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“Quaint, Old Fashion and Nice”

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Pigeon Island Beach Resort
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Nilaveli
Reviewed August 15, 2012

Stayed there for 3 nights and liked their quietude, the exclusion and simply just immerse into a place where people "forget".

Good service, decent meals and clean property are some of the things you can expect there. Don't expect much - the hotel is atypical of the old anglo-Sri Lanka architecture, which in some ways give it charm.

The beach is clean, sand is white - but water murky. The pigeon island snorkeling trip is so so, too rowdy and too many people on a small island. The side facing mainland has a sweeping current so not quite suitable for novice snorkelers.Broken coral chips are also abound and cause difficult in settling down on the beach.

I will not mind staying there again but will think twice taking 8 hours ride to Nilaveli.

Room Tip: Choose a room on the second floor or one which faces the beach.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank ABChan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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231 - 237 of 462 reviews

Reviewed August 15, 2012

Simple hotel, nice food, pleasant happy staff. Beach was beautiful, sea clean and refreshing. Trip to pigeon island was fun but don't do the trip to snorkel without shoes and a thirty, the coral is sharp and it's difficult to get into the a without walking over sharp bits of old coral. The sand on the beach is bits of coral too so hard on the feet. It didn't spoil the experience though.

Beautiful place to go to, would definitely return. Point to note, it is possible to fly from Colombo to nilaveli by air force plane, ring pigeon island resort and they will book it for you. It is very cheap.

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank su1705
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2012

Positives first: the resort has a great stretch of beach to enjoy. And the meals are generally excellent.

But overwhelmed by the negatives: all staff seemed to live in fear of incipiently being sacked, making them over-attentive to the point of fawning. Reception and senior staff superficial and lacking warmth. Fiasco over payment in our group as there is no communication between the resort and their middle-man agency to confirm deposit. Overall impression of being money-obsessed. Worst of all, local Sri Lankan drivers were not allowed to come in to the lobby area. Do not stay here - walking along the beach, many other places had lovely lengths of beach too.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank kingsgate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2012

To all of us this was an awful place and we are reasonably flexible and experienced, not 'top-end' travelers. We moved to another hotel and were told that others had done the same over recent weeks. Agree with: welcome on arrival , pleasant , but hot, Reception area , friendly manager and catering staff. But, place lacked landscaping or shade and the atmosphere beyond the Reception and dining areas was bleak. Narrow site, with scruffy breeze block walls and exposed functional noisy pool squeezed in below the bedrooms; sad, patchy grass, like a past-it holiday camp. Some rooms have been done up, we were told,so may be better; ours were inexcusably dirty.One had a balcony and sea view so was said to be one of the best but overlooked the smelly cess pit ( Manager agreed = an unresolved problem); dried dirt on surfaces, large dusty fly in empty tissue box, bed made but bedding hadn't been changed; just a trickle from bathroom tap, rusting shower, loo seat broken ; thin walls , noisy corridor. Food: mixed in quality. Costly Wi Fi. The neighbouring hotel was fine - we felt like refugees from a bad expensive experience. There are several alternatives we now know.

Room Tip: Ask if they have any that are clean and quiet. If you get one of the 4 or so with a sea view ask if...
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank annel84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2012

It's a thin strip of a resort with a few dozen rooms in the midst of some rough beach bush and farmed fields, but it does the job of creating a space from which to enjoy the beach and take a boat to the island in question, which is about 10 minutes off the coast. The rooms are clean and bright and the bathrooms fine. The restaurant is well-stocked and the keen chefs will prepare their specialities each night or you can select from the varied if slightly pricy buffet. The poolside bar area is open & pleasant, so it'd be an ideal retreat for couples who just want to hang out for a while! The only local attraction is Pigeon Island, which offers some great snorkeling over very pretty coral. Saw some reef sharks & plenty of colourful sealife. A boat can be arranged from the hotel - they will arrange the permit on the way as the navy is in charge of the island. The manager was straightforward, friendly and helpful, as were his excellent and trustworthy staff.

Room Tip: There are rooms closest to the beach that actually face the beach, the rest face the grassed area ru...
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Ayemyself
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2012 via mobile

It is clear that the managers are trying hard to make this a really good hotel. They are doing well with the rooms, the food and the beach. The architecture they can't do too much about but it's boring. The service is great from the younger staff, the older staff were gruff and impatient.
A lot of Sri Lankan hotels seem over priced and this one doesn't disappoint ($30 too much) then they want to charge for wifi when every basic restaurant our guest house provides it free...

  • Stayed: July 2012
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Thank j_hod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2012

There's not much choice around Trincomalee. If you want normal tourist facilities close at hand- shops, bars, restaurants, night life - then look elsewhere. The nearest are about 10km away from the Pigeon Island Resort, and Trinco itself 7km further on, whilst looking safe has not yet tapped into the tourist dollars.

However,if you are looking for a smallish very comfortable hotel (around 40 rooms) in a very quiet location on the best beach on the Island, offering excellent service and great food, then this is the place for you.

We chose to use the Pigeon Island Resort as the base for our holiday in Eastern Sri Lanka- it may look close to many of the attractions, but you should plan on average vehicle speeds of around 30km/hour - the roads are atrocious and vast stretches of them are under reconstruction. So travelling away from the hotel was an unexpected ant time consuming challenge.

That said, the Pigeon Island Resort met our specification perfectly - large, very clean, comfortable rooms, with reasonable air conditioning and plentiful supplies of hot water,with fresh soft towels twice a day. The restaurant provides an excellent buffet breakfast, with a large choice of dishes, changing daily. There is a good a la carte dinner menu, but we generally chose from the buffet tables, again good quality tasty food, changing daily.The 25m swimming pool was clean and welcoming although the absence of umbrellas made it impossible to use as the base for a day's chilling out. Much better for this is the beach- miles of clean sand, shared only with residents of the hotel and local fishermen.

As for entertainment. There was little provided by the hotel, but the twice daily appearance of families of monkeys provided superb enjoyment for all of the family and an infinite array of photo and video opportunities.

Finally the staff were friendly, helpful and not inclined to seek favours.

Well done Pigeon Island!!

Perhaps by the time of our next visit, there will be easier road access to the area with the accompanying growth in tourists and facilities - but I hope not

Room Tip: Avoid room 304. The superior rooms have sea views and are slightly larger and better equipped. But w...
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank JohnGP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pigeon Island Beach Resort

Address: 11th Milepost, Nilaveli 31010, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Eastern Province > Nilaveli
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Nilaveli
Price Range: $75 - $144 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Pigeon Island Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 43
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pigeon Island is located north of Trincomalee, off Nilaveli, one of the finest beaches in Sri Lanka. It offers 43 rooms (A/C), including suite rooms all of which have mini bar, internet, satellite TV facilities as further entertainment. Some of its amenities include spa and fitness center for adults, and play area for children, reading corner, and a secure outdoor playground for children. Scuba Diving ,Snorkeling,Fishing, Trolling,Whale Watching, Dolphin Watching,Catamaran Yacht for daily rent out, Romantic Dinners organized by the resort on a yacht or at the Beach (through reservations) ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pigeon Island Hotel Nilaveli
Pigeon Island Beach Resort Sri Lanka/Eastern Province

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