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“A little disappointing...”

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Michelle Boutique Hotel
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Balapitiya
Reviewed 15 March 2014

This is beach hotel jammed in between the busy Galle road and the ocean. Luckily you won't hear the traffic very much as the sea swell is much louder. On the other side if you don't really love listening to the breakers roaring against the rocks you won't be pleased either!

Talking of the sea swell leeds us to the usability of the beautiful beach for swimming. All five days of our stay the red flag was hissed but according to the beach boys this is common year round and merely a warning that you should take care of yourself (as any decent people should do when swimming in an open sea!) So, if your not afraid of medium to high sized waves swimming or rather bathing should not be a problem, there were no dangerous currents; neither reported nor felt. On two days though waves were to high for taking a bath but I think this is a fact valid for most of the beaches of Sri Lanka.

About the hotel: Small and exclusive, nice looking very modern architecture nice and big rooms and a beautiful pool never crowded!
Unfortunatly the hotel is in the middle of nowhere, not a single restaurant within reach and the management for sure knows about that! Having experianced a huge disproportion in price and value all over Sri Lanka the rip off in this hotel's restaurant is without precedence! 12$ for a simple tomato soup would suit a gourmet restaurant in Europe or the USA but not an average eatery in Asia. And that - unfortunatly must be said - is the standard of the quality of this restaurant! (We had to send back dishes several times, either they were uneatable or not what ordered or both, but had price tags "attached" like in a parsienne Gauld Milliot Temple!) Breakfast on the other hand, cooked to order, was very good.

Finally, would I recommend this hotel? Yes, if you want to relax two or three days and you are a strong swimmer, love the constant n o i s e of the sea and don't care about food very much. No, in all other cases.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank globusat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 March 2014

This was our last hotel we stayed at before we flew home from a delightful stay in Sri Lanka. Maybe it was the reviews I had read, maybe it was the price I was paying, or maybe it was the shoddy appearance of the room itself but I was disappointed. We booked a plunge pool suite. The room was painted white, and all the Formica furniture was white. When I walked in the room, I was immediately turned off by the holes in the drapery. Ok, no problem, open the drapes and you won’t see it. The white plastic furniture was worn with obvious damage ( cigarette burns/chips). The lamp and walls had blood on them from “mosquito kills” A steady stream of ants appeared each afternoon in the bar area. While I did bring it to the attention of our room steward, and he promised to spray, I am not sure what happened because they continued to appear. Yes, I know it’s a tropical area but it was a bit gross. The windows probably hadn’t been cleaned in months. The door to get out to our plunge pool was next to impossible to open. Being on the ocean, I am sure that it needs to be done daily but …. the bathrooms amenities were in glass jars which my husband dropped while in the shower. The bathroom lights flickered and obviously needed to be replaced. You can’t really swim in the water. The red flag seemed to be a permanent structure. Being an ocean loving creature, this was very disappointing to me. The pool while lovely is in an area that is completely shaded by the sun. So, I decided to spend my time in my plunge pool which was in the sun. There I found peace ;) We did make use of the rather expensive, but good massage services. Relative to food, our first night was horrific. All four dinners came out cold. The manager and chef apologized profusely, and they didn’t charge us but no one really ate the food. From there, the food picked up tremendously. Breakfast was excellent, and all other dinners were great. Our room steward Chaminda, the pool boys, and our waiter ( whose name I didn’t get) made the stay worthwhile.
Chaminda with his smiling face enabled me to get over “this hotel experience.” I am laughing because I know I am slamming the hotel. But, this room steward was able to disarm my annoyance at every turn:)
If you can get past the poor condition of the room, the room was very large, and the view fantastic. If you haven’t been to see the whales, there really is nothing to do which was fine for us. You just sit there and relax which is what we did.

Room Tip: Don't book the plunge pool, the less expensive room with an ocean view was in good shape, and a...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank ldtc2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ranjaka D, Director at Michelle Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 9 March 2014

Contents of this review are well noted and we are seriously looking into them. In our organization constructive criticism too is well accepted and immediate remedial measures are taken.

In this instance however, it is very apparent that the intention of these guests had been to "SLAM" the hotel ( In very words by the guests, in the review ) for some strange reason. Despite the hotel being busy during the mentioned period, had their concerns being brought to the notice of the Resident Manager or at least the front office staff, whilst in the hotel,we could certainly have taken immediate action.

Irrespective of the authenticity of the complaint, we thank you for having brought it to our notice even at this stage and apologize for any inconvenience caused.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2014

My elderly Father and I had completed a 6 day tour of the country and arrived at the Michelle by chance. The hotel where we had a reservation was over booked and we were transferred to the Michelle. What luck!

The Michelle is a classy, smart, spacious, well designed hotel with lovely public rooms, terrace and bedrooms. Our only gripe was there there were no hand rails on the stairs which would have been much appreciated by my Father, but their absence not noticed by the majority of younger guests. The setting is wonderful, right on the beach with steps down from the terrace to a small palm fringed beach on either side of the hotel. The sunsets through the palm trees across the sea will be remembered for a long time. Yes, the pool is a little small but beautifully clean and much enjoyed by us both.

The food was excellent and how delightful to have waiter service rather that a buffet. This brings me to the staff who could not have done more to make our stay more enjoyable. Front of house, bar, restaurant, housekeeping, pool attendants, everyone was charming, friendly, helpful and keen to ensure our every need was met.

I hope to return!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Kate C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ranjaka D, Owner at Michelle Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 March 2014

Many thanks indeed for your review which is well noted. We note with great pleasure, your "Quite by chance" stay with us had been pleasant and comfortable.

All of us at " Michelle" sincerely look forward to having you with us once again, in the not too distant future

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Reviewed 27 February 2014

This is my last day here at the Michelle Boutique Hotel staying in room 114 and I’ve decided I’d take the time to let future, potential guests know my personal thoughts. The Michelle is rated as a 5 star hotel and the question is, does it deserve it?

I have witnessed whilst being here a disgruntled gentleman who after only just arriving was telling reception he was not happy with his accommodation and leaving straight away! Not good start hey!! I don’t know what his particular issue was and it doesn’t really concern me.
I came on this holiday as a last minute break from my work where I live in Dubai. I resourced the hotel through Booking.com and of course, read the reviews on tripadvisor.com. I was looking for somewhere I could just switch off and relax, lay in the sun and do very little, whilst in pleasant surroundings. I chose Sri Lanka as I had already been there in 2009 and stayed in a different 5 Star hotel relatively close to where Michelle is located. My wife and I had toured Sri Lanka extensively on our first trip and feel in love with the place. The landscape is breath taking, food is fantastic and its people always wear smiles.

The reason I am telling this almost as a story is that I feel compelled to convey the reason why as much as the thoughts themselves.

So what is 5 star? In Dubai where I live 5 star hotels are ten a penny. Hundreds line beach fronts and the downtown districts, all brand new and all pristine in appearance and their maintenance. Sri Lanka is different and people coming to Sri Lanka should be aware of that. Both my 5 star hotel experiences here have been very similar; beautiful surrounds, well designed layouts, great views, infinity pools etc etc, but both had areas that you would say were in keeping with a London, Sydney or Dubai 5 start hotel. What I’m saying is that people in general are sometimes too eager to see the bad in something. Yes some of the paintwork looks tired in areas….but so what. Yes you can walk across service areas (as in the picture taken and stupidly put on the tripadvisor site, which was by the way right next to my room, and did it bother me?….not). Yes some of the items on the food and drinks menu never emerged for the length of our stay…but so what. I could go on and on if I wanted to waste my time looking for fault!

Instead I would prefer to tell you; how stunning the view is, how the staff are just attentive enough (sometimes you do think a little too laid back) as to not be invade your holiday space, how great it was every morning to have breakfast on the terrace by the plunge pool and listening to the waves on the beach, how good room service was, how reasonably priced we found the hotel for food and drink, how attentive the staff where to our needs and most importantly, how relaxed I feel at the end of the week. When I set out on this holiday, I wanted to switch off and recharge my batteries, well with the help of the Michelle and its team its ticked all the boxes and I can only give it 10 out of 10, and you know what, all the little stuff doesn’t matter.
Well done Michelle, we’ll be back.

One small note and unrelated to the Michelle is if you are looking to see sights (I would strongly recommend Whale and Dolphin spotting which we did on this trip) there are two options; 1, order your own taxi/driver for the day or 2, have the hotel (whichever you stay in) arrange it though one of their associated agents. Either way make sure you know where you want to go and what you want to do and stick to it, otherwise (and this happened on both occasions) you will end up going to places that you don’t want to go, where the driver has financial interest (i.e. back handers for taking you “the tourist’ there), where you will feel pressured into buying something and or go on a boat ride and where the person who you are paying to drive you around is controlling your day. On both occasions it ended with a falling out with the driver and tainting what for the most, was a great experience. If you allow it to happen you’ll be going to several tea factories, a number of Gem stone shops, spice farms etc etc. Make sure the hotel knows you don’t want to be messed around by the driver and you won’t go if that’s what they (the driver) is expecting to do to you. You’re in control, you choose and stick to it.
P.S. You can spend a good few hours wondering around Galle Fort, so, get the driver to take you there tell him to disappear (as he’ll probably have connections there too!) and tell him to come back several hours later, then go explore. It’s safe, it’s friendly and you’ll love it.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Derry T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ranjaka D, Owner at Michelle Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 March 2014

Many thanks indeed for your review.We are very pleased to note that you have enjoyed your stay with us.Your review I am certain, will be useful to prospective guests who are not very familiar with the Boutique Hotel concept.

Positive reviews such as yours inspire us to strive even harder and negative reviews help correct ourselves and move forward. Both are well accepted.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2014

The hotel itself Is ultra modern and everything works. It is very clean. We had a blocked drain in room six which was caused by long black hair of a previous guest so some attention to detail is required, I cleared it myself and disposed of the hair in the toilet, I know this might freak some people out. There was also a minor issue in the restaurant on the first night which was rectified very quickly. From then on food in the restaurant was excellent and some of the best we had in Sri Lanka, again attention to detail. The hotel is expensive by any standard and aims for 5 stars, in many ways it achieves this. Located on the main road there is little to do outside but this hotel is an escape from outside that's the point of it. I took a walk to the local temple and town and there is a nearby lagoon tour. In summary the hotel is beautiful, the staff charming and food and facilities great. We licked it a lot for pure downtime. Paul and Juliette Reid

Room Tip: The deluxe suite is perfectly adequate unless you love your own plunge pool. In mny ways views of th...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank SnowdropLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2014

this hotel is perfect, small, very cozy. I was lucky because I was the best room in the hotel. we had our own small pool on the terrace. something wonderful. teżietny access to the beach, you could feel very intytmnie, romantically. the hotel staff was very professional. every request was met almost immediately. breakfast on the terrace and the sound of the sea and tranquility allow for total relaxation. a large selection of breakfast with the card. Also surprising was the interest in us. staff warned us about niebezpieceństwie swimming in the ocean. one of the employees went far behind us, when he saw that the inputs going into the water and swim. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who wants to relax and experience the romantic moments

Room Tip: best rooms with pool:). can feel like privat place:)
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank ewamorze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2014

We came here from another five - star hotel The Fortress , the quality of both , however, could not be compared, The Fortress I recommend it to all of ten , unlike this hotel....

Pros:
- Good food
- Beautiful beaches on both sides of the hotel

Cons:
- The first day there was a huge cockroach in the room.
- Road directly behind the hotel is quite noisy , ubiquitous trumpets can be heard in the room
- Snacks in the minibar very poor, and in addition, some beverages was after expiration (coke and fanta)
- Pool quite shallow , small and not very well designed - in fact, in the courtyard of the building
- Equipment in the room pretty battered and dirty - hotel was only opened a year ago at the facility but did not match
- Internet first day evening did not work at all , after complaints about the reception he ran , but he was very, very slow
- Unhappy air conditioning solution (room with pool), which is right next to the bed and when activated, blows you right on the head, which is not the best for health.
- The food was good , but expensive, 12000 rupees for dinner for two with a drink seemed just too...

Summary: With the preceding five-star hotel it could not compare , I thought it was more like three, maximum four star. Hotel does not new, as it should. Next time I will definitely staying elsewhere..

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Michal J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Michelle Boutique Hotel

Address: 432 Galle Road, Balapitiya 80550, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Balapitiya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Balapitiya
Price Range: £87 - £239 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Michelle Boutique Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Michelle is the latest addition to the high end Boutique hotel collection in the country and is a true star in the making. Nestled amongst palm fringed surroundings on the golden sandy beach with a spectacular view of the horizon, It certainly is a hideout for those who seek absolute peace, tranquility and ultra modern comfort.Michelle will enchant you with its exquisitely designed maze of stunning suites refined by the extravagance of the matchless ocean view and manicured gardens. Its sixteen luxuriously styled suites with contemporary finishes, premium facilities and separate lounge / living are an indulgent `new’ to her mind and body concept which stands to reason why “Michelle” is passionately committed to allure her guests to the finest in decadent hospitality. One could reach the hotel in one hour along the southern Expressway from the Kottawa entry point in Colombo.The primary objective of Michelle is to provide good value for money "In a home away from home" setting and make dream holidays a reality. Indulge in barefoot luxury in a world of your own, the tranquil atmosphere, with luxurious comforts that will pamper you to an infinity holiday. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Michelle Boutique Hotel Sri Lanka/Balapitiya

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