We stayed at Ranweli for 8 nights for part of our honeymoon mid April 2014. We were all inclusive and stayed in a Deluxe sea-facing villa. I thought it might be useful to list the good and bad points of our stay.
*The setting - the resort is well maintained, calm, well laid out and not over crowded. We loved the water taxi you have to get to cross the canal – gave a real sense the resort was private and secure.
*We stayed in villa 170 and it was really spacious, clean and well maintained (apart from the air con which I think needed a service as it was very slow to cool the room).
*The variety of all-inclusive drinks and cocktails was very good. Would recommend the Vodka ‘twist’ cocktail and the pina colada – yum!
*The variety and presentation of food at the restaurant was great. The only criticism was the quality of the meat in the meat dishes (fatty and on the bone) and the replenishment of empty dishes which was a tad slow, plus the busyness and general lack of hygiene of such a large scale self-service buffet style restaurant (down to guests, not staff). Perhaps a second, smaller restaurant – maybe for all inclusive or deluxe villa guests - could be an option (other resorts do this).
*The customer service from reception and restaurant staff was good – they were very helpful and attentive. On our first night we rang reception about 11pm as we had quite a few insects in the room. They sent a boy with a mozzy net and bug spray within about 5 minutes.
*We took a wildlife boat trip arranged through the hotel which was an hour on a speedboat up and down the river/canal. The guide was brilliant and pointed out loads of birds, flora & fauna and it was cheap as chips. We went early - 7.30am so as to miss the oppressive sun, and we had the boat all to ourselves.
Although this is not to do with the hotel we booked a Kandy day trip which included the Pinnawala elephants, tea factory, Gem museum, temple of the relic of the tooth and Botanical gardens in Kandy – well worth doing as it was brilliant. We booked through the Virgin rep (Mr Shirley) who used the local company Walkers Tours who were fab. Cost was £140 for both of us. Tip: wear comfortable walking footwear! The restaurant in the Botanical Gardens in Kandy is great - go for the Chicken curry meal - great value, tasty, LOTS of food!
*The mini bar is NOT included in the 'all inclusive' package.
*We found the bar staff – mainly the younger guys at the pool bar – rude.
*The coffee lounge, where the all-inclusive afternoon snacks were laid out, never opened for coffee or juice as advertised. It wasn't manned for the whole of our stay.
*The pool area was small so always busy, so we generally stayed on the grass area behind our villa which was very secluded and quiet.
If you are looking for something quiet, relaxing and secluded, with the option for excursions, Ranweli would be ideal. If we had been here for more than 8 nights I think we would have got quite bored.
Tips: Avoid expensive tourist tat souvenir shops on excursions and buy your trinkets in the little supermarket/souvenir shop just opposite the entrance for the hotel’s shore side water taxi.
Booze, cigarettes/tobacco, and souvenirs are cheap and plentiful at Columbo airport.
- 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