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Royal Palms Beach Hotel
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Kalutara
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 16, 2011

We have just returned from a wonderful 2-week holiday to Sri Lanka. We did a 4-day tour followed by a 10 night stay at The Royal Palms Beach, all booked through Mercury Direct. The food at the hotel was excellent, which included salads, international food and a good choice of meat and vegetable curries. There were also chefs outside the restaurant on the terrace, cooking different foods each evening, such as pizzas and nasi goreng (which was excellent). On the very last night there were no curries in the restaurant. My partner fancied a chicken curry and mentioned this to the staff and within 10-15 minutes the chefs had made one for her. I also obtained a few recipes to bring back to England.And there was even proper bacon for breakfast! The level of service was excellent. All the staff were extremely friendly throughout the hotel, including the animation team. We did the water aerobics in the mornings and played croquet and Boules in the afternoons. We got to know many of the other guests and everybody got on extremely well. This made the holiday extra special. The room we had near the beach pool was large, with its own balcony area, but I agree with the other reviews that some of the rooms are a little tired - but you're not in them most of the day anyway! At the present time a whole wing is being renovated. During our stay we received a letter from Mercury Direct to recommend not doing any trips with the Sri Lankan people on the beach, for safety reasons. Well what a load of rubbish this is. We did a trip with a man called Indika, who lives a 5-minute walk from the hotel. He can often be found by one of the gates leading to the beach. You can recognise him because he has bloodshot eyes and a scar on one shoulder. (apparently some people pretend to be Indika to get your business). We paid him £20 up front for a trip to Galle and ended up paying two-thirds of the amount that Mercury Direct were charging. We were also able to tailor-make the trip. Indika turned up with a driver at the hotel's reception the following day, as arranged, in a 6-seater air conditioned minibus for the 2 of us. Great! We visited a local fish market, a turtle hatchery and had an excellent boat trip on a lagoon at Bentota, where we saw crocodiles, monitor lizards, kingfishers and cormorants. He also took us to a temple not visited by Mercury Direct (see picture). The next day we saw Indika on the beach and he took us back to his house to meet his family. He even climbed a tree in his garden to get us fresh coconuts. Fantastic. Would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone staying in Sri Lanka.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 108 (see picture). No problems but next time I would ask for one on the upper floo...
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kevin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 11, 2011

hotel is good , staff are very pleasant and polite and very help full, food is excellent , but we need to add naan everyday,it would be really go with our Indian pallet. Entertainment is good we had different shows in every 07 days. we like royal palms very much,will miss you but will be back next year .

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank prathap g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2011

Arrriving here on the 02/09/11 we were amazed at the overall looks of the place,it is situated next to a railway line on a pot holed track that was flooded and had deep puddles, next door is the Tangerine beach Hotel. The reception process was very efficient what with the cold towels and complimentary drinks, however we did notice not just on this occasion but others also that the staff are very surly. Then it was off to our room 143 which was located on the ground floor and was laid out perfectly, spacious, air conditioning was running like a steam engine, 3 pin uk plug sockets, safe, minibar fully stocked. The rooms are cleaned on a daily basis sometime to early, minibars restocked and beds are turned down each night.We then recieved our complimentary fruit basket, which consisted of an orange and two apples, see photos. Once unpacked it was off to explore the hotel, the main bar (hurricane lounge) open until midnight, was just off reception and is rather colonnial looking, which is non smoking, you can smoke on the balcony. There is a full size snooker table Rs400 per game and a pool table. The main restaurant was located on the ground floor under the bar, it is a buffet style facilty and you could sit where you please. Gents are required to wear long trousers for dinner, but you can wear anything for any other meals. The layout of the restaurant left a lot to be desired, baked beans and scrambled eggs located with the curries, herbal porridge located near the salads, omelettes, fried eggs, bacon and sausage on the balcony if you didnt know there was food being prepared outside on the terrace then you could quite easily miss out on some of the food. Each night had a differant theme night ie italian, mexican, chefs night, european night etc etc, however ther food was very similar on a daily basis with lots of curries, lots of salads, desserts to die for.A big bone of contention for us was the fact that as part of the AI package you were only entitled to one glass of wine per person with your evening meal. Anything else was included in the AI apart from diet coke??? I know its a soft drink, you know its a soft drink so why diferentiate that its not part of the AI package,bit stupid to be honest. There is a gym, there is access to the internet if you wish to use it and ther are two other restaurants which are al la carte and not part of the AI package, these are Oriental and Japasnese. The outdoor facilities include sunbeds which are plentiful and as the pool attendants get to know you they will place a mattress and towels on for when you finish breakfast. The pools are spotlessly clean and you can use them up until 7pm every night. There is a swim up pool bar which closes at 6pm daily but the seating and the fact that you are monitored by CCTV all the time tended to put people off. This wasnt to meant to do this it is purely for the management to monitor the staff, even though everywhere you go there was a manager overseeing his staff and ensuring that you sign the chits for everything that you order, a pointless exercise but it suits the locals. At present the Royal palms is under going a refurbishment and about 20 rooms are being taken off line while the work is being done. doesnt inconvenience you though. If you decide to go for a stroll down the beach you will get hassled by beach boys and hawkers trying to sell you goods, if you are firm and just say no then they will leave you alone. As mentioned in my title, i have stayed in 5 star hotels, this maybe 5star sri lankan standard but i wouldnt rate it more than 3

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank gazza810
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2011

Just returned from a lovely two weeks in this hotel. The hotel is tired and they are slowly renervating the rooms. Beautiful, large rooms but let down due to the lack of a bit of paint and grout in the bath room etc. Bedding lovely. Staff and service great. Food fab with lots of choice, very good value for money, however not really a five star hotel to our standards. The boys on the beach, especially INDI, our tour guide was fab and only charged us half of what the holiday reps or the hotel charges. Cost of a tuk tuk, no more than 200rs each way. A good tip is normally 200 - 500rs. Very Very clean. Bentota a better place to holiday. Enjoy!

Room Tip: Beautiful rooms,clean, but do take additional mosquito plug ins and insect repellants. Everything yo...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank lotuscatering
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2011

we have had a wonderful vacation, we love the combination of friendly staff and the freedom to do what we want , its simply amazing, would definitely recommend Royal Palms.

Room Tip: most of the hotel rooms are facing directly to the indian ocean , i would say all top floor rooms h...
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank TOM J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2011

Food was fantastic with plenty of choice. Curries were out of this world, on our last night there were no curries on menu. I expressed my disappointment and the chef made me a curry without any hesitation. Animation team were great and worked so hard, special thanks to them for making our holiday so enjoyable. Staff couldn't do enough and were always smiling and helpful. The rooms are a little bit tired but very clean and comfortable. The AI drinks are a bit limited however we managed!! The transfer from the airport is an experience as the driving and traffic is crazy. When you venture outside the hotel the level of poverty is so apparent. We came back feeling very humble, small tips to staff mean so much to them. We hope to return to Sri Lanka in the future as this country needs tourism and the people are so friendly and welcoming.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank julie50_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2011

My husband and I stayed here for 10 days, we went on 2 excursions which took us away for 3 nights, and I am so glad, as I would have gone crazy spending the whole 10 days here. The hotel rooms were nice enough, we changed our hotel room after the first night as the bathroom in the first room was dirty and had mould. The second room was nicer, same layout but bathroom was cleaner, although not really a 5 star standard for a bathroom.

The bed was comfortable, the room was big enough with a nice sized balcony. The room was clean, and the air conditioning worked well. The room had a nice sea view.

The things that put me off the hotel was the fact that there were dogs running free on the beach. This is something though I think will happen on every beach in Sri Lanka as there were dogs running free everywhere, on every beach and every street, hundreds of them. There were beach sellers on the beach just outside the hotel, and whilst they were there every day, they did not really cause any problems. They would have a little chat with you but would not put any pressure on you to buy their products if you didn't want to. We found it nice to have a chat with them, but once we said that we would like to have some time to ourselves they were happy to leave us on our own.

We knew that we would not be able to swim in the sea from reading previous reviews, but that didn't really prepare me for exactly 'how' rough the sea was. It was incredible, and there is quite a steep bank to get to the sea shore. It was really awesome to see the size of the waves as you stood on the beach, I could have watched them for hours.

The food in the hotel was a little bland, especially in the evenings. I don't eat much for lunch, but found if I wanted to eat curry, I would be more likely to get this at lunch than in the evenings. We were on an all inclusive basis, and I would have to say again this really is not 5 star all inclusive. I have stayed at a hotel in Kenya where the all inclusive food was really great. other people in the hotel who ate a la Carte had much nicer food though and waiters who were attentive to their requests.

The staff in the hotel were inconsistent, some on reception were very haphazzard and it seemed that you had to make a request 3 or 4 times before it was responded to. The lady who greeted you in the resturant however was lovely and was very attentive.

The hotel grounds were quite nice, there were plenty of sunbeds and shades.

The bar staff were ok, and some of the evening entertainment was ok, but others were not so good.

We went on a trip with our travel rep, but also used a local called Senna for our cultural trip to Sigirya and Kandy and he was excellent. He took us to a few off the beaten track places, where we had freshly picked pineapple and tea, and also a lovely spice garden where we also had one of the most wonderful meal of different curries I think I have ever tasted. Senna was a very helpful and polite man and was happy to take us to different places and help us with guides for the temples. These trips really made our holiday to sri lanka special, and if it wasn't for these I don't think I would have enjoyed it at all. There was one thing I really didn't like on the trip however, this was at the elephant orphanage at Pinnawela, where some elephants were in chains to be fed for our 'entertainment'. I really did not like this experience at all. We went to another transition camp for elephants who were going to be released back into the wild, and this was a much better environment, as the elephants were not chained, and could run around freely to get their milk. (if you would like senna's email address and it is taken out of this review please feel free to message me and I will provide this) dinesh@sltnet.lk

The people in Sri Lanka are very friendly and are very charming, and this is what makes the country and the culture so nice. The countryside is also beautiful, and the temples are also beautiful.

All in all, Sri Lanka is a lovely country with some amazing people. This hotel is ok if you are happy to go out and do your own thing, but do not expect 5 star, if you go there in the knowledge that it is nearer 3 star then you will be more than happy with what you receive.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank curlynirvana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Palms Beach Hotel

Address: De Abrew Drive, Kalutara 12000, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Kalutara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Kalutara
#2 Luxury Hotel in Kalutara
#3 Romantic Hotel in Kalutara
#3 Family Hotel in Kalutara
Price Range: $89 - $269 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Royal Palms Beach Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 136
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Also Known As:
Royal Palms Beach Kalutara
Hotel Royal Palms Beach
Royal Palms Beach Hotel Sri Lanka/Kalutara

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