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“The best hotel in Sri Lanka? Very possibly.”

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Asian Jewel Boutique Hotel
Ranked #4 of 27 Hotels in Hikkaduwa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 28, 2010

When the Icelandic Volcanic Ash Cloud of April 2010 left us stranded at the Asian Jewel, we were not exactly distraught about the situation; we realised by then that we really couldn't have found a better place in the world to be stranded. And, this is not just due to the luxurious, detailed rooms, top quality food and great surroundings (which are all superb), but more due the overall sense of superlative comfort and belonging that Dale and Tanya have managed to create. When you are first greeted by Tanya, Dale and all the staff after your 3.5 hour road trip from the airport, you can perhaps be forgiven for thinking that all the hugs, hand shaking and overall pampering is a bit too good to be true or even a bit over the top; but it doesn't take you very long to realise that this is all very genuine, and Dale and Tanya are actually genuinely very pleased to have you be part of their life for a few days and looking forward to you experiencing their wonderful hotel.
At 5 rooms, this is not a large hotel, but this really works in everyone's favour, as you really do get to feel part of the whole place, whether that's sharing a few beers with the other guests, playing scrabble with Tanya (watch her, she's good) or chatting with Dale as he gives you some very useful advise and assistance in planning excursions and trips to local restaurants etc, and generally helping you make the most of your stay.

So anyhow, here are our comments:

* ROOMS: Excellent all round, very clean and spacious, great beds and bathrooms and wonderfully decorated to high standards and levels of detail in appropriate Asian themes.

* LOCATION: Not on the beach, but about a mile inland overlooking a fantastic lake. Its in a peaceful setting accessible by dirt track, which is all part of the experience and charm. Beach and town area are accessible by 5 minute tuk-tuk ride (about €3 return for 3 persons), which Dale or Tanya will arrange for you using drivers that work directly for them. The location meant that you were not far away from giant monitor lizards, monkeys, rat snakes, fruit bats and a large variety of birds; all of which were seen on the immediate lanes outside the hotel.

* FACILITIES: Great pool, good selection of books and DVDs, lounge with nice flatscreen TV, nice veranda area to sit having a few beers in the evening. You really don't need much more.

* SERVICE: Top quality, excellent, friendly attentive staff; Cyril, Anora, Servash etc - everyone a character in their own right. The right balance of being attentive without hovering around you all the time. Fantastic service and assistance from Tanya and Dale (both of whom helped, without being asked to, contact airlines etc when we first heard of the Ash Cloud). Overall, you'd be hard pressed to find a better, more genuine service and better staff. Top marks.

* FOOD: We love our food and having visited a number of local restaurants in Hikkaduwa, Galle, Kandy and Colombo (include 5 start hotels) would clearly state that the food at the Asian Jewel tis the finest we experienced on the island. Great variety, excellent quality and very well presented. The chef came out to see you most evening as he obviously took great pride in his work, and would even cook you dishes that were not on the menu if you asked. Again top marks.

* EXCURSIONS: Dale’s your man for arranging some great excursions from the Asian Jewel ; We did a great day trip to a local lake safari (lots of wildlife, Buddhist temple, Cinnamon island) coupled with a visit to a turtle sanctuary and the Tsunami Museum, We also did a day trip to Uda Walawe National Park for a safari (great experience, lots of elephants, worth the drive, but very hot if you go mid day – unsurprisingly!), trips to Galle (Fort, Shopping, superb local Unawatuna beach). Just getting in a tuk-tuk and going for a 30 minute local drive through local jungle roads, paddy fields and plantations is a fantastic excursion too.

* FAMILY: We came with our three children aged 17, 14 and 11. They loved it, spent a lot of time in the pool, watched DVDs in the evening, played board games with us and other guests, chatted with Dale and Tanya, etc. Got a little bored in last few days when things dragged on because we could not get a date for our return flight (we came for 7 days, and ended up staying 11 at Asian Jewel).

* CLIENTELE: We were very fortunate to have shared the hotel with some fantastic fellow guests who seemed to appreciate the hotel as much as we did (in fact, both sets of guests took the option of a 3.5 hour drive to return to the Asian Jewel when their flights were cancelled rather than stay at a hotel a bit nearer the airport – we had a great ‘reunion’ party that night!).

In all, the hotel really does deserve all the great commendations it gets from other Tripadvisor guests. Dale and Tanya really have created something that they are quite rightly be very proud of and are the most excellent hosts you’re likely to meet.

The best hotel in Sri Lanka? Very possibly.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank Bill-n-Remzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 23, 2010

Excellent accommodation at a very fair price ; food to match and healthy beverage servings! Tanya and Dale are very helpful and friendly and so are their staff .The kids cannot wait to get back & neither can I !

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with family
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Thank nickingib
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2010

A great thanks to Tanya and Dale for our Easter break. The Asian Jewel is a beautiful boutique style hotel with the nicest decorated rooms we have stayed in. From the moment we arrived we were welcomed like friends. Thanks to Anora and Ceril who were never too far away from our tinkling bell to bring "brown water" (beer) to refresh us by the pool. The food was excellent and Servash was always happy to prepare something not on the menu if required, the breakfast fruit platter was delicious and we are now on diets!!
Although the hotel is not at the beach there are tuk tuk drivers just a call away who will transport you to the beach;spiceshops;Galle etc.
We did a 3 day tour to begin with organised by Dale which was good, I think we might have spread this over 4 days as there was a lot of travelling, if you are going to the tea plantations avoid a Sunday as the pickers are not there (day off) and also the factory is not in full production.
We were "stuck in Sri Lanka" by the volcanic erruption and thanks to Gamini coming to our rescue and coming back to the airport for us we returned to the Asian Jewel for our second holiday (9 days delay!). Tanya and Dale were waiting for us with a sandwich and beer at midnight, and even postponed their own holiday and made our stay so fab. They did numerous phone calls to the airlines for all the stranded guests to help re-scedule flights etc.
Thanks also to all the staff who delayed their own holidays to stay on and look after us (again).
If you are planning a trip to Sri Lanka and fancy a personal and relaxing break then we could not recommend the Asian Jewel enough.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank t4zz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2010

Our party of 9 travelled to the Asian Jewel for our wedding and stayed 16 nights.
It is very difficult to summarize our experience at this wonderful hotel other than to say it was more than we could of hoped wished for
All the arrangements were taken care of before we arrived by the our hosts Dale and Tanya, and their wonderful staff, all we had to do was turn up !, On the day the hotels grounds were transformed into an oasis of flowers with singing Sri Lanka girls and Kandy Dancers. Dale and Tanya really made sure that we experienced moments that we just could not have achieved in the UK, photographs on the beach with the sun setting and and a fantastic speed boat ride and beautiful candlelit wedding supper.
As the No.1 small hotel in Sri Lanka of course you expect high standards which Dale and staff constantly exceeded, we had four rooms all of which were beautifully furnished by Tanya who as an eye for interior room design that Linda Barker would be be envious of. Every day fresh orchids adorned the bedrooms, the sweet smell of cinnamon signalled Kamal had once again spotless cleaned our room.
We ate every night at the Hotel, the menu was extensive, competitive in price and the Chef Sarath was happy to produce any variation which was a godsend when you had children aged 9 and 13.
Dales knowledge and contacts are extensive, from Tuk Tuk drivers, Jewellers . river safaris to Diving clubs what ever we wanted his introduction ensured we had a fantastic time at a fair price.
Our heartfelt thanks to Tanya the children adored her she is a genuinely warm lady, to Sunni for all his help with the translations and driving on our wedding day, to Ceril who never stopped smiling and all the other wonderful staff who made the experience unforgetable
We hope to see all you all next

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
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Thank iceman1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2010

We were several times over the years in the quiet and wonderful Hotel in front of the Bird Lake. Tan and Dale are always around with the best service we ever had. Food, Rooms, Pool - perfect. See you again for sure!

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank reborn06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2010

Like being home from home spent 3 week's here dale and tanya the best host's you could ask for the food was wonderful the staff perfect,nothing was to much trouble we came out for a family wedding for the price you would never get half of it back home they absolutly went out of there way for you ,
the area the locals the beach you couldet really wish for a better place had my 9 year old daughter with me and was worried she would be bored but not once did she complain not once
all fresh home cooked food, the staff you couldent realy class them as staff they made you so welcome always quick to help they became more like friends
all teh hassel was taken out of everything from trips to currency exchanges there drivers knew exactly where to take you and help you haggle for the best deal, every where you look teh rooms are full of flower's which i though was just for teh first day but it was everyday flowers on your bed it was luxery in a developeing country ,all i can say is thank you to all for what they had done for us truely was a holiday i'll never forget don't take my word for it take a look yourself
look it up on face book and take a look at teh pictures i will miss wakeing up and streing over the lagoon ;/

i will say sri lanka is not sumwhere i would of chosen for a hoilday but so glad i went will be returning next year

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank clair69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2010

We went to The Asian Jewel to celebrate my brother's wedding and have nothing but good things to say about it. The Asian Jewel and it's staff are brilliant!
Beautiful rooms and garden - a pleasure to relax in and soak up the Sri Lankan sun. So restful with only the odd Tuc Tuc to disturb the peace and quiet. Great views of the Lagoon - such a lovely setting.
Dale, Tanya & staff are very accomodating and strive to make your holiday as special as it can be. Nothing seemed too much trouble. Their attention to detail is impeccable and I couldn't recommend it enough.
We had a great holiday, many thanks!

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank BowerHull_U_K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Asian Jewel Boutique Hotel

Address: Lane 3field View Baddegama Road | Nalagasdeniya, Hikkaduwa 80240, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Hikkaduwa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Hikkaduwa
#3 Romantic Hotel in Hikkaduwa
Price Range: $64 - $125 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Asian Jewel Boutique Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Due to its unique location, the Asian Jewel Hotel, Hikkaduwa - Sri Lanka combines the best of both worlds. Enjoy the tranquility and serenity of the picturesque Bird Lake while being just 2 km inland from Hikkaduwa, one of Sri Lanka's oldest and most established beach resorts. Ever since the very early days of travel, Sri Lanka has been known as one of the world’s most beautiful, diverse and exotic holiday destinations. So, what are you waiting for? ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Asian Jewel Boutique Hikkaduwa
Hotel Asian Jewel Boutique

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