outside but it's not nice sleeping with ants. But don't let this put you off coming here, it is def worth visiting.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ranweli Holiday Village is an eco-friendly resort located on a 22-acre peninsula where mangrove forests and winding rivers converge to meet the sea. Located only 18 kms from Colombo's International Airport, Ranweli is the perfect base to explore the fascinating history, culture and nature of Sri Lanka. The hotel is on Waikkal Beach & provides bungalows & rooms with a private bathroom. The resort has an outdoor pool and its own restaurant & bar. Each bungalow / room is air-conditioned, has a safe, sitting area and telephone. The attached bathroom includes a hot/cold shower. Guests can enjoy a beach volleyball, billiards or table tennis at Ranweli. Water activities such as paddle boating, canoeing and kayaking are available. Ranweli is able to organize boat rides and bird watching tours. You can experience multi-cuisine dishes at the buffets of the resort's restaurant & a variety of liquor is served at the pool bar. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ranweli Holiday Village Waikkal
- Ranweli Holiday Village Hotel Waikkal
- Ranweli Holiday Village Sri Lanka/Waikkal