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“OK for a Brief Stay” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Centauria Tourist Hotel

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Centauria Tourist Hotel
| New Town, Embilipitiya, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Embilipitiya
UK
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“OK for a Brief Stay”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2008

I agree with the previous reviewer who suggests that one should remember that this is only a 2 star hotel (and we only paid 2 star prices). The hotel is probably the only tourist hotel in the area and is ideally located for visiting Uda Walawe (a great trip!). Interestingly, our driver commented that this hotel looked after him far better than any of the others that we stayed at and most of those were top end!

I would agree that the hotel is outdated by western standards, but it was immaculately clean. There was a hint of 'drain odour' in parts of the hotel, but this perhaps could have been the lake! Our room was generally in a good state of repair and spotlessly clean and the aircon worked and was clean (I checked the filters!). I also noticed that the bed linen and matress were new as well... perhaps some improvements are on the way. We had a great view and a decent balcony but I overhead some other guests commenting that they did not have much of a view.

The pool was very pleasant and we enjoyed it to ourselves for much of the afternoon. The pool attendant was attentive without being overbearing... he kept us supplied with beverages even though the poolside bar was closed.

We only found the main bar quite late in the afternoon (it is tucked away at the far end of the restaurant) but we found it rather functional. Decent service but rather lacking in character, perhaps due to a business meeting for 20 or so locals taking place rather loudly.

Both meals were good, usual lukewarm bufeet food with a choice of Sri Lankan and Western (with greater emphasis on Sri Lankan). The restaurant, however, is rather functional, like a cross between school dinners and the village hall... complete with folding chairs!

All staff that we encourntered were courteous and professional.

All in all we found that this hotel served our purpose for a one night stop over. The rate reflected the establishment so we could hardly be too critical! I would return again if I was to visit Uda Walawe again but it would only be for one night!

  • Liked — Location
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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79 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Wem shropshire,
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2008

People reviewing this hotel need to remember it is a 2 star graded hotel in a developing country , yes it isn`t the best hotel in the world but it was clean , friendly , our room had a view over the river which was lovely , the food was ok ( and I am fussy ) there was a decent selection of wine which was far cheaper than our beach hotel .
The pool was a little old but clean and there was a pool attendant in constant availability ,the pool bar was not open but i think that is because the hotel was less than half full , we stayed for two nights while we were visiting udawallawe game park and would happily have stayed another night , our guide told us it has previously had some bad reviews but they are doing their best to improve and whilst we were there it was fine , you get what you pay for, don`t expect 5 star if that is what you want don`t go .

  • Liked — nice frienldy staff , peacefull ,no screaming kids around pool
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Preston
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2008

I found the attitude of the staff on reception at this place to be offensive rather than simply unfriendly, which put me in a bad frame of mind to start with, being grossly over-charged for food and drink later didn’t help. OK, the pool is nice and so are the grounds but for the price this has to be one of the worst places I have ever stayed. Definitely a place to avoid.

  • Liked — The Pool
  • Disliked — The Reception Staff
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Manchester
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2007

I didn't intend to stay at this hotel during my stay in Sri Lanka, but the price of the excursions offered by the in resort staff of First Choice were so reasonable and this trip offered a low cost trip around the south of the island, taking in Matara, Galle, Columbo and offering a safari, turtle hatchery tour, Buddhist sites and temples and much more.....seventy pounds, including all admission fees and my single supplement.

The hotel was fine. Indeed, I was allocated a surperior air conditioned room overlooking the lake. Two single beds, a mini bar, but I didn't bother to ask for it to be unlocked, TV with English news and movie channels and tea & coffee making facilities. The meals were waiter served. Pleanty of fresh fruit at breakfast and the evening vegetarian options were fine.

The room was quite big, bright and clean. A good large bath and shower; the bathroom contained the usual free stuff and there was a large wall-mounted hairdryer.

The public areas were a little dull for my tastes, but a Sri Lankan wedding was in progress which brightened up my day. Very colourful.

My fellow western tourists (about 18, made up by two separate parties) all came for the safari in the nearby wildlife park. I got to see about 30 to 40 wild elephants at very close quarters and a good range of birds at not so close quarters. I enjoyed one or two Elephant brand ginger beers in the hotel bar after the safari.

  • Liked — The air-conditioned room
  • Disliked — Dull public areas
  • Stayed May 2007
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hertfordshire
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2007

My husband and I stayed at this hotel because torrential rain and subsequent mud slides prevented us from staying in our scheduled hotel in Yala National Park.

This is the only tourist hotel in the area and although it was quite large there were only four or five guests staying there. My husband and I stayed in a Villa overlooking the manmade lake but the view was limited. The room and bathroom was clean but basic. However, the houseboy did make an effort to decorate the room with fresh flowers. The food in the almost empty dining room leaves a lot to be desired but visitors have no other choice but to eat in the hotel. Beware of the out of date bottled drinks.

The best to come out of our stay was a truly magnificent jeep safari in Uda Walawa National Park where wild elephants abound, not to be missed. Apart from this nothing else to see. We stayed two nights here – one day and night too many.

  • Liked — TV reception is good as there is nothing to do here
  • Disliked — Food
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swindon
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2006

I really don't like to put bad reviews on here unless absolutely necessary as I never book a holiday without consulting the reviews on Trip Advisor first and am aware that some poeple do just have a bad experience from time to time. having said that I feel compelled to tell you how awful our stay here was in case, like us, you are on your honeymoon etc.

We stayed at the Centauria for one night (thank god) as part of our Sri Lankan tour. Up until this stage we had stayed in some lovely hotels and were expecting the same standard when we arrived at the Centuaria.

Sadly the only positive I can give is that the staff were polite and seemed somewhat embarassed about the room we were shown to!

The room itself was small and cramped with a noisy and smelly air conditioning system which you could not sleep through. There were a number of marks and smears on the walls and the floors which I, like the person before me, believe were animal faeces. The shower room was really shabby and run down with cracked tiles and yellow walls and there was a lizard running around it at one point which miraculously disapeared through god only knows what hole.

Dinner was not much more successful as all of the buffet food was laid out next to open windows which meant the food was cold and surrounded by flies - we gave it a miss altogether.

The pool area also looked run down, dingy and a tad on the dirty side to say the least - needless to say we also gave this a miss.

I really would advise against staying at this hotel if you can avoid it. I was actually in tears at one point because it was just so awful!

My only good points would be that the wine was cheap and we met some other lovely people who were travelling round and so had a very nice evening.

Sorry Centauria!!

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — All of it
  • Tips/Secrets — Don't stay here if possible
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derbyshire UK
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2006

We were on Kuoni's Wildlife Safari when we stayed at this hotel.
We only had one night, but it was very memorable.
There was a wedding party as we arrived and that was very nice to see, then we were taken to our rooms - the rooms were very clean, air con and white sheets, a great balcony and view over the lake. I was most impressed. I had worried about this hotel because of reading a previous review, but I thought it was very pleasant and felt more traditional Sri Lankan than other hotels that we stayed in. There was a pretty garden area and a pool set away from the hotel - with changing areas.
At night time the sunset over the lake was spectacular, and before it got dark we were able to see lots of birds, locals fishing on the edge of the lake and locals washing clothes in the water.
The hotel wasn't 5 star but it was clean and very friendly. The staff wanted to sit us in the "tourist" section of the restaurant for our evening meal but we opted to sit in the main area where the locals ate. We ate from the buffet - it was a bit hot and spicey for us but was good.
We didn't find a bar area to sit in afterwards, but we went into a snooker room and spent some time there. There was no air con in the public areas and so it was a bit warm but OK
I enjoyed being there and would go again

  • Liked — The setting and the traditional friendly feel to the hotel
  • Disliked — No bar area to sit later in the evening - maybe there was and we didn't find it
  • Tips/Secrets — Make sure your room has a bacony looking out onto the lake
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Centauria Tourist Hotel

Address: | New Town, Embilipitiya, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Sabaragamuwa Province > Embilipitiya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Embilipitiya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 51
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hotel Centauria Tourist

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