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“recommendation for those who like for lovely service”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of The Surf Hotel

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The Surf Hotel
Ranked #6 of 21 Hotels in Bentota
italy
1 review
“recommendation for those who like for lovely service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 2, 2013

My wife and i were stay in several hotels in down south area of Sri Lanka during our vacation.among all those hotels, the surf was the best.staff is very friendly and polite, personalized service.food is so tasty.And we were warmly welcome by receptionist Kalpani, if i not mistaken her name.Cleanliness is excellent in overall hotel as well as in the rooms. Totally we are happy with service and the location and hope to satay again in future.only bitter thing is car park is very far.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank sasakodi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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797 reviews from our community

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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
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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dd
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2013

Great location , Excellent staff we stayed there for two weeks and it was fantasic , Cheap rates and the rooms cleanliness were superb up to the standards and food is really taste !We are glad that did not miscalculate with the choice of this wonderful place!Next year again here in Bentota - Sri Lanka hotel THE SURF!All we recommend

Room Tip: Upper floor rooms
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank sassh d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
Level Contributor
45 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2013

We booked with booking.com. The conditions of our booking were that no pre-payment was to be made, we would pay the hotel on arrival. The terms stated the hotel may pre-authorise the card prior to arrival. I always book with booking.com and have come across hotels pre-authorising the card on arrival but never before. I could understand a day before maybe but I received notification from my credit card that it had been charged six days before we were due to arrive. Not a pre-authorisation but full charge! I did not intend to pay with my credit card, I had the cash in dollars to pay with. I find it totally unacceptable that they would violate the terms of my booking with booking.com and not give me a choice about how I wanted to pay the bill. When I emailed them after getting the notification from the credit card company the email I received back was most unhelpful saying this is booking.com's policy and I should complain to them. Absolutely NOT TRUE! I will be complaining to booking.com about the hotel.
This was not the only problem I had with the hotel before I had even arrived. Ten days before arrival I was receiving calls from a foreign number ringing once and then hanging up. This happened four times before I sat with the phone in my hand and pressed answer to make them talk to me. Through very poor English I was able to discern it was someone claiming to be from the trip desk at the surf, did I need car? Driver? Airport pick up? The next day again I received one of these missed calls. When I emailed the company in charge of the hotel to say if they want to contact me and find out arrival information etc they should email me then i know it is the hotel trying to contact me. I received a one word reply: sorry. When I mentioned it in a direct email to the receptionist when querying the charge she denied it was them, saying they did not have my contact number. Reading between the lines I believe someone working at the hotel had passed my number on to a friend to try and get some driver business. This is unacceptable if it is the case, however as the hotel could not have cared less they did not ask for the number that had called me to investigate.
I found all dealings with staff on the front desk to have the same 'can't be bothered' attitude. Which is a shame as the others in the bar etc were very polite.

Because of these problems we were not looking forward to our stay. However when we arrived this is what we found:
Rooms: we had a standard room on the third floor which had a lovely sea view and two loungers squashed on should you want to stay on the balcony to relax. I was very jealous of the people who had ground floor rooms by the pool so they could swim up to their terrace and the terraces were larger than the balconies. I know this would have it's disadvantages as they are not private and may get some noise from the pool but for us it would have been ideal for us. The rooms were adequate for the purpose, a little small and basic with small problems such as the mini bar being locked when we arrived and despite the male receptionist showing us this and saying this will be opened it never was until one of the staff making up the room opened it for us to chill the remainder of a bottle of wine we had. The mini bar has no food or chocolate only drinks, many of which require a bottle opener, which was not provided in our room. But otherwise the room was fine.

A problem of being poolside and not having a ground floor room is using the toilet as the only toilet is in the bar in the lobby. No poolside facilities or in any of the restaurants.

Food: this was our major disappointment. The breakfast was average. Fair choice but just average in quality, buffet style.
We ate at the pool cafe restaurant two days and the food really needs improvement. The choice is not great and the quality of the food that arrived was average to poor. My husband had to remove the burger out of his beef burger as it was so dry, hard and disgusting. We would have loved to see some Sri Lankan dishes on the menu. Or the good old staple of a pool cafe -pizza. After two days of disappointment we started walking next door to the Avani to use their pool cafe where the food was of a better standard. As we were not impressed with breakfast and the lunches at the pool cafe we did not eat in the restaurant ( we were b&b) on an evening. We went next door to the Avani Thai restaurant which was very nice, and the buffet at the Avani was good too. We also ate at the bentota beach hotel but would not recommend the food there either. One night we would have liked to stay in the resort and order rooms service but the room service menu is the same menu as the pool cafe :( we would also maybe have tried the seafood restaurant which looked nice with its position on the beach but I do not like seafood so this was not an option as it was exclusively seafood. A suggestion could be adding a vegetarian option or chicken option.

Setting and location: bentota beach is lovely although no beach side cafes or restaurants only other hotels although we did discover that if you go out the front of the hotel and use the railway bridge to cross the tracks there may be some reasonable local restaurants away from the beach but we discovered this too late to try any. The surf's grounds are gorgeous and it is unique in the view that it provides. The large grass area gives a beachfront feel which no other hotel on the beach gives. This was the reason I chose the surf over the avani and I stand by my decision, despite food and service issues at the surf. Being able to see the sea from your poolside was very relaxing. The avani and other hotels are masked by trees spoiling the view. The pool area was lovely with very nice loungers and umbrellas.

The hotel seemed to be full of Russian tourists when we were there. I would say 90% of the other guests we saw any how. These are on full board or all inclusive packages and I believe this has contributed to the lack of personal or special service as they know they are going to get these package deals no matter what the service or the food is like.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank agathaDubai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2013

One of the loveliest hotels I have stayed in. The hotel is recently refurbished and better than the photos on trip advisor. The beach is fantastic but beware of the sea and the under current. The food is good but the service at the pool bar and room service was not always consistent. The staff were friendly and helpful.

Room Tip: We had a room on the first floor which had a fantastic view of the sea and the lovely sunsets.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank adventures2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High Wycombe
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2013

This was the final hotel of our tour and we had chosen it for four relaxing beach days at the end of our trip. The location is fabulous, right on the beach with uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean. The hotel has been recently refurbished and is very simple and stylish in decor. The staff are very friendly and welcoming, especially the restaurant waiters and the reception ladies, one of whom, helped me to tie a sarong successfully. There are a few teething problems. The rooms were not made up until 3 pm on a couple of days. Not a problem if out and about but something which should really be done in the morning. The bar lacked atmosphere, on one evening we were the only people in there. It could be because it is an internal bar and would have been better placed with beach or pool views. Another little niggle was that the fruit juice was not fresh, more of a cordial and we had been used to drinking some lovely fresh juices at the other hotels, especially the king coconut jiuce. Having said that the standard of hotel and the situation more than made up for this. The beach is lovely and you can walk a very long way in both directions. There are a few beach sellers, but they are just trying to make a living and when you say 'no thanks' they don't bother you again. It's possible to walk along the beach and within 10 minutes there is a turtle hatchery. Lots of babies and you can if you like, realease them into the sea after dark. We had a 'deluxe room' on the first floor and the balcony is just great, a small table, a couple of chairs and padded sun loungers, it was fabulous looking out over the Ocean at the sunset! The ground floor rooms also have sun loungers and direct access to the beach (although not so much privacy). There are also rooms that have direct access to the swimming pool and you could swim straight upto your patio (less private though). All together in our experience, a great place to stay.

Room Tip: Depends what you like. First floor rooms have best views and privacy. Ground floor has direct beach...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Justmoving1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moratuwa, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2013

I enjoyed only the one night last weekend here over Poya with my husband and friends. Having stayed in various resorts on the south coast of Sri Lanka over the last 8 years, this one was a pleasure to stay at. Recently renovated, the rooms are furnished with a very comfortable bed, flat screen TV, tea & coffee making facilities, a beautiful bathroom and all rooms have fantastic views of the beach many also which overlook one of the two huge pools.

Rooms were clean and staff friendly.

The beach appears to stretch for miles and as the resort is somewhat set back one can sit and enjoy the views. As we find with many resorts, guests get up early and quickly place a towel and book etc. on sunbeds to reserve them, so often when you come down for a swim at the pool finding somewhere to sit can be a problem (even though there may be very few guests around, having gone for a meal or back to their rooms). Be sure to look for the pool attendants and they will source a sunbed for you.

Buffet meals were satisfactory with a mix of western as well as local dishes on offer. There appeared to be sufficient quantity, with the chef bringing out even more food during midday lunch when it appeared very few guests were dining (having selected half board). Restaurant staff were also very helpful, quick to bring finger bowls for those that enjoy local dished the traditional way, and quick to clean away plates etc.

Only complaint was that we weren't free to stay another night or for the rest of the week, but we'll definitely come back here to stay again soon!

Room Tip: Get a ground floor room, it would be much easier than trecking through inside the hotel with sand or...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SarahMel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2013

This hotel has great potential but until the management starts to 'manage' the staff it has no chance. Our room was fabulous, overlooking the beach with a private patio area & 2 sunbeds. We stayed for 3 nights at the end of our tour of the Island. On our second day we had to ask for the room to be made up; the shower gel etc were not replenished during our stay and neither were the tea bags. The buffet was nearly all gone by 8pm and althought the restaurant is open till 10pm it was not replenished. We attempted to eat in the seafood restaurnt on our second night but were told that as we were a group of 16 we would need to pre-order. We waited in reception for a waiter to bring menus - he brought one. We ordered at 3pm for 8pm and despite arriving on time we waited another hour for the food which was cold and most people didn't get what they had ordered. This is not the fault of the staff as they were doing the best they could. Management, for goodness sake get a grip on what is going on.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank grandmasooze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Surf Hotel

Property: The Surf Hotel
Address: Beach Road, Bentota, Bentota 80500, Sri Lanka (Formerly Lihiniya Surf Hotel)
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Bentota
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Bentota
#5 Luxury Hotel in Bentota
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Bentota
#6 Family Hotel in Bentota
#9 Romantic Hotel in Bentota
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — The Surf Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 95
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Also Known As:
The Surf Bentota Hotel Bentota
Lihiniya Surf Bentota
Hotel Lihiniya Surf
Lihiniya Surf Hotel

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