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“Lovely hotel and ideal location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Thilanka Resort and Spa

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Thilanka Resort and Spa
51 Godawalayaya | Morogollawa, Dambulla, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 10 Hotels in Dambulla
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Lovely hotel and ideal location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

A lovely hotel in Dambulla and an ideal location for visiting most attractions in the Cultural Triangle. We had a luxury room which was gorgeous. The gardens were lovely - the pathways lined with mango trees and the gardener harvested the ripe mangoes every morning. We were a little wary of the low flying bats walking back to our room at night but then we are scardey cats!! Hotel staff all very friendly and helpful.
Not many places to eat nearby but the hotel food was delicious if you go for the Sri Lankan option.
Definitely recommend....

Room Tip: Go luxury....
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
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272 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 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 (43)
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Tokyo, Japan
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
63 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

My stay at the Thilanka Dambulla had a real mixture of ups and downs. Ultimately though, first impressions count and one member of staff practically ruined my stay, especially after reading some excellent reviews for the Thilanka, for which I was really excited.

Location wise, the Thilanka is the perfect base for which to explore all of the local World Heritage sites. Sigiriya is about 40 minutes away, the Dambulla Cave Temple about 10 minutes and Polonnaruwa no more than 2 hours drive. We'd decided to stay in Dambulla as we knew we would be tired from a four hour trek by car from Colombo. Dambulla seemed to be a good base for our exploring over two days. The Thilanka also seems to look after your driver well, and there are quarters for them to stay here.

On arrival, you're not sure what to expect. The main area of the hotel is a two floor glass building, it's very boutique in style and has a stunning pool connected to it, with a rice paddy field to the right. You can see some excellent sunsets here.

Now, the bad stuff. As we had arrived at 4pm on New Year's Day - after a bumpy four hour drive from Colombo - we were exhausted and looking forward to check in to our room. We were sat down with a drink and nobody made any effort to speak to us for about 15 minutes. We had a plan to visit Sigiriya at 5pm, which was quickly going out of the window as the check in appeared to be a non-starter. I saw 3 or 4 members of staff milling about behind the desk, so I was confused as to why nobody would attempt to let me know if there was a problem.

Eventually, I took matters into my own hands and asked the check in desk what was up. One man seemed to take lead - his name was Anuda - and told me that it will be 5 minutes. OK. We can wait for 5 minutes more. 20 minutes have passed and I am getting cross now, we arrived more than 2 hours after our scheduled check in time.

I then ask Anuda what's going on again, we're not early for check in and I want to check in now. He then says: "Someone has checked out late so there's nothing I can do, you need to wait five more minutes. New Years Eve yesterday you know?"

Firstly, if this guy is on the check in desk, he needs to be responsible for the people checking out as well; ensuring that rooms are ready for the 2pm check in time. There is something he can do, offer an alternative room or even just a drink or a sincere apology, something for he was unable.

One thing about Anuda, my initial impressions were that he may be the owner or manager of this hotel. His very casual body language and inability to do anything beyond sit at the check in desk, shouting at the bell boys, etc. Secondly, a few of the other reception staff (who may have actually been quite nice) seem to be scared of him. On the last day I asked if he was the manager, turns out he is not. I'm hopeful his manager will actually be reading this review and act upon that.

Just as I was about to get really angry - we'd lost a lot of time, it's nearly 4:30pm now - my room was finally ready (more than 2 and a half hours late may I add) and I was able to go the room. Incredibly, no further apology from anyone behind the desk as I left.

The room had been hastily cleaned, you could see that, but on the whole OK. The room TV is antique, these need to be upgraded. Later on, to make matters worse, I found a cockroach in the room. The reason why? Because the cleaning staff had forgotten to close the bathroom window during their rushed cleanup of my room. Seeing as this hotel is right in the middle of the jungle, this is a schoolboy error! My bathroom was also full of giant mosquitoes; I wasn't best pleased. We couldn't sleep well at all here.

Pluses: the food in the restaurant is good, and the restaurant staff are too. They've rescued this review a 2 out of 5.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Hertford, UK
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

Situated about 3km outside of Dambulla town, on the Kandy Road, the Thilanka Resort and Spa offers accommodation in two storey houses along a tree lined path. It is very modern with charming details giving it a boutique hotel feel. We opted for a luxury room and we were delighted with the decor and general size. The bathrooms are lovely with a Jacuzzi bath and separate rain shower. Our arrival at the hotel coincided with a torrential downpour . Alas you cannot drive up to the reception area and must walk the last 100 meters or so. Consequently we were drenched and even some of our clothes in our bags became wet. The management were very apologetic for the inconvenience. The manager came to see us in our room, without even being asked and this impressed us highly. He arranged for a pot of hot coffee to be brought and offered to get our clothes dried. That level of service deserves recognition.
We used the spa facilities; I had a full body massage which was excellent. My partner had a foot massage which was equally good. The hotel has one restaurant which serves breakfast and buffet dinners. Due to the distance from town, most guests opt to eat the buffet dinner. It offers reasonable value for money although the food quality is not as good as the other aspects of this hotel.
All in all, the Thilanka is an excellent base from which to explore Dambulla, Sigiria and even Polonnowara and I would recommend the hotel highly.

Room Tip: All the rooms are good. The Luxury rooms offer a little more space. If you are very sensitive to n...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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Hampshire UK
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

We stayed at the Thilanka hotel for two nights on 9th Dec 2012 whilst travelling Sri Lanka and visiting Dambulla. The rooms were beautiful, the gardens so well kept and the food and service was great also. Whilst in Dambulla I would recommend visiting Sigiriya Rock a 30 min drive from the hotel. You can climb the rock and you have the best views from the top!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012 via mobile

Had a really nice time in this hotel. Good sides are the small size, nice rooms, great staff and views. Downside is a little remote so few alternatives but to eat in the hotel. Overall would throighly recommend

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

Starting from the authentic welcome, the rickshaw ride which we gleefully enjoyed to the generous buffet spread and the lovely room facilities the hotel provides a commendable service.The surrounding grounds with paddy fields, vegetable gardens and the lush mango trees ups the value ante tremendously. Rooms are airy, spacious, clean and thoughtfully decorated. Definitely a place for relaxing.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012

This is a wonderful hotel. The hotel is built in the midst of so many mango trees and rice paddies and its a real treat to walk about.

Upon entering, cold towels were served along with raw mango juice which was absolutely delicious and it soon became a drink I frequently ordered during my stay. The hotel staff was friendly and hospitable. The sight of the paddy fields embrace you when you get up early in the morning to the sound of birds chirping away.

The rooms and bathroom were large and very well maintained and all amenities were provided.

The Sri Lankan food prepared was really delicious specially lunch. However, there isn't much variety for breakfast. The quality of the food was really good.

I would certainly recommend Hotel Thilanka to anyone for sure.

  • Stayed January 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Thilanka Resort and Spa

Address: 51 Godawalayaya | Morogollawa, Dambulla, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Dambulla
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Dambulla
#4 Family Hotel in Dambulla
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Boutique hotel- 24 luxury Suites with AC, fan, TV, DVD, mini bar, safe, telephone, WIFI, jacuzzi or plunge pool. Ayurveda spa, restaurant, bar, swimming pool, tennis and colleyball located in a 25 acre orchard with 2 rivers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Thilanka Hotel Dambulla

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