We booked with Mercury Direct and incorporated a 4 day tour. We travelled to Sigiriya, a long transfer from the Airport it took 61/2 hours and believe me the roads at times were like wacky races. Our driver Ana was fantastic and even though it was quite a hair raising experience we felt safe. We spent 2 nights at Hotel Sigiriya - a beautiful hotel with fantastic views of the Lion rock. We climbed the lion rock, you need to be fit to tackle this one! But its well worth the effort - the views from the top are simply stunning. We also visited the cave temples at Dambulla - well worth a visit, Kandy - much more hustle and bustle here. We stayed at the hotel Topaz - which was ok but rooms a little like a travel lodge, but we only had to stay one night. In Kandy we visited the Temple of the tooth. The Botanical Gardens which are amazing, especially the Orchid house, look out for the fruit bats! Then onto Pinnewela Elephant Orphanage - an absolute must - a real highlight of the tour.
Once our 4 days were up we transferred onto the Hotel Mermaid. This hotel was fantastic, much better than its 3 star rating and the staff here are just the best. We were really well looked after. All the staff are asked to push sales of wine and special meals that aren't included in the All-inclusive package, at the end of the day they are just doing their job and never hassled us. We did have the Prawn Menu one night - it was excellent but don't have any lunch if you order one. The buffet style restaurant is good, there was always something on the menu we liked and it does change on a daily basis with theme nights + sri lankan dishes - but repeats on the 2nd week. Occasionally the food wasn't piping hot, but that was usually down to guests leaving the lids off the heating trays, overall though we didn't have a bad meal and there was plenty of choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner, also snacks in morning and afternoon if you want to eat all day long!
We met a couple from Bristol - hi Huw and Leanne, who introduced us to Sisil (Sisal De Silva) - see the photo. He works on the beach and runs his own business - SISAL TOURS. They had been on a 4 night tour with Sisil and pretty much taken in all the trips we did - except much cheaper!!! We decided to go on a trip with Sisal to Galle fort, which took in a river trip (3 hours), Turtle Hatchery, a visit to the beach and lunch overlooking the sea - a brilliant full day out. Sisal's driver Pala is excellent and we felt very safe. Don't be put off by what your tour operators tell you, they don't recommend that you use the beach boys. I would definately recommend Sisal, he is a little older than some but not as old as his white hair would have you believe. He was a complete gentleman, he really looked after us and the prices are much cheaper than tour operators. He kindly invited us for ginger tea one day, we met his lovely wife "Gurlie" and his family and were invited back for lunch - which was a fantastic home cooked sri lankan feast.
We had an absolutely fantastic time in Sri lanka, and will definately return next year - all being well. We won't hesitate to stay at the Mermaid again next time we visit.
PS Visit Siri's bar next door to the hotel for a few lion beers with locals, a good friendly atmosphere and a fantastic view of the picture postcard sunset, cant wait to return!
- Also Known As:
- Hotel Mermaid And Club
- Resort All Inclusive Mermaid
- Hotel Mermaid
- Mermaid Hotel Sri Lanka
- Hotel Mermaid & Club Sri Lanka/Kalutara
- 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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