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“Calm and relaxing for a short stay” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ranweli Holiday Village

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Ranweli Holiday Village
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Waikkal
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Calm and relaxing for a short stay”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2014

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.

Excellent:
*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!

Disappointing:
*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.

Room Tip: We stayed in deluxe sea facing villa 170. Quite a few reviews on here had recommended villas on the...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank hotelinspect77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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702 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 (157)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Sheffield
Level Contributor
105 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 May 2014 via mobile

We spent two weeks at this hotel at the beginning of April, staying on all inclusive basis.

We loved the short boat ride across to the hotel as it made you feel like you were going to a remote island. We had a deluxe beach side bungalow which was large, very clean and ideally located close to all the facilities and the beach.

The food at the hotel was very good with a whole selection of Sri Lankan dishes available on a daily basis alongside the other options including theme nights such as Indian, Italian etc. The breakfast were also great with cooked and buffet style options.

The pool area with the beach close by were great for relaxing days with the pool attendants happy to put your beds and umbrellas in your chosen spot.

We found the staff were very helpful and friendly although sometimes the staff in the pool bar were a bit slower than in the main bar.

We did two trips from the hotel, one of which was the bike ride around the local villages which was great to get a real feel of the local area - everyone was so friendly on this trip we loved it! We also booked the bird watching tour along the river which was also good with plenty of birds and monitor lizards spotted.

We also booked two trips through Anthony who will approach you on the beach when you arrive. These were both excellent. We visited Galle and Kandy (including elephant orphanage, elephant ride, tea plantation) with Gerry as our guide who was very informative and spoke very good English. We would definitely recommend booking trips through Anthony if you go to the hotel. As a change from the hotel we also dined at his restaurant which was great too.

Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank BumblesF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 May 2014

We stayed for two weeks at Ranweli for our honeymoon and were very pleased with it. We had a sea-facing bungalow which was unbeatable for views and tranquility, so would definitely recommend upgrading. Standard of accommodation was high, really good quality air conditioning and nice bathroom particular highlights (availability of Premier League football via cable channel Star Sports was a great bonus too!). All inclusive package is fine- buffet food gets a little repetitive but a la carte is relatively cheap if you fancy a change. You can get a lot of different drinks- bottles of lager, spirits (local brands but fine), cocktails, mocktails and more. Bar service was efficient and quick. No snacks included. Other things to note: the resort is dominated by German guests (very few other English travellers during our stay), this was not a problem for us but is worth being aware of. Most of staff speak reasonable English but I think are more regularly practiced in German and it sometimes took a few goes to make ourselves understood. Also, Ranweli should really look at installing air con (or at least fans) in the dinning room/main bar area which could get pretty stifling in the evenings. Wi-fi in the bar/lobby areas is a bit unreliable and generally quite slow at peak times. But these are all fairly minor points in what was an otherwise very enjoyable and relaxing stay.

Our main tip would be to book any trips you would like to do around Sri Lanka through Anthoney, an independent local entrepreneur who will probably introduce himself to you on the beach. This might feel disconcerting at first but you can entirely trust Anthoney- we booked a package of trips with him (including to Sigiriya Rock, Kandy, Pinnewala elephant orphanage as well as a dolphin tour) and he provided an excellent level of service at far more reasonable rates than the resident tour operators at Ranweli offer. Transport is by air conditioned minibus and the guide for our trips was Lucas, an extremely jovial and knowledgeable local with good English and German. Anthoney also runs a shop and restaurant just outside the hotel which are well worth a visit.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gordon T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2014

I stayed at this hotel in January with my sis and brother in law and really enjoyed being their.
I have a nut allergy that Kuoni neglected to mention to the management at the hotel.
The head chef and the staff couldn't do enough to rectify the situation and the food through out was very impressive. The rooms were very clean and spacious. I was at the far end of the beach so literally just opened the doors onto the beach.
Lovely surroundings, great staff who were very friendly.
The hotel was a bit to quiet at night with not a lot to do after dinner served.
The down side was it was very evident that it was a hotel more favoured to the German community and everything was charged in the euro so made everything a lot more expensive than it should have been. I would return to Sri Lanka again and would stay at Ranweli but only for a few days, more than that would be boring and to expensive.
On the whole a lovely hotel though

Julia welsh

Room Tip: The best location rooms were from 120 upwards, I was in 131 and it was just perfect for the view and...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Julia W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eastleigh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 May 2014

We stayed at the Ranweli Holiday village on 2 separate nights at the start and end of a tour of Sri Lanka. Our only disappointment is that we could not have stayed longer as it certainly ticked all our boxes in respect of comfort, location, food, service and environmental ethics. It is in a nice location, on the beach, with a nice pool, restaurant and beach bar, the latter of which offers nice snacks as well as drinks. On the first night we had a standard room which was very comfortable and clean. On our last night we were upgraded to a beach villa which was absolutely brilliant, very comfortable indeed and very spacious. The food was very good and offered a good choice for both breakfast and evening meal. The staff were very good, polite and attentive, from the ferry man who took us across the canal to and from the hotel, to the restaurant staff, house attendants, gardeners and reception staff. We hope we are able to return here one day for a longer stay to enjoy the other things the hotel has to offer, from boat trips along the canal, to the boardwalk and bird watching tours, which all looked very interesting.

Room Tip: Go for a beach villa if you can.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank pjburton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 May 2014

a beautiful and peaceful location, views from the pool were stunning. made a wonderful first impression on arrival in sri lanka and the perfect relaxing start to the holiday. service was a little slow, but helpful and friendly, rooms spacious, clean and well appointed and the skylight above the shower made the bathroom luxurious. ayurvedic massages recommended, and the pina coladas! only suggested improvement would be wifi in the rooms/bungalows, but it was available in the lobby pool area.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Marianne K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
105 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2014

Very positive things to say about the accommodation (but we did splash out on the most expensive deluxe bungalows). Short pontoon ride is lovely introduction to fabulous views and comfortable private bungalow. Wonderful bathroom with skylight above the shower makes for a fabulous early morning wake up.

Food pretty average for this sort of chain. I didn't miss anything but compared to other hotels similar to this (Heritance) there was less choice and less interesting Sri Lankan food, I missed my egg hoppers for breakfast! I had no problem with the quality of what was on offer, just wasn't very interesting, and yes; did feel slightly limited by the veggie choices.

Prices for drinks can be misleading (they don't show taxes) and the constant music could do with a rethink but just tune out and focus on fabulous views, heat, bobbing about in pool and lovely people. Service can be v. slow, it doesn't bother me on holiday but if it bothers you be conscious of factoring time in.

Sunloungers fine, not loads because many people in bungalows relax there. Pool a good size but arguably a little small compared to comparable hotels.

Really really pleased that the conservationist at the resort was honest about his opinion of the elephant orphanage. He didn't dissuade us from going but we already had concerns and the fact a professional was of the same opinion rather than trying to push the tourist dollar was welcome.

The village makes a lot of its Eco credentials but I don't know what that means practically speaking, other than a few recycling bins around. I would like to know more about their commitment to sustainability and what that really means particularly their approach to water use/plastic recycling/supporting local people.

Biggest (first world) problem for me was the rather intermittent and frustratingly slow wifi, only available in pool and lobby areas. So if you want to spend your whole holiday on Facebook (or trip-advisor!) this is not the place for you.

Room Tip: The deluxe bungalows are recommended
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank girlinagirdle
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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