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“Be prepared to put on weight”

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Royal Palms Beach Hotel
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Kalutara
Certificate of Excellence
Surrey U,K.
Level Contributor
37 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Be prepared to put on weight”
Reviewed April 24, 2012

The food choice and quality was excellant.the animation team not pushy and very friendly.
Refurbished rooms very good but not the others. good mix of entertainment and food theme nights. Bar waiter service after dinner very poor in fact terrible. The first/only and last time I will pay for FULLY INCLUSIVE to find out even HOUSE WINE,NOT INCLUDED!!! Disgusting.
With exception of the main bar,ALL staff very helpful,friendly with great personalities.
Overall very good, value for money (except wine problem) and a very enjoyable family holiday celebrating our Golden Wedding Anniversary.

Room Tip: Try to get refurbished,sea/pool facing room.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank ForeSurreyUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Kirkby Stephen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2012

Having stayed at a hotel further along the beach four years ago (now being renovated) we decided to go one star higher having been recommended the Royal Palms by friends . We were accompanied by our son and his girlfriend on their first trip to Asia and this was the beach part of our visit having experienced a four day tour at the beginning and going on for a three day Safari tour at the end. We all had mixed feelings about the Royal Palms mostly good but spoilt by little niggles. The plus factors were lovely grounds, public areas, pool, our rooms were very clean and nicely decorated (although some of the furniture had suffered the odd knock). We left our air conditioning on 24/7 and found it very efficient and quiet, perfect temperature. The reception staff changed our Son's room with no problem as they wanted one on the first floor rather than ground. The food was amazing, the starters and desserts looked like something out of Masterchef, and there was an extensive choice of main courses. Even if you visited the restaurant a few minutes before closing there was still plenty of choice and we didn't see anything that appeared to have been sitting about for ages, all lovely and fresh. The Animation and Towel/Sunbed staff were incredibly helpful and fun. The minuses would be the bar staff who were not at all friendly and on occasion the Restaurant staff who took their time. We booked with Mercury Direct an all inclusive package and in line with other British Tour Operators have obviously cut the deal to the bone hence only one glass of wine per meal. If you wanted a glass of wine in the bar you had to pay for it which was quite a downside if you don't drink spirits, also you can have as much coca cola as you want but not the diet variety. To be fair the package did state locally produced spirits and beer but could have been clearer. Also their cocktails were not as we would expect - Cube Libre - Gin Fizz etc., all very basic. However, we had a great time and probably would return.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank Gill541208
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham
Level Contributor
54 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2012

Just spent two weeks at the Royal Palms on an all-inclusive package with Mercury Direct. We had asked for a room away from the noise and were duly given the room furthest from the bar/restaurant area and, coincidentally, nearest the beach and sea. The room was roomy and clean. The bedmakers and turners down were friendly and helpful. The restaurant was large but welcoming. The waiting staff were only adequate and frequently there were too few to cope. The food was excellent with extensive choice. Perhaps guests expecting good old fashioned English food would have been disappointed, though. We weren't. The bar staff weren't that friendly and not that attentive either. I had to visit the bar to get most of our drinks while bar staff were hanging around talking. There was live entertainment each night of varying quality. Staff at reception had mostly poor English and were generally trainees. The Pool staff were very helpful and for a small consideration (rupees) made sure we had two loungers outside our room each morning with cushions and towels. All in all, I would recommend the place and might go again

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank balconysitter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suffolk
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2012

Myself, my Wife, Sister and Brother- in-Law stayed from Thursday Feb 9th to Thursday Feb 23rd on an all-inclusive basis, our tour operator was Hayes & Jarvis. The hotel was a 3hr drive from Colombo airport, the mini-bus was air-conditioned so that was ok. Our return journey took about half the time as the driver took a different route. Our 2 rooms were adjacent, with our room having a very damp and mouldy smell within which we left to Reception to investigate and resolve. We then noticed persistent noise from the room above during the day and night and by the Saturday evening the noise was unacceptable. At 10:15pm my Brother-in-Law contacted Reception and was told the noise would cease by 10:30pm - it ceased at 10:45pm after yet another call to Reception. On the Sunday my Brother-in-Law and I went to investigate this noise only to find major refurbishment taking place on the two floors above our rooms with scaffolding, a cement mixer going for the bricklayers, electric power tools, percussion drills, sanders, and a team of 15+ workmen in place who were quick to disperse when we started takings pictures of the site. We notified Reception yet again only to find they had no record of our complaints from the previous two nights and were told the work would now ease at 5pm – which it didn’t. Having been exceptionally patient up to this point, I demanded a meeting with the hotel manager and the Hayes & Jarvis representative. The rep who turned up was from Thompson’s who was as much use a chocolate tea-pot as he could speak very little English but led us to believe he was covering for the H & J rep. The Hayes and Jarvis rep – Richard – arrived the following day which he’d said was his day off, went to the building site, shook his head and said he’d seen enough. Certainly not something we expected at a 5* hotel.

On the Monday morning we were due to leave for a 2 night stay at the Yala National Park. At 9.30pm on Sunday I returned to my room to put some bottles of water in the fridge ready for the bus trip only to find the fridge locked ! I called Reception to complain only to be told that it was process to lock a fridge on the eve of a guest’s departure. By the time I came of that call, a member of staff was at my door to unlock the fridge.
We then had 3 superb days at Yala National Park where the hotel accommodation, cleanliness, staff and food were second to none.

On return to the Royal Palms we were given rooms located away from those we’d vacated 3 days earlier and offered a meal at the Fish Restaurant as a token for all the hassle we’d encountered when we 1st arrived. This was a joke given the time we’d wasted trying to resolve the issue and the way hotel staff and the H&J rep had handled – or failed to handle - our complaints.

Two major concerns that do not appear in the H&J brochure are references to the dog problem in Sri-Lankan towns and cities and the appalling treatment of the elephants at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.
Dogs. Large numbers of these mange ridden, starving creatures wander round the towns and cities continuously and, although locals do not appear to ill-treat them they are totally uncaring towards them which, for animal lovers, is very distressing. A local taxi-driver told us the Sri Lankan Government now realise this is a huge problem and are starting to look at ways to improve the situation. Time will tell.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. It was obvious from the time we arrived this is nothing but a cruel circus and should not continue to be run in this way. Elephants bore heavy chains around 3 of their legs and even after being taken to the river, were then chained to chains that had been fixed to rocks. One blind, old elephant, takes ‘pride of place’ chained by his legs, just inside the entrance beneath a sun shade. Further round there are baby elephants chained up beneath small shelter/sunshades. All look so unhappy it is very, very sad. Some elephants have been chained for so long that the chains are eating into their flesh.

With so many young elephants it looked pretty obvious they are being bred, a point which our Sri Lankan driver confirmed ! He also stated the ‘keepers’ are generally boys with drink and drug problems who have no regard for the animals. We watched them being herded to the river by way of ‘keepers’ using hand held, spear like contraptions with a metal hook and a sharp point on one end. The hook being used against the elephant’s ear in order to pull it in the direction the ‘keeper’ wants it to go, the point being used to move an animal forward should it stop. When I complained, the keeper told me it doesn’t hurt them ! We then watched as an elephant picked up and ate three plastic bags from the river bank. When this was pointed out, the remaining pieces we picked up and thrown just out of the elephant’s reach ! No doubt by the time we’d left for the day they’d blown back to be picked up by another elephant.
Sri Lanka is, like many countries, awash with rubbish unfortunately but it is the lack of care of the animals that is of utmost concern.

Room Tip: Both rooms we had overlooked the pool and were very quiet - once we were away from the bukilding wor...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
11 Thank Tony D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2012

Just stayed recently at Royal Palms for four nights, the longest stay during our current trip around Sri Lanka. We had good expectations for this hotel but felt as though we were being continually disappointed.

The service is what ultimately lacked from this potentially 5 star hotel. There seemed to be a general lack of attention to detail. This was seen in a few instances which I will mention. We dined in the main restaurant for a la carte meals 3 times during our stay. Out of those three times my meals were stuffed up twice.

The first time I ordered a ham and cheese toasted sandwich and when I was given a cheese and tomato sandwich I explained that I had ordered ham and cheese so to solve this problem they just took off the tomato and just threw on some ham instead of making me a fresh one.

The next time I ordered some chocolate ice cream and caramel topping (didn't think they could get this wrong). Well, I was given chocolate ice cream, nuts with peanut butter...

I think the reason for these mistakes is that they do not always write down your orders as you give them. I think this is something the hotel needs to rectify.

The positives. The breakfast buffet was delicious. The room service is excellent (much better than dining in the restaurant so we ordered in more and were very happy with our meals). The Japanese restaurant was AMAZING, we received delicious food and the best service in the hotel from our waiter here.

The animation team are friendly and organise some great activities for the guests. The nightly entertainment is good. The welcome drink on arrival was beautiful and the hotel lobby is impressive.

But again the service lacked. We had to wait 20 minutes in the lobby, as was another unhappy guest, to wait for the cashier who was on lunch. Apparently none of the three employees standing at reception doing nothing have been trained as a cashier. They should have a back up for services such as this, things like this should not be happening in a "5 star hotel".

We were unlucky that the hose in our toilet broke and was squirting all over the bathroom. We called reception for assistance, they came, checked out the situation and called maintenance. We then had to wait 15 minutes or so as the maintenance men showed no urgency in attending to our hose.

This hotel has so much potential. It has good food (when the order is taken properly), good activities and entertainment but lacks an overall attention to detail and customer service expected in a resort like this. 4 nights felt like forever here, 2 nights would ave been enough.

Unfortunately, I would not feel happy returning to this hotel. Especially when there are many other options to choose from.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Lauraj_1287
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swindon, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2012

We stayed at the hotel for 6 nights after our Virgin Images tour in February. Overall the hotel was very good. The rooms were spacious and clean.The beds very comfortable and although the bathrooms were a little dated, everything worked fine and so no complaints.
The pool area, as was the whole hotel, very clean and although there was a race in the morning for the parasol sun beds there is plenty of sunbeds, and trees to shade under. The pool itself was clean and meanders nicely round the hotel complex.
The food was of exceptional good standard for all inclusive. We've been to many hotels where the lunchtime AL fare has been very poor but at the Palms Beach it was just as good as the evening dinner. We are not one's for evening enterteainment but the standard was very good both in the bar and while we were eating and thankfully we only got serenaded to once in the 6 nights there.
We did get a shock when we realised the main railway line was outside the hotel but trains are minimal and noise levels from it hardly noticeable. The beach location is very nice and morning strolls before breakfast was very refreshing. I had read lots of reviews prior to going and thought we would get a lot of hassle from beach boys selling their tours. I couldn't be much further from the truth in that they we all very polite and welcoming like all the Sri Lankans we met throughout our tour/beach holiday.
The only downside was the Oriental Asian restaurant which I hope was just having a very rare bad night when we wanted a romantic dinner.They struggled with our order the rose wine tasted like a really bad red that was off. We did not receive any wine/water until after the starters. The food was of very average standard and overall we wish we had gone for the AI Sri lankan barbecue served at normal dinner. The only thing we hope is that the nice couple who got married at the hotel on Feb 18th and had a meal that night at The Oriental, had a much better experience than us ( and if you read this good luck to you both in the future).
So despite the Oriental experience I would recommend the Royal Palms Beach Hotel. If you require any tips on the hotel or our Images tour/Sri Lanka please let me know.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank deejay14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2012

We loved this hotel! Food was excellent. Lots of choice all the time and varied theme evenings.

Lovely friendly staff. The sports/daytime entertainment were very welcoming and catered for all. Brilliant place to stay for an all inclusive. Location was not amazing and wouldn't recommend wandering the streets at night but couldn't fault the hotel. The shop had some real bargains! Visit here before you go shopping as part of trips. We bought presents for around 10 people at only spent £30! That included a top for me....

Would definitely go back. Had a really great time and made our trip!

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Astrid1980
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

Property: Royal Palms Beach Hotel
Address: De Abrew Drive, Kalutara 12000, Sri Lanka
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:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Kalutara
#3 Spa Hotel in Kalutara
#3 Family Hotel in Kalutara
#3 Luxury Hotel in Kalutara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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