Having read the reviews and subsequently stayed there with my family for 3 nights in July I would say that if you set your expectations right you will not be disappointed.
The hotel is really a 3 start hotel trying to pass off as a 4 start hotel. It is not part of an international chain so you cannot expect the same standards & trappings. It’s a locally owned and run business. The staff are courteous, friendly and eager to help, but are more used to providing the standard delivery. Anything out of the ordinary routine & they are bit at sea.
We stayed in the ‘Superior’ rooms hence no tissue boxes, Bathrobes & Bathroom Slippers, a Shaving Kit, Toothpaste & Toothbrush. The rooms are designed in a minimalistic style to provide a rustic feel using locally produced furniture which seems a bit dated. The shampoo & shower jell in cork bottles may seem quaint but if you’ve pushed the cork in too far in previously it’s no fun trying to open in mid shower.
We were given 2 adjoining rooms which do not have connecting doors. As our kids are grown-up that didn’t matter. If your kids are small you may need some other facility.
We landed in the early ours and were taken by our guide and driver straight to the Chaaya. As dawn broke, Sri Lanka awakened before us along the ribbon development. We arrived at the hotel around 9.30 a.m. and were told that no rooms would be available until guests left and anyway check in time was 2 pm. However, after complaining that our younger son was travel sick & would continue doing so in the foyer, they rushed around cleaning one room as some guests left & then the other.
Whilst we waited for the rooms we sat around the main lounge area and enjoyed the views of the swimming pool and the stunning views of the river. This is what makes this hotel; the views and manicured lawns and the various seating areas. Our rooms were on the 3rd level so our balcony area just opened out on to the gardens overlooking the river. Waking up to the sounds of the various birds and animals was wonderful. In fact on the 3rd day we cancelled some of the visits planned by our guide because we wanted to stay & enjoy the hotel grounds and the pool.
Luckily our Tour operator had arranged half board which saves a lot of time. Once you have been out on trips all day to see the various sights we just wanted to relax back at the hotel. We went up to the dining area to be shown to a table labeled & reserved for our family, which was a nice touch. However, when on the 2nd day we found that someone else had taken our place and we complained we were simply shown to an alternative able. The restaurant staff didn’t really have the bottle to tell the others to shoo off. The variety of food was interesting providing Western, Sri Lankan and Indian dishes not to mention the exotic fruit. We all enjoyed and looked forward to the evening meal.
The Ayurvedic massage is much more reasonably priced than the beach hotel we stayed in. It’s convenient to have it in the hotel and after the massage just walk leisurely back to your room. Similarly, the laundry service was also reasonable so we took advantage of that.
Overall as a family we enjoyed our experience at the Chaaya and take away fond memories.
Ground Floor opening out to garden or Top floor with view to Lake
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.