We visited Sri Lanka for our wedding & honeymoon staying at The Eden Resort & Spa hotel in Beruwela. Have read the review posted by Nikki & Shaun on 16 Oct '09, with whom we shared many a cocktail & totally concur with everything they wrote.
For us everything was spot on; I recommend flying direct-ish (via the Maldives) with Sri Lankan Airlines - economy was not as plush as the same standard on Singapore Airlines but then it's not as expensive & the 12 hours night flight from LHR helps to avoid jet lag. The journey from the airport to Beruwela was long, over 2 & half hours due to Colombo's continuous rush-hour but we knew to expect that from other reviews and the holiday brochure.
On arrival at the hotel, check-in was efficient & quick and we were given wonderful refreshing fruit cocktails before being taken to our Paradise room by Anton the butler. We upgraded rooms on booking & took the HB option with Virgin Holidays due to to our wedding & stayed in room 302. It was superb - just like the brochure pictures & the view from our balcony looking out over the pool to the Indian Ocean was wonderful.
With a Paradise room you have butler service at your beck & call, a pillow menu, large bar with a fridge & coffee machine, tv & dvd player, canapes & fresh squeezed juice every evening about 6pm. The bathroom has twin vanity units, bath and seperate shower. There are also sliding louvred doors between the bedroom & bathroom - it's intimate - not for the shy!
The hotel amenities were great - quiet & relaxing - the pool with it's swim up bar was lovely, the spa provided some good pamper packages - our massages, facials etc were free as part of the wedding package. The is a well equiped gym and games room which we used regularly during our stay. There are some shops in the hotel but they seemed expensive in comparison to the local ones outside. The are 3 restaurants & the 2 bars also serve great meals too! The main restaurant is self service. Both breakfasts & dinners were great, always with a huge choice of meals to try whether you want European or Asian food. The range of Sri Lankan curries was brilliant.
Although we went did HB - it isn't necessary - next time we'll go B&B.
The hotel gardens are not large but this gives a nice ambience in which to sunbathe & relax. The Tsunami memoriable stone & yellow ribbon tied around the palm tree showing the water height when the disaster struck is a moving feature. Every evening there is some entertainment either a live band, fire dancers or a cultural show.
Our wedding was organised by the wonderful Janaki. We upgraded to the gold package. Nothing was left to chance, my flowers & the photogragher were fab, the style of the ceremony was Sri Lankan. It's not a quiet affair & not for the faint hearted as both the bride & groom are lead to the ceremonial dias by Kandyan dancers & drummers. Wonderfully different & we "went away" to the beach on an elephant!
In the evening we had a fantastic 5 course meal in the garden from the Temptations restaurant. The following day the hotel organised a boat trip up the Bentota Ganga which was great, visited the magroves and my husband held a baby croc too!
While walking on the beach we met Pradeep Kumara (Patte) - suppose he's classed as a beach boy but has been working, organising tours for more than 12 years & is registered with the Sri Lankan tourist board. We did a 2 day trip with him visiting rubber & pineapple plantations, the Pinnewela Elephant Orphanage, a spice garden, a wood carving centre, the Royal Botanical Gardens, a culture show & Temple of the Tooth & 1 night D,B&B at the Suisse Residence Hotel in Kandy. On day 2 we visited & tasted tea at the Mackwood tea plantation near Nuwara Eliya (Little Britain) & saw many waterfalls in the Highlands & stopped for dinner near the location of the film shoot for the "Bridge on the River Kwai". A full 2 day tour in an air-conditioned minibus including all entrance fees for less than £90 per person.
We visited Aluthgama with Patte in his tuk-tuk to see the local shops. On another evening a friend Lucky took us to the Kosgoda turtle conservation centre - very worth-while - we didn't release any turtles as a donation seemed more appropriate.
While in Beruwela we had some clothes made by Sugi. Her shop is 20m from the Eden's gates. She speaks fluent English & German & is a wonderful seamstress.
The beach sellers can be annoying but a firm "No thank you" usually works. Wilson the shellman can make some truely unique souvenirs.
I'm saddened to read how many people slate Sri Lanka & this hotel - For us everything was spot on.
Please remember when booking Sri Lanka is NOT the Carribean - it is a third world country desperately trying to get back on it's feet following years of civil war and a tsunami which when you actually see what happened to this island paradise & the losses they suffered should make the average westerner feel very humble with the safe lives we take for granted.
The whole holiday was awesome & like Shaun & Nikki, we are still raving about it and hoping to visit again soon!
Kat & Nick.x
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Relax on a beach chair with a tropical cocktail and watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean. Walk on miles of pristine beaches as the sky and water merge as crimson and gold. Let our experienced massage therapists melt away the stress from your body at our elaborate spa. Select a bottle of wine from our elaborate wine cellar and sit down to a fine dining experience like no other. Curl up in your luxurious room and drift into your dreams without a care in the world. Enjoy five-star luxury at the Eden Resort and Spa, your ultimate beach holiday destination in Beruwala, Sri Lanka. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Eden Hotel Beruwala
- Eden Resort And Spa
- Eden Resort Beruwela
- Eden Hotel Beruwela
- Eden Resort Sri Lanka
- Eden Resort & Spa Sri Lanka/Beruwala