My wife and I stayed at the Emerald Bay Hotel in November last year when it had just been taken over by Laugfs Leisure Limited, a part of the Laugfs group. Laugfs are a big company in Sri Lanka and are involved among other things in gas, petrol, supermarkets and convenience stores. Their environmental credentials are also very good as they are the pioneers in the supply of auto gas in South East Asia. If you travel around the country you will inevitably see some of their new auto gas stations where liquid gas is available as an alternative to petrol for cars. (We do not have anything like the availability of auto gas on this scale in the U.K, and so perhaps have something to learn from the Sri Lankan’s in this respect.)
O.K, so back to the Emerald Bay Hotel - when we first arrived we were full of doubts about the place just like many other people because of some of the comments we had read on this site and initially these doubts were confirmed by the amount of building work that was going on. However, after a couple of days the charms of the place began to reveal themselves. The hotel staff are undoubtedly its greatest asset and everyone works very hard to make sure that your stay is comfortable. The site is very clean and the staff all smile and say hello. The idea of “going the extra mile” is not unusual for them. Mostly this goes unreported and unremarked, but here I would like to mention just one example. An English lady, after drinking in the bar all evening, decided to go for a walk on the beach at about one o’clock in the morning. The two members of staff who were still working were concerned for her safety, but they were unable to stop her. They then very kindly followed behind her with a torch, maintaining a discrete distance all the while until she came back to the hotel. She told me about this the next morning at breakfast, and added that because this happened well after closing time, neither of the members of staff was being paid for it. (Can you think of any hotel in the U.K that can match that for customer service?)
The atmosphere at the Emerald Bay Hotel was pretty amazing when we were there, and that is probably because it is undergoing such marked changes. All the guests got to know each other quite quickly and we all seemed to bond in a remarkable way. It was like being on holiday with a group of friends. We were all having a great time, and we had a lot of laughs. O.K the Emerald Bay Hotel is not the Ritz, but what do you expect for what you have paid? It is a three star hotel, but what you get for your money is very good value indeed. The rooms were cleaned daily, and the air-conditioning worked. I never got bitten by a mosquito, which is more than I can say for some other (much more expensive) places I have stayed at. The food was always good and there was plenty of it. The beach was a great place to relax, and the standard of service was very high. Add this all together and you will have to admit that you have a very good deal. Of course, there are those people who complain about things, but these complaints generally stopped after a couple of days. If anyone continued to complain it was probably because they were the kind of people who would not have been happy anywhere and actually enjoy complaining.
I think Laugfs are going to transform the Emerald Bay Hotel for the better very quickly. They built The Temple Trees Hotel just half a mile down the road from scratch. It is a five star bijoux hotel, and you are welcome to ask the staff there if you can have a look around. You will be inspired. In a year’s time I think the Emerald Bay Hotel will be unrecognisable, and with the impressive Aruna Jayalath in charge, I think this hotel could one day be one of the best on this part of the coast.
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Emerald Bay
- Emerald Bay Hotel Sri Lanka
- Emerald Bay Hotel
- Emerald Bay Sri Lanka
- Emerald Bay Induruwa
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