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“Heaven on Earth” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Nilaveli Beach Hotel

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Nilaveli Beach Hotel
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Nilaveli
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Heaven on Earth”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 16, 2013 via mobile

I stayed at the Nilaveli beach hotel on a holiday to celebrate both my Mum's 70th birthday, and the fact that my parents had met on the Nilaveli beach some 32 years before, (at the Moonlight Beach hotel now sadly destroyed by the civil war). They loved the place so much then that they named me Nila after it, and 32 years later that stretch of beach and the Nilaveli beach hotel which serves it so beautifully is every bit as magical as I have grown up imagining it to be. As a previous reviewer has said, this hotel and it's staff and managers have been to hell and back in the last few years with the Civil war and tsunami, and their spirit and love for the place and what it represents echoes through the Nilaveli beach hotel. It is more than just a place and a means of employment. A lot more.

I have heard the hotel described as basic - perhaps in comparison to some of the monstrosities in Dubai and similar places, but if you are visiting that region that is clearly not what you are looking for, in which case I can't imagine the rooms or hotel - for any traveller being anything other than perfect. Clean, spacious, extremely comfortable, beautiful views, and cleaned both morning and evening by absolutely lovely warm staff.

The Nilaveli has the perfect mix of care and exoticism while making you feel like you are at home.

I could honestly go on for hours singing the praises of this magical place, but in a nutshell the food is fantastic, the setting is breathtaking, the rooms ideal and most of all the staff - particularly Raj and Suda who we shared a very enjoyable boat trip with - and all their colleagues, were completely delightful. Leaving felt like leaving home and old friends behind. I cannot recommend it highly enough and would urge anyone to visit - as soon as possible and again and again!

When i cant sleep at night i imagine i am lying in one of the hammocks nestled in the trees in the hotel on the edge of the beach, looking out to sea. We certainly will be going back as soon as possible, I missed the place as soon as I left.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gwen98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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431 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (76)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2013

Stayed here for 2 days to relax on the beach and visit Pigeon Island, but was disappointed by overall experience. It is well located on the beach and there is a nice big pool to relax by, but everything else could have been improved.
The aircon rooms were overpriced, so went for the much cheaper non air con rooms.
The room we got was basic but good value for money.
We felt the staff weren't very helpful or flexible and the food was nothing to write home about.
There is not much other choice in Nilaveli, but would recommend Uppaveli for better accommodation, although the beach isn't as nice there

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mark S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2013

We didn't stay at the hotel but went to the beach cafe for dinner. Ordered two medium rare stakes and got two rock hard dried pieces of meat. Didn't eat more than two bites. We told the server that this is not what we ordered, but they didn't do anything. The one guy who didn't specify how he wanted his stead cooked got it medium rare. Terrible service if they can't get a simple order straight.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank Dile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 5, 2013

Nilaveli offers basic but comfortable and reasonably priced accommodation (no WiFi) and warm and spontaneous hospitality. I stayed in an upstairs luxury room. The hotel blends in well with the wonderful surroundings and offers great access to Nilaveli beach. It has a shady and spacious garden and a beach restaurant that serves good sea food at reasonable prices. This is a simple and unpretentious hotel which offers a very luxurious experience. The hotel complements the natural beauty of the location instead of drawing attention to itself-and really, that is the best approach, given the breathtaking beach and cerulean waters of Nilaveli.

My affection for the hotel only increased when I learned a little about its history. Started in about 1973, it has survived both a devastating civil war and the tsunami. The hotel has clearly been a labor of love for the owners, the Ondaatijie family who have nurtured it through all these setbacks-paying the staff even when the hotel was closed for long periods. It maintains the character of a `family hotel’ and long serving staff such as Mr Phillip and Mr Siva are fiercely loyal and proud of the hotel and its tradition of hospitality-so if you have any problems, speak to them and they will do their best to fix things. Even if the rooms are basic, the location and character of the hotel make it a unique experience, and for me at least, no modern conveniences will substitute. I’ll be returning to this hotel, no matter what attractions and architectural innovations are offered by the grand new hotels that loom.

I think the hotel buffet food-certainly, the local Sri Lankan food such as thosai, ambul thiyal etc-have improved since my last visit. And unlike many five star hotels, the curries varied from day to day depending on the main dish.

The Nilaveli Crab Curry is superb-but please note, that for reasons best known to carcinologists, crabs tend to have less flesh around the time of the full moon.

Pigeon Island is very enjoyable.

Get to Nilaveli before it becomes another Pasikudah which now has/will have fourteen hotels lining what was a beautiful beach.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank hdgehog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
246 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 3, 2013

Unfortunately I didn't stay at the hotel, but me and a friend both had excellent meals in the restaurant overlooking the beautiful beach. The food was really extremely good and very reasonably priced.

The swimming pool looked amazing and Ill certainly look into staying here if I visit Trinco again.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank UKbadiabranca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
47 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 3, 2013

For someone who enjoys unspoilt beaches and pampering, Nilaveli Beach Hotel is the perfect destination.

I visited this hotel with my family and some friends from 4th to 7th April and had the most relaxing holiday.

From the very prompt and efficient check in which was handled by Mr Sudha, We were escorted to our rooms by Mr Fareed who has has been employed here since the 1970s

We chose the sea facing delux rooms which are tastefully decorated and is equipped with a very powerful air conditioner, minibar, satelite TV, coffee and tea making facilities etc.

The white sandy beach is perfect for children to play and the ocean was very calm with life guards on duty. One can not resist the turquoise blue water afterwhich a tropical cocktail at the beach bar is a must.

The very efficient and freindly staff were always at our beck and call and very accomodating of all our needs inclduing our children's eternal demands for snacks and soft drinks.

Special mention must be made of Mr Siva the restaurant captain who was always around to serve us with a smile.

We decided to stay on half board basis and asked the chef to surprise us with his pick of sea food specialities for lunch which he did to our complete delight.

Dinner was a set menu comprising fusion cuisine both eastern and western including fresh sea food and all prepared with attention to detail which is something that is lacking in many larger hotels.

The hotel has tennis and vollyball courts. A fully equipped scuba diving centre is loated within the premises which seemed quite busy with guests clammering to sign up for courses and to go on the two scheduled dives for the day.

We enjoyed our excursion to Pigeon Island which was arranged by the hotel in their modern passenger craft and snorkelling was very good with sightings of reef shark and turtle.

The only area which the hotel is lacking is a spa, however the manager assured me that the this too would be available the next time we visit the property.

Room Tip: Deluxe Sea Facing Rooms
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank vish_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
130 reviews
86 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 25, 2013

My first visit to this hotel and I was not disappointed. It had been rebuilt after the Tsunami and had clean and confortable rooms with all the required amenities (T.V, A/C, Mini bar etc) and in a great location with an absolute beach frontage.
This is one of the oldest hotels in the area and appears to be often overlooked in favour of other newer hotels closer to Trincomalee town.
It is a great place to unwind and the food and customer service is faultless. Hope to stay there again.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Roamingspirit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nilaveli Beach Hotel

Property: Nilaveli Beach Hotel
Address: Nilaveli, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Eastern Province > Nilaveli
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Nilaveli
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Nilaveli Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 45
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Nilaveli Beach Hotel Sri Lanka/Eastern Province

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