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Help! How to find accommodation?

Helsinki, Finland
3 posts
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Help! How to find accommodation?

We are 3 travellers going Sri Lanka in March for 11 days looking for bugdet or midrange accommodation. My suprise was the prices of the hotels around and there is so few options at the south coast that seems to have spaces. We have already bought the flights, so any advice is very welcome!

Is it possible to find good accommodation with affordable price while there in March? Or should we book accomodation beforehand? Can we trust on reservation and prices made through internet booking? Or are we likely to face troubles (no reservation, need to pay more etc.) when arriving to hotel or guest house?

Hannover, Germany
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1. Re: Help! How to find accommodation?

In mid or end on March you'll find accommodation in towns. Ask local TukTuk driver or go down the street and ask guest houses for free rooms.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Help! How to find accommodation?

My first advice is don't use a travel agent or rent a vehicle/driver. I'm in Sri Lanka and witnessed some European travelers that used some local travel agent arguing with a hotel I stayed at in hikkaduwa over their bill even though it was supposedly paid. Im not sure what your mid-range is, but agoda seems to have a vast selection of low cost options. I met some people from the uk yesterday that used booking.com to stay in kandy even though they paid through booking.com the hotel still made them pay so they hope to get their money back from booking.com. I use hotels.com 99% of the time and never have had a single problem. I used agoda for the place I'm at now in tissa and had no problem and paid around $35usd a night for a new super clean large a/c room with wifi and simple breakfast.

With all that said, yes Sri Lanka is very expensive for tourists.

As for transportation the railway and buses are the way to go. For example to take a car for 169km I was quoted 12,000 rupees like $100 Usd. We took the railway and bus for 500 rupees. 4 Usd.

I hope this helps and use tripadvisor to review the places you plan to book. It has never let me down, yet lol.

I hope this helps.

Helsinki, Finland
3 posts
1 review
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3. Re: Help! How to find accommodation?

Thank you for your answers. Maybe in the end we do find a place to stay. :) I was hoping that we would manage to find accommodation for 11 nights less or around 200 euros/person. I guess that is unrealistic or not?

Vancouver, Canada
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582 posts
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4. Re: Help! How to find accommodation?

Thats realistic if you have 2 people per room. Like is said we are paying $35usd a night for a room so roughly 13€ each a night

Queensland
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5. Re: Help! How to find accommodation?

Firstly, we found Sri Lanka incredibly cheap and good value for money. Like all places you only get what you pay for and luxury is rare in the south. We paid $120 a night in Unawatuna for excellent accommodation but that was our choice and we booked through Agoda (only as I had points to use, the on line direct rates were the same). We were happy to pay that as it suited our needs and we wanted something specific. Saying that we found countless accommodation options available in the area at very cheap rates. It just depends what you are happy to live with. Most will be airconditiioned but fairly basic. Transport by driver was the only thing I thought was expensive but at $70 each way but that seems to be the accepted rate (8000 - 12000 RPS). Food appeared to be slightly more expensive in the south and I put that down to the amount of tourism there. We found prices in Colombo slightly cheaper.

Next time I would consider the train to get to the south, although much slower it's quite an experience and fairly easy.

Unless you are going in peak season you will find plenty of accommodation available, the trouble is finding a reliable driver to take you there. I suggest being prepared and pre booking, even if only booking the first few nights. That way you know where you are headed without the frustration of having to rely on "local advice". Agoda was helpful for us.

Edited: 1:38 am, February 22, 2013
singapore
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6. Re: Help! How to find accommodation?

We booked all our hotels through agoda.com and we got good price. then we find our a good travel agent for the transportation. then one of a good guy name Charith from Citytours given us a good driver. They were very reasonable and very attentive. they were not very fussy and they stopped everywhere when we needed. So my opinion is book your hotels through Agoda and find a good driver who can take you everywhere.

Ivan

Queensland
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7. Re: Help! How to find accommodation?

Hi Ivan,

I took your recommendation of City Tours for our transport from CMB-Unawatuna. It all started well but we were ultimately disappointed in the service. Instead of taking the highway we were suggested a "short cut" which was the longest cross country drive ever. In fact I'm sure we were lost as the driver pulled over 4 times to ask for directions. Eventually we joined the highway again after it was decided we are taking far too long. Even when we go to Galle the driver turned right ino Galle instead of left to Unawatuna, even we knew that was wrong and any experienced driver would know that, there are even signs. In the end it took us over 4 hours to reach Unawatuna.

We were told by many other drivers in Unawatuna hat this was crazy and it's a ploy to avoid paying the highway tolls. Sadly I would not recommend City Tours.

Edited: 3:51 am, February 23, 2013
8. Re: Help! How to find accommodation?

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