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“What a disappointment”

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Calamander Unawatuna Beach
Ranked #14 of 31 Hotels in Unawatuna
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
1,049 reviews
95 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 393 helpful votes
“What a disappointment”
Reviewed 20 August 2014

Visions of lazy days lying on the beach were shattered on arrival with less than friendly welcome & waves crashing on sandbags trying to protect a very narrow beach but only creating dangerous backwash
Perhaps we got them on a bad day but although we had a spacious room & bathroom on 3rd floor with nice views of bay there were no lifts & room upholstery was torn
This is not a 4 star ,think 2 - 3 star & you wont be disappointed

Room Tip: Third floor room with view next to pool
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Darrel J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paloma scott S, Director, Unawatuna Beach Resorts (pvt) Ltd at Calamander Unawatuna Beach, responded to this review, 12 November 2015
Dear Guest,

We are very, very sorry that your experience of Unawatuna Beach was so disappointing. I have written to you personally to explain what happened to our beach and the fact that we have it back again.

Kind regards,
Miss Paloma Scott
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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657 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (114)
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English first
Llandudno, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
47 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014 via mobile

We booked in for 2 nights to celebrate my wife's birthday. We were offered half board at a good price, which we accepted. It was a buffet, which on the 1st night we tried. The buffet started 7.30pm we arrived 8.20pm. There was no starters left, we asked for a for the dishes to be refilled but they just took them away, we waited but nothing came back. The main courses were very lacking, again dwindling amounts, nothing being replenished.
The hotel rooms are comfortable and clean. It is just a shame a bout the food. The second night we ate out, it wasn't worth risking the buffet for a second night!!!!

Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank DaveKalavilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paloma scott S, Director, Unawatuna Beach Resorts (pvt) Ltd at Calamander Unawatuna Beach, responded to this review, 20 November 2015
Dear Guest,

I have read your comments from August of last year as part of the review management process. Firstly, let me apologize for not responding to your comments at the time. i cannot remember why your review slipped the net.

As you were aware, when you visited us last year, we were in the process of transition from a 3 star class to 4 star class and in the process of cleaning up, figuratively and physically, we lost some core skills.

We are extremely sorry that you were let down by our food. It is a long shot, as I am aware that a bad food experience will often mean you won't come back, however nice the hotel is. However, we hope that if you do return to these shores, you will try Calamander Unawatuna Beach again and I would be very interested in your comments on the food.

Yours sincerely,
Miss Paloma Scott.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
37 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2014

UBR is a beautiful property, with very friendly staff, from the Reservations Team to the Reception to the F&B staff. We really enjoyed our stay here, and were looked after very well.

The food is great and the rooms are fabulous and comfortable, with all amenities given.

They have a fantastic bar and a fantastic Barman, who really knows his stuff and keeps the guests entertained throughout. Ask him for any drink, any cocktail, even unlisted ones, and he will make it for you, to perfection.

Great work UBR, keep it up! We will definitely be back.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank A-SriLankan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paloma scott S, Director, Unawatuna Beach Resorts (pvt) Ltd at Calamander Unawatuna Beach, responded to this review, 20 November 2015
Dear Guest,

I am in the process of reviewing our reviews from last year and I noticed I missed responding to you and thanking you for your positive feedback on all aspects of the hotel.

You may have or may not have been back since August 19th 2014, but I do hope you will visit us again. We are about to open a fabulous new swimming pool, which has an outdoor jacuzzi and separate children's paddling pool, this is in addition to the our glass fronted lap pool which we opened just after you visited on 1st September 2015.

Kind regards,
Miss Paloma Scott.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2014 via mobile

A lovely hotel in Unawatuna - not sure why it is so low down the review score. Stayed here on our travels - the welcome and people working here were really friendly! Stayed in room 6 which is beside reception. The breakfast on both days were perfect - first day was buffet and second day was a set menu. We had a pizza here for lunch which was really nice. Great sunbeds - it's a shame the tide has taken away the beach. The pool was being renovated on arrival - we were aware from reviews it might be. Beware walking along the rocks to the main beach - they can very slippery at times!

Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Enda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paloma scott S, Director, Unawatuna Beach Resorts (pvt) Ltd at Calamander Unawatuna Beach, responded to this review, 20 November 2015
Dear Guest,

I am in the process of reviewing our history on Trip Advisor and I noticed that for some reason I had not responded to your review. I apologize for this.

Firstly, at the time of your visit, we had to overcome a huge disadvantage with the loss of our core asset, the beach. Our competitors in the industry were very quick to communicate to tourists coming to Sri Lanka, that we had lost the beach and therefore were not worth visiting.

However, we were not to be defeated and we fought back, completed our glass fronted lap pool, which has been a huge hit, are about to finish our second world class pool, that comes with attached outdoor jacuzzi and separate children's pool and in case you were not aware, we had our beach restored to us, courtesy of the tax payer in March 2015. The man made problem that caused the loss of the sand in the first place, has still not been removed, however, the fight continues. I hope you will visit us if you come to Sri Lanka again and see for yourself.

Kind regards,
Miss Paloma Scott.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2014

2 nights stay was really relaxing and refreshing. Recommend to stay in a new wing beach view room.

Pool is under maintenance so only the beach is available but....... its a 10 min walk to the open beach. As the beach in front of the hotel is not accessible due to rocks placed for sea erosion.

Rooms are new comfortable, wifi is free, cable tv, mini bar and all that is good.

Restaurant service apart from the 1st night was not very good to be honest but then when you are on a buffet who needs service I guess.

Reception was welcoming and friendly with a quick check in.

Roshan Weerasuriya
Stayed 2 nights on the 7th and 8th August 2014

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RoshanW71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paloma scott S, Director, Unawatuna Beach Resorts (pvt) Ltd at Calamander Unawatuna Beach, responded to this review, 20 November 2015
Dear Guest,

I am responding belatedly to your review; somehow it got overlooked and apologies for that. I note your comments about the pool, the beach and the service in the restaurant. Firstly, we finished the pool, the first glass fronted pool in Sri Lanka, on 1st September 2014 and it has been a huge hit with our guests. Secondly, our beach was restored to us in March 2015, thanks to the Sri Lankan tax payer but sadly the problem that caused the loss of the beach, is still present and we are continuing the fight to save Unawatuna Bay from suffering the loss, in the way it did before.

We hope that you will visit the hotel again and stay with us and we hope very much that we have improved our standards of service, which I agree, can sometimes be disappointing. But mostly it is due to the staff being unable to communicate in English but sometimes it is just an inability to see and react to a guests' needs.

Kind regards,
Miss Paloma Scott.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cardiff
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2014 via mobile

The hotel has a great location and is only a short bus ride to Mirissa and Galle. The food at the hotel was fantastic and the restaurant has a great view of the ocean. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The room was spacious, clean and had a good shower. Free wi fi in the rooms and lobby.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Chez A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paloma scott S, Director, Unwatuna Beach Resorts (pvt) Ltd at Calamander Unawatuna Beach, responded to this review, 20 November 2015
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for posting such a positive review about your stay in Calamander Unawatuna Beach. I am just sorry that I over looked acknowledging your comments at the time. In the process of reviewing our reviews, some of the things that were missing or just not there, are now part of the hotel and if you return to Sri Lanka, I do hope you will come and stay in Calamander Unawatuna Beach, again.

When you were here in 2014, we had lost our beach to a man made break water on the western side of the bay and that had caused the currents to lift the sand from the shore line in front of us and deposit on the western end of the bay, where usually there is little beach, because it is reef.

After a long fight, the beach was restored to us, courtesy of the Sri Lankan tax payer, to the tune of RS800 million worth of sand (about 4 million pounds). We of course are very grateful and it restored our business, which had been devastated by the loss. However, the problem that caused the loss has still not been removed but we continue to fight to retain and conserve this beautiful place for generations to come.

In addition, we have insured ourselves against further damage to our hotel's core proposition, a beach resort, by building two world class swimming pools. The second of which opens on the 27th November 2015.

We do hope you will return to see what we have done.

Kind regards,
Miss Paloma Scott.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2014

Great spot, close to everything in Gaulle. Very cozy and right at the beach! Good buffet breakfast/lunch/dinner, friendly staff always tried to be helpful. There is foot rub massage place and rent-a-scooter place attached to UBR. We rented scooters and went all around the city centre, Mrissa beach and other places.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mehrin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paloma scott S, Director, Unwatuna Beach Resorts (pvt) Ltd at Calamander Unawatuna Beach, responded to this review, 20 November 2015
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for reviewing our hotel back in 2014 and since then the beach which we lost to the construction of a man made break water, has been restored to us and we have built two world class swimming pools.

We hope very much that you will return and see what we have done and you will marvel at the beach.

Kind regards,
Miss Paloma Scott.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Calamander Unawatuna Beach

Property: Calamander Unawatuna Beach
Address: Parangiyawatta, Unawatuna 80000, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Unawatuna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Unawatuna
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Unawatuna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Calamander Unawatuna Beach 4*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Calamander Unawatuna Beach is one of Sri Lanka's most popular beach resorts, located directly on Unawatuna Bay. The most renowned holiday destination on the South coast, Unawatuna Beach is famous for its natural beauty, laid back ambience, proximity to Galle Fort, a Unesco World Heritage site, and is the best beach in the country. UBR, established over 30 years ago, has been transformed, since November 2011, as Calamander Unawatuna Beach. The resort retains the relaxed character of the former UBR, the excellent service from long standing staff, good food and al fresco dining. The only hotel on Unawatuna Beach with swimming pools, Calamander Unawatuna Beach has built the first glass fronted lap pool in Sri Lanka and the longest, at 25 metres, in the Asia Pacific region. In addition a stunning Italian mosaic, 25 metres in length, outdoor pool, with adjoining jacuzzi and a separate children's paddling pool. Calamander Unawatuna Beach is a 4 star class hotel with five star facilities. It is the first beach hotel in Sri Lanka with accredited carbon neutral status and future projects aim to develop sustainable eco-technology in the hotel's power generation and transport services. Guests are encouraged to engage in utilising the resort's facilities in the most eco-friendly way, without compromising on comfort and are invited to offset their individual carbon foot print with a small, voluntary, financial contribution, to the hotel's carbon neutral status. Calamander Unawatuna Beach is a trail blazer in Sri Lanka, for the 'affordable luxury' concept. Its design ethos of modernity, complimenting the beauty of its geography, has proven to be popular with our guests from all over the world. This together with high standards of service, Calamander Unawatuna Beach is now renowned for being a family friendly resort welcoming Sri Lankans as well as foreign guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Unawatuna Beach Hotel Unawatuna
Unawatuna Beach Resort

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