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“A wonderful stay” 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
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“A wonderful stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

I have stayed in this property many years ago (over 20 years ago) and was pleasantly surprised at the transformation. It can now be compared with a modern facility situated away from the bustle of city life. In my overall assessment the expectations were somewhat dampened. The reception area is well manned with pleasant and helpful staff. The room was great and the sleep quality excellent. The bathroom area was small and having a bath was quite a challenge. The service was good but the staff definitely needs more training on the hospitality aspects. The stewards seemed to be always in a hurry and wanted the guests to wait until they passed. Another was seen tapping on the shoulder of a guest to get his point through. The small bar is located next to a store room of sorts and the noise was disturbing. Minor setbacks that can be quickly corrected if someone takes the interest. Overall assessment, I will stay in this facility again.

Room Tip: We stayed overlooking the lake and it was a lovely sight.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, January 5, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,
Many thanks for posting you comments on tripAdvisor, we appreciate your positive comments and advice to the reader. Also we will definitely work on ares which need improvement, thank you for assuring in staying with us again and experience change. Thanking you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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191 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    22
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    7
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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)
Date | Rating
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English first
Southampton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

Quite poor, nice view and pleasant pool area. This hotel is let down by being a bit shabby and having really really bad food and service. I watched in awe every morning guests trying to find a glimpse of hope in the breakfast buffet, everyone showing the same pattern of walk up, walk by, round again, sad or disgusted face, head for fruit.

The icing on the cake for us was the pool boy who spent the entire day watching us while sniffing and pulling flem "hacking" making the most disgusting noises without any self doubt of his nature. I know this is common in Asia but really It gets a bit annoying after a few hours trying to relax by the pool.

Room Tip: Don't bother.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, January 5, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,
Many thanks for posting you comments on tripAdvisor, my sincere apologies on you bad experience. I recollect when you called on christmas eve looking to get out of a bad experience at a near by hotel and looking for transport to get to our hotel. You assured of coming and you kept your word as we too were full. I was delighted to see you at dinner and seemed in a very relaxed mood. Never expecting of been disappointed so badly staying with us. We appreciate on highlighted issues and have taken prompt action on rectifying to what you have mentioned. Extremely sorry for all and appreciate of you putting up for two days with us. Thanking you once again.
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Sint-Michielsgestel, The Netherlands
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2013

A very pleasant hotel, just outside Polonnaruwa. If you are there to see the ancient treasures, rent a bike. The distances are to big to walk and cars are not permitted inside the cultural areas.
The hotel itself is very pleasant with very friendly people and a fine (but slow) service. However there were not many guests during our stay, so we got plenty of attention!
Do not let any light on during night time (not even in the bathroom) since there are very small flies who will enter your room! One should not compare this hotel to western standards, but for Sri Lankan standards (outside Colombo) it is pretty good.

Room Tip: Choose a lake view room.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Christopher R, Front Office Manager at The Lake Hotel, responded to this review, December 23, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,
Many thanks for posting you comments on tripAdvisor, we appreciate your positive comments and advice to the reader. Thanking you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Castle Hill, Australia
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013

Entrance beautiful
24/7 patrolling guards, even around the lake edge
Loads of mossies, cannot open room door near lake
Room beautiful and clean and well decorated.
Bathroom lovely
Hot water very erratic - scalding hot, then cold and anything in between at random (quite dangerous)
Reception staff incredibly friendly polite and handsome :-)
Breakfast disorganised, waiters not very good, food not in line with the rest of the hotel... quite poor food. Wifi only available at reception. In all a lovely place, lake really not an eye catcher, but location is good if you want to see the ruins.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, December 19, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,
Many thanks for posting you comments on tripAdvisor, we appreciate your positive comments and areas highlighted by you that needs fine tuning. Wishing you'd be back again, thanking you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

The view is beautiful and the hotel is pretty modern for Sri Lanka with western standards. However:
- the staff was not well trained; they seem to need to ask the manager for everything !!
- they first refused to arrange accommodation for our driver which should be the case
- we got mouldy towels
- breakfast and dinner service was ridiculously slow
- rooms are small as well as bathrooms!

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, December 19, 2013
Dear Valued,
Thank you for your time in writing on tripAdvisor your experience at THE LAKE. Your positive and negative comments which we much appreciate and take full note on rectifying. On the driver accommodation and room size, I will not comment as if you see the comments written and answers given that remains same. Thank You.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2013

The hotel was busy when we arrived due to the Poya Weekend. We felt there was a distinct lack of welcome. We had to carry some of our own bags as the member of staff assigned disappeared. The room had a lovely view over the lake but it and bathroom was very basic for a Deluxe. The extra bed for our teenage daughter was badly made and had springs near the surface so we had to use all the towels to try and line it.
At 6.30 we requested some room service as we had missed lunch and were hungry. We were told the buffet started at 7.30 and that was all they could offer. Eventually a menu appeared and after we had ordered we were told the food would not be ready until 8 as the dining room did not open till 7.30. Eventually after a lot of persuading we sat down to eat our original order in the restaurant at 7.30 having been told there was nowhere else to eat in the area.
The buffet breakfast the following morning was equally poor, with orange squash instead of local juices stale bread to make toast and 5 varieties of sweet tea biscuits! Thank goodness for some fresh fruit (could the offcuts from this not have been used for fresh juice?)
We had been recommended by our driver to complete online check in for our flight before leaving the hotel. The receptionist told us that neither of the 2 computers at the front desk were connected to the internet. Only after I found the manager and made a request were we able to use the computer in his office.
The staff were generally unhelpful and not at all friendly or welcoming. We would not recommend this hotel as there is obviously no incentive to look after tourists.

Room Tip: Do not expect much from a deluxe room. All have lake views.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, October 22, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,
Thank you for taking your precious time commenting on your experience at THE LAKE, Your comments helps us not deviate from the service orientation. It is true you were asked to wait until 20.00 hrs to get your order. Taking to consideration of the time factor which is against the norms of the industry and the extra bed issue would be looked into. Please accept our sincere apologies and these areas need prompt action. On the other hand, we don’t agree with some issues mentioned. You’ll were given our standard welcome, baggage delivered to the first floor room you occupied, we don’t give our guest stale bread, we did have squash and fresh juice since some prefer either, front desk computer don’t have internet connection due to precautions taken to protect the management software. You were given my office and I made sure your requirements were accomplished. In my office had you mentioned your dis-satisfaction we would have nipped the bud. Ends all, is to satisfy our guest and what we strive for. Thanking you for staying with us, and a pleasant journey to you all.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

We stayed at The Lake for one night and clearly, there are some amazing positives - namely the view, and the lovely swimming pool deck area (we could have laid on the sun loungers watching the lake all day!

Unfortunately, the interior of the hotel didn't match up - the bedroom was a good size and clean, with a nice picture window looking over the lake but the bathroom was tiny, with nowhere to store toiletries etc. It really let the room down. Also, the stairwell was covered in mosquitos/bugs (alive and dead) and, whilst I understand this is because the corridors are open to the outside, I feel this should be cleaned regularly.

The food was fine, and the service pleasant but overall, it felt slightly basic and better for a quick overnight stay.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, October 21, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,
Thank you for taking you for your time commenting on your experience at THE LAKE. Your positive comments are of much appreciation, and negatives are a way of measuring our product. With regard to interior décor and bathroom size, its acceptance differs from individual to individual and you views and opinion is respected. We do not have mosquitoes/bugs. These little insects are called lake-flies which are of way back existence around the parameters of the lake, and we have used a mechanism to minimize but unable to irradiate, cause none of us don’t have control over nature’s existence. Trust this satisfies you doubts and thank you for choosing to stay in our property.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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