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“Good hotel to visit elephants” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Elephant Bay

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Hotel Elephant Bay
Hotel Elephant Bay Road, Pinnawala, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 6 Pinnawala B&B and Inns
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Good hotel to visit elephants”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

Perfect location for breakfast watching elephants taking a bath in the river and visit them in orphanage.
Friendly but not too effective staff. Not bad colonial styled rooms.
In general like european 2 stars.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 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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95 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
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English first
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

We stayed here for one night in August 2013, we checked in quite late but the staff were lovely having looked after our bags from 5am that morning and made sure the kitchen was open for us to have dinner.

The dining area is a wonderful outdoor area where you can hear and see the river flowing just below you. The food was a great mix of Sri Lankan dishes and some international options. We couldn't fault the food at all.

The room was perfect, basic but very clean with an amazing view of the river (room 103). My only small niggle was the water took a while to get hot, but it wasn't too much of a problem.

Breakfast the next day was also really enjoyable with eggs, tea and toast while we sat by the river side and drank tea and coffee.

The hotel also has two little shops where you can buy souvenirs and offers room service.

I'd come back here in a heartbeat and already recommended it to anyone who will listen :-)

If you want to get up close to the elephants then go to Elephant Park Hotel (BUT don't book a room, it's grim, we stayed here the night before). However you can sit and have a drink and touch the elephants.

The elephants come down to the river on mass at around 10am, so don't forget to be ready with a camera. You get the best views from this hotel.

Room Tip: Make sure you're in the outdoor dining area at 10am to watch the elephants!
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

My partner and I stayed here last weekend (August) having opted to spend two nights in Pinnawala as a base to visit Kandy and other nearby areas.

Having spent a night in Elephant Bay hotel 30 seconds down the road, coming to Elephant park was like walking into The Ritz.

We arrived late from a trekking trip in Knuckles Range, so perhaps around 9pm. We were swiftly checked in and informed the kitchen would be serving until 9.30pm - we appreciated this as we hadn't eaten.

Room was fine, clean bedding, AC, towels and for the most part hot water. View was nice with a small balcony. There was also a TV with a few satellite channels too.

We ate in the restaurant, a good selection of western, south east Asian and Sri Lankan food. We opted for a fish curry and it was very tasty (ashamedly I ordered french fries but these were also great). It was a dry night (no beers) as it was a national holiday but normally you can enjoy a beer with your meal. We ordered loads and it came in under $30 so we were happy.

Breakfast is included in the room price, a simple affair but done well. Try their fresh pineapple juice, it's amazing. Good eggs, nice fruit and jams etc.

Final thoughts - easily the best place to stay in Pinnawala, friendly staff, good location and nice simple food.

Would recommend it for groups or couples.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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dubai
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2013

the location is spectacular, right on the river where the elephants bath. Why the owners decline to capitalise on this is beyond me. Rooms are very poor, balconies tiny all reminiscent of an American highway motel built in the seventies. Food is also mediocre. A shame, a modest investment could turn this place in something really special.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Travelers are raving about these Pinnawala hotels

london
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

The only reason this hotel gets 2 stars is because of the location.
Stayed here just for one night on arriving in Sri Lanka, after a long night and day of travelling, we just wanted a hot shower. No hot water, asked reception to help, they moved us rooms, same problem again, someone came to help, the disappeared. When I returned to the reception desk was told only hot water in the morning, not a good start.
At night when we wanted to go to sleep, there was no switch for the main light, to switch it off we had to remove the key from wall, which also cut the ac. Either hot or had to sleep with light on, not great.
The room had nice views of the river, and balconies. The elephant bathing was the best bit about the stay, without this it would have got no stars.

food was ok, did the job. Wouldn't go again

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Adelaide, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

I stayed in this hotel in mid july so it was the slow season. from chatting to staff we got prime location seats with the best times to watch the elephants bathe in the morning. (around 11 they are right outside the hotel) and we where the only ones there!!!

we ate lunch in the resturant and the wait staff where prompt and friendly, and the food was served to a great standard, especially for sri lanka (they offer western food from the alacarte menu that actually has flavour and not spicy)

our room was ready in a flash, they wernt expecting us but that was our mistake. we had great service, someone carried our luggage to the room, and showed us where everything in the room was (saved me from hunting around which was great!) and the view is one of the best. room was very clean, considering other places (5 star) that i have stayed in sri lanka. and for the price of the rooms I dont think you can complain, they do not over charge like other hotels here. Rooms are basic in terms of furniture in the room. but the beds are comfy and clean!

the location also like others have said is in a really good place! just a minute walk if that to the orphanage and shops. but do take note the town shuts when the elephents go home at 5 so do all your shopping before that. :)

  • Stayed July 2013, 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.
Hong Kong, China
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

Up to standard hotel room for Sri Lanka standard.
Room enjoy good view to the river, with nice sound from river.
Support late check in.
The food is ok, juice is fresh.
The whole restaurant is by the side of river.
The hotel is next to the elephant orphanage.

The most important point is: The elephant would walk towards you when they are bathing. You can feed them from the hotel restaurant and only guest can do this!

Room Tip: Room facing river
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.

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Additional Information about Hotel Elephant Bay

Address: Hotel Elephant Bay Road, Pinnawala, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Sabaragamuwa Province > Pinnawala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Pinnawala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Pinnawala, Hotel Elephant Bay is right across from the famous elephant orphanage. It provides rooms with large private balconies and spectacular views of Ma Oya River.Rooms are bright and airy, with simple decor and furnishings. They feature a flat-screen cable TV, a tea/coffee maker and private bathroom facilities.Guests can enjoy leisurely strolls in the tropical garden or make use of the hotel’s sun terrace. The Elephant Bay Hotel offers bike rental facilities for guests’ convenience. Various activities like hiking and fishing are available.Ivory Inn Restaurant serves international dishes. Room service is provided.The Elephant Bay Hotel is a 70-minute drive from Bandaranaike International Airport and a 2-hour drive from Colombo. It is an easy drive to cities like Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. ... more   less 
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