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Hotel Mermaid & Club
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Kalutara
Reviewed November 14, 2012

I can honestly say in my whole life I have never seen rain like we saw in our short trip to Sri Lanka.
Advice....
Do not plan to go for such a short amount of time and probably best not to go at this time of year, we went from 26th October - 3rd November 2012 just to have a lovely rest away from it all. This hotel is a hotel designed for the sun and when it rained 5 of our 6 days we ended up in the pool and on the beach in the rain..........as the company was lovely I wasn't bothered!

The room was fine and the staff looked after us well.

The Hotel Food and accommodation was ok and the waiting staff and bar staff friendly and obliging - the man who arranged the sunbeds (on the one sunny day) was also a delight the two bar staff on one night gave us card tricks and were a great double act. Some of the entertainment was a little dodgy!.

Recommendation - book your transfer with Suresh Pushpakumara " beach boy" he was so welcoming always on time and he will help you with whatever you want.........I contacted him before out trip and even though our flight was late he was waiting for us. We also went on a trip to the elephant orphanage with another couple and even though the weather was absolutely awful Suresh made sure we were safe - we actually had a great day! He also arranged our transfer back to the airport and we arrived safe and sound and in plenty of time. The other "beach boys" knowing we had arranged everything we wanted with Suresh just left us alone..........Beware of the day of the Full (Poya) Moon...no alcohol served!!!!! We had a trip we will never forget! :-)

  • Stayed: November 2012
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Thank Honey013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dilip S, General Manager at Hotel Mermaid & Club, responded to this reviewResponded November 20, 2012

We thank the reviewer for their stay at Mermaid Hotel & Club and sharing their holiday experience.

We were delighted in reading the favourable comments and thank you for expressing them for the benefit of visitors to this website.

We wish you will return and look forward to welcoming you to Mermaid Hotel & Club.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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873 - 879 of 1,537 reviews

Reviewed November 12, 2012

My sister,daughter (aged 17) and I stayed for a week at the Mermaid from 26th Oct. The weather was not good - lots of heavy rain but we half-expected that. The hotel staff could not do enough to help you. Always attentive and I liked how they knew who you were.
The hotel was a bit dated but perfectly adequate and we had no complaints with the food wich was plentiful and had a good mix of local and 'home' flavours!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Deborah E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dilip S, General Manager at Hotel Mermaid & Club, responded to this reviewResponded November 20, 2012

We thank the reviewer for their stay at Mermaid Hotel & Club and sharing their holiday experience.

We were delighted in reading the favourable comments and thank you for expressing them for the benefit of visitors to this website.

We wish you will return and look forward to welcoming you to Mermaid Hotel & Club.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

Me and my wife loved this hotel but unfortunately we could stay here only one day, in our way back to airport.
Room and the bathroom is big and clean. Our room was in ground floor which is easy access to garden area and swimming pool.
Also spa is very good, clean and cheaper then other hotels.
Only thing to complain, open buffet breakfast and dinner may be better.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Keremakin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dilip S, General Manager at Hotel Mermaid & Club, responded to this reviewResponded November 14, 2012

We thank the reviewer for their stay at Mermaid Hotel & Club and sharing their holiday experience.

We were delighted in reading the favourable comments and thank you for expressing them for the benefit of visitors to this website.

We wish you will return and look forward to welcoming you to Mermaid Hotel & Club.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2012

Just returned from a 9 night break at the Mermaid Hotel, Kalutara. I have read previous reviews that state it should be categorised higher than a 3-star. I actually think the 3-star rating is fair. The hotel is clean and comfortable and the staff freindly and helpful but there are some issues that mean, in my opinion, it shouldn't be rated higher. The hand towels are too small - picky possibly but I like to wrap a towel around my head to get out of the shower - impossible with these towels and you are only given 1 bath towel each. The menu is not terribly varied - rice every day, 1 potato dish but you can guarantee chicken on the bone in a sauce, pork or lamb in a sauce and beef or gammon. The menu is rotated weekly so is fairly predictable. There is an a la carte menu and the food is good but having paid for all inclusive you don't expect more expense on top. You also have to pay for wine and it isn't cheap!! On the last night the hotel had run out of wine by the glass but would have been more than happy to sell me another bottle at a cost of £15+!! There is an issue with flies in the reception area and I can't help but think that an electronic fly zapper would help.
Make sure you get some rupees at the airport - the hotel rate for exchange is not good and they use the same rate for buying and selling so if you pay your bill in sterling you get your change in rupees and then get the same poor rate to convert those!!
Having said that we did enjoy our holiday though I must say the constant asking for money was wearing after a while. Even stopping to admire a view means you get 'hassled' to buy goods or give money, your packed lunch, anything!!
Make sure you venture out of the hotel - we took a Tuk Tuk ride into the 'village' - not what we expected but absolutely lovely - we saw snakes and a crocodile in the paddy fields, swamp and jungle area and some stunning scenery and beautiful flowers.
There are also two tailor shops at the back of the hotel - my partner bought some shirts and trousers - lovely fabric and nicely made though no french seams on the shirts. Very quick service too and so reasonable. There is a train line at the back of the hotel that tour operators choose to ignore but I have to say I didn't find it disruptive in any way.
Some tour operators offer a free 30 minute massage - worth upgrading to a 1-hour all over body massage for a very reasonable 1800 rupees.
It is a shame that the Sri Lankans don't realise the damage they are doing dumping their rubbish on the beach and other stunning areas - hopefully they will before it's too late.
We also ventured on a 2-day trip using a guide recommended by the hotel's official guide who was in fact cheaper than the beach boys. We visited a pineapple farm, tea plantation and factory, spice farm, silk shop, gem shop, wood carvers - all very interesting. We stayed overnight in Kandy and visited the Temple - fascinating. Day 2 was a trip to Dambulla, the Hindu Temple at Matale and Sigiriya. This was simply amazing. Our guide was excellent and knowledgeable. If you're not very good with heights you might not manage the climb but if you are able to it is worth every one of the 1200 steps - stunning views and lots of original artefacts - definitely the highlight of the trip without doubt!!
Driving in Sri Lanka is interesting and I would not recommend anyone hire a car. They are constantly sounding their horns and weaving in and out of traffic and it seems that all drivers MUST get in front of whoever or whatever is in front of them - even if it means driving on the other side of the road with oncoming traffic not too far ahead!! Best to shut your eyes and enjoy the stunning scenery.
I certainly would not say keep away from the Mermaid - it offers good value for money and is clean and comfortable. Like I said - it does what it says on the tin.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank nia_sws
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dilip S, General Manager at Hotel Mermaid & Club, responded to this reviewResponded November 14, 2012

We thank the reviewer for their stay at Mermaid Hotel & Club and sharing their holiday experience.

We were delighted in reading the favourable comments and thank you for expressing them for the benefit of visitors to this website.

There is often confusion about the star classification of the hotel. Mermaid is rated as 3 star and 3 ½ star by tour operators and travel agents worldwide. Star classification on Trip Advisor site is 3 ½. There is no purpose in debating on this. Guests who post reviews in Trip Advisor are expected to rate the hotel on the Consumer Satisfaction Index which is always at the beginning of the review. Most guests rate the hotel with 5 dots.

We have noted the comment made on buffets and are in the process of adding variations to the menu cycle to avoid repetition of dishes at times.

Comments made on exchange rate, we wish to mention that the hotels are not authorized to sell foreign currencies for the guests. In general, the exchange rate in hotels all over the world is not the same as in the banks as taxes are involved through the process.

We wish you will return and look forward to welcoming you to Mermaid Hotel & Club.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2012

Just returned from a 9 njght break at the mermaid, what a beautiful country, fantastic hotel and wonderful staff. Comfortable rooms, great food and would definitely recommend Ravi the guide we met on the beach who was happy to adapt a tour of the elephant sanctuary with a guide of pineapple and tea plantation thank you all again

Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
4  Thank lynn t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dilip S, General Manager at Hotel Mermaid & Club, responded to this reviewResponded November 14, 2012

We thank the reviewer for their stay at Mermaid Hotel & Club and sharing their holiday experience.

We were delighted in reading the favourable comments and thank you for expressing them for the benefit of visitors to this website.

We wish you will return and look forward to welcoming you to Mermaid Hotel & Club.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2012

Our family (4 kids+2adults) went on trip of a lifetime from Ireland to Sri Lanka in August 2012. After a superb tour of Sri Lanka where we stayed in a range of locations we arrived at the Mermaid.
We were looking forward to concluding a wonderful trip with five nights of a beach stay with an all inclusive package.
With hindsight we should have been sensitive to the polite message when our guide went out of his way each time we mentioned the hotel to say that it was not booked by his local company.

On arrival the rooms we were shown to had a horrible smell in them which we were assured would clear with the air conditioning - it didn't - it just got worse. (It turned out to be from the plumbing/sanitation.)
When I placed the key of the room in the card holder the switch sparked and exploded loudly cutting out the power in the room. I was taken aback and shocked (literally) and when I reported it to reception the maintenance guy called just flicked a trip switch and told me not to put the keycard in again!

The rooms themselves were shabby and unclean - a bit like a 1970's family holiday camp which hadn't been updated or even well cleaned. The door to the bathroom was swollen and wouldn't close -The TV with it's sellotaped remote had seen better days and all the presenters who appeared had green faces which gave the kids a bit of a laugh and us a little light relief. The curtains in the room were stained and unclean and the woodwork was splashed with untidy paint marks.

We desperately tried to keep up a brave face and took a walk around the premises and onto the beach where things just didn't get any better. The exit to the beach was filled with emaciated dogs and a large group of beach sellers who on the day appeared intimidating. On walking the beach it was filthy - litter and plastic strewn all around both left and right of the hotel frontage and just uncared for.

When we returned to the restaurant I attempted to add an additional chair to our table but the arm of the chair just came away when I lifted it.

The most diplomatic thing I can say is that after travelling a long way around the globe the quality of the Mermaid hotel was not what we expected and definitely not reflective of the reviews we read on trip advisor.The experience was so much at odds with other locations in Sri Lanka that despite the inconvienience we insisted on moving.

Although we had to pay up front to move, lost 24 hours of our short holiday and our tour operator got no refund from the mermaid it was the best decision we made on the trip. Thankfully by moving from the Mermaid we saved a memorable holiday in Sri Lanka from being destroyed.

We moved to an alternative hotel ( Detail available if you want to email me) down the coast which was a pleasure to behold with quality clean accommodation, superb food, a golden beach with wild turtles and easy access to the local town and surrounding attractions. The contrast between the two locations could not have been greater- if you intend travelling to beautiful Sri Lanka please ensure your accomodation is of a standard befitting the experience- The mermaid is not!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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7  Thank ExpGaelicGames1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dilip S, General Manager at Hotel Mermaid & Club, responded to this reviewResponded November 20, 2012

We thank the reviewer for their stay at Mermaid Hotel & Club and sharing their holiday experience.

The reviewer has informed us on arrival, although they have booked Mermaid Hotel & club which is a 3 ½ star hotel, they were expecting a higher category hotel. Therefore, the reviewer arranged a transfer through their Tour Operator to a 4 ½ star hotel in Bentota on the following morning. As it was their fault, we were compelled to levy the cancellation charges for 2 nights reducing the cancellation fee by 3 nights as a goodwill gesture.

When the key tag has placed on the holder to activate the room master switch the circuit breaker tripped. Shortly afterwards the power was restored by engaging the circuit breaker.

We totally deny all other allegation which may have been reaction to the cancellation.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

We spent 2 weeks from 20th Oct at the Mermaid Hotel,
Family of eight, The Staff and Management were excellent, we have been to 5 star hotels and never had the service that the Mermaid gave us.
The rooms were clean and comfortable the food was always good as others have reported the staff could not do enough for you.
We had freak weather Rain for most of our 2 weeks but we still enjoyed ourselves.
I booked the green bamboo restaurant as it was rated on trip adviser on arrival the place looked dirty but we thought the food would be ok we had sea food only 2 out of 8 people ate there meal it was disgusting £125.00 for 2 meals a real rip off.
Avoid the green bamboo at all cost.
We had a few trips with the beach boys Harry Tours, ask for Harha he was great.
All of our party would like to thank the Manager and staff of the Mermaid for a wonderful holiday, we miss you all, and we will be back.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Diwemb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dilip S, General Manager at Hotel Mermaid & Club, responded to this reviewResponded November 9, 2012

We thank the reviewer for their stay at Mermaid Hotel & Club and sharing their holiday experience.

We were delighted in reading the favourable comments and thank you for expressing them for the benefit of visitors to this website.

We wish you will return and look forward to welcoming you to Mermaid Hotel & Club.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Mermaid & Club

Address: Mahawaskaduwa, Kalutara 12000, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Kalutara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kalutara
#1 Spa Hotel in Kalutara
#1 Family Hotel in Kalutara
#1 Romantic Hotel in Kalutara
Price Range: $118 - $278 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Mermaid & Club 3.5*
Number of rooms: 81
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Mermaid Hotel & Club lies on the golden sands of Mahawaskaduwa; a cosy fishing village in the city of Kalutara which is of religious significance, just 24 miles south of Colombo and 45 miles from the International airport. It is cleverly nestled in a vast coconut grove along a stretch of golden, sandy beach; a perfect get-away for sun, sand and sea lovers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Mermaid And Club
Resort All Inclusive Mermaid
Mermaid Hotel Sri Lanka
Hotel Mermaid & Club Sri Lanka/Kalutara

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