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“The Friendliest Chef Sunil with Great Food in the Sands” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotels

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The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotels
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Kudawaskaduwa. Waskaduwa, Kalutara 12000, Sri Lanka (Formerly Ramada Resort Kalutara)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 8 Hotels in Kalutara
Colombo, Sri Lanka
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“The Friendliest Chef Sunil with Great Food in the Sands”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014

The very special thing about the Sands is The Chef Sunil, who is makes all the guests welcome with his warm offer with very special dishes. The Hotel itself is very good and the food and staff is excellent in serving ! We have a very good time and enjoyed the quiet and relaxing environment with special advices & tips from Chef Sunil, to how to taste & enjoy foods as well !

Room Tip: A room with Sea View balcony is excellent for a great vacation
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Sands A, Front Office Manager at The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotels, responded to this review, April 15, 2014
thank you and great to note that you have had a wonderful holiday .see you soon .
G M and his team at The sands .
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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230 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
Date | Rating
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English first
Peterborough, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2014

On arrival after a hectic 3 hour taxi ride from the airport we were greeted with a welcoming drink and did not have to wait long before being shown to our room which was large, spotless and airy. Only down side was it was a bit dark, could have done with a ceiling light. Staff were polite and very well turned out and a special mention to the lifeguards whom I chatted to on a daily basis. Food was good and being a vegetarian, I found plenty of options available and if I did not, a word to the chef and he would come up with something. Nightly entertainment was passable if not a bit loud. Beware of the organised trips by the travel reps. On each trip you were made to think that you had to buy something and that something was expensive. Only downside of stay was that we felt a bit badgered by a couple of the staff towards the end of our stay and we knew that the reason was that they wanted a tip although we had only spoken to them on a couple of occasions. We did tip some of the staff but only the ones we felt deserved it. All in all a great stay at a great hotel.
P.S. Pack some dog biscuits for the strays

Room Tip: Bedrooms with large balconys overlooking the sea are excellent for watching the sunset
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  • Stayed March 2014, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sands A, General Manager at The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotels, responded to this review, April 15, 2014
thank you so much for your lovely comments .great to note that you ahve had a wonderful holiday .see you soon .Much greetings from the G M and his team .
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalgoorlie, Australia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2014

I had some strange experience from same area hotels, few days back. Some Facilities they won't offer for locals, and lucky I was a foreign. I was thinking why this all in Sri Lanka, where they say official language is Sinhalese, but do not care about locals, who doesn't understand English. I was so worried to see this. During these experience I had totally different experience at The Sands.
I was really impressed with the front desk service, and it is a really nice hotel, in a superb environment, I couldn't stay there as it was just my brother’s honeymoon, But I was so lucky to visit the hotel often and receive their hospitality, even though I wasn't a official guest, they offered a great hospitality. I would definitely stay and recommend anybody that this is a superb hotel with excellent service. Even though I look like a local, they didn't care where I came from, local or foreign. That is the most important part I have seen in this hotel, especially Lakamal, who was in the front desk, thank you so much mate, for making us feel welcome. Keep the good work mate.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sands A, General Manager at The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotels, responded to this review, March 21, 2014
Thank you very much for your great comments .We are happy to note that you all had a wonderful stay and we look forward to seeing you soon .best wishes from team the sands .
Niran R .G M
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St. Albans, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2014

This was our second visit to Sri Lanka and we enjoyed it just as much. The hotel is located on a lovely sandy beach; the seas are quite lively and not suitable for young children as there is a strong current. The hotel has a very varied menu which managed to cater for all of our party of 8. Sufficient vegetarian salads and meals, meat and tatties for one person and masses of seafood for several others. The hot kitchen cooked up specialities for each meal in addition to a full buffet of hot and cold foods, some curries but always a choice of other foods such as pasta, fish or chicken as well as the salads and always fresh fruit and lots of lovely desserts..

All the standard rooms have a sea view and the higher floors get a magnificent view. There are garden rooms but non were available when we booked; however, because of the view we were very happy where we were, especially as our beds were beautifully decorrated with flowers each day.

We took a two day tour, revisiting the elephant orphanage at Pinnawela as our friends had not been there, and then moved down to a restaurant balcony overlooking the river to see about 100 elephants of all ages being brought through the town and down to bathe in the river. This was the absolute high point of any tour we have ever done and is one not to miss. The elephants obviously enjoy the river visit with the younger ones running around and rushing over to the far rocks to play.

The rest of the "Kings of Kandy" tour was visiting the magnificent Temple of the Tooth Relic and seeing the ceremony (we somehow missed the ceremony on our last visit). Next came a tea plantation which was fascinating, the spice garden (the massages and information were great but check you have an accurate price for what you are buying and what quantity as the price can add up very quickly), a gem factory with a film of how the gems are extracted and then the salesroom where we were all very tempted by the fabulous local sapphires which come in a variety of colours. We also fitted in a visit to the Botanical Gardens and an Arts and Crafts Centre where we were able to see the material being printed and a very enjoyable Cultural show. While we had a packed lunch the first day, we still stopped for lunch on both days as we had eaten a lot of the picnic for breakfast due to the early start.

We were lucky that we were a party of 8 and as we had the mini bus to ourselves we picked out where we wanted to go and when we wanted the breaks. Suggest talking amongst your fellow passengers and working out exactly where you want to go and see as even spread over two days, there is so much to see that they are both very long days and can mean getting back to the hotel on both nights between 7.30pm and 9.30pm.

The hotel is large enough to have all mod cons but it was also small enough that we got to know many of the guests and staff very well, and the standard of service was excellent.

We took time out to visit the local town by tuk tuk and even had a trip on both the local train and express bus. Both run along the coast from Columbo down to Galle. We stopped at Galagoda and had a trip on a tuk tuk to visit the 40meter reclining budda up the mountain in a partly restored building. Beware of the touts on the train who claim to live in Europe and who just want to help tourists. While we had a lovely day, we later found out that the man from Jersey is regularly on the train.

Our last day in the hotel coincided with their Independance Day on February 4th and we were invited to take part in the hotel's celebrations which started out with a formal salute taken by senior management, then a ceremonial lighting of candles folowed by the serving of traditional cakes. A ceremonial tree planting followed as we had the opportunity to purchase and plant either a cocoanut tree or a temple tree which is a fragrant Frangipani for the princely sum of £5.

When travelling always take tissues and handwipes with you as although there are always toilets available, there often is no soap or hand drying facilities and occasionally no toilet roll.

I could go on for ever about this fantastic island, the friendly people and the lovely hotel but I'd love for you to go enjoy it for yourselves.

Room Tip: Even the standard rooms are large and spacious with a balcony facing the beach. Request a room on ei...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sands A, General Manager at The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotels, responded to this review, March 21, 2014
Thank you so much for your lovely comments .We note that you have had agreat holiday at The sands .hope you can return soon .Best wishes from all at the sands .
niran r G M
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Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

I spent my honeymoon days at the Sands, Kalutara few days ago. it was a nice place to stay and enjoy. Got superb services from reservation table, room service and at restaurant. having nice locations for wedding photography which add much more than I expected. Met very friendly and flexible Lakmal at reception, who always ready to support with nice smile.

wish to thank all at restaurant,room service, reservation including Lakmal for their kind support with nice smiles.

cheers
samantha

Room Tip: They are very friendly, so get help to select better rooms with your requirements.
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  • Stayed March 2014, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sands A, General Manager at The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotels, responded to this review, March 22, 2014
Thank you for your comments and it was a pleasure having both of you with us .Best wishes from all of us at the sands .G M -Ratwatte
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milton keynes
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

We booked our holiday through Mercury Direct using them for the first time and would not hesitate using them in the future. We were collected from the airport and transferred by private taxi to The Sands/greeted by our travel rep. We were dealt with promptly and welcomed with cold towels and a refreshing cocktail before being shown to our room 216 overlooking the beach. All facilities in the room were explained including meal times etc we were promptly welcomed by the pool boys and assisted with sun beds/umbrella, the same sun beds were reserved for us for the following 14 days including use of extra pool towels. Nish and Nero from the entertainment team made their selves known to us and kept us occupied throughout the day with water aerobics / water polo / boules / croquet we met some lovely people from all over the world and enjoyed every minute. The food was delicious with a variety of Sri Lankan curries and plenty of westernised food to choose from the chief Sunsil is very friendly and makes appoint of asking guests what foods they like also Nelum and Laksha attended to all our needs whilst in to the Resturant our room was cleaned to the highest standard by Gayan and different decorations/flowers left on our bed on a daily basis We are well travelled by Sri Lankan hospitality is second to none a massive thank you to everyone we met and making our stay at The Sands a memorable one

Room Tip: Our room was 216 and overlooked the beach
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sands A, General Manager at The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotels, responded to this review, March 22, 2014
Thank you so much for the comments .We note that you have had a great holiday and we hope to see you back .All at the sands sends you greetings .Best regards .G M Niran R
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Colombo, Sri Lanka
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2014

Overall I would rate this stay as average, but i was personally disappointed as The Sands is a 4* hotel and that's what my husband and I paid for.

We stayed in a cabana, which is off to the side from the main hotel. The rooms are nice, flat screen TV, little couch area, huge bed. There is either a small balcony or porch. Bathrooms are fine, with hot water and a bathtub.

We did go when it was off-peak, but most of the restaurants we shut except for the buffet room. We went full board, but i have to say that the quality of the food was not good. There was plenty, with a wide variety of styles - Euro, eastern, but it tasted all the same and wasn't great. My husband got a stomach ache after eating, twice. In fact they had a tea session in the afternoon, and best meal i had was the tea that i poured myself and the butter cake.

The pool was nice, and the beach location was fine (but watch out for the 'tour guides/salesmen' on the beach. I had a massage which was fine (nothing out of the ordinary) but the massage area is slightly disconcerting (they have a one way glass, so you can see out but they can't see in). They also have a steam room, sauna, gym, table tennis table and a little games area.

All of it sounds good on paper (minus the food) but although they had all the things a 4 star hotel is supposed to have, it was run down - paint peeling, broken furniture, lackluster staff, horrible food - which is is shame, but if it was taken care of it would have gotten a better rating.

Room Tip: Choose one of the cabins/cabanas. These are set away from the main hotel by a little bit, but you do...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Sands A, General Manager at The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotels, responded to this review, March 12, 2014
Thank you for bringing to our notice of all issues ,Will attaend .
hope you can visit us a gain .best wishes from me and the team at the sands .
general mgr
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotels

Address: Kudawaskaduwa. Waskaduwa, Kalutara 12000, Sri Lanka (Formerly Ramada Resort Kalutara)
Location: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Kalutara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Kalutara
#4 Luxury Hotel in Kalutara
#5 Spa Hotel in Kalutara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotels 4*
Number of rooms: 105
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Also Known As:
Ramada Resort Kalutara Hotel Kalutara
Ramada Hotel Kalutara
Ramada Kalutara
Kalutara Ramada
Ramada Resort Sri Lanka
The Sands By Aitken Spence Hotels Sri Lanka/Kalutara

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