We are the other 50% of the party of 4 referred to in the review below "Never Again" by Lucian52 Birmingham. My wife and I dealt with the Virgin Holidays booking procedure problem that occurred when we arrived after the connecting flight was delayed for over 10 hours. Yes it took some time to resolve and was an unpleasant start to our holiday. The booking issue probably could have been dealt with better but never mind.
I urge you to read as many reviews as you can.
We have never seen so many smiling faces, staff genuinely wishing to help. There are far too many to name and single out, it would be unfair to the others. The ground staff, the sunbed boys and the sports staff were always willing to share time with us. My wife enjoyed the water aerobics immensely. As soon as we chose our sunbeds the clean towels provided were brought immediately. We tended to stay in roughly the same spot and when we looked over our balcony each morning the beds already had towels on them for us. There were always plenty of sunbeds throughout the grounds. Both pools were very clean. We really enjoyed seeing the chipmunks running amongst the palm trees, the chameleons and elephant on the beach.
The Restaurant was very good, always well staffed, the food was varied and well cooked with something for everyone. Breakfast included the usual fry up with fried egg or omelettes of your choice freshly cooked by cheerful chefs....or you could have curry.....All the waiters and a lone waitress, who was lovely, were attentive, never failing to smile, happy to serve us and very entertaining. My wife is vegetarian and always found something to eat at every meal. The beer and local spirits were good. The evening entertainment varied from Sri Lankan music and dancing to the Saturday night guitarist who did requests from The Shadows to Santana via Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" and was brilliant, accompanied by the frogs chorus in the ponds around.
The rooms are a good size with teamaking facilities and probably the cleanest ever. The air conditioning worked well. Full marks to the houseboy Sam, he worked very hard.
We all read the reviews before we went, we all knew we would get "bothered" on the public beach, perhaps it gets a little tedious at times but just be firm and say "No"....unless you want a bargain trip etc. We were at The Mermaid at the same time as "missmeerkat21" and "BarryGail" who thoroughly enjoyed their trips with the boys as you can read in their reviews below. They were lovely people to meet. The Hotel Reps also arranged tours which we understood were also excellent. My wife and I walked to Kalutara about 4 Km along the railway track where we saw monkeys in the trees, fruit bats, cattle wandering around and a metre long monitor lizard. It was fascinating to see washing drying on the ground between the railway lines and to meet the locals. There is a fantastic temple just over the bridge in Kalutara. We wanted to return by Tuk Tuk, quite something and a must. Haggle! All part of the Sri Lankan experience; different customs and culture. There is no doubt that both couples were upset about the booking fiasco but we were well looked after, well fed in a very clean comfortable hotel by great staff and we met some really nice fellow guests.....oh yes the weather was wonderful.
- 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