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“Wonderful” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Mermaid & Club

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Hotel Mermaid & Club
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Mahawaskaduwa, Kalutara, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Kalutara
London, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Wonderful”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

We spent a week at the Mermaid Hotel from 29 December to 5 January and we weren’t disappointed! After a long journey (our flight from LHR on Air Sri Lanka was delayed 5 hours going out), we arrived to a very warm welcome at the hotel. Our room was a fantastic surprise with splendid views across the palm trees to the ocean. The buffet was good with choices to suit most tastes. The table staff were very attentive but not overbearing and always smiling. We had contacted Suresh (suresh.pushpakumara@yahoo.com) having read good things about him on Trip Advisor soon after booking, and he got in touch with us on the day we arrived. We told him what we wanted to do and he was extremely helpful, friendly and efficient in organising the trips for us. As we were only there for a week we didn’t want to go too far or stay overnight elsewhere so he arranged a river safari one afternoon and a trip to the elephant sanctuary early one morning. He was great and I highly recommend him – make sure it’s Suresh (he has a red Mohican) as there are other beach boys that impersonate him! The hotel itself is spacious and there are plenty of sunbeds to go round. The pool attendants are quick to bring you a mattress and towel to make the whole experience very relaxing. My only reservation or word of caution would be, that if, like me, you have an irrational phobia of squirrels, you might find the chipmunks around the pool something of an unwanted distraction. Overall though, it was a fabulous holiday marred only by our flight home with Air Sri Lanka which took 7 hours longer that it should have done due to inexplicable ‘operational delays’. We won’t be flying with them again but we would go back to the Mermaid if I can get some therapy for my squirrel phobia.
Mary and Frank – Leamington Spa

Room Tip: Room 262 was ideal - wonderful view, quiet apart from the sound of the waves
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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.
Dilip S, General Manager at Hotel Mermaid & Club, responded to this review, January 15, 2013
We thank the reviewer for their stay at Mermaid Hotel & Club and sharing their holiday experience.

We were delighted in reading the favourable comments and thank you for expressing them for the benefit of visitors to this website.

We wish you will return and look forward to welcoming you to Mermaid Hotel & Club.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,146 reviews from our community

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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
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (326)
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Hertfordshire
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

We stayed at The Mermaid for two weeks over Christmas and New Year. We had an absolutely wonderful stay in every way. The hotel is by the sea next to a railway line, which in its way added to the uniqueness of the hotel, supplying some interesting walks in either direction along the newly tarmacked road, passing children playing cricket and dodging the tuk tuk's and waving to people in their homes. Everyone was so friendly.
We had a Deluxe Room on the ground floor with a sea view. It was spacious and clean, with lots of wardrobe space and a huge contemporary bathroom which also had a sea view. The grounds of the hotel are beautiful and well laid out with sweeping lawns under palm trees which was continuously being looked after by the ground staff. As soon as we arrived in the morning the sun bed boys would immediately make sure we had beds with clean towels. It was very peaceful sitting under the shade of the trees, watching the chipmunks playing around the trees and beds. The only noises we heard were from the chipmunks themselves (didn’t know they clanged), the crows, the sea and the occasional hoot from a train as it went by. There is no noise from the Club and Spa as these are in a separate area. I had a couple of head and shoulder massages at The Spa which were wonderful. Serene and relaxing with gentle music playing. One of the best spas I have been to. There is also a well equipped gym, squash court and badminton court. There was an area to play cricket, boules and a lawn for croquet. There were yoga classes, water aerobics and much, much more.
We found the food in the restaurant to be excellent, with Sri Lankan and European dishes. We had read reviews of those saying that they had found the food repetitive so we were a little worried, but we promise you this was not the case. Every day there were different choices to choose from. The Christmas Eve gala dinner was amazing and the New Year Gala dinner was out of this world followed at the end of an entertaining evening by fireworks. Congratulations to all the staff for two wonderful celebrations.
We had read the reviews about Suresh and contacted him via Facebook. We met him on the beach on arrival and asked if he could arrange for us to visit Sygirya (fascinating) and the Elephant Orphanage (amazing) but with a train trip also included. Suresh was excellent and arranged this for us with no problems. We stayed overnight in a lovely hotel in Kandy and Suresh arranged for us to travel from Kandy to the Elephant Orphanage by train where our driver Nihal was waiting for us on the platform. Nihal was an excellent driver and host for those two days. The positive reviews for Suresh are well deserved. He was helpful and trustworthy and very efficient. He can be contacted at his email - Suresh.pushpakumara@yahoo.com or on his Facebook page “Suresh Tours”. You will recognise him by his hair as he has a red Mohican and a striped eyebrow.
We also took the train from Kalutara to Colombo which took an hour on the express train. We hired W.Nandasena Gamage (Weerappuli) and his Tuk Tuk Mobile: 0773 059652 for 5 hours at £5 an hour and he took us on a guided tour around the sights, including a Buddhist Temple and Hindu Temple and also The Seafood Restaurant for lunch which was excellent and so cheap.
We would also recommend Ajantha and his Tuk Tuk outside the Mermaid Hotel. He was extremely helpful and took us and met us at the railway station in Kalutara and other times when we needed a Tuk Tuk. He also saved us from being scammed by a so called waiter at our hotel, WHO NEVER WAS!!

ALL the staff at the Mermaid Hotel and Club were excellent, whether they worked in the restaurant, bar, sports centre, poolside, housekeeping or grounds. We cannot remember all their names but we wish to give our heart felt thanks for giving us such a fantastic holiday. The friendliness and attentiveness is second to none. We would also like to thank those other guests (you know who you are) who also made our holiday one to remember.

  • Stayed December 2012, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dilip S, General Manager at Hotel Mermaid & Club, responded to this review, January 15, 2013
We thank the reviewer for their stay at Mermaid Hotel & Club and sharing their holiday experience.

We were delighted in reading the favourable comments and thank you for expressing them for the benefit of visitors to this website.

We wish you will return and look forward to welcoming you to Mermaid Hotel & Club.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Littlestone-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

The hotel and people are fantastic, this hotel was great value for money and I would reommend it to anybody. The only downside was the beach boys who we found quite intimidating, did not go to the gym as got pestered. We decided to go on couple of trips with local guy who was excellent and not pushy. The staff are wonderful people and Sammy in the restaurant stood out. Our roomkeeper Nihal was the most charming and thoughtful guy and our overall stay was brilliat.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 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.
Dilip S, General Manager at Hotel Mermaid & Club, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
We thank the reviewer for their stay at Mermaid Hotel & Club and sharing their holiday experience.

We were delighted in reading the favourable comments and thank you for expressing them for the benefit of visitors to this website.

We wish you will return and look forward to welcoming you to Mermaid Hotel & Club.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

We had two week stay at Mermaid end of November, and had one of the best time ever. Mermaid is very clean, and friendly hotel. The food was excelent, and the staff were all very friendly and helpful. We went for four day trip to Kandy and tea plantations with Suresh Tours. We had a great time and he really was a fantastic guide .....very friendly, helpful and trustworthy. If you ever plan to visit this place contact Suresh Tours at the hotel and he will look after you.
We will definitely visit this place again.
Great hotel....our thanks to all the wonderful staff and management ....well done .

Room Tip: Best holiday ever
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Dilip S, General Manager at Hotel Mermaid & Club, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
We thank the reviewer for their stay at Mermaid Hotel & Club and sharing their holiday experience.

We were delighted in reading the favourable comments and thank you for expressing them for the benefit of visitors to this website.

We wish you will return and look forward to welcoming you to Mermaid Hotel & Club.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

There is not much more you can say after reading all the reviews.
We loved this hotel, the staff and the food made our holiday.
Sammi was just the bestest in the restaurant.
The management have done a great job training their staff.
Well done.

  • Stayed December 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dilip S, General Manager at Hotel Mermaid & Club, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
We thank the reviewer for their stay at Mermaid Hotel & Club and sharing their holiday experience.

We were delighted in reading the favourable comments and thank you for expressing them for the benefit of visitors to this website.

We wish you will return and look forward to welcoming you to Mermaid Hotel & Club.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

We have just returned from a two week stay at The Mermaid - we had reservations as we had stayed at The Royal Palms Beach on a previous visit, but we decided to try The Mermaid based purely on reviews on Trip Advisor.
We were NOT disapointed!!!
We had a wonderful time!
OK the building itself is a little tired, but the attentiveness, friendliness and kindness of the staff more than makes up for any shortfall.
We would particularly like to commend - Sujith of the animation team. What a kind, genuine, person who just wants you to have a good time, and is in no way whatsoever pushy, he made our holiday! Despite the fact that he retained his Boules and Croquet titles!! He deserves them!
Also, kind Shanaka, Mahi and the other waiters who were all very friendly and helpful - but at all times, totally professional.
The chefs are amazing - we particularly love the Sri Lankan food (apart from at Breakfast time I'm afraid) the standard of food, the variety, the choices - were a credit to you all.
We are used to the people on the beach approaching you and to be honest I too find it tiresome.
But the one to be really aware of is a lad on the beach claiming to be a waiter at the hotel, he then invites you into his home on the beach and proceeds to show you names and adresses of other former guests who have contributed to his new home (since his house was apparently destroyed by the Tsunami - and his grandfather 'apparently' died) I am a compassionate person and in no way would like to think bad of people, but I genuinley believed him!! We were given tea and met his 'family' and we were quite happy to give him a donation.
Only to find out within a day or two that he isnt a waiter at all!! This is a scam - as we were approached when out walking by someone in a car two days later claiming the same thing. When we asked him 'which hotel?' he named the one closest, but we were about 2 kms away from The Mermaid. He was very quick to apologise and say that he'd mistaken us for someone else and that he 'wasn't after our money' Yeah!!!!
Sadly this could put people off visiiting Sri Lanka - but please dont let it - just be aware, it is a beautiful country with wonderfui smiling people - who don't deserve to lose out because of a begging minority.
We took a train to Mirissa - an incredible place, the most beautful beaches, the train was fantastic! A 2.5 hr journey for 90pence!!! And on time!!
Back to The Mermaid - we would sincerely like to commend the Management of this wonderful gem of a Hotel, your staff are a credit to you, and it is THEY that make ALL the difference, Well Done to everyone.!!

Room Tip: We upgraded to a Deluxe room which was wonderful - llarge, ovely and clean, and an amazing bath...
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dilip S, General Manager at Hotel Mermaid & Club, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
We thank the reviewer for their stay at Mermaid Hotel & Club and sharing their holiday experience.

We were delighted in reading the favourable comments and thank you for expressing them for the benefit of visitors to this website.

We wish you will return and look forward to welcoming you to Mermaid Hotel & Club.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WALES
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

We are the other 50% of the party of 4 referred to in the review below "Never Again" by Lucian52 Birmingham. My wife and I dealt with the Virgin Holidays booking procedure problem that occurred when we arrived after the connecting flight was delayed for over 10 hours. Yes it took some time to resolve and was an unpleasant start to our holiday. The booking issue probably could have been dealt with better but never mind.
I urge you to read as many reviews as you can.
We have never seen so many smiling faces, staff genuinely wishing to help. There are far too many to name and single out, it would be unfair to the others. The ground staff, the sunbed boys and the sports staff were always willing to share time with us. My wife enjoyed the water aerobics immensely. As soon as we chose our sunbeds the clean towels provided were brought immediately. We tended to stay in roughly the same spot and when we looked over our balcony each morning the beds already had towels on them for us. There were always plenty of sunbeds throughout the grounds. Both pools were very clean. We really enjoyed seeing the chipmunks running amongst the palm trees, the chameleons and elephant on the beach.
The Restaurant was very good, always well staffed, the food was varied and well cooked with something for everyone. Breakfast included the usual fry up with fried egg or omelettes of your choice freshly cooked by cheerful chefs....or you could have curry.....All the waiters and a lone waitress, who was lovely, were attentive, never failing to smile, happy to serve us and very entertaining. My wife is vegetarian and always found something to eat at every meal. The beer and local spirits were good. The evening entertainment varied from Sri Lankan music and dancing to the Saturday night guitarist who did requests from The Shadows to Santana via Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" and was brilliant, accompanied by the frogs chorus in the ponds around.
The rooms are a good size with teamaking facilities and probably the cleanest ever. The air conditioning worked well. Full marks to the houseboy Sam, he worked very hard.
We all read the reviews before we went, we all knew we would get "bothered" on the public beach, perhaps it gets a little tedious at times but just be firm and say "No"....unless you want a bargain trip etc. We were at The Mermaid at the same time as "missmeerkat21" and "BarryGail" who thoroughly enjoyed their trips with the boys as you can read in their reviews below. They were lovely people to meet. The Hotel Reps also arranged tours which we understood were also excellent. My wife and I walked to Kalutara about 4 Km along the railway track where we saw monkeys in the trees, fruit bats, cattle wandering around and a metre long monitor lizard. It was fascinating to see washing drying on the ground between the railway lines and to meet the locals. There is a fantastic temple just over the bridge in Kalutara. We wanted to return by Tuk Tuk, quite something and a must. Haggle! All part of the Sri Lankan experience; different customs and culture. There is no doubt that both couples were upset about the booking fiasco but we were well looked after, well fed in a very clean comfortable hotel by great staff and we met some really nice fellow guests.....oh yes the weather was wonderful.

  • Stayed November 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dilip S, General Manager at Hotel Mermaid & Club, responded to this review, December 26, 2012
We thank the reviewer for their stay at Mermaid Hotel & Club and sharing their holiday experience.

The group of four, arrived together has posted 2 different reviews under “Our opinion” Ned Wales dated 20th December 2012 and “Never again” Lucian52 Birmingham dated 19th December 2012. The latter may be read below.

The review titled “Our opinion” gives a true picture of the incident and about the hotel which is consistent with the reviews by the other guests. We are exceedingly grateful to the reviewer for expressing the truth. As the reviewer has said it was a "Virgin Holiday booking procedure problem". We took time to sort it out because we had to contact the Virgin Holidays office in London. There was no delay in providing 2 double rooms as requested by the guests so that they could enjoy their holiday until the technical problem could be cleared by Virgin Holidays, London.We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to the four visitors because of the delay and apologize both on our own behalf and that of Virgin Holidays for not being able to solve the problem faster.

We are delighted to read the special comments made by the reviewer on our staff, food, cleanliness and extent of the rooms, adequate sun beds, restaurant service, water aerobics, hotel pools & evening entertainments.

Dear Ned Wales, please accept our most sincere thanks for putting the record straight.

We wish you will return and look forward to welcoming you to Mermaid Hotel & Club.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Mermaid & Club

Address: Mahawaskaduwa, Kalutara, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Kalutara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kalutara
#1 Spa Hotel in Kalutara
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kalutara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Mermaid & Club 3.5*
Number of rooms: 81
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Mermaid Hotel & Club lies on the golden sands of Mahawaskaduwa; a cosy fishing village in the city of Kalutara which is of religious significance, just 24 miles south of Colombo and 45 miles from the International airport. It is cleverly nestled in a vast coconut grove along a stretch of golden, sandy beach; a perfect get-away for sun, sand and sea lovers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Mermaid And Club
Resort All Inclusive Mermaid
Mermaid Hotel Sri Lanka
Hotel Mermaid & Club Sri Lanka/Kalutara

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