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“Shame about the service”
Review of Ekho Safari Hotel

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Ekho Safari Hotel
Ranked #6 of 14 Hotels in Tissamaharama
Slough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Shame about the service”
Reviewed March 7, 2012

This turned out to be a bit of a disappointment in general. The rooms were lovely and the hotel setting beautiful, but the service was horrendous. We ended up ordering two rounds of drinks and nibbles at once to save having to wait over 20 minutes to get one! The food was quite poor in comparison to the other hotels we stayed in with very little choice for the hotel size and number of visitors. In fact there were several other groups using the hotel who were complaining bitterly about the food and service to their representatives. Lovely pool and surround though, for birdwatching on the lake it was definately the best.
Good place to visit Yala and hopefully the staff will imprive as this is their first season after re-furb.

Room Tip: All rooms have good views but try for top floor (although no lifts!)
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank brill_senior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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555 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (112)
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London
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 6, 2012

Stop 4 for 2 nights stay and visit Yala National Park. Beautiful hotel with friendly staff and plenty to do. All rooms face the lake and have TV for nights staying in. Good food.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank shahtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
49 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2012

This was an average place when I was there last, but with the refurbishment things are really good.
The possibility to make it with air taxi makes the hotel even more attractive.
I feel the staff could be a little more attentive.

Room Tip: Get one from the upper floor.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RuwanFonseka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
109 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2012

We were expecting this to be the least interesting of the hotels we booked in Sri Lanka but we were very pleased. Our room was modern in every way - AC, bathroom, TV, safe, etc. The restaurant is a very good buffet with a mix of authentic Sri Lankan curries and western fare. Staff is extremely friendly and tries hard to make your stay enjoyable. We had one problem with the AC and called reception - within a minute we had two maintenance staff working on the problem, they couldn't have been more pleasant. Pool is decent and view over lake is relaxing. Although the odd 70's english-language pop music that plays at the restaurant could be changed, we wouldn't hesitate to recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Try to get a big view over the lake.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EricfromParis02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Limpsfield
Level Contributor
120 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2012

we spent three nights here whilst visiting the game parks. A modern hotel with very pleasant bright clean rooms, good air con and a great pool/deck area overlooking the lake. One gripe was that whosoever designed the bathroom never shaved in their life as it was a long way away from the basin!

Food was ok, buffet style, but the a la carte for lunch was much better. Drink prices very reasonable. Beware the restaurant in the evening especially if the hotel is full. Make sure you have a table as there is not room for everyone, and if you have to wait until the end you eat late ,and the tour groups have hovered up all the food!

Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank limpsfieldloafers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 29, 2012

We arrived at the Safari on 22 February 2012 for a two night stay which had been confirmed by our agent a month beforehand and booked many months before that. The hotel looked lovely and we were delighted to be arriving somewhere picturesque after several hours in a car.

It was evident very quickly that there was 'a problem', but management and desk staff were tight lipped and offered us no apology or explanation. After a half hour of being told several times to 'please sit down' whenever we asked what the problem was, I became a little impatient and ordered a couple of drinks between the four of us as we had been offered nothing. When i suggested that they could be complimentary given the long wait for clarity, the manager became quite defensive and said that that was not possible as they had not offered us anything to drink. Exactly, I retorted!

We struck gold, however, as our agent in Colombo had us transferred to the Chaaya Wild nearer to Yala. A much happier solution.

Customer care training might be in order, especially given that this hiotel seems to 'suffer' from double booking and dismissive treatment of customers.

MW, London

Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank Monika51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westchester, New York
Level Contributor
182 reviews
126 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 319 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2012

2 nights, hotel #6 of 8 on 14 night trip through lovely Sri Lanka.

Refurbishment of older hostels could lead to mixed results... but here it's been done well with a staff working hard at excellence.

The gated and walled entrance gives a first impression of exclusivity. Elegant open air lobby with traditionally attired staff, a delicious tea welcome drink with a cinnamon swizzle stick, cool towel and a sit down registration in the lobby were the first signs of the sincere efforts to redesign and rebrand this older property.

The superior room on the upper floor facing pool and lake had a grand view. Refurbished with modern concrete and dark wood accents, a chocolate and orange palette and sliding rattan curtain panels.... the curious anachronism were the two lights on either side of the mirror, with a light wood base, that look like giant golf balls! Hopefully replacement sconces are on order! (Took a peek around and not every room had these.) Nice Panasonic flat screen mounted on wall, fridge, and safe. The A/C swing was broken but a little scotch tape took care of that. Ceiling fan. The walls seemed thick and room was quiet. Elegant old black and white photographs lined the outdoor halls.

Calls for different pillows ( a down alternative, flatter pillow was provided), a little problem with the A/C and that the safe was locked on arrival were all met with efficient and very prompt professional responses.

Comfortable new mattress with duvets.

Nice rain shower head with great pressure (and a little splatter over the glass divider) but inconsistent temperature. Modern large porcelain sink with Groehe fittings too shallow to do a little hand laundry. Don't care for those cute small, refillable corked ceramic shampoo and liquid soap containers. Roman shade on the half window adds a contemporary touch with modesty.

Fast and free Wi Fi !

Breakfast and dinner buffets very extensive. Staff ranged from efficient to very, very friendly; one waiter adopting us and providing appreciated personalized service. It rained a bit and there was always a greeter at the restaurant entrance with an umbrella to escort you and open the sliding door. When the rain stopped staff mopped up promptly (was a bit slippery).


And now my disappointment/ gross out: It rained one morning and we chose to just lounge at the pool. Pool boy was prompt to lay down towels on padded loungers. When I went in for a dip I noted a few floating bugs. Big deal. But then I saw areas of shadows on the floor of the pool and upon closer inspection this appeared to be thousands of mosquitos! At first I thought they were larvae or alive but I think they were all just dead...(I actually captured one with a water bottle and poured it out but it was not alive). Nevertheless I found this very distasteful. I tried to communicate it to the pool boy, who didn't appear to understand much English. I give him credit...he promptly got the skimmer and spent some time cleaning the surface and put some chemicals in the kids pool but this issue is one that requires one of those robot, bottom vacuuming, pool cleaning devices. Really needed. I did go back to cool off a couple of times, very briefly, avoiding the bugs or just cooled off in the shower but it really ruined the experience.


Overall great physical renovation of an older property complemented by an outstanding staff. They just need to replace those golf ball sconces and clean the bottom of those pools!

Room Tip: Some rooms have a small balcony. Ground level rooms compromise privacy for pool access. There appe...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jwsmd3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ekho Safari Hotel

Property: Ekho Safari Hotel
Address: Kataragama Road, Tissamaharama 82600, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Tissamaharama
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 14 Hotels in Tissamaharama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ekho Safari Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located over looking the ancient "Tissa Wawa" (Lake) which gives a splendid view from your room.Situated in very close proximity to Yala National Park and Bundala National Park.Air conditioned restaurant which serves both set menus and a la carte and are very reasonably priced. A well stocked bar is available to quench your thirst after the safari.All rooms are air conditioned and with attached bath with hot and cold water,mini bar, individual safety lockers,free tea/coffee making facilities, WiFi and satelite TV.Ample safe parking. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Safari - Tissa Hotel Tissamaharama

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