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help please with some hotel choices and itinerary

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England, United...
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help please with some hotel choices and itinerary

#we are starting to put our trip for next Feb/March together. So far we are doing 1 night Colombo area, 2 nights Kandy, 2 nights Ella, 2 nights Yala, 5 nights Unawatuna and 2 nights Bentota

Does this sound OK? We are travelling with car and driver, but taking train from Nuwara Eliya to Ella.

So, questions

1)Do we need 2 nights Ella or is one enough

2)Accommodation so far chosen, Zion View in Ella and Flower Garden Unawatuna. Does anyone have any opinion on Zion View? We like some degree of comfort and boutique feel.

3)We are having real trouble finding a place in Kandy as most places have a lot of negative posts. We have narrowed in to Kandy House, Manor House, Randholee - we want upmarket boutique but not too expensive,but not touristy like the 4 stars seem to be, but not too cheap and cheerful like the 3 stars sound. Recommendations would be most welcome. Sorry for so many questions

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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1. Re: help please with some hotel choices and itinerary

Hi there,

Well probably it's better to part with your driver at Unuwatuna. His daily minimum mileage, leading to fixed costs of between 4,000-6,000, is probably not fitting your beach stay pattern. So pay him the remainder (empty ride back to airport) at the Rs 40/km and for the last 2 transfers use single ride cabs.

Question (well the one we can answer):

1) 2 nights is best, there's LOTS to do in the area

For 2) consider Melheim in Haputale as alternative, the only real upmarket boutique place in the area...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

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2. Re: help please with some hotel choices and itinerary

angie,

may i ask why are you skipping the Cultural Triangle?

and in kandy, we stayed in Amaya Hills which was really nice.

England, United...
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3. Re: help please with some hotel choices and itinerary

we want to do Kandy and Hill Country, Yala and Beach, so had to make a choice. We think we can do some of the cultural tour from Kandy. We definitely want to stay in Ella not Haputale because we are doing the train journey from Kandy to Ella, so will probably opt for Zion View although there isn't much info on this place on any forum. We think Amaya Hills is too expensive and too far out. Has anyone got any info on Manor House in Kandy?

Fredericia, Denmark
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4. Re: help please with some hotel choices and itinerary

Did you read he reviews for Manor House?

tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g304138-d6152…

If you think Amaya Hills is too far out you need to reconsider both Manor House (approx. 12 km ~ 25 mins drive from Kandy) and Kandy House (~ 45 mins drive from Kandy according to Kandy House).

Hans

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5. Re: help please with some hotel choices and itinerary

Hans is absolutely correct, the Manor House (Nugawela) is a long way out and the last time I saw it was not at all a boutique hotel. Read the reviews they completely tie in with what I saw some years ago and unless it has been completely refurbished, is probably little changed. Then it was largely used as a venue for large functions, such as weddings, for which it was fine but as a boutique hotel, I think not. The fact is that most of the tourist class hotels are out of Kandy town. If Amaya Hills is too far and too expensive then the Kandy House will not be for you either.

If you want to be in walking distance of the town centre and not too expensive then my suggestions would be Hill Top Hotel ( 400/500 series rooms) or Thilanka Hotel (new wing) both of these are comfortable three star hotels. Other than that is will be a guest house. Natures Walk is good and I like Castle Hill but it is not everyone's cup of tea - fantastic art deco bungalow with the best views in Kandy but largely untouched and so lacking in modern amenities. There are boutique hotels a little out of Kandy but prices are more than Amaya Hills and the other big tourist hotels such as Earls Regency, Mahaweli Reach, Citadel are similar in price to Amaya Hills.

For something central and at a cheaper rate you may have to compromise a little.

David.

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6. Re: help please with some hotel choices and itinerary

Thank you David that was very helpful, we think we will go for Thilanka as it sounds like we would have comfortable amenities but not too expensive. Someone I know who has been to Kandy recommended Chaaya Citadel, but it sounds a bit touristy, how does it compare to Thilanka, for levels of comfort, standard of rooms etc.

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7. Re: help please with some hotel choices and itinerary

Angie,

Thilanka is a family run hotel and is very close to the Kandy Lake and Tooth Temple. If you make sure you are in the new wing, I'm sure you will be comfortable. Saw the rooms when they were first built but have not stayed there. Also a long time since I've eaten there but, being so close to the town, you can always go there to eat if you don't like what you find at Thilanka. My favourite Restuarant in Kandy is called Rams - wonderful freshly cooked Southern Indian cuisine at very reasonable prices, it is in Colombo Street.

As for Citadel, again have not stayed there of late but did go to the restaurant and have to say really disliked it. It was incredibly crowded and noisy and had a holiday camp feel about it. If you didn't want the buffet and I didn't, the a la carte was very poor. Went with Sri Lankan friends who were served the worst rice and curry I have ever seen in a restaurant in Sri Lanka. Citadel seems very much a transit hotel so guess they get away with it as guests only stay one night.

I expressed my disappointment with the food and was asked for my mobile number (Sri Lankan) so that the management could contact me, they never did. On the plus side, it has a nice location on the river but is twenty minutes out of Kandy. You'll be much better off at Thilanka, which benefits from not having large tour groups.

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8. Re: help please with some hotel choices and itinerary

Thanks Dav id for your quick and helpful reply, Thilanka it is then. Off to Colchester to Christmas shop now, really like your town.

9. Re: help please with some hotel choices and itinerary

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