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“A good resort hotel base for the Cultural Triangle”

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Habarana Village by Cinnamon
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Habarana
London
Level 6 Contributor
129 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 164 helpful votes
“A good resort hotel base for the Cultural Triangle”
Reviewed 13 March 2012

We spent three nights here as a base for the Cultural Triangle, and we found the hotel very pleasant. We upgraded to the Deluxe room (for $30 a night on arrival), mainly so we could have a bath as well as a shower. The room was large and very attractively decorated, with a comfortable (firm) bed, table and chairs, and small seating area. The kettle was very helpful, and they brought us milk without charge. The bathroom was fine, and the bath was huge. The location is lovely, with the rooms spread out round the grounds, with distant views of the lake, so we only shared one wall with another property, making it quiet and fairly private. There are large troops of monkeys (grey langurs and toque macaques) in the grounds, as well as giant squirrels and lots of palm squirrels, and you can walk straight into the grounds of the neighbouring hotel, Cinnamon Lodge, where we also saw water and land monitors. We only had a short wander, but I understand you can see lots of birds if you do a longer walk near the lake.

I’d give both the room and the setting 5 stars, but the hotel loses a star for really very bad food. Breakfast was fine – the usual choice of fruit, omelettes, Sri Lankan breakfast foods etc, and ok coffee, but with the addition of a really excellent selection of breads. Dinner, though, was awful. The Sri Lankan food was very, very spicy without actually having much flavour, and the other food totally bland and overcooked. Dinner was included in our room rate, so we ate there every night, but we also had a very mediocre and quite expensive lunch at the generally excellently-reviewed Cinnamon Lodge – basically, we didn't find good food options in Habarana!

Overall, I’d recommend this hotel as a simple, unfussy and reasonably priced option for the Cultural Triangle.

Room Tip: The deluxe rooms are the only option if you want a bath - we thought the $30 upgrade cost per night...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank LondonAlicat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
86 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2012

We stayed for 4 nights in Chaaya Village (CV) at the beginning of a 4 week tour in Sri Lanka. The location in Habarane is excellent for reaching the key sights in the Cultural triangle- Sigiriya (superb- an absolute must do), Polonnoruwa, Anurahdpura, Minneriya, and the less visited Popham’s arboretum.
CV shares its location with the more expensive Cinnamon Lodge. Like us, you might be wondering at which of these two properties to stay- read on.
The site on the banks of a large lake provides both properties with excellent evening and morning strolling and bird watching opportunities. We saw brahminy kites, minnivets, many waders and star of the show an indian pitta in the Cinnamon Lodge’s butterfly garden. Throughout our stay we had no issues with mosquitoes.
We chose a deluxe room in CV- and believe this was an important choice as it gave us a great outlook over the lake- whilst I’m sure standard rooms would be fine, their outlook is over, well other standard rooms. This outlook matches that of any of the Cinnamon Lodge rooms and at a substantial discount. The buffet restaurant a Chaaya Lodge offers an excellent selection- surprisingly good. As we were staying for 4 nights we selected 2 nights on B&B and 2 nights on DB&B. This allowed us to also eat dinner for 2 nights in Cinnamon Lodge (the hotels are happy to allow this)- and this was certainly well worth it as the Cinnamon Lodge buffet provided some of the best food we ate in Sri Lanka.
Service at Chaaya Village was excellent and the pool was very pleasant.
If cost is irrelevant, then I guess Cinnamon Lodge might have the edge. However taking our approach saves $100 a night, $400 over 4 nights- and you will spend most of your days seeing the sites- hence a deluxe room at Chaaya Village would be my recommendation.
Both hotels are used extensively by tour companies. As an independent traveller this is not my preference. However given that we ourselves were out sight seeing for much of our time and that the tours tend to leave early then this did not prove to be an issue- although it did provide a further advantage to the deluxe rooms which are away from the standard rooms and hence do not suffer from the noise of early morning departures.
Separately, we arranged all aspects of our trip ourselves including our driver. Getting the right driver in Sri Lanka is very important- and we made an excellent choice. First and foremost you need a SAFE driver and reliable vehicle. George was very safe, and his vehicle was excellent. Almost as important is having a driver who speaks English very well. While many drivers will claim to speak English, we found that some later in our tour were quite difficult to understand, and we weren’t sure if they understood us. George was excellent on both counts. He has an excellent knowledge of the country, including those side roads which let you see village life and avoid the road works on the major roads. And he responded to all our last minute requests. We unreservedly recommend George- his contact details are George at http://www.michelletours.com. For one leg of our tour George was unavailable himself and his replacement driver also did an excellent job.

Room Tip: Choose a deluxe room the marginally higher cost is worth paying.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank johnwalker1954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hitchin
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2012

This hotel is in a beautiful setting and you are housed in comfortable bungalows with every amenity and plenty of wild life all around (a friend had her sari stolen by a monkey and left on top of the roof, so beware!) The staff are friendly and there is an excellent choice of food, with irressistible desserts. The only downside was the pool which was very cloudy, not clear like the one at Chaaya Citadel, and I was careful to keep my mouth shut!

Room Tip: They are all fine
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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1 Thank Margaret H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney Australia
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2012

Just arrived hot and sweaty after 5 hours on the road, viewing elephants and climbing Sigiriya. This was a very full day for our first in Sri Lanka so we were looking forward to a hot shower and a cool bed. Well Chaaya Village is certainly much more than that! Stunning grounds, very well equipped bungalows, lovely pool and the most amazing buffet dinner. Know we will sleep well tonight in C1 (good room as it's close to the reception, dining room and pool. Don't be s ares off by the tour groups- there is plenty of space and food for everyone- enjoy!

Room Tip: C1 is close to the action and really well equipped with mini bar and lovely bathroom
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank travelingaussie0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brno, Czech Republic
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2012

The hotel is very well managed. Excellent, friendly and helpful staff everywhere !!!!! The bungalows are older but spacious, comfortable enough and everything is functional. Very nice garden view terraces. One of the best cuisine in Sri Lanka - great choice, good quality. I enjoyed my stay very much.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Petr13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 February 2012

This hotel is next door to its bigger, smarter and brighter cousin, the Cinnamon Lodge. Accommodation is in separate bungalows with a central area for eating. Our bungalow smelled a little musty and was a bit dark. The shower flooded the bathroom after just a minute, which probably accounted for the mustiness.

Communal eating areas felt a bit like a large refectory, but then this hotel seems to cater for large parties and we were travelling as a group of four.

This hotel is definitely the poor relation to the two other Chaayas at which we stayed while in Sri Lanka- Citadel and Wild.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Monika51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stowmarket, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2012

We spent 2 nights at Chaaya Village during our Sri Lanka tour & its a really beautiful place. Very peaceful & relaxing after lots of driving around.
We loved all the wildlife & really enjoyed walking by the lake watching the monkeys & pretty birds & you can see people on elephants walking on the track at the back of the lake.
One afternoon we had something to eat around the pool area & the cute little squirrels climb all over the sunbeds, they're really funny & quite entertaining.
We saw a lovely sunset over the lake & got some great pictures.
The buffet breakfast & dinner is brilliant with plenty of choice & we had to try abit of most things!!
Our room was really well equiped & spacious. The only problem we had was with mosquitoes. When we arrived late evening our room was full of them & we spent the first hour going round spraying & splatting them. But after that & switching the mosquito plug-in on we didn't have too many more. I think maybe the room boy had left the front door open whilst cleaning & they all got in. Apart from that we had a fantastic stay & would recommend this for a peaceful break.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Sam F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Habarana Village by Cinnamon

Property: Habarana Village by Cinnamon
Address: Habarana 50150, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > North Central Province > Habarana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Habarana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Habarana Village by Cinnamon 4*
Number of rooms: 108
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Habarana Village by Cinnamon lies sprawled across 27 acres of luxuriant land bordering a stunning lake of Habarana. The hotel's cozy cottages, inspired by the typical thatched roof huts found locally, lie in clusters with low roofs and brownish yellow exteriors. Habarana Village by Cinnamon boasts of 94 Superior Rooms, 12 Deluxe Rooms and 2 Suites set in the middle of thousands of high-rise trees that provide fruit, medicinal properties and plenty of shade. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chaaya Village Habarana Hotel Habarana
Chaaya Village Hotel Habarana
Chaaya Village Resort Habarana

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