Arrived at lunchtime, sticky & hot after a five hour drive. Pool looked incredibly enticing, but only had time for quick lunch before our afternoon safari at Yala. Opted for the lunch buffet which was good, in particular the Sri Lankan curry. There was lots of choice & if you were hungry & took full advantage of all on offer it was pretty good value.
The first thing you see from reception as you arrive back after a 3+hr safari is the pool. It was 7:10pm and I asked at reception about pool towels only to be told the pool was closed, with no swimming after 7pm. What!? I was SO disappointed. The heat during the safari was intense, & all I'd thought about on the drive back was a cooling swim. What a ridiculous rule, with no clear explanation as to why?
We returned to our room to freshen up. Great walk in shower & toiletries. Room was big, lovely bed, crisp cotton, soft pillows. Plus a nice balcony, which overlooked the pool and lake. Quite poor lighting over the bed, pretty dim so not great for reading at night, only a minor point but worth noting. You definitely need the air-conditioning as it was really humid, something you realise as you open the door to leave & the heat hits you smack in the face.
We opted to eat outside, despite the heat (well, when you live in the UK...!) Service was pretty slow but they did make an excellent cosmopolitan. Lighting wasn't really geared up for eating outside, as it was also quite dim.
The A la carte dinner, in comparison with the lunchtime buffet, was disappointing. Mixed seafood which said lobster, prawns, seer fish & calamari. I now think the 'lobster' was jumbo king prawn as I had that elsewhere the following day & it was identical. Also the 'lobster' was not fresh as I had a real job to get the meat out of the shell, seer fish was overcooked & dry & calamari tough & chewy. The Monkeyboy had 'seer fish steak' but the portion he got was tiny & also overcooked and dry. As a result we opted for dessert, English Bread & butter pudding, which the menu said had a 20minute wait. However it came in minutes, & had obviously been microwaved as it was hot in bits & cold in others. Tasted okay, but just generally disappointing in respect of food & slow service, plus in relative terms the food was expensive, & not worth it so I'd struggle to recommend from a food point of view. Can't comment on breakfast as we had a packed one due to early morning safari, this was bog-standard, hard boiled egg, cold hot dog, yoghurt, dried up cheese sandwich, fruit & a bottle of water. Not great, but it filled a gap at 6:00am (NB we ate ours en-route to safari park, not realizing the driver stops mid-safari in a shaded spot by the river for you to eat it! I did notice some people looked very civilized sat at a table and chairs which their driver had set up. Not sure where they were staying, but had a pang of envy!)
I made absolutely sure to use the pool after our morning safari, albeit we were limited re time as had to checkout by midday. I have to say it was fabulous. The heat was so intense it was necessary to keep dipping in and out to cool off. I could happily have stayed here all day & would have loved to stay an extra night just to take advantage of the pool & lake view. All in all, not a bad stay bar the fact that the service could be a bit better, & the food was slightly lacking.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.