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“Not realy a five star”

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Royal Palms Beach Hotel
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Kalutara
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 31, 2013

The brochure stated that it was "all inclusive" but you were only allowed 2 glasses of wine at lunch and dinner, in reality you got 2 half glasses per couple, if you wanted to eat at another restaurant you had to pay extra. Not really "all inclusive" The staff spent most of their time touting for tips.

Room Tip: Do not get a room at the top of the hotel, a train track runs at the side of the hotel ,the noise ca...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank BXDean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 23, 2013

Why people have rated this hotel highly I just cant understand.The garden area is run down,sunbeds are in a very poor state of repair with wheels falling off and tatty cushions.Only four sun umbrellas to fifty sunbeds.Paintwork on exterior in poor condition and a depressing colour.Restaurant staff untrained unhappy and uninterested in customers although on a positive note food is good although overall enjoyment also marred by the fact that plates are rarely cleared away throughout the meal.Was assured before booking that there would be no noisy building work going on by my travel company and by the hotel but the noise of hammering and electric drills was behond acceptable and our complaints were listened to but ignored.I made an appointment to meet Daminda the manager but he failed to turn up and next day he requested a meeting but as we were about to leave I declined.Am in the process of seeking compensation as this hotel is sold as five star and it struggles to reach three star standards.We stayed at the Mahaweli Reach hotel in Kandy and a totally different experience....fantastic in every way! If you expect service and quality DONT GO THERE you could do so much better down the road

Room Tip: Just dont stay
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank nahguav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2013

we have just returned from our holiday with positive experiences. this is our third time at the royal palms, food is very good, varied menus well cooked and the food looks attractivethe. restuarant staff are very good and helpful. checkin was welcoming,we had down stairs room 115 our only critisicm being the train was more frequent and noisier than on our last visit. We did notice that there were a lot of crows this time which prevented us from eating outside as the crows pounce on any left over food. the hotel needs to address this.
I would recommend this hotel for those wishing for a relaxing holiday as the surrounding area is under developed for tourists however the trips organised by the reps are excellent for experiencing the real sri lanka.
The hotel is clean, comfortable and attractive and rooms are well appointed.
We will not be going again as we find the long flight too much now but can only say our three visits to this hotel have been excellent.

Room Tip: upstairs rooms do not here the train so much
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Sylvie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2013

We arrived at 6.30 in the morning after a very good Sri Lankan Airliens flight to a warm welcome with drink and flannel. Quick check in and straight to room. We had wanted a top floor room but were allocated ground floor. No matter, within a day the excellent Customer Relations team moved us to the third floor, which was ideal.We spent 10 days here before moving on to Kerala, so here's our view:
GUESTS: About 75% Russian, a few Brits, Germans, Swiss, Dutch and Italian
ROOM: The original ground floor room was damp and a bit smelly but top floor was great. Room was spacious and had just about everything we needed. Mercury brochure mentioned a bath but the shower was very efficient. Had no hot water on the first night but after that everything worked perfectly and the Room Attendants Jude and colleague could not have done more for us. We had the usual towel animals and as we had a birthday there a wonderful display on the bed.
RESTAURANT: Quality of food was again excellent, with huge choice of curries and western foods at both lunch and dinner. On the Sri Lankan evening, the range of food was unbelievable. You cannot possibly criticise the food her, although some always will, and if you didn't like something, there was always something else to try. There were chefs in the restaurant at all mealtimes who were really keen to tell you what was in each dish. However, the service in the restaurant was at times mediocre. We saw many guests come in for dinner, as we did ourselves on occasions, when there were no tables laid. The result was that guests had to find a waiter and ask for a table to be set up. Then it was often difficult to order a drink and get tea/coffee as they always seemed to be understaffed. There seemed to be no management direction although on entry to the restaurant from Reception, you would see 4 or 5 supervisors/managers standing by the door. Why can't they help? One lady who said she was the host, spent most of her time clearing tables. A 5 star experience would be to take control at the door, take guests to their table and arrange for drink orders to be taken, there were certainly enough people to do this. Easy to introduce if you want to look after your guests.
BARS: Beer was fine, spirits ok bearing in mind they are loca; gin and whisky good as long as they had a mixer. The Arrack was particulalrly good, especially on its own. Service at the pool bar was excellent even at busy times, and in the main bar at night, which was a really comfortable venue to watch the entertainment. An odd anomaly was that under "all inclusive", coffee was free in the restaurant but chargeable in the bar, never seen that before, and seems very mean spirited of the hotel Why?
MANAGEMENT/RECEPTION: It made a nice change to see the Resident Manager around the complex, and he was always ready with a smile asking if everything was all right. The young man(sorry, forgotten his name) in Customer Relations was a real star, and Reception staff did everything that was asked of them with a smile.
POOL/BEACH: Beach is public so this is not used, although some guests took a towel onto the sand. Very large waves during our stay which were a lot of fun, but no good for swimming. The beach boys soon get the message and will stop bothering you if you take a strioll along the beach. Beautiful at 6.30 in the morning as you have to avoid the cows! Lovely pool and pool area BUT not enough sunbeds and umbrellas. You need shade in February, but there were only 20 umbrellas for 126 rooms, disgraceful!! Guest were reserving beds/umbrellas from 5.00 in the morning and we saw several heated arguments between guesst over sunbeds, which you don't need on holiday.Numerous guests(mainly Russian, I have to say) came every day from the Tangerine hotel next door, where it's far cheaper to stay, and reserved beds/umbrellas at the Palms, which made the situation even worse. Great deal, I wish I'd done the same myself. There are so many security guards on duty, so why aren't these guests stopped from coming in. It's easy to do. Why doesn't Palms Manangement seem concerned about this and do something? Having said that the Pool Attendants were excellent and did a great job in very difficult circumstances.The other point to mention is the building work. This is going on in the "quieter" part of the pool area, and on some days the drilling and hammering forced guests to pick up their beds and move to another part. On one day guests had to move their things as a truck came across the grass to deliver materials to the site. This should not be done in the high season.
ENTERTAINMENT@ Fantastic animation team led by Thus, very energetic, cheerful and sociable, the best we have seen for a very long time. Always got good participation in keep fit, darts and boules, and it's a good way to be sociable with other nationalities. Evening entertainment was interesting and varied, but was repeated in the second week.
SUMMARY: Great holiday, but spoiled by the issues above which could easily be resolved and make this a 5 star experience. We felt management is getting complacent because occupancy rates are very good at the moment, but this can change quickly if you're too reliant on guests from particular nations. Could not recommend to friends at the moment and would not come back unless the problems mentioned above are put right.

Room Tip: Go for second or third floor rather than ground. Better views and more airey.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank springerlloyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2013

We arrived a columbo after a long flight from manchester to doha then on to columbo, beware your change over at doha is not long enough we were straight of the plane no messing but only just got on the connecting flight to columbo ( we booked with mercury direct) and i mean just. ( more about that to come on the return flight) From columbo its a long 2 and a half hours through heavy traffic and we were in a car, glad we wern't in a mini bus. We were met at the hotel with a drink and refreshing towel and show to our rooms. The room was clean and large enough we were on the second floor with a good balcony overlooking pool. We were up at 7am to be down at pool at about 7-40am all the sun beds were taken or so we though till the pool attendant came over and sorted us out ( you know what i mean ) the pool area is spotless the pool water brilliant we went straight in it was that warm!!!! the weather was hot but 3 days about 3pm it down poured. The food was exellent all way throgh the holiday lots of choice. we booked 2 trips through mercury wich were expensive really we we though we wouldnt take chances after what happened in egypt, one was a 4am start for a long 3 hr drive to wale watching if you dont have a iron stomach dont go you will be seasick trust me we got back to hotel at 6-15pm we were knacked. the second trip was to see the elephants we set off 5am for a 3 hour drive, we went to the orphanege, saw the elephants bathing it was great, then we went on a elephant ride £15 for 2 for 15mins you can do long if you like, boy am i glad we only did 15 it was really uncomfortable, we got back to hotel at about 5-15pm another long day. I must mention the eastern european's in the hotel i have never ever met so many ignorant people in my life, i opened doors for them not a smile or thank you, i moved out of the way to let them past not a smile or a thanks, it made me proud to be from the uk and have manners!!!!!! Overall the hotel was great and would go back. Now for the return flight we left hotel at 11-30pm for a 4-20 flight back to doha the plane left at 4-30 we arrive in doha got straight of the plane through customs and straight to board flight to manchester but when we arrived at desk were told the flight was closed What!!!!!!!!!!! after panicking we were met by a qatar person who booked on a flight to london then on a flight to manchester the flight to london left at 1pm we had to wat in doha 4 and a half hours we arrive home at 11-30 pm when we should have been home at 2pm, im sure this must be a regular thing because they dont have enought time for connecting flights so beware.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank hotspurEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2013

We stayed here on 18 Feb 2013 and overall had a highly enjoyable time. Following a direct flight from Heathrow with Sri Lankan Airlines (who were good) we arrived at the hotel about 5:00 am. We had to wait one & a half hours for our room, but were given hot flannels, tea & water whilst we waited. First impressions are very good, with a large open reception area with plenty of seats/beds to use.
We stayed in room 118 (ground floor) with views over the large pool, neat gardens and the beach/sea in the distance. Good size room with lovely large bed and everything that you really need. The train line is quite close and you DO hear them, but it was NOT a BIG issue for us.
The staff are all very friendly and were to happy to chat, if you wanted. This includes the receiption bell boys/porters, the room boys, the garden staff, the pool attendants, the animation team and the waiters & bar staff. Nothing is too much trouble, albeit that you sometimes have to ask.
We celebrated an anniversary & birthday whilst here and received some personal touches. The room boy made up the bed with some animals (made from towels) and we received a complimentary cake. Nice touches and much appreciated.
We stayed on a half-board basis (we don't do lunch!) and the food was excellent. Always a large choice of food (buffet style) at breakfast & dinner, which had a theme for that evening. The food was sometimes spicy, but never mouth-burning. The only gripe we had was around the service in the main restaurant. You are free to sit where you wish and sometimes you were greeted & seated, but mostly not. It was then a bit random as to whether tea/coffee and drinks were offered promptly or not. Also, on some days there didn't seem to be enough staff to cope and the service suffered. These small negative points did not spoil the holiday in any way, and is having to wait 5 minutes such a BIG issue?

IN SUMMARY - a very good hotel (probably 4*, rather than 5*), with lovely staff and an ideal location to chillout & relax.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Malesakeel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2013

In order to break our trip up from Colombo to Galle, my wife and I stayed here for just one night.

This is a lovely hotel, right on the beach with good facilities and a wide range of food, drink.

The service was great throughout the hotel. We were lucky enough to be offered a 'special dinner'. This comprised of us sitting in a very intimate outdoor (covered) pagoda with our own chef and musician. Fabulous!!.

You could easily stay here for a few days relaxing in the Sri Lankan sun.

ps - Try to make sure you ask for one of the recently re-furbished rooms.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bsomerton
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
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 Luxury Hotel in Kalutara
#2 Spa Hotel in Kalutara
#3 Romantic Hotel in Kalutara
#3 Family Hotel in Kalutara
Price Range: $92 - $310 (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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