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“Perfect place to get away from it all”

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Ranweli Holiday Village
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Waikkal
England
Level Contributor
45 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Perfect place to get away from it all”
Reviewed 23 September 2012

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.

Room Tip: Get a sea view bungalow and upgrade to deluxe if you are going to spend a lot of time in the room.
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank Diesel77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2012

me ,my husband and daughter aged 2 went to ranweli all inclusive for two weeks Aug 17th - 1st Sept 2012. we stayed in the seafacing deluxe bungalow, it was nice spacious and clean. having the luxury of facing the sea was dissapointing as you have others cart there way in front of your bungalows to lay in the sun on their loungers .. not a nice view having to wake up and look outside and see everyone there already, not made for a sense of relaxation away from others, not so private. The sea was very rough and not calm so not ideally safe for you to go in if you can not swim lol i could but again was being taken by the waves. the sea was not crystal blue as i was imaginging it to be and white sands like the maldives. was a little upsetting as we coould not go close to the beach as the storm had come in over night and the next morning oil had somehow been washed into the sea leaving oil residue all over the beach. my daughter was then not allowed to go, although they made an attempt to put signs up did not stop the locals to go in regardless.

the dining morning,lunch and dinner was standard .. after the first two days the food seemed repetitve and a little boring .. the highlight of the food was the freshly cooked fried prawns, they were lovely with sweet chilli sauce .. bbq nite was also ok .. not much live cooking going on and not much variety as there seemed to be much more vegetarian curries which i did not know and did not wish to try and who wishes to eat curries at lunch time or even breakfast as it was served.

i must say one thing though the staff there are very kind, sweet and very accommodating to our needs. made my wedding aniversary special, daughters second birthday worth remembering as they went out their way to make us cakes and made whatever we requested at our set times. also as the food was not up to my daughters taste buds, the chef made all her favourite things for lunch and dinner and sent it ti her room as she was not settling well in the restaurant. there was only one main restaurant to dine from and no where else to dine to get a different experience which was again disappointing.

on an all inclusive package i would have thought that wine would have been included but sadly it was not, so i had opted on spirits/cocktails and lagers than pay for wine as that would have cost me the same to have a spa treatment for two hours.

coming to the Spa treatments, it was good i have never felt so relaxed and been put to sleep whilst undergoing a massage, felt great after .. this is would reccommend , also my husband really enjoyed this. we were told that the dolphin jasmine treatment centre ten mins away was cheaper, to which it was and anyone can access so you dont have to be residing at that hotel.

excursions, well we didnt manage to do many as the travelling times to certain places could be anything upto two hours and practically be the hole day out, in this heat i would not recommend if with a young child. the only place we managed to go was elephant orphange where you can feed, bathe amd ride an elephant, well worth it and what an experience. just to add there is a guy called anthony who owns a restaurant just outside the hotel and manages to come across and walk along the beach asking new comers if they would like to go places, within budget, but he is nt legally insured so if anthing happens to take it at your own risk. we went through our virgin rep as we wouldnt take any risks especially with my daughter safety. our rep was very helpful and assisted with supplying car set for us to travel when going out and ensuring we werent messed around when negotiating prices for going into town in cabs. he phoned us everytime he was at the hotel to check if we needed anything, if all was ok , very helpful.

we did manage to relax whilst there and had time out but would not come back again, if so maybe to another part of sri lanka

Room Tip: go for sea facing bungalow
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank m k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
1 review
Reviewed 13 September 2012

This is the place to vacation for someone like me with a kind of busy lifestyle in Sydney-CBD.

Not like the other resorts which I’ve been in South Asia, I was feeling some deference from the very first stage, I got to the local-made nice little ferry which is provided to cross the watercourse; Absolutely it is an eco-friendly resort .

Assistance of the front office is gratifying; warm welcome, also accurate explanations with their experienced service led me to sudden enthusiasm which I didn’t have until I came to this place.

The Restaurant with attractive setup and the staff made me more comfort with their amazing service all the time when I enjoyed the mouth-watering food.

I had the most unforgettable vacation with great hospitality. Definitely there is a next time visit in my plans to Ranweli Holiday Village. I strongly recommend for anyone this place to vacation. I have no idea how many times I contacted the front office to solve-out my confusion; from the responses I had each and every time, it made me to believe they are well experienced, as well as highly specialised to meet the maximum satisfaction throughout our stay in this place; so It is hard to believe someone like the person who made the comment below had a bad experience in this place for real.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Massor M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kochchikade
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2012

Last weekend we had a bad experience in Ranweli... Really we came for spend very relaxing and amazing time there but we have never been a place so terrible. The front office staff was rude, very poor hospitality. The Rooms absolute mess, musty smell. We saw that their fully attention only for foreigners.
We were so unhappy with the hotel, We cut short the stay.. our room no was # 148

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Renata F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2012

The Ranweli holiday village, certainly has to be one of the more magical holidays of my life.
We had the added benefit of having our wedding there. Staying for 8 days with four other friends.
Right from the start we were after something a bit different in Sir lanka, it needed to be picture perfect, romantic and above all accommodating.
The Ranweli was for us all of this and much more.
From the first inquirer the manager Mr. Predeep was returning emails as fast as we could send them.
There was a fair bit to organize with having an overseas wedding at a hotel but Mr. Predeep took care of everything and made it absolutely stress free.
We were three groups of two coming and going at different times, with witch there was no trouble.
My now wife pre booked all of the air port transfers a month in advance and they were all there on time.
The wedding went off without a hitch even the weather was perfect.
The staff are all well trained to be smiling and polite. I dont think any one of the staff I past during my stay ever missed a kind wave or Hilo.
The Ranweli is on an island and the trip across the 80 meter wide river is by little pole pushed barge. This is awesome. I knew about it but the other parties did not. On their arrival at 2am on a misty very still morning they said they were really takin aback by this. My bride was delivered to the island by a decorated bridle barge to where I was waiting for her on the other side.
The wedding started at 1030am and was done by 1300pm there just so happened to be an All Blacks Vs Australia game on at 330pm that my best man and myself can sneak in before the evening events. However as we took our seats and beers at the big screen and got the hotel staff to try and find the channel, alas they did not have it. Can you believe Mr. Predeep then rang up and signed up for that channel there on the spot. I have never had that sort of service anywhere. We gave Australia a good kickin as well.
That evening at 7pm we had a small dinner barge that is decorated with flowers and flax , cozy awing , lanterns, and chef with a bbq etc waiter and boat man and plenty of byo. We had a four course meal served as the boat man maneuvered the barge so slowly and still you hardly knew you were moving down the river and back about 2hrs round trip. This is like romantic overload. I highly recommend it. You have to book ahead for this as there is only two of these dinner barges I believe.
We stayed in a Deluxe bungalow. They are very good, not 5 star but a good 4 star. All of the bungalows stand alone and are pretty much the same layout. Lovely bathrooms with a shower area with glass roof. This is a real treat when it was raining.
I did get banished to one of the standard bungalows the night before the wedding. They are not so good much older basic units, so would recommend only the Deluxe.
We did the ‘half board dinning’ that gave us breakfast and dinner included and gave us the option to eat out for lunch. The food is outstanding, amazing verity, flavor, and plenty of it. So much so we could not fit a lunch in most days. The head chef is always doing his rounds when the guests were eating which is very nice. He is an amazing chef and I shook his hand and thanked him every day I way there.
There is a little set of shops & restaurant back across the river that dose good food too.” Anthony’s”. it’s a little rough around the edges but if you are looking for fresh fresh prawns and crayfish and good beer its an ok spot. We dined there twice, lunch is better around 2pm as you just can’t fit any more in after the breakfast at the Ranweli buffet where I would always have my cooked on the spot omelet to your design every morning.
“Anthony” is always on the beach walking up and down, hes cool and can sort out anything in the way of excursions. We wanted to do a little outing after our lunch to see some stones so he sorted us a boat out in about 10 seconds to take us up the river. Little did we know that boat trip was more exciting than shopping for Rubies. Recommended! I brought my lovely lady a Safire the size of a door knob “not really” that I will have made into a ring for our first year adversary. I have not had it valued at home yet so will have to see if I was ripped off. Seemed all good and was romantic at the time.
There is spa treatment that we just could not fit in and walks that are very good but no time to do much.
The pool is very good but just to cold for me and my party. It felt around 22-23 C. That’s ok but 25-27 C. I think more people would be able to brave it. The good thing about a cold pool is there is no one in it for long so you have it almost to yourself. The area could do with a few sun umbrellas, Om as tuff as leather but had an English tan on my first day around the pool. The pool changing rooms/ toilets are rough and old could use a face lift. The pool bar is a great spot for lazy lunch and a few beers.
The sea swimming was doable there were quite a few in it, some big swells coming in, beach is lovely and clean.
My wife and I planted a fruit tree together, this is something the hotel can sort out for you. We absolutely will be going back one day to stay at the Ranweli. And see how our small tree is getting on.
It is a humbling feeling that to have planted a tree and be named for us in the grounds of the hotel and know it will be watered and cared for, for the rest of it days.
The hotel puts our names on a small plaque and hangs it on the tree these are everywhere in the village, very nice romantic idea.
Over all it was a fantastic stay, made all the better by our wedding that was stress and trouble free all to the many thanks to the hotel staff.
If it is isolated scenic tropical paradise you are after it’s the spot. In fact there were about 10 wedding parties that came through in our 8 days there just to have their photos done in the location.

Room Tip: Go Deluxe! get on beach front if you can. but all Deluxe are good. If you are in a big group get wi...
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank Garrith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2012 via mobile

Stayed for a week as the first leg of our honeymoon. Loved the place. Totally relaxing, amazing friendly staff who couldnt be happier to help or more proud of their heritage. We had a beach front bungalow which was clean comfortable and a 10 meter walk to the beach.

We only stayed on a half board basis, drinks were extremely well priced as was lunch.

Couldnt recommend this place highly enough.

Thank you

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank AH234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bucharest
Level Contributor
145 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2012

We went back to Ranweli this year because for us it already feels like home.Many people recognized us from our previous stay and were truly happy to see us again.
Like last time, the hotel is still an amazing place for those who love nature and animals roaming free. In addition to all the species we saw in the hotel last time, now we spotted a pair of mongooses!
The hotel itself is every bit just as lovely, clean and welcoming as ever. They even made some progress with some environmental friendly acomplishments, like a water plant for treating and recycling used water and solar panels on some bungalows. They also plan to have a gym by next year.
The only thing that is clearly worse than two years ago is the entertainment. Boring, somewhat poor in taste at times.
Like I said, this is the place for you if you love nature. Just by walking around the hotel garden and beach we could see palm tree squirrels, Sri Lankan gigant squirrel, mud crabs, ocean crabs, gekos, mongooses, water monitors and countless species of birds.
If you're not into wildlife and nature, it is probably a boring place, but if you do appeciate all that this is the place to go to. The team of naturalists is always there to answer your questions, they take you on nature walks or bird watching tours.
I would recommend this hotel 100% to all who want to relax under the palm trees, on a lovely beach, to the sound of nature.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Marrgot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ranweli Holiday Village

Property: Ranweli Holiday Village
Address: Ranweli Hotel Road, Waikkal 61110, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Waikkal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Waikkal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Ranweli Holiday Village 3*
Number of rooms: 88
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

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