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“Great resort”

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Ranweli Holiday Village
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Waikkal
York, United Kingdom
1 review
“Great resort”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 March 2014

Just arrived home after a two week stay at the Ranweli Holiday Village. Had a great time. We stayed in a deluxe beach bungalow which was in a lovely spot, quite secluded and just set back enough to have privacy from passers by. Some of the standard bungalows were quite close to the restaurant which I wouldn't have liked, and some down the far end of the resort were set in the mangrove trees which looked quite dark and eerie. Staff were so happy and helpful. Meals were great, varied even for an all inclusive! Had a lovely massage in the spa but you can find cheaper if you walk beyond the resort. Additional to all inclusive we booked to have a seafood meal cooked on the beach and also ventured to Anthoneys bar just outside the resort for a fresh prawn meal one evening. If you want to try one of these as a treat opt for Anthoneys, the best prawns I've had! Anthoney also does tours and will grab newcomers. We booked 2 tours after chatting to him just hours after arriving. The tour guide was great, lots of local information and he really looked after us. Beware that the tour guides will ask if you want to visit a couple of extra places, usually places where they have family or friends. Although we enjoyed both trips i would recommend checking with the resort if they have any tours on offer first as the day after we booked and paid for ours we had a note pushed under the door inviting us on a free tour to the elephant orphanage! As with anywhere watch for people at the airport who will grab your case expecting a tip. We thought the guy who took ours as we were putting it in the boot was our driver but he was just after money and wouldn't leave until he'd got some! Tipping is at your discretion and 10% is usual so ensure you have some smaller notes with you! the cashier at the resort is happy to change larger notes for you at no charge. Really can't fault the resort and would stay again.

Room Tip: I think we were very lucky with our bungalow and if we returned I would definitely avoid the edges o...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Beverly W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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715 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (160)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2014

We have just returned from 8 nights at the Ranweli holiday village.
Stayed on half board basis in standard sea view room but because it was our Anniversary got a free upgrade to deluxe beach bungalow.
Bungalow was on the beach but slightly set back,you could see the sea from our room.
Booked through Virgin holidays, had a private transfer which was nice and the rep Shirley was very helpful.

Good things.........
Very clean accommodation and communal areas.
Reception staff very attentive.
Food not too bad,a mix of European and Sri Lankan.
Weekly seafood BBQ on the beach at extra cost.
An exclusive feel to the place because of the ferry across river.

Not so good things........
Bar prices are in Euros( which is not good if your currency is the £).
(2 beers cost 6.50 euros + service charge + taxes then converted to rupees, then you mentally convert it to pounds =God knows!)
All in all drinks are expensive.
We also noticed that if your on AI option you get a small bottle of beer but if your paying then it's large.
House keeping boys seem to expect tips for minimal tasks.
For instance having to ask to replace coffee mate for tea and coffee making facilities ( and then only gave us two sachets) they would hover about waiting for a tip,when these things should be replaced daily without having to ask.
When you ask them to place a sundbed outside your bungalow they do so by taking another sundbed from someone else's bungalow and then you tip them.
Next day your sunbed has gone and you start all over again,replacing sunbed- tipping and so on.

Elephant Orphange.............
Went to the orphanage by private car £110 including entrance fees,an early start 6.30 am but a
Great place to visit,take plenty of small notes to tip the mahoots for photos with elephants etc.
Visited The Millenium Elephant foundation too it's guides are very informative and you can ride on an elephant and bath them too.
All monies go to the charity.
Cost 1000 rupees to get in and bath an elephant but different charges apply for rides,depending on length of ride.
Once again small notes for mahoots.

Train journey to Colombo.........
Cost 45 rupees (20p) from Waikkal to Colombo and takes around 1 and a half hours.
This is truly a Sri Lankan adventure.
Be prepared for some sights travel is 3 rd class only.
A little bit dangerous due to doors being fully open throughout the journey.
Beggars, religious preachers musicians and sickly people in need of operations begging are common place.
Colombo is a very confusing place take care,especially walking in the road. The tuk tuk drivers are crazy.

On the whole a good holiday but it's ticked of our bucket list.

Room Tip: Upgrade to deluxe beach bungalow beachside.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sue C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel M, Manager at Ranweli Holiday Village, responded to this review, 3 April 2014
Dear Guests,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review about your stay with us.

We at Ranweli Holiday Village always take constant effort to create a relaxing environment and offer efficient, warm and personalized service to our guests. Therefore your comments and suggestion will assist us in improving our services to our guests.

I am pleased that you have enjoyed your stay with us, as well enjoyed the special Seafood BBQ which we have twice a week directly on the beach.

Your comments about the housekeeping department have been well noted, rest assured we have implemented necessary action to improve and guide our staff members constructively.

Our bar menus are now mentioned in Euros and GBP, for the convenience of our European and British guests.

Once again thank you for your constructive feedback and we hope to welcome you back at Ranweli Holiday Village.


Hotel Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
66 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2014

It's all been said before but as our first time here we loved it, much better than expected, we were upgraded from standard to deluxe room which meant we had a small detached bungalow on the beach with our own loungers and nice shade trees. Idyliic really. French, Swiss, German, UK people were there mostly so a nice mix. No shops nearby other than Anthony's supermarket and restaurant but that was OK with us. Anthony works the beach selling tours and he can be persistent unless you tell him to leave you alone. Beach was lovely, nice sunsets. We did a boat trip from the hotel with Nimal looking for birds and he was expert, we saw lots. They do have good naturalists there. Problems...the menus are priced in Euros and they don't include service charge and tax so actual prices are 50-100% higher in reality, I complained to the managers about it and they are to discuss at management level. Why not inclusive and in rupees? They argue that the tax changes frequently, oddly enough this isn't an issue at other hotels. We also did a day trip to Wilpattu and it was OK but didn't see elephant or leopard.
We can comment on the Pinnawala elephant orphanage in another section but it is a bad zoo in my opinion, maybe best if we boycotted it.
Food choice is very good and quality very good, maybe less good than some other hotels though.
It's great that they grow their own vegetables and try to be eco friendly.
Some aircraft noise at night from the international airport but not a big problem. Birds are noisy too but that's a good thing.

Room Tip: bungalows look like the best choice, rooms may not have a veranda.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fredblogs123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2014

We had 2 weeks at this fantastic venue. We knew how special it would be as we arrived and needed to catch a small ferry across the river to the peaceful beautiful atoll which is Ranwali. The natural surroundings in the middle of the mangrove swamps was stunning. Is is essential it's own little nature reserve. No vehicles only one beach seller if you want peace and tranquility then this is the place to go.
We canoed down the river and biked through the local villages which was amazing you really do feel your in a very magical place.
The rooms were great the food fantastic if you like curry this is heaven. I would defiantly recommend all inclusive or it can get expensive.
If your considering a visit here don't think think twice.

Room Tip: All rooms are great we had one further away from the dinning room quiet and right on the beach
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank John I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Doha, Qatar
Level Contributor
54 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2014

We stayed at this hotel at the end of our stay in Sri Lanka. We wanted somewhere with a resort feel which was also close to the airport. Ranweli hit the spot. The kids loved the little adventure getting there, as you have to cross the small stretch of sea on a barge. Check-in seemed a bit unprofessional if I'm to be honest, as my 11 year old daughter had to sign for the adjoining room because she was listed as the principal occupier of that room! I don't even think that would be legally binding?! But nevertheless, the staff were all very kind and extrmely friendly, which is really the most important thing. After reading the reviews, I requested rooms at the far end of the beach, which we were given, but the wrong end! It turned out that one end has no beach, is a little windy and the sea crashes onto rocks. If we'd stayed for longer I would definitely ask to change! The other end is much more idyllic, with a lovely, wide golden sand beach with palm trees gently swaying. It's hard to describe the general atmosphere at the hotel though. It seems far removed from the Sri Lankan vibe we'd experienced in other places. The rooms are red brick and have a distinctly European, quite sterile feel to them. The grounds are perfectly maintained and everything is in good order. The rooms are very clean. Breakfast was good but lacked the choice we had come to expect from other hotels.The pool side restaurant blasts radio music which I found a bit annoying and, I have to say, the food there really wasn't very nice. Most guests seemed to be German. Overall, I would definitely recommend this hotel as a place to stay at the start or end of your holiday, the staff are lovely and everything is well operated and very clean. However, I wouldn't want this to be my only destination on a Sri Lankan holiday.

Room Tip: Ask to stay at the far end of the resort, on the wide sandy beach, not the other end where the rocks...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MamasChoices
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North East England
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2014

We planned this trip to be our last "biggie" as we felt we were getting a bit old for too much long haul. However this trip was so fantastic and the flights with Emirates, Economy, so good we are now looking for our next "biggie". The hotel and location were just as it said on the tin, exactly as promised in the brochure and on the hotels own website. Setting iddylic, bungalow clean and comfortable, food amazing and staff absolutely faultless.
We upgraded to All Inclusive on arrival and compared to friends we made at the hotel who were half board the cost was almost identical and of course our choice of food at lunch time much more varied.The only problem was that wine was not included in all Inclusive and as we mainly drink wine as opposed to spirits this meant we spent a little more for a few bottles of wine.
The setting was fantastic as the hotel is on a peninsular accessed by river crossing so it was a bit isolated in that there were no other hotels nearby. This suited us fine but some may want a little more variety and access to other bars etc. The main hotel building only houses reception, main bar, lounge and dining room with a games room on the first floor with the accomodation in private bungalows accessed by a path beachside or a covered walkway past the hotels own organic gardens. Our bungalow was about 150yds away from the main building, 10 yards from the beach and 12 from the sea. The only sound to be heard at night was the sea !! We had only booked a standard bungalow but it had tv, which we never use on holiday, and a fridge which we weren''t expecting. From what I could see the Superior Bungalows only had a posh glass door to the shower instead of the curtain which was perfectly adequate.
Beds were extremely comfortable and although the room was possibly ready for some redecoration, they are currently updating the accomodation, the bungalow was clean, spacious and felt like home after a day or two. The room was kept immaculate by our room boys who made a fabulous job of decorating the bed in a different way every day.
Restaurant was spacious with excellent staff and the food was out of this world with so many choices at each meal surely no-one could complain, but I expect some will.I was so impressed I started making lists of what was on offer each day ! There were of course the usual faction who rushed in as soon as the dining room opened and filled their plates as high as they could!!
All of the staff from Porters, reception, waiters, room boys, gardeners and even the ladies who swept the sand around the bungapows were friendly, helpful, cheerful and keen to chat and improve their English or just find out a little about our own country.
We took a two day trip to Kandy which was hectic but we had guide/ driver who was very knowledgeable, informative, spoke excellent English and drove a little on the hair raising side but as there was so much to see and in some places the roads were so congested with Tuk Tuks and school traffic I expect we wouldn't have got aroung without him driving rather fast!! We also took a local cab into Negombo to see the Fish Market and a very impessive Buddhist Temple and as we shared with some people we met this was very cheap.
The hotel bills itself as eco friendly and indeed they strive to be so. A 3 hour trip on the river with a nururalist early morning was fantastic and we managed to photograph 35 different birds and saw water monitors basking in the sun. Well worth the money and the early call, with packed breakfast taken on the river!!!
Nightlife was sparse but the one or two nights there was entertainment was good. The lounge is quite small and there aren't many comfortable seeats so you have to get a seat early if you want to see the entertainment or you willl end up sitting at high tables on high bar stools which are a no no for 5 footers like me and the older clietelle with arthritic knees like my husband
Yes it was truly a holiday of a lifetime !! Give it a try if you like peace and quiet, sun, comfort and an iddylic setting with great food and a friendly atmosphere.

Room Tip: Best to be a little bit away from the main building and seaview, some are set back a little.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gran11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
78 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 February 2014

A friend and I travelled to Ranweli for a week all inclusive through Virgin holidays.

Note that the deluxe sea view bungalows do not have a twin bed option although Virgin had assured us that they did. the bed was huge so there was not really an issue with us sharing but this may not be ideal for everyone

The room was lovely, clean and comfortable. You are provided with bottled water every day and there is a mini bar to keep it in. The bathroom was lovely with a large window that you can look up at the sky whilst you shower. There is access to both radio and tv in the room as well as a fan and air conditioning. It is not possible to have the air conditioning on whilst you are not in the room .

The hotel is spotlessly clean and the food is good although I was glad that we had only stayed for a week as I think that it would have got quite repetitive. The curries were amazing though and the lime pickle was excellent. Drinks service in all parts if the hotel including the restaurant can be exceptionally slow. If you are all inclusive there is access to snacks at different points of the day, typically sandwiches and cake.


The pool area was good although it was a challenge to get a lounger in the shade. There are some trees that you can use for shade but more shade in the form of umbrellas would be ideal. My advice is to get out to the pool early if you do require shade. You can use the loungers by your bungalow if you wish and they will bring a mattress to your room for you on request.

We did go for a complementary foot massage which was excellent and wished I had visited the centre earlier in my visit as massages were all great value.

We did go on some tours during our stay, for us this was a must. The hotel is not within walking distance to to many alternatives.

Reception will also change any large bank notes that you have for smaller ones which are much more useful is you are on trips as the currency changers at the airport do tend to give you larger notes.

If you do head out on a trip the hotel will prepare a breakfast and a lunch box for you. Trips start early as most sites a a long distant from the hotel.

Wifi was a bit hit and is but more often than not but you can get it in the lobby area we even managed to connect in out room on occasion although rooms were not meant to have wifi.

A lovely stay but if I was to head back I would do a tour which took in lots of different places in Sri Lanka staying at the Ranweili at the end for a bit of relaxation and for its proximity to the airport.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank highland_Mc
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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