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Royal Palms Beach Hotel
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Reviewed January 13, 2013

My wife and I have been here eleven times (so should have a certain amount of knowlage into this hotel) you can read her indepth review, but from me who is still very dissapointed with the treatment we recieved,even down to blatent lieing,may be the addige famiurarity breeds contempt, you will get this, they cater soley now for the eastern block countries, this was told to us by a higher up manager,restraunt staff reduced from 35 to 12 so service is very poor. The buffet style meals are akin to railway/canteen food but in there defence there is lots of it,breakfast is a marathon if you like queing for eggs ,then no bacon cooked,you all so have to fight the crows if you eat out side,and picking a chair that hasnt got a crow calling card on it is a lottery,in the full three weeks i was there I had one hot breakfast,not bad !!! some staff are so poorly trained they just watch and wait for the very good staff to do the work,they dont clear tables quickly so the crows come in,as there is about five good staff they work none stop, them,so you can just imagine. The all inclusive is a joke,(mind you thats always been the case) fruit juices you pay for one sort of water is free while you pay for the other ,wine is one glass the rest you pay for,if you fancy a meal in the Japenese,or the Cabana (these are really good deals and the food is brilliant) but no concession is made if your all inclusive. The newly refurbished room have not been properly finished,lights not working sockets not working,grout still left on tiles,house keeping very poor, there was only one other english couple there when we was,they wanted to go home after a week,they had water coming through a light socket and was given a tin of fly spray and a swat to fill they flying ants,the only bright part of this holiday was the pool,well runby the pool boys always on hand,always friendly and for what they get never complain Could carry on but as nothing will be done so whats the point, We have allready cancelled our 4 trips ,one a months stay next Christmas.It is so sad as we leave many friends at this hotel and good expierences at the palms,but,the new projects that they have going on they still havent repaired old repairs that have been wanting for over 3 years. So if your not from the eastern block countries forget this hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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10  Thank Willey W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Damindaj241077, Manager at Royal Palms Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 20, 2013

Dear Mr. & Mrs W

Firstly let me thank you for your review on trip advisor and also thank you for being a loyal guest to our resort for many years!!

I would also like to start by apologizing for inconveniences that where caused to you whilst your stay, due to poor service recovery from our side and severe monsoon weather that was experienced throughout the country during your whole stay. however highlighting the fact that we did try our level best to offer you an alternative Suite, however you did not want to move from the Royal Suite even with the challenges you faced.

Sir & Madam we are extremely sorry that you have not enjoyed your stay with us only this time and we do apologies for some service recoveries not being met up to your standard, however would like to highlight that I personally attended to some of your challenges that you faced and you where extremely happy about the recovery of the service which you brought up to me many times during our frequent conversations daily.
We are still humbled by your comments and we will take on board many of your comments and we really do hope that you will patronize the Royal Palms again so that you can see its majestic beauty as it is and Royal treatment that all our guests receive whilst they are staying with us.
Please do let me know if you have any other queries and also get in touch with me directly so that I can personally arrange your next visit to Sri Lanka
Daminda Jayawardena
Resident Manager
damindaj@royalpalms.lk

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2013

The hotel is very clean and very well managed, and the rooms are well furnished/decorated and has a very well appointed toilet. The food is very good with a great spread and selection. The pool is quite large and clean. It is a great stop on the south west coast of Sri Lanka.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
3  Thank Rusiru A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Damindaj241077, Manager at Royal Palms Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 13, 2013

Dear Rusiru A

Thank you very much for the time taken to post about the resort on trip advisor.

we are glad that you enjoyed the stay with us. my team and I our very much looking forward to welcoming you back to Royal Palms.

Wish you all the very best for the new Year !!

Daminda Jayawardena
Resident Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2013

I don't want to write long review (but this may well end up being a long one) but I will list out the positive and the NEGATIVES and leave you to decide. We stayed 5 nights here from 25th Dec to 30th Dec and we wished we only stayed 2!

Firstly negatives ( since these far more outweigh the positives)

(1) Poor service to be called 5 star. Examples: Dinning room is not very well-coming at all and we had to find a empty table and get ourselves comfortable. The staff are poorly trained. They try to take plates away before even you finish. Some staff can be a bit moody and unapproachable.

(2) Food is average. Catered to certain guests which is discriminatory in our opinion. Especially breakfast choices are very limited and this also applies for dinner.

(3) The water leaks from the shower room everytime we take a shower which makes the bathroom flood- poor

(4) No wifi available unless you are willing to sit in the lobby or willing to pay for rather annoying Dialog connection - very poor for a so called 5 star hotel

(5) Too many mosquito in the hotel to our liking - both in the room and in the dinning area. They try to use artificial ( and unhealthy) ways to manage this but its not working - get some nets fixed

(6) we lost our mobile phone in hotel - nobody bothered to help and the reception staff were very unhelpful and promised to call back but never did - again questions your 5 star ratings

(7) Towels are dirty and not so white. The room attendants didn't replace som of the items in the toilets once they have run out - again poor and shows the lack of attention to detail

(8) the location and beach is not great and the surrounding areas are nothing special.

(9) we had a cemetry facing our front door and constant noise of trains passing by including early in the morning - sorry we dont pay and come on holiday for this


Positives

(1) Rooms were cleaned to a very high standard
(2)The pool is well maintained and a good place to relax

Clearly a disappointing stay.

Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
5  Thank KK_SAM999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Damindaj241077, Manager at Royal Palms Beach Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 13, 2013

Dear KK_SAM999

Thank you very much for the time taken for the review on Trip advisor we highly appreciate your feedback .

I am extremely saddened that you did not enjoy your stay as much as you would have liked to. however please to see that you had a relaxing time at our poolside and of course your bedroom.

I am taking the improvement areas you have pointed out very seriously and will take the necessary actions in due course.

with regards to the loss of phone, as you had call the resort after your departure and informed that you have misplaced the phone and for us to check the room that you where in, we did search for the phone earnestly around the resort including the room and loss & Found, however it was not located within our premises. we do apologies to you if we have had a communication challenge getting through to you.

Also on the point of the train, unfortunately the beautiful sri lankan southern coast has its colonial gifted railway line from Colombo to Matara in the south right next to the beach and the sea all along the coastal line and many hotels in this area have the same challenge as we do, and we apologize for this, however this is a bit out of control of the resort Management.

The food and beverage concept of the hotel is based on destination dinning and i am quite surprised that you had a poor experience with it. our Buffet Restaurant has varied themed evenings from Mexican, Indian, BBQ, Sri Lankan, Mediterranean, Italian and around the world dinner buffets through out the week and we also boast a exquisite Japanese restaurant, brand new ala carte restaurant which serves Euro-asian cuisine which includes imported T bone steaks, Rib-eye , lamb chops to sea food A privet Dinning on the beach side called the Gazebo which can cater to any wish of cuisine you want with 12 hours of notice and coupled with a beverage options around the resort. however we will take on board your comments on the breakfast to see how best we could improve our product.

The hotel has full wireless coverage, with all due respect the Internet services are provided by external parties to the resort. the resort has full free WiFi facility in the airy lobby as well as the large Lounge/Hurricane bar which is purchased by the resort and provided to the guests to use free of charge. the rest of the hotel has WiFi available from one of sri lanka's premier Internet service providers and pre paid card and available at the reception. Sir please understand that we can only get the Internet speed that the country can provide unfortunately and we always try our level best to provide our guests with the best service possible.

The beach is not advertised as a privet beach, as sri lanka as a destination has only a very few spots that have privet beaches on teh island, all the hotels and resorts have public beaches available only. however the surrounding areas of the hotel are full of attractions if you just request from our concierge/bell desk they would be delighted to provide you with all the details of the interesting places and areas to visit to your liking such as The Richmond Castle, Brief Gardens, Exploring ancient Caves, River boat cruises to name a few, .

My team and I will do everything possible to rectify the highlighted areas by you and we take these comments as always positively and thank you so much for staying with us at the Royal Palms.

i would also like to take this opportunity to say that we are looking forward to your next visit and please do not hesitate to contact me personally.

wish you all the very best for the new year !!

Daminda Jayawardena
Resident Manager
Damindaj@royalpalms.lk

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2012

I stayed there for almost 2 weeks and had a very good time.
The hotel was not booked out, only 30% of the rooms were occupied because of low season.

There were a few building works going on, but nothing real disturbing.

Service was very good, very friendly waiters and receptionists.

Food :
Breakfast was ok, american breakfast with omelettes and so on freshly avaiable. Very few cheese and sausage offers, no honey, artificial-tasting marmelade stuff. Fresh fruits avaiable. Tea was good, coffee really bad quality (taste was bitter and old, cause the waiters did not brew it fresh at least every 30 minutes).
Waiters were a bit too slow concerning service.
No freshly squeezed juices! :-/ Only chemical tasting orange juice etc.

Lunch was looking ok for a snack, nothing special.

Dinner was very good, lots of good ideas, different themes every week like italian buffet or seafood on the beach, sri lanka food etc. .
Always buffet combined with fresh barbeque stuff.

Japanese Restaurant:

Very good sushi, premium quality, nice and perfect waiter called Deishan.
Nice atmosphere also! It is worth to pay the small extra charge. Nice tuna.

Drinks:
Fresh juices avaiable during lunch time for a extra charge.
Good selection of wines for average prices.
Everything avaiable including liquors etc.

The Hotel is not very new but very clean and good looking.
Cool reception area with old wood tables and white elephant statues.

Beach:
If you survived the nerving beach boys with their blabla all the time, very nice beach , very long.
Not so many hotels next to this place, so few tourists.

Location: 3,5 hours from airport on the western coast.
City of Kalutara is small, nice market, a few shops, a nice temple, that`s it.
Colombo is 3 hours away by car.
So good for relaxing, not good if you want to have city life in the evening.
No bars, pubs.o restaurants.
In the evenings, you just enjoy dinner,then the shows in the main bar until 10 p.m., billiards, snooker (good tables), good drinks,that`s it.

Recommendation:

Trip to Kandy (central Sri Lanka,2 days) and Tea plantages.
Seafood dinner on the beach.

Massages are good (many many different massages for good prices), but the massage location is awfully old and stinking cause it is next to a muddy lake.
They should open a massage facility next to the beach or something like in Thailand.

Rooms are good, big and good bathrooms.Nice view on the pool or/and the sea.
Oriental looking interior, lot of wood (bed, ground).

Pool is good and big.

Animation ist ok but not many people joined

All together: good hotel if you just want to eat and relax

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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2  Thank SRReiseBerater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2012

My wife and I stayed at this hotel for two weeks in August 2012, and generally we enjoyed our stay. On arrival after the three hour transfer (the longest we have ever experienced) our room smelled a bit damp and musty, but the duty manager quickly had us moved to another better room. The staff were very helpful and friendly, the facilities good and the buffet-style meals had a wide choice; my wife is a very fussy eater and she found plenty to her taste.

The evening entertainments were generally amateurish and rather dull, and this needs some looking at by management. Having to pay for Internet access is not what you expect from a modern 5* hotel. A peculiarity is that you get a free coffee in the dining room but have to pay for one at the bar. We went with Virgin, so we got wine with our meals while those who booked with different companies had to pay for it. The beaches were rather dirty and when you did venture out on to them you were pestered like hell by the locals trying to sell you everything from a sari to an excursion. The nearby town is not worth a visit, but the elephant sanctuary and Kandy and the various other excursions on this beautiful island are a must.

My wife and I spent most of our time around the well maintained pool, but you need to get out there early if you want a parasol. One German woman grabbed four for her family! The gym is excellent and the staff helpful. The poolside activities were numerous and great fun.

We enjoyed our stay but felt things could have been even better with a little more attention to detail.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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4  Thank Glenn_C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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