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“perfect location, deluxe rooms” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Lake Hotel

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The Lake Hotel
Pothgul Vihara | New Town, Polonnaruwa 51000, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 12 Hotels in Polonnaruwa
The Hague / Den Haag
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“perfect location, deluxe rooms”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

The location of the hotel is perfect. It is situaded at the lake (that explais for the name....) with nice views: sunset on a comfortable deckchair and a cold beer overlooking the lake. It is a few kilometers from Polonnaruwa itself. But to be honest: the town is not really intering.
The rooms are big, clean. It gives the feel of luxe. The breakfast (buffet) was good with a lot of choice. The restaurant in the evening lacks some atmosphere. The food was o.k.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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191 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
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English first
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013 via mobile

Hotel at a nice location, friendly staff at the restaurant, good room, food is okay. But when we arrived there was no room for our driver. After discussing with the receptionist he said he could offer one night accommodation. The second night the accommodation was said to be full. It was impossible to get the second night also accommodation for our driver, so we had to rent another place for him.
It is very strange that a hotel with driver accommodation says that it is full when we have booked a room at that hotel. The day after, our driver said that there were three beds free at the drivers accommodation, but that he wasn't allowed to get in. This is a very bad service of the hotel. First to our driver, secondly to us because we now had to pay extra for something we already paid for.
When we left every guest received a questionnaire, but we didn't. Maybe we caused to much trouble with asking accommodation for our driver?

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christopher R, Front Office Manager at The Lake Hotel, responded to this review, August 25, 2013
Dear valued Guest,
Thank you for taking your precious time commenting on your experience at The lake, Your comments helps us and the future travellers using are property. But there are a few areas that cannot be accepted, and needs a clear picture. Drivers accommodation is very very limited and if there is no prior attempt been made to check on this availability certainly we aren't able to provide. But we always give an alternatively by arranging accommodation outside which you need to pay. As business always do carry a price tag and nothing is free. Our driver accommodation if provided is free of charge and you don't need to pay nor it's priced to your room rate. I hope this satisfy your miss-understanding on the subject. Once again thanking you for your valuable points.
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Mount Lavinia
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

We stayed at this Hotel in 2002 when it was known as the Hotel Seruwa (belonging to the CHC Group). During that period the hotel was in an awful state, though it had the best scenic view of the Parakrama Samudra Tank (out of the 3 hotels in the vicinity including Sudu Araliya Hotel and the Village Polonnaruwa). Presently, the CHC has tastefully refurbished the entire hotel (after taking all the CHC outlets, which are now totally owned and managed by the CHC group) and cleanliness is perfect with the best view of the scenic Parakrama Samudra Tank. We were supposed to stay here for 2 days on a FB basis starting from dinner to lunch. However, we decided to stay for one day and left after having breakfast the following day mainly due to the fact that their services were poor.

We were asked to remove the luggages and keep them at the reception (i.e., vacate the room before 12 am) on last day knowing well that we are leaving after having lunch. However, the staff at the Head Office (Michelle) said that we could vacate the room after having lunch, but hotel staff insisted that they want the room by 12 am. In fact this is the first time we encountered such an incident (we are frequent travelers having stayed at numerous hotels such as Chaaya Hotels, Cinnamon Lodge , Amaya Lake to name a few; none of these hotels asked us to vacate and leave our items at the reception when leaving after having lunch). Nevertheless, when we arrived around 12 am on 21/07/13 our room was not readily available as we were told by the receptionist that there was a group of people (who had come from a company) and that they are given time till 2 pm to vacate. Then we had to state that we were asked to leave by 12 am on last day (but these guys were given time till 2 pm to vacate) and that we wanted to have a wash before going for the lunch.

Overall, staff is not very courteous (except for one waiter) and no welcome drinks on arrival (something that is given at other star class hotels in SL). Ordered a bucket of ice on the first night (2 calls were given), but that never came.
When we went to the restaurant to have lunch soon after our arrival, there was no-one in the restaurant until 5 minutes went off. For lunch they served us Vegetable Fried rice with deviled chicken. However, it had off-cuts with hardened meat such that we had to stab it to cut it. Lunch was awful. Dinner was not great either when compared with other 3 star hotels (according to one waiter Lake Polonnaruwa is a 3 star hotel) we have patronized, though breakfast was surprisingly good.

Top floor rooms have no balcony and safe (though the website states)

As a 3 star hotel (there are good quality 1, 2 and 3 star hotels in SL) they need to drastically improve their guest oriented services and food quality.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Christopher R, Front Office Manager at The Lake Hotel, responded to this review, August 26, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,
First of all may us thank you for spending a lot of time on this review, much appreciated for writing your experience at THE LAKE as a senior contributor to TripAdvisor. In areas failed to your expectation, except our sincere apologies. But there are some issues mention where certain facts are hidden, in other words (some jigsaws doesn't fix the puzzle). One strong point is that you were given a secondary treatment. The normal norm in the industry pertaining to standard check in time 1400Hrs / check out time been 1200 noon, but we are flexible to the rule whenever possible. Emphasizing further, remember at your check out, I spoke to you personally for more than ten minutes, let me explain and you could recollect. I asked you why you were checking out a day early. Your response was an urgent need as propped up and you need to be in Colombo for preparation, as you are attached to research with the ministry and we talked on roads, irrigation housing etc. on how things should really be done, but you never mentioned at that very moment what you have written on this review and it would have been fair if you had done so. We are open to constructive criticism and certainly take note of your negatives to bringing about them to positive elevations. Once again thanking you for staying with us and your review.
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013 via mobile

We booked this hotel on a very good deal with agoda. Such a lovely hotel with a great view of the lake. The pool was good and sitting on the sun loungers you can enjoy the watching the wildlife that the lake attracts such as wild buffalo. Service at dinner was slow but a good quality hotel.

Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013

This is a very nice hotel. Value for Money. Just overlooking the Lake Parakrama Samudra Bendiwewa. Rooms are clean and have all the necessary facilities you get in an expensive hotel. Staff is very friendly and attentive. Food is tasty. Give them time to prepare & serve. We had Breakfast buffet. Lunch and dinner from the menu. Not a crowded hotel. Very close to the ancient historic ruins. Has a small but clean pool.

If we go to Polonnaruwa area, will surely stay there again. Well recommended.

Hotel is not even 50% full. They need to market this place. Reservations have to be done thru CHC Head office and its difficult to get thru to them on the phone..

Room Tip: We stayed Ground Floor. Can walk into the garden and pool easily. Every room has a small outside sit...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High Wycombe, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

We stayed at hotels Seruwa and Owners were really friendly and great food. Wasn't expect this kind of experience for a good price. The knowledge of English food and the amount of spices added for the food were right level for a foreigner. Rooms were Air Conditioned and didn't see any mosquito's in the premises. Guide provided by the( introduced) owner was very charming and knowledgeable of history and places. Very nice experience overall. Thank you.

Room Tip: Just ask from the Owner he will let you have the best.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

I stayed with my family in this hotel which is situated in the banks of Parakrama Samudraya. We experienced the delicious food, clean decorated rooms. All things are perfect and so simple and perfect place for the relaxation.
I recommend to everyone who plans to stay polonnaruwa, great value for money.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Lake Hotel

Address: Pothgul Vihara | New Town, Polonnaruwa 51000, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > North Central Province > Polonnaruwa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 12 Hotels in Polonnaruwa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Well-positioned on banks of the Parakkrama Samudra one of the largest man-made lakes in the country by King Parakkrbma Bahu in the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa.The Lake Hotel is the ideal point of transit within the archaeological cultural triangle and venture out on excursions. Furthermore en-route to the golden sandy beaches on the east-coast and it’s within an hour’s drive from 'The Lake' hotel. Guests can enjoy easy access to all that the lively city has to offer. For those of you who want to venture out, shopping, banking, and other commercial needs, it’s only four kilometres away the from the commercial town of Kaduruwela.'The Lake' basically is a hub to the ancient city, Archaeological sites, wild life and the beaches on the east coast. ... more   less 
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