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“Impressive rooms, setting and facilities”

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The Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort
Reviewed 19 August 2014

We stayed here for one night as a organised tour. Our standard room was very nice, impressive size, high ceilings, huge bed, good sized bathroom. Very modern, clean. Swimming pool facilities are excellent. Overall a very well presented resort. All staff in reception, housekeeping were polite, friendly and helpful. We did find that the service from staff in the restaurant was not the best, seemed very uninterested in serving us. They were more interested in the cricket on TV than serving customers. Would recommend this hotel as a great place to stay.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank WJT78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 August 2014

Huge resort that looks more like a place for business event than the charming cosy place you wish to stay in during your vacation. The swimming pool is great , especially if you re staying with children., restaurant "canteen" style, with expensive buffet. Professional but cold service.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
Thank Brit G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2014

A pleasure to stay here. Nice large rooms, great service and buffet meal. Wifi is free and fast. This was a nice surprise as you only come here for the safari's in the national park so there is not a lot of choice. This is an excellent hotel, I would highly recommend.

Room Tip: All seem good.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Adam B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2014

Lovely hotel in beautiful surroundings. Didn't feel so relaxed in the restaurant as we were stared at again. It's not my fault that I look Sri Lankan and am a single parent. Stil in between the stares we had a relaxing time. Reception staff were lovely.

Didn't think much of the food so asked my driver to take us to a local place. He wanted to drive us to another hotel and I asked where he ate. He said just opposite the hotel in a roadside eatery. So we went there and ate nice fried rice which tasted better that the hotel food and a hundred times cheaper!!

As it was low season, the hotel had about 4 tourist families but also a company outing. It was funny when I went down to the pool to find approx 20 men and no ladies in the pool. Of course I waited until they had finished partying and getting drunk, then went in when they all left the hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank chichi777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2014 via mobile

This was a lovely hotel in udawalawe. Upon arrival we were greeted with a warm welcome, a welcome drink and a towel. Our bags were taken up to the room immediately. The room was stunning, we had booked a suite for a small amount more and it was completely worth it.. There was a large room with table for private dining, fully stocked mini bar, a complementary fruit basket with some of the more varied fruits we ate whilst in Sri Lanka and complementary red wine and four bottles of water. There was a dressing area and beautiful big bathroom with double sinks, amazing shower and double jacuzzi bath. Two balconies overlooked a very serene pretty pool area where the staff were busily tending to the garden and upkeep of the pool.

The hotel arranged our safari in the udawalawe national park which was one of the highlights of our trip. The whole trip with entrance was around £47 for two people (once converted) plus tip for the driver and guide. This was half the price of the yala safari and was at a lovely pace with fewer veichles. The guide was informative as was the driver and we thought it was important to tip as this is the main income. Tips around ten percent of overall cost seems to be an accepted rule in Sri Lanka.

We saw around 50 elephants in three large groups, it was magical.. wholeheartedly recommend it. We also visited the elephant transit home for the 9am feed the next day, which was great to see the work they were doing and again would recommend ( five mins away on a tukk tukk arranged by the hotel)

The hotel itself is set in beautiful grounds and the staff were very kind and attentive. The restaurant staff were excellent and very attentive and there was a varied buffet with very nice tasty food whilst we were there at both breakfast and dinner. There was a good wine list and wine of the day offers which was a nice touch.

If I had any recommendation it would be to have the bar area as a more dimly candle lit a la carte area (but perhaps this is personal preference). I havnt marked the hotel down for this because it realty is a lovely place but feel it would add to the ambiance at night.

The pool area was beautiful and relaxing. Wonderful staff, relaxing feel, stunning room and excellent distance to the safari and elephant transit home.. We flew to the new mattala airport near hambantota nearby on the south coast from colombo in half an hour for twenty pounds each...the hotel was fabulous and the safari stunning.. Can't go wrong.. Go you won't regret it

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank UkKirky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2014

My daughter and I stayed here for just one night as whilst visiting the Elephant transit station and National Park.
What a lovely peaceful setting.As we had left our beach hotel in Negombo at 4.30am our driver checked us in and we were then welcomed by the reception staff and shown to our room. We stayed in suite 4, The "Queen Suite". The room was a very good size with a rather lovely bathroom with spacious bath and jacuzzi. The bed was large and extremely comfortable . There was also a dining area and lounge.
We were encouraged to have a short rest and whilst my daughter snoozed I laid by the peaceful pool.The attendant swiftly brought me towells and I was the only person there.I relaxed in the sun and had a quich swim. Once rested and changed we set off for the 5 mins drive to the elephant transit station. What a wonderful place to see injured or orphaned elephants having milk feeds before returning to the river. Once recovered the elephants are then released into the neighbouring National Park where they join herds.We found this place far nicer than the Pinnawella Orphanage.
Back to the hotel for lunch and there is a 24 hour coffee shop. We then set off again for the 10 mins drive to Udawalawe National Park for a fantastic 3 plus hours safari where we had the greatest time seeing elephants roaming freely, along with monkeys, crocodiles, eagles,jackals,red deer all at very close quarters.

We enjoyed an evening buffet at the hotel before sitting overlooking the pool and then retiring for an excellent nights sleep.The grounds are extremely pretty with a river/stream and waterfall. I believe the hotel is popular with visiting cricket teams with signed cricket bats in reception. The whole place has a lovely atmosphere.

The hotel was hosting a party for a local firm, which included many of the worker's families.As the only Europeans we were seem as something of a novelty, but the restaurant staff ensured we were happy with our meals and drinks. It was a great atmostphere with a band playing and although it was busy we heard no noise at all once ensconced in our cosy suite.All rooms have wi fi and we actually watched a little tv.

Breakfast was plentiful and check out easy. I would reccommend the hotel for anyone thinking of exploring this part of the island. We then travelled back northward via Galle and many of the beautiful Southern beaches.

I would love to spend more time at the hotel, if we get a chance to return to Sri Lanka.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank franklynalouishus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2014 via mobile

We spent 2 nights in July, and loved it.

It is a large hotel and resort, but manages to feel cosy as it is amidst a tropical jungle with streams meandering through, and beautiful bamboo trees.

The rooms are nicely done and spacious.

Large dining room, that is divided into open air, and air conditioned sections.

The good : beautiful setting. Good rooms. Free WiFi. Pretty pool area. Service is very good. I would particularly like to mention the reception staff who were polite and very helpful.

The bad : food is expensive. The evening buffet is quantity rather than quality. At a price of Rp2000 per head, the buffet was amongst the more expensive we had in Sri Lanka, and fairly average.
The breakfast buffet was better.
The spa and massage centre are dire, down in a dark smelling basement, and had massage tables that resembled an 18th century wooden butcher's block, or a coffin. Take your pick.
The gym was well equipped, but in a soulless oom, with an equally damp smelling room.

Summary : despite my grumbles above, it is a lovely resort, with great staff, in a beautiful setting. Just improve the cuisine and the parts mentioned above, and you have an excellent resort.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
2  Thank Travel-Luxe1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort

Address: No. 912 Thanamalwila Road | (1 km from Thibolketiya (Barrier) Junction), Uda Walawe National Park 70190, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Uda Walawe National Park
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 26 B&Bs / Inns in Uda Walawe National Park
Price Range: £80 - £163 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 61
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort, offering 4-star facilities. We have 53 Deluxe and Superior rooms and 4 suite rooms.The Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort, situated on 7 acres of land, is located 163 kilometers away from Colombo, We are only 500 meters from the Ath Athuru Sevana (Elephant Orphernage), five minutes drive from the Uda Walawe National Park. It is very conveniently located with easy access to places such as the Mahinda Rajapaksa Cricket Stadium, the Ruhunu Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port and the Mattala Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport.One of the most significant feature of the Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort is its’ picturesque swimming pool. Ingeniously fashioned from the Malabotu Ara, a natural waterway bordering three sides of the property, it preserves the natural ambience and the awe-inspiring quality of the jungle atmosphere with the shade of the stately Kumbuk trees, which were preserved in order to allow the guests of the hotel the coolness and to maintain the healthy quality of the air and water.The other significant feature of the Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort is its’ open air theater named ‘Wala”.The hotel is equipped with a Banquet Hall seating 400 pax and a Restaurant seating 250 pax, a fully equipped Conference Hall and a state-of-the-art Business Centre, a complete Gymnasium, a Mini-Theatre, the Main Kitchen catering to the Restaurant, and a satellite kitchen catering to the Pool Bar and a Banquet Kitchen in the upper floor catering to the Banquet Hall, located so as not to disturb the idyllic existence of the guests, who venture into the jungle to escape the humdrum day-to-day life in the City braving the rat race. The hotel has 24 hour room service and extensive laundry facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort Sri Lanka/Uda Walawe National Park

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