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“the best experience in hospitality” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Surf Hotel

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The Surf Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Beach Road, Bentota, Bentota, Sri Lanka (Formerly Lihiniya Surf Hotel)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #11 of 27 Hotels in Bentota
Colombo, Sri Lanka
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“the best experience in hospitality”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

me and my family had a pleasent stay,the staff of this hotel is the best we had experienced out of all our hotel stays,hats off to the management,no shortcomings in any departments let it be the front office,restuarant,house keeping or even the pool attendents.all are full of smiles.will definitely recommend for a peacefull stay.finally the food is awesome at the surf.....keep it up

Room Tip: rooms facing the sea
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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283 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (70)
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Colombo
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

We checked in yeasterday (5 adults) and our baby son..The welcome drink was refreshing and a new idea for me... the staff welcome us with clean towels and carried our luggage with out any delay to the clean rooms..
The balcony was facing the sea with a nice view of the beach and can hear the sound of the waves... the soothing sea breez relaxes your mind...
The hotel even gave complimentary head or foot massage to all 5 of us.. where I choose the head massage.. which was very well done by a nice lady.. the "Nirogi"spa is spaciouse,clean and well equiped too..
There are 2 clean pools with a nice beach view with different size... best is there are 2 baby pools too with different depths.. one is 2 ft. other 4 ft... My 2 yrs old baby son enjoyed the dip in the 2ft baby pool...
Al carte menue was short but very deliciouse.. we ordered club sandwitch and vegi fried rice.. The club sandwich was verynicely presented and very filling with all the ingrdiants..excellent cooking...
Breakfast buffet was nicely arranged..clean and providing variety of food combinations..western and traditional...Bread corner to fruits to juice to chocolate milk..cornflakes, bacon,sausages, baked beans, freach toast, pancakes.. even porridge..all western breakfast..then there was traditional rice and curry too..for guest who like to taste the Sri Lakan touch...
the pool and surrounding was very clean..tehn even hadfish food to feed the BIG Gold fish in the ponds.. Staff were very friendly and fulfilled all my request with regard to the small baby..
One otf the great vacations I had in Sandy beaches in Southern coast of Sri Lanka..

Room Tip: Ask for a ground floor beach side to get the best veiw... But if U need some pvt. space relaxing wit...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013 via mobile

Posh hotel! Everyone needs to visit it at least once. We're in this hotel. Very good service, great views from the rooms! Even though the weather here to stay -pleasure! Clean room 2 times a day. The helpful staff is ready to cater to all your whims! Find yourself in paradise, visit this hotel!

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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italy
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

My wife and i were stay in several hotels in down south area of Sri Lanka during our vacation.among all those hotels, the surf was the best.staff is very friendly and polite, personalized service.food is so tasty.And we were warmly welcome by receptionist Kalpani, if i not mistaken her name.Cleanliness is excellent in overall hotel as well as in the rooms. Totally we are happy with service and the location and hope to satay again in future.only bitter thing is car park is very far.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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dd
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

Great location , Excellent staff we stayed there for two weeks and it was fantasic , Cheap rates and the rooms cleanliness were superb up to the standards and food is really taste !We are glad that did not miscalculate with the choice of this wonderful place!Next year again here in Bentota - Sri Lanka hotel THE SURF!All we recommend

Room Tip: Upper floor rooms
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Dubai
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

We booked with booking.com. The conditions of our booking were that no pre-payment was to be made, we would pay the hotel on arrival. The terms stated the hotel may pre-authorise the card prior to arrival. I always book with booking.com and have come across hotels pre-authorising the card on arrival but never before. I could understand a day before maybe but I received notification from my credit card that it had been charged six days before we were due to arrive. Not a pre-authorisation but full charge! I did not intend to pay with my credit card, I had the cash in dollars to pay with. I find it totally unacceptable that they would violate the terms of my booking with booking.com and not give me a choice about how I wanted to pay the bill. When I emailed them after getting the notification from the credit card company the email I received back was most unhelpful saying this is booking.com's policy and I should complain to them. Absolutely NOT TRUE! I will be complaining to booking.com about the hotel.
This was not the only problem I had with the hotel before I had even arrived. Ten days before arrival I was receiving calls from a foreign number ringing once and then hanging up. This happened four times before I sat with the phone in my hand and pressed answer to make them talk to me. Through very poor English I was able to discern it was someone claiming to be from the trip desk at the surf, did I need car? Driver? Airport pick up? The next day again I received one of these missed calls. When I emailed the company in charge of the hotel to say if they want to contact me and find out arrival information etc they should email me then i know it is the hotel trying to contact me. I received a one word reply: sorry. When I mentioned it in a direct email to the receptionist when querying the charge she denied it was them, saying they did not have my contact number. Reading between the lines I believe someone working at the hotel had passed my number on to a friend to try and get some driver business. This is unacceptable if it is the case, however as the hotel could not have cared less they did not ask for the number that had called me to investigate.
I found all dealings with staff on the front desk to have the same 'can't be bothered' attitude. Which is a shame as the others in the bar etc were very polite.

Because of these problems we were not looking forward to our stay. However when we arrived this is what we found:
Rooms: we had a standard room on the third floor which had a lovely sea view and two loungers squashed on should you want to stay on the balcony to relax. I was very jealous of the people who had ground floor rooms by the pool so they could swim up to their terrace and the terraces were larger than the balconies. I know this would have it's disadvantages as they are not private and may get some noise from the pool but for us it would have been ideal for us. The rooms were adequate for the purpose, a little small and basic with small problems such as the mini bar being locked when we arrived and despite the male receptionist showing us this and saying this will be opened it never was until one of the staff making up the room opened it for us to chill the remainder of a bottle of wine we had. The mini bar has no food or chocolate only drinks, many of which require a bottle opener, which was not provided in our room. But otherwise the room was fine.

A problem of being poolside and not having a ground floor room is using the toilet as the only toilet is in the bar in the lobby. No poolside facilities or in any of the restaurants.

Food: this was our major disappointment. The breakfast was average. Fair choice but just average in quality, buffet style.
We ate at the pool cafe restaurant two days and the food really needs improvement. The choice is not great and the quality of the food that arrived was average to poor. My husband had to remove the burger out of his beef burger as it was so dry, hard and disgusting. We would have loved to see some Sri Lankan dishes on the menu. Or the good old staple of a pool cafe -pizza. After two days of disappointment we started walking next door to the Avani to use their pool cafe where the food was of a better standard. As we were not impressed with breakfast and the lunches at the pool cafe we did not eat in the restaurant ( we were b&b) on an evening. We went next door to the Avani Thai restaurant which was very nice, and the buffet at the Avani was good too. We also ate at the bentota beach hotel but would not recommend the food there either. One night we would have liked to stay in the resort and order rooms service but the room service menu is the same menu as the pool cafe :( we would also maybe have tried the seafood restaurant which looked nice with its position on the beach but I do not like seafood so this was not an option as it was exclusively seafood. A suggestion could be adding a vegetarian option or chicken option.

Setting and location: bentota beach is lovely although no beach side cafes or restaurants only other hotels although we did discover that if you go out the front of the hotel and use the railway bridge to cross the tracks there may be some reasonable local restaurants away from the beach but we discovered this too late to try any. The surf's grounds are gorgeous and it is unique in the view that it provides. The large grass area gives a beachfront feel which no other hotel on the beach gives. This was the reason I chose the surf over the avani and I stand by my decision, despite food and service issues at the surf. Being able to see the sea from your poolside was very relaxing. The avani and other hotels are masked by trees spoiling the view. The pool area was lovely with very nice loungers and umbrellas.

The hotel seemed to be full of Russian tourists when we were there. I would say 90% of the other guests we saw any how. These are on full board or all inclusive packages and I believe this has contributed to the lack of personal or special service as they know they are going to get these package deals no matter what the service or the food is like.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

One of the loveliest hotels I have stayed in. The hotel is recently refurbished and better than the photos on trip advisor. The beach is fantastic but beware of the sea and the under current. The food is good but the service at the pool bar and room service was not always consistent. The staff were friendly and helpful.

Room Tip: We had a room on the first floor which had a fantastic view of the sea and the lovely sunsets.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about The Surf Hotel

Address: Beach Road, Bentota, Bentota, Sri Lanka (Formerly Lihiniya Surf Hotel)
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Bentota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Bentota
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Bentota
#10 Romantic Hotel in Bentota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Surf Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 95
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Surf Bentota Hotel Bentota
Lihiniya Surf Bentota
Hotel Lihiniya Surf
Lihiniya Surf Hotel

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