I used to book all my hotel rooms through AGODA website but after my generous patronage of almost 100 transactions since 2007 I am resolved to stop dealing with them following a really bad experience from their customer service agents. This time, I used Booking.com to look for a place to stay near the airport. At first, I found Kazzava Airport Villa and when I was about to complete the booking I came accross one review which mentioned that the writer will only stay there if no room is avaiable at Neo Holiday Homes. I immediately checked other reviews about Neo Holiday Home and was convinced that this is what I am really looking for. I booked one night before my flight to Maldives and another night before my final departure to Jeddah. Actually, in terms of price Kazzava Airport Villa is cheaper and the room comes with free breakfast but I chose Neo Holiday Home over Kazzava because of the better reviews given by previous guests. Before leaving Dambulla for Colombo I asked the guest house owner to call Neo Holiday Home to ask for direction to the hotel and check the status of my booking since I did not receive any confirmation from them unlike the hotels I booked online . Amanda assured that my booking is confirmed and that she will send somebody to meet me at the Seeduwa juction when I call them after getting off the airport bus. It was already past 10 p.m. when I reached Seeduwa junction so I requested the bus conductor to call the hotel. I was surprised and a bit disappointed when the guy on the phone said there's no one to meet me and I should take a tuktuk which I did. At the reception I was offered a welcome drink and waited impatiently. Shortly, Amanda came to inform that there is no room available since the room reserved for me accidentally had a leak. They tried to call a plumber to fix the problem but without success. She was very apologetic and offered to take me to another hotel which is more expensive assuring that they will pay the difference in rate. I was very tired and hungry from the klong bus trip so I ordered some food which was served quickly at their dining area. Amanda learned that someone is checking out around midnight so I opted to stay and wait because it was raining then. To compensate for all the inconveniences she did not charge me for the dinner and was asked to pay only US $ 25 for the room. I was impressed to see how Amanda managed to handle a difficult situation which was completely out of her control. With her sincerity and humility and professionalism I instantly accepted her apology and appeal not to cancel my reservation for the other night. It was past midnight when the other guest checked out and after a few minutes I was escorted to my room. What a pleasant surprise to find a big and comfortable bed with immaculately clean linens and fragrant pillows. There was a 32-inch LCD TV on the wall which kept me busy watching Discovery Channel and BBC News, a wooden table and chair. The toilet and bathroom was so clean and hot water is available. They provided sparkling white bath and face towels, soap, shampoo and complimentary bottled mineral water. The floor tiles are shiny and even the walls are newly painted. The room decor and curtain are simple but beautiful. However, there is something wrong with the layout of the shower area since the floor is elevated, hence, the entire toilet floor becomes wet. I was able to leave my big luggage at the reception for safekeeping when I checked out the following day.
Coming back to Neo Holiday Home on the eve of my final departure, I was dropped off by the airport bus at a different location so I could not find my way back to the hotel. I asked someone to call the hotel then after a few minutes Amanda came with her husband to meet me outside the Bantex factory. The was assigned the same room and everything went smoothly. By the way, the Wi-Fi inside the room was very fast and stable. I was able to upload photos, read and send mail without spending lots of time online.
Will I stay again at Neo Holiday Home on my next visit to Sri Lanka? Definitely! Will I recommend this property to my friends, relatives and other tourists? Of course, I will! For a fraction of the cost of upscale hotels one will definitely find excellent value for money with the decent facilities of Neo Holiday Home, not to mention the genuine hospitality of Amanda, her husband, her mother, and all the staff. The proximity of the hotel to the airport is definitely a strong selling point as well. I only paid LKR 200 for the tuktuk ride to the airport. I read somewhere that another guest managed to pay LKR 80 only but you need to harness your bargaining skills.
Some suggestions: 1) Please make souvenir items like T-shirts, etc. available at the Reception Area for the convenience of your guests to save them the trouble of making a trip to Negombo/Colombo to do some shopping 2) Complimentary coffee and tea and electric kettle inside the room would be a good idea to add value and attract more clients (or you can add the cost to the bill).
Thanks a lot, Amanda, for being a gracious host. I made the right decision in staying at Neo Holiday Home during my short holiday in Sri Lanka.
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- Also Known As:
- Neo Holiday Home Sri Lanka/Katunayake