Me and my husband stayed here for 7 nights with our 3.5 yr old son.We got a VERY good deal for the week and to be honest I was dreading seeing the hotel as cheap prices often reflects bad quality.....how pleasantly surprised was I(don't think we will ever get that deal again here!!)I emailed the hotel before hand to request a ground floor room as someone had posted it on here,I got an email back the next day from the head office and my request was honored.
We were greeted to a warm welcome after a long drive from the airport and straight away the receptionist told us that the main pool was closed to have the decking around it re-done.(the company we booked with failed to tell us this).I was at first, very concerned as the main pool has the kids pool.We did not really miss it as the other pool was sufficient and we spent time on the beautiful beach as my son likes to play in the sand (although the second pool is a bit close to the eating area,so be prepared for an audience when your walking around in your bikini!)
The hotel upgraded our meal plan from B&B to half board and also gave us vouchers for the spa or Frangipani restaurant,I think they more than made up for the hitch!(note the pool reopened the day we left)
I first noticed how new and clean the hotel was.I was told by a staff member it had just re opened 3 months ago after renovation.The decor was stylish and modern,elegant with a very relaxed atmosphere.I loved the design and everything looked out over the beautiful ocean.In the reception and bar area you get the sea breezes blowing through,so relaxing!The hotel is managed by a British man and it was apparent that he has very high standards which are reflected in everything from the cleanliness of the hotel to how immaculate the staff are in their uniforms.
I arrived at the hotel with a terrible cough and fever, and the reception staff arranged a doctor to come visit me within an hour.They also had the drugs delivered to the hotel from the pharmacy,I did not have to leave the hotel.It only cost 30$ which i can claim back anyway.Thank you to the staff for helping me out!
Our room was near reception on the ground floor,it was big,clean with everything you need. Because the rooms were new and renovated, they were immaculate.The bathroom had a huge shower and all the fixtures/fittings were high quality.Toiletries where provided and replaced daily.We asked for extra towels and an iron and housekeeping brought these immediately.I also mentioned to the housekeeper that the bed was a bit hard and my back hurt(joking with him) and the next day when I came back to my room the had put a mattress pad on the bed,now thats service!Outside the ground floor rooms you have an area where you can sit and look out over the garden,what an amazing sunset!!
One thing I loved about the hotel was the small touches from the staff that make your stay extra special.I often notice staying at hotels you have to fight to get a sun lounger,or you have people get up in the middle of the night to reserve one which irritates the hell out of me.Not here!There was plenty of sun loungers.As soon as the staff noticed you outside they would come over with your pad and towel,you didn't even have to ask.They even brought our son over a baby sun lounger(so cute),and every day while at breakfast our loungers would be ready.The staff were friendly and cheerful and really interacted with our son,they always took the time to chat with him.One staff member brought him wooden building blocks to play with,he would come back with fresh mango...From reception to bar to restaurant, the staff all knew his name and were so lovely nothing was too much trouble,even down to ordering food for him.He wanted pasta which wasn't available at the buffet,but the chef made it for him.On checking out the staff gave him a little gift.
I'm not one for buffet meals as I prefer to explore the town and eat out every night.As the hotel had upgraded us to half board we did eat some evening meals at the hotel. I can't really complain about the buffets.There was different themed evenings with a good choice of food.You had the choice of eating local Sri Lankan,hot hot hot or if you wanted BBQ meats or other western foods these were also available.The bbq pork was excellent!One thing though....drinks are expensive,normal for a hotel though.
On one occasion we dined at the 'Frangipani' restaurant.It was excellent.The tables outside are overlooking the beach,the setting just beautiful.We had a set menu,4 courses and it was fine dining.Menu items such as Tuna Nicoise Salad(came with caviar) Australian Beef Tenderloin with fondant potatoes and thyme jus and white chocolate raspberry mille-feuille to name a few.The chef I believe was German and the food I would definitely recommend.
Room service excellent too,with a good choice of food,24 hours.great pasta,club sandwiches and burgers which I thought where reasonably priced.(kids menu too)
Other restaurants in the area I would really recommend would be Amal Villa Restaurant and bar....fresh seafood,amazing jumbo grilled prawns and grilled fish.About 400 rupee in a tuk tuk and 5 mins away from the hotel.You can also buy imported wine and beer in the town which is what we did,so we could enjoy a night cap in the garden every night.We also went to visit a small boutique b&b called Nisala Arana.Its a beautiful place in a peaceful setting.Ben the owners son arranged a seafood dinner for us and picked us up at the hotel in a Moris Minor soft top car,pretty cool.See post for this place...
Avoid the 'Silk- Route' restaurant at all costs!Yuk!!!
All in all I would say we had a wonderful time at the hotel and we will come back and stay here again.If you are looking to chill out and relax then this is the place for you.I agree with another post...if you are looking to party don't come here,its not that type of place(although if you get a good tuk tuk driver you can go out to other bars cheaply)
Ask for Neil or his brother that sit outside hotel,really decent guys that won't rip your off.(they also arranged our transfer back to airport and they do tours)
Downsides of the hotel which if improved would make it PERFECT would be some sort of kids club,or better facilities for families with young kids.More Al La Carte menu items that aren't fine dining(if like me your not keen on buffets every night).But really thats it,we looked at a few other hotels like the Taj,and sorry, some of them don't come close to Avani....i'm glad we stayed here!
I would like to thank the hotel for such a lovely time,we will be back!
Ground floor rooms are bigger and have a nice seating area,pick one near the main pool area.
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.