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Reviewed July 5, 2009

We just came back from an awesome ten days in Sri Lanka. We were really worried about going in June and with all the bad press that Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers are getting but we had heard amazing things and got a great deal and decided to go for it! We ended our trip at the Wallawwa Hotel and to be honest I really wished that we just stayed there the for the entire ten days. We had two glorious days and were totally spoiled at the hotel. Firstly, we have a three month old and the trip was pretty full on. Also we stayed at a series of other hotels in Galle and Kandy and nothing can compare to the Wallawwa. After a long uncomfortable trip back from Kandy we were welcomed with open arms and were offered delicious Papaya smoothies which took the edge off the trip! We felt that the check in and greeting was first class and our room was so comfortable. The hotel took extra care to ensure that our boy was comfortable and they even had a brand new crib for him. Between that and the AC he slept so well, which meant we could enjoy a cocktail in the private garden. Nalaka makes the best Arrack Sours......Kaanchana, the manager, arranged for Marjory the Spa Manager to look after Sammy and our boy was in heaven.
With him taken care of, we had the best dinner and I managed to squeeze in my final traditional curry which was a feast of ten different curry bowls. there was so much food that the waiters had to set up a separate table next to us! My wife, who at this point was sick of curries, had the tuna carpaccio and a bottle of the house Sauvignon Blanc.
Basically, we had the most incredible time at the Wallawwa and we would recommend this to as many people as we can. The entire hotel team went totally out of their way to make sure we had the best stay possible and it was the best way to end the trip to a great country. If you go to Sri Lanka you are missing out if you don't stay at the Wallawwa!!! Cant wait to go back. My best advise for other americans coming to Sri Lanka is to go there now before it turns in to Thailand. It is so amazingly untouched and cultural, not spoiled by tourism and full of lovely boutique hotels, run and owned by interesting people. There are not many countries like this, cut off for many years from major development, now open and so so safe, but without the tiresome huge hotel chains. Go GO GO now!!!!

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank world53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2009

Located just 15 minutes drive from the airport but you'd never believe it - rural setting and no sound of aircraft. I stayed here for three nights at the end of my trip as a way of winding down. The Wallawwa deserves more than a one night stay on arrival or prior to departure.

Set in a magnificent garden, this old Sri Lankan 'manor house' dates back two hundred years and the front of the building is original whilst the bedrooms, set around a courtyard, is all new. Bedrooms are suites or W rooms. I recommend going for a suite as W rooms have inward facing windows. My suite was very spacious and comfortable with a huge bathroom + walk in shower. Double wash basins are hewn out of massive lumps of granite and fittings are of European standard. Sadly the solar heated water system was not fully up to the task and early morning showers meant a rude awakening.

Nice secluded swimming pool and lots of garden space with comfortable loungers.

Meals can be taken on the veranda, overlooking the garden and meal times are flexible. The menu is fairly western and it would be nice to see a bit more of a Sri Lankan influence. My first meal was a bit of a disappointment but this was a one off and things improved greatly thereafter, the chef being very keen to interact with guests and cater to their requirements. The hotel has recently been given its liquor licence.

Service is the high point of this hotel. Visitors who stay more than one night is not the norm and as a three nighter I was welcomed like a family member. Kanchanna and his team were great, so friendly and hospitable with a genuine warmth. They even came to my room with a gift on the last night of my stay - a very touching gesture.

The hotel provided very comfortable transport to the airport and an early morning breakfast and also offers a pick up service.

Possible improvements would be in room tea and coffee making equipment - room service is not 24 hours. Also an in house laundry service would be nice for those staying more than one night.

All in all, a haven of tranquility with a great homely atmosphere and true hospitality. Spacious modern accommodation and a luxury feel. As a newly opened property there is some tweaking to be done but I found everyone very responsive to suggested improvements and their is a real desire to be the best. Colombo centre is an easily reachable 40 minutes away - especially advantageous if you do not hanker for the frentic nature of Sri Lanka's capital.

I will most certainly return and know that a more than warm welcome will await me.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled solo
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1  Thank DM51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2009

There's not much The W has got wrong. Great rooms, great food, great staff and service. The Spa is very nice, the setting sedate and relaxing and the location is great for weary travelers, being so close to the airport.

Here's my snag list...

First of all the wall-mounted AC in the room blew directly at us in bed, rather than circulating around the room. This was quite uncomfortable at times.

Secondly, the wall fittings were hanging out next to the bed, with bare wires showing. Such a shame since the rest of the room was fabulous. Comfortable bed and a lovely bathroom.

There were also no facilities in the room for coffee/tea. Not a problem when room service is so good.

The negatives are far outweighed by the positives though. We'll definitely be going back.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank catboy_uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2009

I spent 4 nights at The Wallawwa over Christmas last year and cannot recommend it highly enough. Great start to the holiday in the most tranquil of settings and the friendliest service I have ever encountered! It is small, intimate, chic and comfortable. Start and end your holiday here, as it is near the airport and saves hours of driving to your destination when you are tired and travel weary!

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled solo
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2  Thank valentinemaryrose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2009

This hotel is a real gem of a find if you are travelling on business to Sri Lanka. It is only 20mins drive from the airport, and therefore from the factories in the export processing zone next to the airport, and is a haven of tranquility to come back to after a busy day. The WiFi works perfectly if you really have to continue working when you get back in the evenings
The rooms are spacious and airy and the bathrooms are HUGE! The food is of a very high standard as well. One tip - if you have to leave at a specific time in the morning then order your breakfast the night before and tell the staff what time you want it ready for and it will be served to you straight away.
I will definitely come back to this hotel - both for business and for leisure - the spa looks fantastic and I was disappointed not to have time to use the facilities during my stay.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled on business
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Thank purplejones28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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