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“The best hotel I had in Sri-Lanka”
Review of Pala Hotel

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Pala Hotel
Ranked #51 of 89 Tissamaharama B&B and Inns
Reviewed August 12, 2013

The rooms are fair and clean. The price was also good (less than 2500 rp, no AC)
What I liked the most was the owner who really tried to help us. We where never forced to organize a Safari with one specific tour. He says, that we have to go ourself and compare a lot the prices. He also gave us some price range to get an idea.

The food was good and the service is very quick. We never had to wait to get what we wanted.
The bed is wide,but not very long, so if you are taller than 1m90, this will certainly annoy you.

If I had to go again to Tissa, I would book that hotel right away !

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MrFab1en
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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18 - 24 of 67 reviews

Reviewed April 8, 2013

Even before you land in Tissa, you will be hounded by safari touts. We were led to this hotel by our tuk tuk driver, when we found that the Lakeside Tourist Inn was double the price quoted in Srilanka traveller website.
I had particularly asked for a clean air con room which we were provided. I was quoted 3000 rp/night (all inclusive). But in the end he charged 10 percent service charge to us and the Australian couple who also went stayed at the hotel and went to safari with us. Rp 300 extra is not much more but what I did not like is lying about it in the beginning. The blind owner also tried to persuade us to avail his tuk tuk (for a higher fare ofcourse) saying we will not get any from the road.It ruined my impression of the place.
A safari tout named Jiwanth (the tuk tuk driver) is always present in the hotel and doesn't leave until he makes sure he has each and every resident as his customer. He vanishes as soon as you agree to take his safari tour.
We were promised that we will be provided a room to take shower and change after the half day safari. We were only provided a common room with a toilet with no soap!
I realised later that they did everything to create an impression until agreed to the safari tour.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank KainatK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2013

We got to Pala Hotel and found the room to be very clean and well priced (just under 2,500 rupees). It is in a nice location by the lake and an easy walk to town. The food was also nice, though you may want to ask them to add some spice if you are into spicy food because they make it more for Western tastes. All rooms face a garden with flowers, turtles, frogs and a little pond.

Why we would really recommend this place is because of what happened on our first night. I accidentally cut open my hand on the ceiling fan while adjusting the mosquito net. My friend ran to get the manager (a nice, old blind man) who then called the younger boys who work here to take us to the clinic. We went to the local clinic in Tissa and then to the bigger hospital an hour away. They stayed with us the whole time, translated everything, and even went to get the medicine from the pharmacy for me the next day. They also helped reschedule our safari. Despite what some of the reviewers claim below, they never once tried to take money from us, only helped us as much as they could. We did not experience such amazing service and care anywhere else in Southeast Asia. These guys are the best, and you should totally feel comfortable staying here.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Fbascug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

Really nice rooms in this place, worth of every penny. Running by a blind man and helped whit his son. I beleave you can't find any better place in this small village. You might feel that this place is little bittien ofsight, but this small village it aint.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Laitsi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2013 via mobile

While looking for a place to sleep we met two guys and they showed us the way to this hotel. It looked nice, the room was fine (airco and fan) and the price okay (3000 LKR)
The guys who took us there turned out to have a jeep safari service for Yala NP (as far as I'm concerned the only readon to stay in Tissamaharama). So we booked a fulltime dat safari with them (Nalin).
I don't know why but we started to Google Nalin and came accross not so nice reviews of both Nalin and Pala Hotel. So, we got a bit worried...
But there was no need for that. The safari was great, we saw everything there was to see (thanks to driver Nelum), the hotel was fine, nice people, good service. We only had breakfast with them, that was okay, can't tell how dinner is... The only complaint we can think of is that the matrasses are very thin and the pillows a bit hard...
But, in general, we had a good stay!


  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank Simone B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2012

I m so disappointed to see all those bad comments, especially saying that it s organised rip off!!
i stayed in Pala hotel for 4 days as i felt so good to be there with a person with a big heart such as Pala, i spend my days chilling with Pala the blind owner, and the staff members, i stayed chatting with him during all day, he showed me all his place, we talked about his family, and how he got blind, i shared really nice moments just by staying with him and the staff members, we played games and talked on really interesting topics. His sons were here to visit when i was there, everyone was just extremely friendly, i could even go along with them in their van to Arugam bay if i wanted to, for free!! he offered me dinner as well!! For the price, i had a really cheap price, simply because i was interested of knowing the people there! and i m nice with people and there is always good thing happening if you are like this! Thanks again Pala for your hospitality, i really felt like home!! and be sure that if u spend time with Pala, you ll be rewarded in a way that you won t forget!!

Room Tip: Just visit all rooms, but be sure that Pala Hotel is really quiet place!!
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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Thank jean c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2012

Stayed only one night. The owner is totally money oriented. The tricks what he uses is very complicated and not possible to understand beforehand. He acted as like that: Asked high price for the room, we did not accepted. He showed other rooms and other selections (with or without AC, with or without hot water etc.) We were tired and not remember prices properly. Made deal to stay in two rooms. At the time of leaving he asked more price then the deal, and insist about that was the price. When we accepted that and going to pay, he wanted to add % 10 tax over it. We took safari from him as usual. Safari was OK because it was under control of other company. So, please be careful about half blind owner, he was showing so smiling and helpful character but later on you will understand all of that was complete theater, and he quickly changes into real bustard.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank zaferbozkaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pala Hotel

Address: Kataragama Road, Tissamaharama 82600, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Tissamaharama
Hotel Style:
Ranked #51 of 89 B&Bs / Inns in Tissamaharama
Price Range: $37 - $39 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 6
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