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“Paradise between mango trees and rice field”

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Thilanka Resort and Spa
Ranked #7 of 15 Hotels in Dambulla
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 11, 2009

Time of stay: 28. Febr. - 3.March. 2009

roomnumber: 206 (standard double room)
111 (deluxe double room)

rate: 80 EUR per room (including breakfast)


Pro:
+our choice for best hotel in Sri Lanka
+completely relaxed atmosphere
+very friendly staff
+40 meter pool! (in the middle of a rice field)
+very stylish (can compete with the most stylish hotels in Hamburg/Germany)
+excellent food
+great owner and hotel manager
+eco tourism (almost every food is from their own garden)
+Sri Lankan guides and drivers are treated very well
+outdoor bathtub even in standard room (delux room is not neccessary)
+internet access for 4 Eur/hour

Contra:
-some members of the staff are still learning how to be a part of a five star hotel

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank berndpitrowski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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373 - 379 of 536 reviews

Reviewed March 5, 2009

the entire resort is ideal for a relaxing holiday or as a spiritual retreat where you wake upto warm shafts of sunlight pouring in thru the huge glass windows where one can enjoy the glorious views of the many wonders of nature around !

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SYRNW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2009

We stayed here for 1 night during a tour of sri Lanka and were really disapointed with the place.
On first impressions it looked wonderful, a long path up to the reception lined by trees and surrounded by rice fields and mango orchards.
We were shown to our room, which was one of 4 rooms in a detached building. The room had massive floor to ceiling windows on 2 of the walls, which provided good views. The room itself was furnished quite modern, but the whole place smelt very strongly of mothballs! The bedside tables and the desk were made of concrete.
The bathroom was also a big concrete room. We were quite concerned as there was an electric shower which had all the electric wires running around the top of the shower room!
We had seen on the website that each room has its own private hot tub...what a let down. The hot tub was a big concrete bath! It was empty and the plug provided did not fit the plug hole! Even so the flow of water to fill it was so slow it would have taken much longer than our 1 night stay. The whole tub was also crawling with very large ants, so we didn't fancy getting in anyway! The view from teh tub also looked out onto teh back of the room and a pile of building rubbish!
The food in the hotel was good and was taken in the restaurant. However after ordering our starter and main course all the food was brought out together, rather than in seperate courses. It was the same at breakfast.
This hotel has the potential to be a wonderful retreat in the Sri Lankan countryside and on first appearances it is, however if you scratch the surface you soon see that everything is rushed and done cheaply. No where near as luxurious as the website suggests. I would also say that it is definatley not a place to take children as there were no safety bars on the balcony!

Stayed: May 2008
Thank cb83UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2008

My wife and I stayed at Thilanka's as it was recomended to us by a friend. The hotel is surrounded by rice fields and orchards and the manager was telling me they are aiming to be self sufficient.

It was a unique experience. After a quick check in we were shown to our chalet. Neat rooms with modern amennities. However we had some unexpected guests...creepy crawlies...so if bugs are not your thing then this place is not for you..

The rooms have a plunge pool but when we were at the place they were not clean and again more bugs so we opted not to use it.

Used the main pool though..and it was refreshing...had it all to myself..which is next to impossible these days at a hotel...

Food was average...since there were not many other guests..there was no buffet meals.

Staff were very nervous but eager to help..hardly spoke any English...The manager who was more comfortable saying he was training them and would require sometime to settle.

All in all it was a unique experience for us. Quiet and peaceful experience. Personnally i wouldn't stay here again...but if once wants to really experience Sri Lanka then one can spend a night at Thilanka's

It is in close promimity to the Sigriya Rock and Dumbullah Caves. Oh and do carry a flashlight at this place since it gets really dark at night especially walking back to the chalets from the main lobby area.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank Warren F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2008

My husband and I stayed at Thilanka Resort and Spa on the 12th of October and it was a truly satisfying stay for us. We enjoyed the welcome drink (which was fresh guava juice I think) and then the room was also very spacious and comfortable with our very own plunge pool (which we never expected!)
The greatest surprise was how they served lunch. We were served a tempered rice in a lotus leaf which was very authentic, very Sri Lankan. It was like going back in time in these days of ultra modernization. They are also implementing home gardening and also served us fresh garden produce.We had a truly wonderful day at the resort. We would like to thank the staff for their pleasant service. We will definitely visit again.
Dr. & Dr(Mrs) C.D.Ekanayake

Stayed: October 2008
Thank Dhilma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2008

Stayed here for 3 days. Hotel quite empty, perhaps because of the recent bus bomb nearby. A truly beautiful small -scale "boutique style" hotel which is convenient for Dambulla and Sigiriya cultrual sites. Contemporary rooms with funky style touches. ( Polished concrete walls, oversized prints, private out door plunge pools.) The pool is a highlight, it's long enough to swim properly in and quite uniquely in my experience, goes in to the reception and bar area !

Unfortunately, I have to include some "buts" to my review. Scratch beneath the slick designer-chic surface and the service was appalling. Staff, whilst eager to please, lacked confidence and seemed poorly trained or prepared for answering very basic questions in English. Breakfast service was particularly badly organised, 3 waiters milling around looking stressed even with only 2 guests. One morning we had to ask 5 times for tea and the food when it arrived was completely different to what we ordered.

Coffee cups in the room not taken away or cleaned over our stay. Mini bar not restocked after taking water from it - note unusually for Sri Lanka there is no complimentary drinking water in the room and the mark up on the bottled water is quite large !

The chef/head waiter. ( I was not sure what his role was.) was much more at ease in communicating with customers. Food is very good, as in many places in Sri Lanka, they have a tendency to make the food overly bland for Western taste buds. If you like it a bit spicy, ask and they are happy to oblige.

The manager was sympathetic l when we raised our concerns, explaining that he was training a new staff and indeed on our last day things went more smoothly as he was on hand during breakfast. Maybe we got them on a bad day, but this place has been open since 2006, they should have ironed out such glitches by now and as paying guests you don't want to feel you are being used as guinea pigs

In short. I would recommend this place, it really is special. But give the staff training time to bed down!

  • Stayed: February 2008
    • Value
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1  Thank lbf12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2008

The resort is set in a tea and mango plantation and they have a very limited number of rooms. It was so quiet and peaceful and the food was amazing. They would ask us what we would like for the evening and we were not disappointed for any meal.

The pool is beautiful but not very practical for children - no ladder or shallow areas.

The rooms are finished concrete and featured an open-sky jacuzzi tub. Really relaxing.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled with family
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Thank nancyclaxton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Thilanka Resort and Spa

Address: 51 Godawalayaya | Morogollawa, Dambulla 21100, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Dambulla
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Dambulla
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Dambulla
#4 Family Hotel in Dambulla
Price Range: $52 - $279 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Thilanka Resort and Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Boutique hotel- 24 luxury Suites with AC, fan, TV, DVD, mini bar, safe, telephone, WIFI, jacuzzi or plunge pool. Ayurveda spa, restaurant, bar, swimming pool, tennis and colleyball located in a 25 acre orchard with 2 rivers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Thilanka Hotel Dambulla

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