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“In the middle average/very good.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Safari Hotel

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The Safari Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Kataragama Road, Tissamaharama, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 9 Hotels in Tissamaharama
Certificate of Excellence 2014
The Netherlands
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
52 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“In the middle average/very good.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2014

The lobby is beautiful. Rooms are modern, the bathroom has shampoo, body lotion and everything else you need for an easy stay. The food is average.The people are very nice. The view is great. But the pool side is very dangerous. Loose and missing boards and nails protruding from the wood all around the pool. You can not walk without your slippers, even with slippers it is still very dangerous. Little is being done about the problem. The first day they where busy to replace some boards, but the next day they did nothing, and leave the place at the condition where it was in.

Room Tip: Superior rooms are great.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
deepal a, General Manager at The Safari Hotel, responded to this review, August 14, 2014
Thank you very much for your comments. The Pool deck is being redone now and should be completed within the next few days. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to you in this regard.

With warm regards,

Deepal Amarasinghe,
General Manager
The Safari Hotel,
Tissamaharama.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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349 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
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Nottingham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
174 reviews 174 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 86 cities Reviews in 86 cities
142 helpful votes 142 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2014

Very good location by the lake at Tissa and ideal for Yala National Park. We stayed 2 nights here in a room designated De Luxe.
The hotel is away from the main road and the reception is very welcoming being open air and has pleasant pools and places to sit under a canopy. Once again I was asked to hand over my passport for copying which I refused and no issue was made of it.
The room was a good size with air con, the decor is modern in style and there is a large patio style window with views over the lake. The bathroom was very good with a really good shower. There was a TV in the room and wi-fi access.
The passages to the reception and restaurant are open aired and quite narrow with a couple of awkward steps. The restaurant is in a separate building. The tables are a bit cramped with buffet style food available. The hot food was good and a variety was available including freshly made hoppers. The salads and desserts were in cabinets and were frankly not so good. If you have an early start from the hotel they will provide a packed breakfast.
The staff around the place were generally very friendly and helpful especially in the restaurant.
Beyond the reception the place does look a bit tired. There were half loose warning stickers on the awkward steps, the mock reed thatching on the roofs is falling off and the area around the pool is dreadful with most of the wooden rails and decking being bare and broken in places. The lakeside jetty is also shabby and very uninviting.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
deepal a, General Manager at The Safari Hotel, responded to this review, August 1, 2014
Thank you very much for your encouraging comments and happy to know that your stay with us was comfortable. Your concerns about the pool decking is being rectified with new wood being fixed, which will be completed in a few days time and the roof thatching will be attended to very soon. The delay is that workmen cannot get on to the roof because of the severe wind which is prevailing at the moment.

With warm regards,

Deepal Amarasinghe.
General Manager,
The Safari Hotel,
Tissamaharama.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Letchworth, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

Stayed for 2 nights. Great location in tissa for getting to the national park. We went to yala via the hotel which was a surprisingly good deal and great experience. Great rooms with a luxury feel, attention to detail, lovely decor. Always cleaned and made up. We were in Sri Lanka for over a month and the room here was probably the best we've seen. Bugs in the room despite keeping all windows closed at all times. Staff were excellent, welcoming, attentive. Food was good but not amazing - bugs in the dishes etc. pool was good but a little dirty and decking needs redoing. Lovely setting on tissa wewa, watching the sun set over the lake was nice. Price is a little expensive per night. If you're going to yala we definitely recommend this hotel!! No need to stay more than a couple of nights though as there isn't much to do in the area other than yala.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
deepal a, General Manager at The Safari Hotel, responded to this review, August 1, 2014
Thank you very much for your most encouraging comments. Your concern about the pool is now rectified with the decking being done up.

With warm regards,

Deepal Amarasinghe.
General Manager,
The Safari Hotel,
Tissamaharama.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

Stayed here for three days with my family and we really loved it. I would go for a lake view which are spectacular. The rooms were also very nice with awesome showers that poor a torrent of water directly from above. Unlike most other places we never had an issue with not enough hot water. The room, pool and other staff also went above and beyond to help us out in any way.

So why not five stars. The food I thought was 3 to 4 stars. I happen to be a bit of a foodie and I just felt that while the buffet was big I just didn't find dishes delicious. It was kind of like eating on a cruise ship. The other big thing is that the pool deck is made of wood with nails jutting out all over the place. It really should have been replaced 5 years ago and they assured me that it was going to be replaced later this year. Lastly there is a wonderful lake but no boating or jet skiing due to risk of danger from crocs, drowing and other. Crocs? I laugh at crocs.

Overall I would give it 4.5 stars if possible. They fix the deck and improve the food a bit and it would be five stars, baby!

Room Tip: I liked the lakeview rooms on the tope floor much more than the pool view rooms that give only a lit...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
deepal a, General Manager at The Safari Hotel, responded to this review, August 1, 2014
Thank you very much for your comments. We are in the process of rectifying your concerns of the pool decking which will be completed with in a few days.

With warm regards,

Deepal Amarasinghe.
General Manager,
The Safari Hotel,
Tissamaharama.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wiltshire
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

This looks like it should be a good hotel, pretty location, tidy rooms etc., but for the money it's not. The swimming pool is closed and it looks like it will be for a month or more. This should have been made clear to us at the time of booking, they should also have mentioned there was no patio area to sit on as it had all broken up and was too dangerous to walk on, the entire patio area is sectioned off by yellow tape.

The aircon in our first room was not working, when I asked to be moved the receptionist seemed surprised I wasn't happy, it was 37 degrees!! We were eventually moved.

The staff are very inexperienced, very courteous but they haven't been given proper hospitality training, The waiters seem to think they have to hover around your table and stand over you while your eating, a case of poor management, they are not bad staff.

If this was a 2 star hotel I would have given it a better rating, it is rated and priced as a 4 star so I have rated it accordingly.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
deepal a, General Manager at The Safari Hotel, responded to this review, July 22, 2014
Thank you very much for your valuable time in sending these comments. All your comments are very well noted and appreciated. The pool developed a sudden leak and had to be closed for urgent repairs and now its back in use.All your other comments have been informed to the relevant person and all necessary action is being taken to rectify same.

With warm regards,

Deepal Amarasinghe.
General Manager,
The Safari Hotel,
Tissamaharama.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bradford, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

This is such a gorgeous hotel located on the lake at Tissa. Our room overlooked the lake and pool, was very clean and quiet too. The pool is right at the lakeside and it is such a pretty place to spend some time. It looked really good. Staff were so helpful specially Ruwani at front desk I will recommend this Hotel to anyone who travel to Thissamaharama and for safari.

Stayed June 2014, traveled with family

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
deepal a, General Manager at The Safari Hotel, responded to this review, July 22, 2014
Thank you very much for your most valuable comments which will no doubt encourage all our future guests.We are very happy to note that your stay with us was comfortable and enjoyable.

With warm regards,

Deepal Amarasinghe.
General Manager,
The Safari Hotel,
Tissamaharama.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

First of all, we expected the worst since this is a semi-gov owned hotel :) We've been to some of other hotels of the CHC which were no good compared to private-owned 2-3 * hotels in the country.
But as we visited the place, it was much better than we expected. The rooms were clean, and spacious. We switched to an upper floor room, but later felt we should have stayed in the ground floor because the rooms were much better.

The only shortcoming we saw in this hotel was that the buffet lack the variety. However, the food was great. The hotel still needs to improve in other facilities such as gym, library, etc...

All in all, it's good to see that the CHC is trying and succeeding in keeping up with the private hotel chains in the country. We will be visiting The Lake, Polonnaruwa at end of the month, and now my expectations are set high!!!

Room Tip: The ground floor rooms have much more space than upper rooms and their furniture, bathrooms are bett...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
deepal a, General Manager at The Safari Hotel, responded to this review, July 22, 2014
Thank you very much for your most encouraging comments. Please be assured that we will do our utmost to ensure that all guests are happy during there stay with us and all guest comments are taken with utmost seriousness.

With warm regards,

Deepal Amarasinghe.
General Manager,
The Safari Hotel,
Tissamaharama
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 The Safari Hotel

Address: Kataragama Road, Tissamaharama, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Tissamaharama
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 9 Hotels in Tissamaharama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Safari Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located over looking the ancient "Tissa Wawa" (Lake) which gives a splendid view from your room.Situated in very close proximity to Yala National Park and Bundala National Park.Air conditioned restaurant which serves both set menus and a la carte and are very reasonably priced. A well stocked bar is available to quench your thirst after the safari.All rooms are air conditioned and with attached bath with hot and cold water,mini bar, individual safety lockers,free tea/coffee making facilities, WiFi and satelite TV.Ample safe parking. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Safari - Tissa Hotel Tissamaharama

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