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“Beautiful Grounds!”
Review of Amaya Lake

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Amaya Lake
Ranked #6 of 17 Hotels in Dambulla
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 24, 2005

Its now called Amaya Lakes Resort, was bought by large company in Colombo,Rooms are set in a park like setting and were beautiful,service in rooms is wonderful, but service in cafe was bad! and its sad because this is a beautiful resort . I wish I could say something nice re; service in cafe but cannot. I paid 118.00$ per nite I cannot say it was worth it, but their is only one other nice hotel in the area, so if it is full you are stuck! Call ahead and check area before you drive to Dambula, unless you are with a tour group (and I was not). Next stop Unawatuna!

1  Thank darjohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,131 - 1,137 of 1,582 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Calgary
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Reviewed October 23, 2005

This is one of the hotels I enjoyed the most in Sri Lanka. It is by far the best if you consider value for money as well. The spa services within the hotel are very well priced so take advantage of it before moving on.
They take care to maintain a serene, natural environment. The theme of the hotel is that of a Sinhala village. There is no TV. The AC, plumbing, etc all works, the service is good, the food is good and the evening entertainment was always muted and in good taste unlike most other resorts. For example in the evening go for a dip in the pool and a flutist will be playing softly in a small enclosure in the middle of the pool. The pool is a good size and clean.
My only complaint was being awoken by construction nearby by 7 in the morning (some people like to sleep in)! The front desk assured me that would not happen again but next morning the same thing happened.
It is difficult to get to - yes the roads are bad! You would be better off getting a full board option at the hotel itself. The first day we stayed on a BB basis and went into town to have lunch as we were visiting the caves and the fort as well. We found that a lunch from a good place cost us more than we were being charged at the Culture Club so we switched to full board. There are three ways to get to this hotel - one road is slightly better, of the remaining two, one is long and very very bumpy, the other is very scary (only wide enough room for one and half vehicles on a two lane road, which seems the norm in Sri Lanka but in this case the Kandalama lake is on one side so better trust your driver).
Oh and BTW the guy who stands under a tree near the restaurant is there to chase mercenary squirrels away from guests and more importantly their food!

  • Stayed: April 2005
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2  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2005

Stayed here for 8 days in July/August 2005. It's okay, and really there is not a great deal of choice.

Location is a problem - it's 10km down a very bumpy road and feels like you are going to the end of the earth.

Staff

When you arrive, women start playing drums outside the hotel. Check in was a little slow. Restaurant and bar staff were efficient, room staff a little too eager knocking on the door too many times each day to check on various things. There are people working in the gardens all day long, and one guy who just stood under a tree outside the restaurant. All day.

Communications

In room telephone was a problem. The staff told us there was no direct dial - you had to go through the operator each time, which we found out several days into the stay was incorrect. Internet in the "business centre" was S-L-O-W and expensive. Again, for several days we couldn't connect from the room until the staff figured out how to open the line!

Grounds

Really nice if space and wilderness are your thing. Pool looked good but was almost always unused.

Rooms

Okay. Bathrooms need better lighting and better cleaning each day. Rooms are basic but okay if you;re not there all day. No television at all.

Food

The menu here, as with every place we stayed in Sri Lanka, was terrible. You could get some decent things in the buffet but its operating hours were limited. Other than that you had a choice of sandwiches, samosas and spring rolls, all accompanied by french fries.

Ayurveda Centre

Had a facial here - it was totally relaxing which I needed the afternoon I arrived and realised that for the next week I would be completely cut off from the world. An extraordinarily stressful concept for me.

Entertainment

Nothing except a magic show! And not a good one.

I wouldn't like to stay here again, but it could be the best the region has to offer.

Not sure I'd advise people who were coming there for a holiday to make the long drive from Colombo. It gets boring quickly, and and it's too far from everything to come in only for a day or two. We were there for work and had no choice but to stay for the length of time we did.

  • Stayed: August 2005, traveled on business
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1  Thank coffeeisyourfriend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2005

This hotel is spread out so be prepared to walk a little but well worth it. It's got wildlife like chipmonks, big lizards etc roaming the resort. The rooms are basic but a good size and maintained very well. They make a great effort to keep it eco-friendly. No TV in the room. Buffet choice was good for all meals. Service is friendly but not in your face and we felt no pressure for tips. There was a safe in the room and good a/c. No kettle in the room. There is nice walk down to the lake, just watch out for those ants if you sit down for a rest! The kids playground is ok but I would suggest parental supervision as some swings old and can catch smal fingers. A great warm welcome and fond farewell. Just be prepared for the rough road down to the resort from the main road (not unusual for Sri Lanka), to give you an idea the last 10kn took us 35 minutes! Would stay there again, good value for money.

  • Stayed: July 2005
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2  Thank umlaith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2005

This place is fantastic! Located next to a big lake with great views all around. No traffic or towns are visible from the hotel, pure relaxation.

All the rooms (chalets rather) are independent units surrounded by tropical tree and plants. The hotel is very eco-friendly and is home to a huge variety of birds. All the rooms are spacious and well maintained and offers all facilities such as mini bar, cable tv and a large bathroom.

The Spa (Arurvedic!?) is unbelieveble. I had my treatment overlooking the jungle landscape with monkies in view. This is the best Spa I have seen because it is built completely in natural materials. The staff are so friendly and the prices are only half of what you would expect.

The restarants and bar are good with focus on buffet meals covering both international food as well as Sri Lankan dishes.

All in all if you want relaxation (maybe combined with some excurtions) this is the ultimate place! I will go back for sure.

  • Stayed: July 2005
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4  Thank CJF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2005

Stayed on year 2000 for 3 nights.
The Culture Club hotel is 1st one built by Connesaince group and it is one of the best hotel in this region (Lanka's Culture Triangle).
Only the Kandalama could beat this one.
Formely, Culture Club is 4-star resort with cottage like accomodations, hosted in the beautiful park near the atrificial lake (but made 500 years ago!). The place is really lovely and the views (especially at sun rise) are just fantastic! Hotel park is full of creatures - varans and chipmunks are most common. But don't be affraid, they are friendly and just showing "the best of jungle" specially for you :).
Service is align with the view and place - quite fast and very friendly and welcome to.
Pool and food are great too.
The pool is not the biggest one, but comfortable and clean, with small pool bar on the side. The Ayurveda center is excellent and worth every penny you spent (be sure to reserve it timely cause the demand is big).
Rooms are simple, but clean and elegant, they are looks like bungalows and grouped by 4 into a cottages with small and cosy terrace in the middle where you could seat by the evening and enjoy cocktail Ceylonian (arrak with lime) or fresh juice...
The food is very good quality and tasty too, with separate section for Lanka national cuisine. Fresh juices on breakfast - at least 3 kind of. National style evenings with open-air barbecue and traditional music are also common thing.
The hotel is good point for visiting Dambulla and Sigirya, also Pollonnaruva and Anuradhapura are not too far.
In summary - highly recommended.
If you looking for more luxurios accomodation go for Kandalama or even newest Elephant Corridor, but if you want something a bit cheaper, but still good value - I suggest Sigirya Village (but not the sister property Hotel Sigirya!).

  • Stayed: November 2000
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9  Thank xsauth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2005

Fabulous service, excellent facilities, great pool, fabulous rooms and tremendous food. Treat yourself to a massage. Use it as a base to visit Sigiriya, Anaradhapura and the Cave temples. The landscaped gardens on the lake are beautiful. Would recommend one day at least where you don't leave the resort.

We were there early December 2004. Rates good, we booked on spec.

  • Stayed: December 2004
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10  Thank Curtin
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
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: $92 - $348 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Amaya Lake 4*
Number of rooms: 101
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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