We travelled to Bentota on the 2nd of June 2009 for 10 days. The hotel was very grand when we arrived and we were very expectant. The lobby and longing areas and in fact all the outside areas of the hotel are immaculate and very impressive.
We were shown to our room (308) which had a sea view and balcony with air conditioning. It was a very poor quality room. It had mould on the net behind the curtains (a kind of lining) and all over the walls. It was dirty in the bathroom too with rust and dirt marks visible on the bath and taps.
We have stayed in a 2* hotel in Goa last year and that was much cleaner and nicer!
I was very disappointed and immediately requested to move, which was granted. The room wasn't much better but we grinned and bore it due to the fact that our flight out there was cancelled and we'd already lost over 24 hours of our holiday.
The facilities in the hotel are excellent, there is a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi which is all free of charge for hotel guests on quoting your room number. They also have a table tennis and games area which we used throughout our stay. (The quality of the table wasn't great but hey we had fun!)
The pool and poolside area is also immaculately kept and very clean and we swam in it an relaxed around the pool almost every day.
The beach is very close, literally about 30 second stroll out of the grounds, and is lovely to sit and watch the sun either come up or go down, however, it is quite dirty with all the litter that was strewn on the grasssy areas at the other side of the sea. I was slightly disappointed with the lack of blue sea too as it was very murky and grey looking.
I would definitely avoid this area of Sri Lanka if activities and nightlife are a part of your holiday as this area offered neither of those things to us.( A 28 yr old male and 25 yr old female) Instead we found 1 nice restaurant and made that our "local" at which we ate 4 nights out of the 9. It was superb there, lovely setting and really nice food, especially the fresh seafood, and we enjoyed the hospitality of the friendly waiters. This was called the Golden Grill and is a short tuk-tuk ride away from the hotel.
The only other notable place we ate was Amal which was also a really good night.
Tuk-tuk's are great but no short journey (15 minutes total) should cost much more than 200 rupees. Food is quite cheap but we would still manage to spend £15-20 a night on a meal and drinks so not much cheaper than here!
Tea and coffee are good presents and a little note for ladies - take sanitary precautions with you just in case as you cannot buy applicator/non-applicators in many places in Sri Lanka, or at least we couldn't find any anywhere anyway!!
We did take a trip to the turtle sanctuary which we did not arrange through the tour operators. We just asked our tuk-tuk driver to take us and he charged us 200rps to take us there and bring us back. It was another 200rps each for entry and for that we walked around the sanctuary and were shown lots of turtles at several different ages. We held the baby ones and saw where they bury their eggs to hatch them too. We could have gone back to watch them being released that night but we were flying home so be sure to go a few days before you leave and ask to watch them being released into the sea!
The main disappointment of this stay was that the weather wasn't great. We had only 3 full days of sunny, hot weather with the rest being overcast, cloudy and grey. We had several downpours, and I know before you say it that it's monsoon season!, but most places that suffer from the monsoons we have already visited are still hot enough and dry enough in parts to enjoy a holiday but not here. We came back to glorious weather here and then wished that we'd have just had 2 weeks in Devon instead!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sri Lanka is referred to as a ‘small miracle,’ for despite the island’s relatively small size, its natural wonders and beauty are in abundance. Vivanta by Taj – Bentota is located on the south west coast of Sri Lanka. The hotel lies over a lush hill that overlooks the Indian Ocean. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vivanta By Taj - Bentota Hotel Bentota
- Taj Exotica Hotel Bentota
- Bentota Taj Exotica Hotel
- Taj Exotica Sri Lanka
- Taj Exotica Srilanka
- Taj Exotica Bentota