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“Cool place”
Review of Club Bentota

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Club Bentota
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Aluthgama
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Cool place”
Reviewed 7 June 2014

Love the place the hotel. Nice hotel nice atmosphere location is very Nc loved very much. Food was also good bentota nice place tp visit. Must see turtle farm and also visited taj bentota had a lunch was very nc

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Nikita D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
90 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2014 via mobile

We spent a week here at Club Bentota in May. I'm not sure if it was the time of year but it was lovely and quiet. The rooms are lovely with air conditioning which is needed! This is by no means a five star hotel so as long as you don't go with those expectations you will think it's lovely. The hotel has a beautiful beach on one side and a river on the other. We could not swim in the sea as there we're always red flags but it was lovely to walk on the beach, it felt as though you we're the only ones there. The guys on the beach do try to sell you trips but they are happy to leave you alone if you ask. We didn't do any trips whilst there but talking to other guests Luba on the beach is definitely the man to book with. The restaurant was being refurbished whilst we were there so we were in the restaurant over the water which was lovely but a bit hot. The food was lovely, lots of selection and always hot and there was always a pasta option cooked for you there and then. The only negative was the drinks selection. There was no diet coke (May sound a little silly) and the cocktail selection wasn't very much, I think we had a choice of four the whole week we were there. The sun beds we're also pretty uncomfortable but by no means did this spoil our trip.
All in all a lovely week away in a lovely hotel and nice staff.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank Katie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shanklin Isle of Wight
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2014 via mobile

Having used Kuoni previously we were very let down with this hotel. Many reviews have said that the cost of the holiday was cheap but ours certainly wasn't and the hotel did not live up to our expectations. The worst aspect of our stay was the room, we booked a deluxe room and what we got certainty was not deluxe. It was not very clean and smelled of damp, but the insect infestation was the last straw for us. Having noticed the infestation we reported it to reception who sent out a member of staff to deal with it, unfortunately they did not clear up after them and the sight is not something you would ever want to encounter. After much complaining to our rep we were moved a suite which was very good, but it was the type of accommodation we expected having booked a Deluxe room. The service was variable it was mostly poor especially in the bar but was occasionally very good depending on whether you tip and who is on duty at the time. The restaurant was passable but if you dined towards the end of service many items were unavailable. The grounds and setting are beautiful and you see a lot of wildlife wandering about the grounds. As with most other reviewers we have to give Luba a big thumbs up, the tours he provides are on a par with Kuoni, but you get a very personal service with Luba who seems to delight in showing tourists his county. The cost of Lubas tours are half the price of those provided by Kuoni and he does not take any money from you until the end of the tour, he is highly recommended.

Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank wilo2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2014

We went there on holiday over Christmas - have been too busy to write our review earlier -. We booked with Kuoni and started the holiday with a tour of Sri Lanka so have some comparisons for the quality of the hotel and food. Bottom line we had a fantastic holiday making great new friends and will definitely return to Sri Lanka, maybe even to the Club just to see if they've actually carried out all the changes/improvements as announced.

Accomodation
We stayed in Bungalow 352 which was an excellent choice location wise. It's at the end of the resort (long walk from reception and the restaurant/bar area across brick-paved walkways in a bad state of repair - not suitable for people in wheelchairs or families with pushchairs) facing a large green area with lots of coconunt trees.
Positives: enough space and a nice little terrace where we sat in the mornings watching the chipmunks and birds. There was a stunningly beautiful woodpecker visiting the coconut trees every morning. The gardener cut and openend some King coconuts for us which we thought was very nice. That was a little bit of Paradise.
Negatives: The room is adjoining to another one and has connecting doors. ... well, we could hear the young couple next door having some bedtime fun, not funny if you try to sleep ... and now you realise they can actually hear you too. We had a leaking aircon system which they repaired quickly though but the shower going from warm to extremely hot and then icecold within a split second was a challenge for them and took them the best part of our 12 nights there to repair. It seemed they didn't believe us and we ended up having to speak to the manager, were invited in their office where they showed us plans for repairing/updating the walkways and the restaurant. We were offered a meal in their seafood restaurant or a massage (I love food!) and when we had to go back because it wasn't actually repaired we got compensated additionally with a bottle of champagne. They tried hard. I think they might have taken the shower tap from another room and put the one we had in the other room as the "new" looked very much used. :-) We heard complaints about the superior and deluxe rooms regarding mould, we didn't have these problems in the bungalow.
Beach: Great, it couldn't have been more beautiful, that is the best bit of beach in Aluthgama/Bentota (at least from what we have seen from the club southbound right past Villa Wunderbar). We went on a few very long walks along the beach and it was great.
Bar: nice bar area and the waiters are all very nice. We were on all inclusive and some of the local drinks aren't too great - their whiskey wasn't good and the Arrack they give you in the club is only half as good as the one we had at the house of a local guy we met in Habarana on the tour. Thanks Desmond, we had a great evening with you, your wife and the other guys! We stuck to the beer at the club, even G&T wasn't drinkable.
Pool: We didn't use it, there's a natural much bigger one there, ... the Indian Ocean.
Entertainment: A bit repetitive (lots of times it was the girls group dancing) but enough for us. We went to play crocket a few times which was really fun in the group, especially because the route laid out is not as easy as one would hope! We did not use the watersports offers.
Food: It looked great and the presentation around it was great but was mostly a disappointment for the taste buds! They had a large selection every day but it wasn't kept in the most hygienic ways, i.e. left open and therefore it dried out - all of the curries in the Ayurveda section were left like that and it just put me off seeing the dried out top and then a chef walking along stirring them - who knows what flew or crawled in there? -. Also the other food wasn't very attractive and meat dishes are a complete "no, no". Fish was, in most cases, what they call sear fish and quite overcooked (dry). I am a good and not fussy eater and usually eat what I put on my plate but the first few days I certainly left some to go back until I got to know the various levels of their cooking abilities a bit better. They have a fantastic selection of desserts although the majority looks good but lacks in good taste and they are VERY sweet. Their bread and butter and the milk rice pudding though are great and any cake with fresh fruit and cream you shouldn't miss out on. There were also one or two types of mousse that were really nice. For breakfast the best things are their omelettes, unbeatable!
As we were there over Christmas and New Year we had to pay a HEFTY "Gala Dinner" surcharge which definitely was not worth it. For £170 per person on top of the All Inclusive charge I would have expected to get at least a glass of bubbly for free with or after the dinner but no, you had to buy it and that by the bottle! The biggest difference between the daily buffet and the gala dinners were the decoration and langoustines and what they called lobster.
Food-wise we definitely had much better tasting and more choice in the other hotels we stayed at during the tour, those were Chaaya Village in Habarana, Cinnamon Citadel in Kandy and the Jetwing St. Andrews in Nuwara Eliya. We finished off our trip with 2 nights in Colombo at the Cinnamon Grand and we both were very impressed by the hotel's restaurants, the typical Sri Lankan village one - I think it was called Numa Gama - in particular. Food was excellent in all of the Cinnamon hotels (the Chaaya is part of the chain) and we will definitely go back and stay in one of them.
Excursions: We tried to book a catamaran whale watching trip through Kuoni which got cancelled the day before so we booked through reception. This was a disappointing trip, the time out at sea was maybe 2 hours and we saw only 3 dorsal fins and the splashing water from a break-out in the far distance - we saw about 40 whales - not just fins - in Cape Cod in 2012 and they were really close. Ok, it's not in their hands how many whales are there at the time when you go but I felt they were too much chasing around, there were too many boats about and the whales most likely got put off by all the noise. We can, however, recommend Sam and his excursions. He always comes up with a personal note/information to it. Sam is based on the beach right outside the Club's beach area. He's a great guy and also good for a favourable exchange rate. We very much enjoyed the Bentota River tour with him.
Finally, don't miss out on visiting the local market in Aluthgama, it's an experience. Go in some local shops and get haggling, it's fun.
One off-putting thing which we've experienced in quite a few places is that they expect to be tipped and not just little. Worst ones were once at the Mount Lavinia Hotel upon our departure after the first night. We were leaving and the tour driver had arrived and opened the boot. We suddenly had 4 people around us helping to put 2 suitcases in the boot. The other one was at the elephant orphanage near Habarana where we tipped two unfriendly (no smiles at all) mahouts for taking a picture of us with an elephant (less than a one minute job). We gave them 100 rupies each but were told by them it was too little - to put it into perspective: they earn maybe £30 a month and we gave £0.50. I bet most people in the UK would jump for joy receiving a tip of 2.5% of their salary!
Last but not least, not one of the post cards I sent off from Club Bentota arrived at destination, strangely enough though those sent from the Cinnamon Citadel in Kandy arrived all.

We love the country and we met some very nice locals and people from other countries. We definitely will go back, just maybe not to Club Bentota and if to the Club then on a B&B basis so we go out to eat in one of the many restaurants around.

Room Tip: Choose one of the Bungalows.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Fusspot62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
norwich
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2014

First impressions of club bentota blew us away, the boat over to the hotel has stunning views and really shows of the natural beauty of the place. when we arrived they were very helpful, and as we were on honeymoon the room was decorated beautifully. Staff were very friendly and the hotel was clean an well maintained. pool was lovely and being able to just stroll onto the beach was wonderful. The only negative i have about this place is that 1. you have to pay for wifi....which i think nowadays is abit poor, when you pay to go all inclusive to a place like this i would expect wifi to be free. & 2. they then ran out of wifi tokens that you had to buy, so not only were we having to pay for wifi but they then ran out, i dont want to use wifi all the time as im on holiday but as we were on multi- holiday destination holiday it was important for us just to be able to touch base with home every now and again but were unable. But over all was lovely, would recommend.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Millz7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
midlands, uk
Level Contributor
42 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2014

This hotel was chosen by us based on its cost, location, all inclusive package and reviewer comments. We have stayed in some very nice hotels across the world and this one exceeded our expectations for a 3* property. We paid for a relatively inexpensive stay and got great value for money. The all inclusive is really full Board with unlimited drinks. That said, the food can not be faulted. There is enough variety to suit everyone, great quality (yes it's high in salt but very tasty) and the chefs will do anything they can to ensure guests are well fed.
The staff at the hotel are all very friendly and the rooms are kept clean and comfortable. The decor probably needs updating but everything works, the beds are comfy and rooms have everything you need on holiday.........including mosquito repellant!
The wide sandy beach is virtually deserted and possibly due to sand flies. Most guests get bitten by them because the property is flanked by sea and river, with beaches on both sides. They are a nuisance but no reason to avoid going. Sri Lanka has a wealth of culture and attractions. We would highly recommend visiting some of the sights and Luba can be found at the beach but for great prices on trips out. He is extremely helpful, knowledgable and happy to negotiate a deal with you.

Room Tip: Rooms at the back of the property numbered 300 plus are quieter but the entertainment isn't nois...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank julie_fearn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St Albans, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2014

I had read all the reviews for 6 months before we went and had got so excited about going to Club Bentota, I was worried I was going to be disappointed on arrival. However, I have to say my expectations were exceeded.

We reached the hotel within 3 hours of landing. Arrival by boat is very impressive. We were warmly greeted and immediately taken up to our rooms. We had deluxe rooms (241 and 242). The rooms were very nice and very clean. There was no noise. The bed was really comfortable. The shower leaked a little under the door, but nothing that the floor mat didn’t soak up! We had no complaints at all. We even had chipmunks feeding out of our hands on the balcony.

The setting, as everyone says, is unbelievably stunning, looking across the river on one side and the beautiful beach on the other. A huge beach, with hardly anyone on it, soft sand, warm sea water, crashing waves, no hawkers to bother you, just fantastic! Whatever time of day you arrived at the beach or the pool, there were always plenty of sun loungers free. No getting up early in the morning to get your spot here!

There was an a la carte restaurant where you could pay for all sorts of fish, pizzas, burgers etc, at very reasonable prices, but we didn’t see it used much. We always used the buffet. All meals were excellent, Breakfasts were great. For lunch and dinner, there were always curries, something western, a pasta dish, salads, soup, and lovely desserts and fruit. There was as much variety as you could have on a buffet. How anyone could complain, I don’t know. None of us were ill at all and we didn’t hear of anybody suffering with any tummy problems!

Having read all the reviews and seen the very positive comments about Luba, I had been in touch with Luba by email and phone, in advance of our holiday. When we wandered down to the beach, he was there to greet us. We did a river cruise and held a baby crocodile, so soft and mouth not taped up. We did a 3 day/2 night tour which included the turtle hatchery, Galle Fort, Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home, a safari in Yala, a 2.5 hour train journey through the mountains and the tea plantations, Kandy, the temple of the tooth relic, the botanical gardens, an elephant ride, visit to a wood factory, tea plantation and herb and spice garden, Luba produced everything he had promised. We saw baby turtles coming out of their nest at the hatchery. We were the only ones there at 6am in the morning and saw all the other turtles kept there. The baby elephants at Udawalawe were so sweet and none of them were tied up. On the safari, we saw lots of elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, water buffalo, warthogs, loads of birds etc and even got to see 3 leopards! The train journey was really enjoyable and was a fantastic experience and we even tasted the food being sold on board out of a basket. The botanical gardens were beautiful, we saw large fruit bats and could have spent a lot longer there. The elephant ride was fun and we were taken in the river on their backs and were showered by them. A very tiring 3 days, but so worth it. It was an amazing trip. Some days later we went to another turtle hatchery early evening and helped release baby turtles into the sea, a rather emotional experience. We had plenty of journeys on tuk tuks, visited the local town several times, market, nursery school, temples etc. We finished off our holiday with a boat trip and had 3 sightings of blue whales and a school of dolphins, magical. We saw the stick fishermen on the way back. Luba made all of this possible. He did everything he promised and more and took no payment for anything until after the event. He made our holiday, we did so many things you wouldn’t get to do/see anywhere else in the world. And there is still so much left to see and do for another visit! We can absolutely recommend Luba without hesitation. He can be contacted at lubatours@gmail.com or on 00-94-777-405-152. He will look after you.

To sum up, the hotel is not 5 star luxury, but it is beautiful, rustic, charming, clean and comfortable. The food is really good, the staff are friendly, the setting is stunning. We did so much and saw so much, all thanks to Luba. What a beautiful place! We can’t wait to return to do and see even more.

Whilst there, we also visited Luba’s cousin’s jewellery shop – Dara Gems – not far from the entrance to the hotel. We bought a beautiful blue and white sapphire bracelet, in solid silver, with a platinum overlay. We are yet to get it valued here, but the jewellers at the hotel said that we had got it at a very good price. Dara is worth checking out if you’re looking for jewellery to take home.

Room Tip: The deluxe rooms are nicer and bigger than the bungalows, but we met people in the bungalows and the...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Susan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Club Bentota

Property: Club Bentota
Address: Paradise Island, Aluthgama 12080, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Aluthgama
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Aluthgama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Club Bentota 3*
Number of rooms: 150
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover the wonders of the beaches of Sri Lanka during your stay at Club Bentota. A hassle free vacation for you and a fun-packed adventure for the kids: we provide exciting water sports, an extensive Ayurvedic spa and so much more on a secluded, breathtaking beach front. Built on a peninsula referred to as Paradise Island, Club Bentota is located on the South West coast of Sri Lanka and is flanked by the Indian Ocean and the Bentota River. Have fun under the sun with jet skiing, wind surfing, beach volleyball, croquet, river boat cruises and much more. Unwind by taking a dip in the pool or Ocean, play a game of cards with friendly guests from around the world, or read a book in our hotel book shop. Choose from our all-inclusive or full-board packages and book a vacation to Club Bentota, where the sun and sand await you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Club Bentota Hotel Aluthgama
Bentota Hotel Aluthgama
Club Bentota Sri Lanka/Aluthgama

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