After a fantastic 6 day tour of Sri Lanka we were looking forward to a week of rest and relaxation by the beach and we were not disappointed! Although located right on the main road, once through the front door the hotel is a little gem! Not a 5 star palace, but then it does not claim to be. It is a friendly and welcoming place that could easily be worthy of 4 stars once all the renovations are complete. The location on the sea side is amazing with the most beautiful views of the sea and all the glass bottomed boats and although you can occasionally hear the traffic on the main road, it is certainly not a problem as the rooms all face the other way! In fact the sea is noisier than the cars! The friendly service is very good although food was a little slow at the bar at lunchtime-by European standards, but then you're on holiday, so we shouldn't be in a hurry. However the waiters in the main restaurant are the opposite, clearing your plates almost before you've finished, and all the other staff by the pool or gate were very attentive. The rooms are clean and in good condition and they are cleaned twice a day - thoroughly each morning and then briefly again with a turn down service. Although the wifi does not work in the rooms which would have been good, it works well in the main reception areas and by the pools and in the garden. The two pools are lovely and very often we were the only people in them. The food is very good, with a wide selection each night in the buffet and wine is about £10 per bottle. The bar is lovely with reasonable cocktails and drinks and very comfy chairs, along with a pool table which our 2 boys used regularly. Down on the beach the snorkelling is good and there is a protected area. You can also go out in a glass bottomed boat to see the coral, but make sure you book it yourself from the Wildlife centre just along the beach to the right, as this is officially owned and run by the government. Be wary of all the touts as they have to buy tickets too and make their own profit from you on top. Just along the beach you can reach other bars and restaurants and we can recommend Refresh between the Chaya Tranz and Citrus. Not cheap but excellent seafood with a wonderful beachside location. You can also walk this direction to see the giant turtles who frequent this area, and if you're lucky like us you can wade out into the sea to feed them! An absolutely amazing experience. You can walk along the road past all the little tourist shops which are great and very good value, but there is no pavement so take great care. We did not know about the spa opposite as no one told us until we were leaving, so we cannot comment on that. There is a good selection of trips on offer from here, which should be mentioned on the hotel's website. There is a beautiful estuary about 45 mins away (Madu Ghanga) with a very interesting boat trip about 2 hours long. There is a moonstone mine and a mask museum. You can go white water rafting (2.5 hour journey) or you can visit the rainforest. Obviously there are all the main Sri Lanka attractions too, but if like us you've toured Sri Lanka already, you will probably have seen all of those, but if not they are on offer. Overall this was a great hotel choice and great value. All 4 of us - parents and 2 teenage boys had a wonderful stay.
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