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“avoid” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Alankuda Beach

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Alankuda Beach
Palmyrah Avenue, Kalpitiya 00300, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“avoid”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2011

After having read the last review I can only agree that front of house service was very indifferent from the non existent welcome to the very cost driven "goodbye".The food is literally inedible though it is delivered with a smile.The bungalows are comfortable but the lack of decent attention to client needs and just plain simple courtesy cannot make up for this.Please come with your escape plan because you will be charged an arm and a leg to get anywhere else. The area will have something to recommend it in maybe three years but wait until they have learnt from their mistakes. The price is ok I grant you but the experience will leave you exasperated and ready for another holiday.If you are the type of person that loves to be exploited by the accountant who can't be bothered to solve problems but keeps punching away at his bill without acknowledging you then go but don't say you weren't warned . I can think of other places I can recommend you spend your hard earned holiday on..don't belive the hype.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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31 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
London
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2011

We were, unfortunately, very disappointed with our stay at Alankuda Beach/Bar Reef resort.

The good points - the cabanas are well laid out and comfortable and the food is delicious - although mostly served cold as there is a buffet system and nothing is done to keep the food warm. The swimming pool is lovely. However, it is well off the beaten track and so a destination in itself (3 1/2 hours from Columbo and, if you go to the Cultural Triangle from here - we went on to Anuradhapura - the roads are terrible. It took nearly 4 hours and is much easier from Sigiriya/Kandy). The beach is completely uninviting - and no efforts are made to keep the beach area around the resort clean; the "Boat House" is staffed by guys who didn't speak enough English to serve us tea ... and ... thats it. Basically, a long way to go for a nice swimming pool and some good food.

But people seem to love it so that is not the main reason I'm posting. Our trip was unfortunately marred by our experience with the front-of-house staff - who were incompetent and, on occasion, downright dishonest. Check-out took over an hour and only concluded when we threatened to leave - a very unpleasant experience when on holiday. The man on check-out - whose name unfortunately I did not take - first of all tried to charge us for soft drinks and beer when we were full board and our reservation clearly stated these were included. He did not push this very hard - and indeed didn't try to charge for drinks at the sister resort - Palagama! - so it really came across as a try-on. He then tried to over-charge us to the tune of a further $150 on the basis that Alankuda did not recognise I-Escapes - through whom we had booked - so that any deposit paid through them we were told we would have to recover directly through I-Escapes. It was only when we threatened to leave and have them pursue us for this, that an e-mail setting out the correct position was magically found and the $150 not pursued. Beware all those booking through I-Escapes!

The above I accept may have been incompetence. Much worse was that we booked our own taxi pick-up from our ongoing hotel (having been quoted a figure of twice the amount by Roshan - general manager at Alankuda - for the same journey). Our ongoing hotel made a point of contacting Roshan on his mobile to confirm the pick-up and the amount. Roshan did not pass on this information but instead asked us whether we still needed him to arrange something. When we tried to check out, we asked the man at reception whether he had heard from our pick-up taxi driver to give him directions. He telephoned Roshan (for what reason we don't know but can only guess) and then told us that he knew nothing about a pick-up - he had not heard from the hotel or the driver - but that Roshan's driver was available and could pick us up in 15 minutes. It was only when I repeatedly refused Roshan's driver and asked to call my ongoing hotel in front of him that the man at reception admitted that that very morning he had received telephone calls from both the ongoing hotel and our booked driver and had given him directions!

This is absolutely disgraceful for a hotel pitching itself in this bracket - or indeed at all. It was the worst such experience we had in Sri Lanka. The rest of the staff - for example those serving in the restaurant and cleaning the rooms - are working incredibly hard and the owners have done well to make this a nice - albeit very limited - resort. They are being badly let down by front of house.

We could not possibly recommend this place, after such an experience. Travel that distance with care!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2011

I arrived at this most magical resort after a wonderful ride from tea trails through little quaint Sri Lankan villages. Arriving in the evening, what awaited us was one of the most remarkable sights I have ever experienced at a resort. (As I wite this I am getting excited shivers remembering that first look at eveything at Alancuda.) The room where we stayed was so gorgeous.....clean to perfection. The bed was so comfy and cozy....I could have slept all day! We loved the outdoor shower and toilet.....so cool! and the attention to detail......like the water faucets were all locally made artifacts so when you turned on the water, again with such interesting things like shells....the water came out of amazing little crafted designs As were the light fixtures as well! It was so much fun to go to different rooms on the resort and see all of these innovations! Such attention to detail! After settling in that first night, we then went for a walk down to the beach.
WOW!!!!! We came upon the most magical scene....this amazing pool that seemed to suspend into the ocean...all lit with magical lights...subltle but very sexy! And from this amazing site to the Boathouse, where we here headed for a beer before dinner.....all laterns that formed the path.....so breathtaking! I actually felt like I was floating with the magic of the moment! We had a wonderful cocktail hour at The Boathouse, right on the beach, and were lucky enough to meet Viren, one of the owners. Viren was so charming and invited us to join his table. What a warm and heart felt welcome.....and with no airs as we didn;t even realize that he was one of the owners! Such charisma! And the staff.....very efficient, bending over backwards to make sure our stay there was a memorable one. We loved the food arrangement where you could sit in the open air communal hut and share your dinner over other travellers tales, or you could eat in privacy by the pool at a number of cababas. The food was all laid out and was delicious! Mostly Sri Lankan food which I found so lovely as we had encountered so much Western food at beach restaurants. Whats with that?? So Alankuda's Sri Lankan food was a treat. The first night we ate amongst this fairy tale setting, the chef had served fresh crabs! WOW!!! Talk about a delicious treat! and cooked perfectly! Right from the sea onto our plates! For a seafood loved from Toronto....well....can I say Heaven again! I think I ate 10 myself!!!!
In the morning, Viren was kind enough to organize a boat for a few of the guests to go to see the dolphins! Not just a few dolphins, but hundreds of them!!! Unbelievable! I actually laid acroos the front of the boat and actually touched 2 of them as they swam beside us!
The beach was lovely , the sea was so much fun to jump in the waves.
Will I go back? I MUST go back. I had such a lovely and magical time at Alancuda, I really need to go back....this time for longer! I have pictures of lovely images of our expereince there all over my house , and when I take a moment to peer at one of them in my busy life in Toronto, I am overcome by the sense of serenity that just a photo can give me.
You must go! I highly reccommend Aluncuda! I miss you Alancuda!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Munich, Germany
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2010

My friend and I arrived at night time and were absolutely impressed about the wonderful energy at this place. Surrounded by little details which make travelling special we enjoyed very much our stay at Alankuda beach. Our bungalow was very clean and comfortable. I enjoyed a lot the open bath room and shower which makes this place even more special. And of course this pool... unbelievable... especially at nighttime with this amazing lights!
We also did the dolphin boat trip. I have done some of such tours before but I have never seen so many dolphins in one place. Just magnificent.
The food was great too. Authentic Sri Lankan style. We also travelled to other places, more touristic beaches in the South, where we didn't have the chance to find such food.
A lot of western menus. So take adventage of the food in Alankuda!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
London
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2010

Boutique Chic!

My boy friend and I visit alot of boutique resorts around the world. We love them and cant get enough of them. It is always refreshing to find one that is different , new and exciting. We loved our stay at Jasmine Cabana. What I found most intriguing was the fact that the design was adapted from local fisherman huts! The outdoor space was a perfect hideout.

The most amazing moment though was when we sat in the pool and watched the sun set so perfectly into the Indian Ocean. The outburst of colors in the sky after was magnificent. This location is special!

The boat rides to see the Dolphins are a must . One should also visit the reef. Its fragile and beautiful and I hope management are aware of its rarity.

I cant wait to spend a whole week here next time round. A haven of piece and tranquility - I definitely recommend palagambeach for those who love small boutique chic hideouts.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2010

I went to Alankuda beach with my friend on 26th November and stayed at Bar Reef Resort. I can’t understand what the previous posting had a problem with. I found a magical secluded paradise, quite unlike anywhere else I have been in Sri Lanka. Ok, it rained a lot in the afternoons but as this is the rainy season I can’t really blame that on the hotel. The attention to detail and cleanliness couldn’t be faulted. The staff were wonderful and the unique design of the place (we stayed in one of the cabanas) with open sides and front to our own private garden, could perhaps have been intimidating to some, but we found it exhilarating to be lying in our comfortable bed so close to nature. And the dolphins were AMAZING! We went out in one of their boats at 6.30 am and within 20 minutes were surrounded by hundreds – we are still arguing whether there were hundreds or thousands – of dolphins swimming all around the boat and genuinely looking like they were enjoying our company. It will be a memory that will stay with me for a long long time. All the different hotels on Alankuda beach have a rustic charm and I’m sure have purposefully been built not for those who want white fluffy towels, but for those like us, who want a genuine Sri Lankan experience, close to nature and with the hospitality that comes with a resort far from the tourist traps in the south.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2010

Alankuda Beach Resort:


Reading all reviews and NY times article about the resort, we decided to visit the resort. The initial plan was to stay there for around one week. The minute we arrived, it took us a while to understand the strange setup of the resort and then it was obvious that we made a big mistake!

To make it short the place was horrible and it took us two days to arrange another accommodation.

Pros:
-Good beach (although dirty and the resort did not even bothered to clean the beach in front of the resort!)
-Very nice Seawater Swimming pool.
-Very friendly staff
- A boat ride to see dolphins was great.
- Privacy is an advantage.
Cons:
- Very dirty place. (check photos)
- Accommodation setup/location is Random!
- Grounds inside the resort are dirty and it is definitely not a bare foot resort as we discovered lot of sharp objects on the ground.
- Accommodation standard is very low compared to the price tag!
- The place is understaffed.
- Food is tasteless and most of the times served cold.
- The place lacks a standard for everything (poor management). I even noticed that staff were walking inside the resort just beside plastic bags and empty bottles and no one bothered to remove it.

For us, we wasted two good nights of our vacation and paid U$ 240/night full board!

Bottom-line: Total Disappointment! and all other reviews are missleading!

We’ll never go back to Alankuda beach resort and we don’t recommend any one to go there.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Alankuda Beach

Address: Palmyrah Avenue, Kalpitiya 00300, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > North Western Province > Kalpitiya
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 21 Specialty lodging in Kalpitiya
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The founders of Ulpotha, the highly acclaimed retreat in the heartland of old Ceylon (see TripAdvisor listing) together with a close friend renowned in the marine adventure and water sports worlds, have opened a unique and captivatingly quirky beach resort on the western peninsula of this tear-shaped island. Situated on an undiscovered and deserted two kilometer stretch of a pristine private beach, Alankuda Beach offers a truly relaxing, discrete and romantic getaway. The azure, warm ocean is almost always mirror-calm and welcoming during the months of October to May. The coastal waters offer the treasures of dolphin and whale watching as well as snorkeling over nearby spectacular coral formations. In addition there is deep-sea fishing, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, kite and wind surfing. Alankuda Beach is situated 3 hours north of Colombo and just over 2 hours from the airport. There is a range of accommodation along the beach all managed by Alankuda Beach, so there is something for everyone. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Alankuda Beach Hotel Kalpitiya

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