We decided to fly down to Sri Lanka for a weekend break. Let's start with the good points: we arrived late at night and fell in love with the place. The setting is wonderful, the rooms are large and well equipped. The staff are friendly but not very helpful. Then we discovered we were not going to get a good night's sleep because of the barking stray dogs roaming the resort site. We complained and the staff tried to scare the dogs away but the dogs were braver than the staff. We complained again in the morning and we were promised action. At 2 am the following night we were awakened again by the dogs and this time when I complained to the reception staff they simply laughed at me. They did manage to scare the dogs away but the dogs returned the 3rd night. Luckily we were checking out the following day after a disastrous weekend in our favourite holiday country.
The Internet is painfully slow and makes dial up modem internet seem very fast. It took 4 minutes to download 3 emails. Websites are impossible to access. Internet is only accessible in the public area and is not available in the rooms.
The food is catered for those tourists on a full or half board vacation; i.e. buffet food. My wife and I wanted a la carte but our food did not arrive until all the other tourists had finished their buffet, approximate one hour after ordering our choice from the menu. This was probably due to the staff giving priority to the buffet and refilling of the buffet tables. The a la carte food is, at best, mediocre. The meat was overcooked and very dry. I did not try the buffet so I am unable to offer a comment on the quality of that offering.
Service is only marginal. 15 minutes to get an espresso coffee; 20 minutes for 2 glasses of water. Another occasion it took asking 5 members of staff for a glass of milk and a 15 minute wait.
When you sign for your food and beverages you are charged in Euros. However, when you check out you are charged in SL rupees. The applied exchange rate means they charge, for example, €6 for a €4 drink. You can easily check this by looking up the exchange rates using a smartphone app and back-calculating the cost.
Then when you come to leave you have to endure the vulture taxi drivers waiting to overcharge you for a trip to the airport. The normal cost is Rs. 1900 but those carrion beasts started at Rs. 7000 before a lot of negotiating brought them down to Rs. 2000.
- 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