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“I like to go back” 4 of 5 stars
Review of AVANI Kalutara Resort

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AVANI Kalutara Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   St. Sebastian's Road | Katukurunda, Kalutara 0001, Sri Lanka   |  
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Ranked #3 of 8 hotels in Kalutara
Kalyan, Maharashtra
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“I like to go back”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2011

My customer had bookd it for me, I was wondering how it will be, but when I arrived at the hotel I was happy, even though I was on a business trip I was happy to be in a beach resort. The beach is very close. Breakfast have wide choice and also bufet dinner have wide choice.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (109)
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English first
Leicester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2011

Firstly, before reading this reveiw it is important to know that we frequently have cheap and cheerful last minute holidays so are used to simple accomodation, lower standards of service and we are by no means snobbish. This however was our honeymoon and so we had paid for and therefore expected a higher standard!
The Kani Lanka, to look at, is beautiful. The location is lovely with the lagoon on one side and the ocean on the other and at night it looks stunning. The service, however, leaves a lot to be desired. We arrived very late at night because our plane was delayed and so we hit peak traffic when travelling to the hotel and it actually took us nearly 6 hours to arrive. We were absolutely exhausted but it was clear when we eventually got to the Kani Lanka that this was a great inconvenience to them and any questions we asked (such as what time breakfast was served) was met with a huff but we didnt think much of it and were willing to see this as a one off. This attitude however continued; the staff just cant be bothered to serve you, despite us paying tips (we aren't stupid- money makes the world go round!!). During dinner we had to get up and fetch someone to take drinks orders and during the day they stood around talking at the pool bar so it was easier to fetch and carry drinks and empty glasses ourselves rather than wait to be served. On another occasion my husband, having been stood at a bar inside, was told it was closed and was sent to the pool bar (would have been fine except it was throwing it down) only for the same barman to then serve someone while i stood waiting for my husband to return! We were on our honeymoon and so were to have a lagoon boat ride as part of the package- we had to remind them which woudnt have been a problem, but within 5 mins of booking they came and found us to say they had a larger party that had just booked and so we had been cancelled as they needed both boats (odd how quickly this happened......its like they couldnt be bothered to take the boat out!!). We rearranged and the next day stood outside for 20mins in the heat waiting and no one arrived. When my husband enquired at reception they knew nothing about it, no one was available and that was that, we never went. On our last day, we had arranged a wake up call for 7am as we were to be collected at 8am. The porter instead woke us up at 6am and when we politely explained our departure time meant our cases would not be ready until 7.30am and that this had been arranged with reception he then stood outside for 30mins jangling the chains on his trolley and knocking it against the wall. This didnt bother us as we were now awake but god knows what our neighbours thought!! He eventually got bored and wandered off and didnt return at the time we had arranged with reception and so we carried our own suitcases- not a problem, but summed the whole experience up!!
In hindsight, we were at the Kani Lanka for just 4 days- i think this affected the service we received as the staff clearly realised it wasnt worth the effort to be nice to us and get some banter going as we werent going to be handing over tips for the next two weeks. This sounds very cynical but the difference in service we received when compared to others was ridiculous!!
In summary, if you can find another resort then take it (the Bentota Beach looked lovely when we drove past, as did the Cinnamon Resort!)

Room Tip: lagoon views are best
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
20 reviews 20 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2011

Having just returned from staying 8 nights, we had plumbed for a junir suite which was well worth the extra money. We had a flat screen TV with a sitting area, although I have to say the sitting area was not that comfortable if you wanted to watch TV for any length of time - fine for short spells although the english programmes were limited anyway. You could hire DVD's too but we never did!!

It was a spacious room with a comfortable bed and bathroom, it seems that our bathroom had probably been refurbished quite recently as the taps looked new and the basins too. It was luxury to have a hot bath. The basin water never got that that hot but no problem with the bath or shower.

We had a balcony overlooking the sea and and one overlooking the lagoon - lagoonside was always calm.

There were no problems getting sunbeds. People have said that the cushions were falling to bits, but when we got there they had obviously been changed as they are all black now.

The hotel has recently changed hands and works were being done to upgrade one wing while we were there although this was not a problem as the hotel was not full.

The food was of a good standard- but only buffets whilst we were there.

We did have a terrific storm the night we arrived as it is the rainy season, with lightning all evening and it was very sticky. We ate in the downstairs restaurant as there had been a wedding on in the air conditioned one, lovely atmosphere with candles but were relieved that we were able to eat in the air conditioned one most of the other evenings.,

The beach boys were around outside the perimiter wall, but they were polite enough.

The only thing I would say that the all inclusive was limited to local drinks. Yes you had to sign all the chits but there were no restrictions on the amounts, they say they have to do this for stock control.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2011 via mobile

We visited the Kani Lanka for 15 nights and had an amazing holiday. Sri lanka is a sensational country; with so much to do and see! The kani lanka provides a good basis for travel, even though travelling anywhere takes a while.
We had a superior room, which suited are needs well. The room was an adequate size, well decorated, effective air conditioning and had amazing views of the lagoon. What more could you want!? After all you don't go on holiday to sit in your room.
We stayed on an all inclusive basis and thought this was good value. You get free bottled water and drinks on request - my only improvement would be to be able to have wine at the bar in the evening. I was disappointed that it was only available in the restaurant.
All inclusive means the inevitable buffet!! Usually I'm not a fan of this form of eating, but I actually looked forward to meal times here due to the excellent Sri lankan dishes and fresh food stations. There are also regular themed nights and I loved the Japanese evening. We found that the service and food was hit and miss as to when you ate, but after experimenting found a time that suited us and when the restaurant was quiet - the service significantly improved as the staff weren't rushed off there feel!!!
The bar staff however didn't improve throughout the stay and rarely smiled or chatted to us. I think if they didn't have to fill in slips for every order they would be happier in their jobs.
The pool and it's outlook was stunning...we never had problems getting a lounger, although we did have a pre-breakfast swim (7am) and selected are loungers then. On the occasions we went on a trip in the morning, we always came back to w choice of lounger.
The beach was pleasent enough, but I have seen better including ones down the coast in Sri lanka. Having said that, it is a lovely place to enjoy a romantic walk or watch the sunset over the ocean - the sunsets were some of the most amazing I have ever seen!! Simply stunning!!
Many people have voiced complaints over the beach boys, which I don't feel are totally necessary. Yes, they do wait around the hotel but they don't plague you. We found that telling them we'd sorted out trips already and a quick conversation about cricket and they'd leave you alone.
We arranged our trips independently, through a friends company. We went to Kandy, dambulla and 'the lion rock' on an overnight tour. It involved lots of travelling but was well worth visiting. We loved the views from the top of the rock. We also caught a public bus to columbo, which was an interesting experience. We spent a morning in bentota, where we swam in the sea, rode elephants and visited the turtle hatchery - we travelled by tuk-tuk and it was a cheap trip.
All in all we'd definitely recommend visiting Sri lanka and staying at the kani lanka - we even plan to visit again and we rarely visit the same place twice.
If the Kani lanka spent a little more time training it's bar staff and employed a few more waiting staff for the restaurant this place could be perfect!

  • Stayed April 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2011

After a long journey we arrived at the hotel very tired, we had a nice warm welcome and were shown to our room which was nice. We did not recieve a welcome information pack or any instructions. We had booked our Kandy trip with one of the beach boys. This trip was very good. but as the week went on it was very clear that they target women traveling alone. I was asked to buy a catamaran boat for him which would cost £300 we also heard some others that had been conned this way. Lucky enough i am not a soft touch, but i can understand why some people do give the money. All in all the hotel was ok, did get really fed up with the staff hanging around for tips all the time, and telling us that they wouldnt be at work and wont see see us again , expecting money.
Half way throught the holiday 40 polish peaole arrived who endevered to take over the hotel, they were taking glasses in the pool and were really upsetting all the other guests. nothing was done by the management regarding this matter.

  • Stayed May 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Warwick, United Kingdom
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2011

Anyone put off by some of the other reviews on here; don't be! we had a lovely 2 weeks here. We couldn't fault the staff, service, or food one bit. They are the hardest working people we've ever encountered, and had exceptional attention to detail.
I cannot speak for anyone elses room, but our Superior Room was large, clean and well tended twice every day. The airconditioning worked perfectly, and we had a safe that was free to use.
For anyone to liken this place to 'Hell on earth' is extremely suprising, and perhaps just a bit tactless considering the terrible tsunami and civil war that the Sri Lankan's have had to ensure. In fact, evidence of the original hotel, partially destroyed by the tsunami with considerable loss of life, still remains just up the track from the rebuilt hotel.
I was also interested to read that someone was kept awake by the motorway and railway line. If you look at the aerial photo of the resort, you will see it is surrounded by water on 3 sides, and I can tell you it is connected by a dirt track on the 4th side to the nearest town, some 2 km away. The railway line is just visible behind trees and houses on the far side of the (large) lagoon. we only heard 2 trains in our entire 2 weeks there, and that was when we were kayaking in the lagoon. As for motorways... I think the only motorway in Sri Lanka is somewhere near Colombo! We slept soundly every night. Even the air con had a 'quiet' mode and was much quieter than most I have encountered.
We had no problems with beach boys/hawkers. We had a friendly conversation with them once, but other than that didn't speak to them at all except for a friendly hello. They did not enter the hotel complex, and if you were at the bar, they did not pester you as some have described, but merely said hello on occaision, which as far as I know is not a crime!
The food at Kani was great: my wife is not a fan of buffets, but even she was happy as there was such a huge selection of Sri Lankan, chinese, English, Italian etc etc, plus a vast array of beautiful salads. There was an indoor area to eat (air con and well lit) or you could sit outside on the balcony under fans and eat by candle light.
A lovely place, lovely people and excellent staff. Highly recommended. Most suitable for those wanting a quiet, romantic break.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2011

What a lovely place! Staff were so friendly, smiling all the time, and so hardworking. They made a huge effort to get to know the guests, their names, and asked every day if there was anything they could help us with. The rooms are serviced twice daily: flowers left on the bed every day, and covers turned back every evening with more flowers.
Rooms were a good size, with a small balcony. Ours overlooked the lagoon. Air conditioning up-to-date and worked perfectly, which was a godsend! Bathroom had a spacious shower, toilet and sink. Apart from the odd cracked tile/wonky light-fitting, everything in the rooms was lovely. Also, free safe in each room, with self-set code.
We asked on the second day if they could change our matress, as bed was too hard for my dodgy back, and it was absolutely no problem at all, and they apologised profusely.
Our rep, Dexter (DreamTicket and Virgin holidays) was also very helpful.
The hotel itself was lovely, especially lit up at night by candles everywhere. Pool very nice, and kept clean. Also a small kids pool.
Food was a buffet 3 meals per day with excellent selection for curry eaters/western food fans alike. Also some themed nights, and various things cooked to order.
Also oppurtunity to have private dining outside by the lagoon, very nice with candles and your own waiter. This was a la carte, and not included in all inclusive, but well worth it. Book the day before at reception if you want to do this.
Included in the all inclusive, which most people seemed to do, was kayaking, canooing and wind surfing on the lagoon. Also a free foot massage on day of arrival in the spa.
I spent many glorious hours in the spa. Extremely reasonable compared to the UK, and wonderful massages.
I suppose the only thing that people should be aware of when considering this resort is that you cannot swim in the sea at all for most of the year- you would be mad to try it! Apparently people drown every year: all of them tourists who ignore the clearly displayed warnings. We only wandered on to the beach once for a few photos, but it was too windy to stay long.
There are hawkers around, but they do not enter the hotel grounds. Although slightly annoying after a while, remember they are just trying to make a living, and respond very well to a polite 'no'. I was horrified to hear how rude some tourists were to the local people, including the hotel staff.
We also went on a 3 day/ 2 night tour of the rest of Sri Lanka, £250 each organised via rep, in a private vehicle with our own guide. Hotels and meals included. Well worth doing. Sri Lanka is an amazing place, with lovely people and beautiful scenery which you will miss out on if you don't leave the hotel. Remember this is a Third World nation. Many people including the tea pickers and fishermen earn less than a few pounds a month. Don't be suprised if people try to sell you things- they are desparate to make a living.
My new hubby and I would recommend this resort, and Sri Lanka to anyone seeking sunshine, lovely hospitality and culture. Do remember though, that if you leave the resort you may face hole-in-the-ground toilets, and other less Westernised treats. This resort is perfect for couples and small family groups. Although there is a kid's pool and table tennis, there are no other kids activities, which made it perfect for us on our honeymoon! Also quiet in the evenings, although there are live shows and a band once per week. None of it 'in-your-face' and overall it was peaceful and relaxing. Consider somewhere else if you are a large group, need constant music/partying or need kids entertaining. A large, rowdy and rude group of Poish people arrived a few days before we left and spoiled it for eveyone. The way they treated the staff and other guests was appalling. I hope I never encounter them on holiday again.
One other thing: All inclusive including local spirits, softies and beer, plus wine at mealtimes. Sri Lankan wine not great; but you could pay extra for foreign wine (expensive in Sri Lanka). For some reason, Diet coke also not included!

Room Tip: We had room 423, a 'Superior Room'
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  • Stayed April 2011, 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about AVANI Kalutara Resort

Address: St. Sebastian's Road | Katukurunda, Kalutara 0001, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Kalutara
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Kalutara
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Kalutara
#2 Romantic Hotel in Kalutara
#3 Spa Hotel in Kalutara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — AVANI Kalutara Resort 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Breathe in that fresh sea air and feel the warmth of the sun against your skin. Before you, lies the ocean; behind you, the Kalu Ganga river, twisting almost 100 miles back to Sri Pada, the sacred mountain believed to be the footprint of the Buddha. Where the river meets the ocean, you'll find AVANI Kalutara Resort, and discover a place where your dreams of an island paradise come true.. This hotel was formely known as Kani Lanka Resort & Spa. Skim the white waves of the Indian Ocean on board a traditional fishing boat, or watch the sunlight glitter on the water as you kayak along the riverside... it's almost like you're paddling through diamonds. Later, draw close to the warmth of the beach-side fire and share stories of another incredible day. Savour every bite of that juicy fresh seafood and enjoy a sunset that's beautiful beyond belief... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
AVANI Kalutara Resort Sri Lanka

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