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“What a nasty, mean-spirited place.”
Review of Amaya Lake

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Amaya Lake
Ranked #6 of 16 Hotels in Dambulla
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 4, 2013 via mobile

Amaya is a large beautiful complex by the lake. The cabanas are overpriced for what they are, but they are well-appointed and clean. The food is also very good. Unfortunately the front desk staff seem indifferent and not particularly friendly. Perhaps it's because they work for such a mean-spirited company.

The management of this hotel is an embarrassment to the good people of Sri Lanka. The way they treated our driver was shameful, unethical and a throw back to the colonialist racism this country fought so hard to overcome.

How dare you refuse to let my driver play a simple game of billiards in the lobby, because he is a local. You tried to cover your pathetic, petty stance by saying the rule applied to drivers. What nasty rubbish this is. Over our 2-week tour of Sri Lanka, we had stayed at 7 hotels including Jetwing and Aitken Spencer hotels and at each of them our driver joined us for a game of billiards or two after dinner without any problem. Why does Amaya have such contempt for locals?

A good driver in Sri Lanka makes all the difference to your understanding of the country and the people. For many visitors he is the only real "local" person with which they will spend any significant amount of time.

The irony is that we were planning on staying elsewhere and it was he who recommended we go to the Amaya. What a charming way to treat the very people who bring you business.

If you are a traveller with a conscience, or believe that the local drivers should not be treated like 2nd class citizens, please vote with your money and go to another hotel.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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Thank OneSevenOne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 3, 2013

we just visit Amaya Lake Hotel for a Lunch! Food was good! a nice Hotel. The Pool area , Restaurant & public ares are very clean. it is a good nature resort to be. Friendly staff. Hope if we can go back & spend in that awesome place.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Nilakshika J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2013

We went to Amaya Lake for the first time. They welcome you with drums and traditional Sri Lankan way. The welcome Drink is very natural and tastes so great. The rooms, Pool, Dine-Ins, Buffet, the service, The Location, are all excellent. We really want to go there again. The Buffet was always fantastic. Delicious food. I will recommend anyone to go there. We were 30 people together and occupied 18 Rooms. We all were very impressed. Great Place!!!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Ravi E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012

Excellent hotel near the lake.
Lodges great, the surrounding areas perfect.
Wifi is free at lobby area.
The only drawback is that I got food poisoned. Fortunately an ayuverdic doctor gave me a bunch of ayuverdic medicines and recovered!

And the mattresses were awful... Unfortunately.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank andresit0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2012

It is a beautiful location but the resort has horrible service. It is impossible to get coffee or tea. 5 stuff people were just staying around and talking, we asked everyone of them, they politely asked for a room number but neither coffee or tea came for over 30 min. Italian food night was a disaster. It is easier to get a previously discussed cup of coffee then a pizza.

The rooms were dark, washroom sink smelled.

Will never come back.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank ITanya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

we arrive to find building works going on which has to be done at some point we accept but not at 7.30pm in the evening and on the entrance to the resturant !!!! service was none existent and i blame the lack of supervisors/ managers . we choose a bottle of wine from the bar off the xmas special list and found it very nice and thought we would repeat the order for dinner to be told sorry sir we are out of stock !!! bearing in mind this was their xmas special wine list and 2 or 3 days before xmas . We then chose a different wine which was fine. food was ok at dinner. Then we retired to the bar for a drink before going to bed and asked for 2 number Gin & Tonic's to be told sorry Sir we are sold out of Tonic water!!!! we decided to retire then. This i feel shows poor management and they need to grab hold of the situation . Next morning we went to breakfast to find it was cold !!! there was lots of staff on but no one had realised the burners underneath the food had all gone out !!!! i suggested it would be a good idea to re light to which there was a mad panic to sort.
i believe the hotel is under new ownership which explains some of it but makes no excuse for bad service & poor communication
We checked out and no one asked 'how was your stay, was everything ok' may be that was a Good Idea !!! it was as if they were not interested
Will Not Recommend or return

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank simon o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

This large property is spread out over some 40 plus acres on the shores of Lake Kandalama and although somewhat out of the way is in a beautiful location with magnificent pool and lush gardens rolling down to the lake itself.

It would appear that the property has recently changed ownership and is undergoing some long overdue refurbishment as many of the walkways have been recently reconstructed and the lobby was being re tiled during our 2 night stay.

As mentioned above, this is a big property with rooms scattered throughout the grounds, some being several hundred metres from reception, so we were somewhat surprised when we arrived on a rainy evening to be given the keys to our rooms and left totally to our own devices to find our accommodation and make our way there in the dark, notwithstanding that our group consisted of elderly as well as the very young and that 2 golf carts for this very purpose sat idly at the lobby. The dimly lit pathways disguise the fact that there are large drainage channels on either side, altogether a very dangerous and unsatisfactory situation.

Unfortunately our experience at the Amaya Lake did not improve in the 2 days we were there. Poor housekeeping, faulty appliances, leaky rooms and sewage smells all indicated an establishment where no one really cared too much until a complaint was made, and a property that was considerably below its claimed 4 star rating. The ultimate insult came when we returned from an afternoon excursion in the pouring rain only to find a hotel that had run out of umbrellas and the staff refusing to convey our elderly relatives the 200 metres to their room in the still idle buggys. This was eventually resolved after a complaint to management, however the situation should not have arisen in the first place.

As the property is quite isolated, there is little choice but to eat here. The buffet dinner offered is of reasonable quality with a selection of western, asian and local dishes, however once again the service is lacking and managing to get a cup of coffee at breakfast is akin to winning the lottery. On the other hand, finished plates are removed from the table with lightning rapidity.

In summary, this is a hotel that requires a lot of work to reach its potential and simply just putting new tiles in the foyer isn't going to do it. Poor accommodation infrastructure, presentation, staff attitude and training are all matters that need serious attention for this property to do justice to its location, and this certainly isn't going to happen overnight.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank ozwombat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Amaya Lake

Address: PO Box 12 Kandalama Dambulla | Cultural Triangle, Dambulla 21100, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Dambulla
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Dambulla
#3 Romantic Hotel in Dambulla
#3 Family Hotel in Dambulla
#4 Spa Hotel in Dambulla
#5 Luxury Hotel in Dambulla
Price Range: $90 - $295 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Amaya Lake 4*
Number of rooms: 125
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On the shores of enchanting Kandalama Lake, discover a lifestyle defined by tradition and natural splendour. Nestled amid 40 acres of lush forest, Amaya Lake preserves the aura of local historical treasures, creating a feeling of old-world Sri Lankan charm matched with modern luxury. Located in the heart of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle, the resort is the ideal base for exploring nearby wonders such as the ancient city of Anuradhapura and the Dambulla cave temples. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Amaya Lake Dambulla
Amaya Lake Hotel Dambulla

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