We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Good clean and friendly hotel with little to offer in entertainment”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 11 more sites!
Hotel Mermaid & Club
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Kalutara
Reviewed May 28, 2009

Sri Lanka is a wonderful country full of warm and friendly people. The Mermaid Hotel offers good value for money, clean and spacious rooms and a array of daily culinary delights. All the staff we encountered were helpful and courteous at all times, they could not do enough for you. The only drawback was the location, a vast distance from many of the sights, with many trips startring out at 05:30. However, the surrounding area is safe to walk about alone. There is a beach but the tide brings ashore many items of flotsom and jetson and the hotel staff do not clean the beach. May is the start of the monsoon season and boy did it rain at night, day time was cloudy as well.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank pinkdoglover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (1,531)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

1,291 - 1,297 of 1,531 reviews

Reviewed April 28, 2009

My partner and I stayed at the Mermaid Hotel for a fortnight in November 2007. We are both frequent travellers and this is one of our favourite hotels of all time. The hotel itself is pleasant and clean but it is without a doubt the staff that earn it the five star rating. They ably demonstrate customer service at its best and their genuine warmth, hospitality and sense of fun ensured we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

Be sure to get out and about and see something of the rest of the country while you are there. We went on a tour to Sigiriya and Kandy with one of the beach boys, Indi, and would recommend him to anyone who would like the flexibility and individuality that the big tour companies just can't provide. We also took a train trip down to Galle and back - one the best ways to spend less than a pound that I can think of. If you want to fit in a bit of shopping too then the jeweller across the road (Moon Light Workshop) and Deepalee, who has her own art gallery near the main road (Aurora Art Gallery, 17 Abrew Road), also come highly recommended.

If you are thinking of staying at the Mermaid then my advice is to go ahead and book now.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank m1keyp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2009

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with lush greenery & plenty to see & do. The main roads are very busy often turning normal carriageways into six lanes, and then the country roads are narrow & bumpy; bare this in mind when planning your trips. The journey may not be that far but takes a long time due to this.

The Mermaid Hotel is set just off the beech, with sun lounges under the palm trees or round the pool. The water was very warm both in the pool & in the sea which was quite rough with strong currants.

The service you receive is first class nothing is too much trouble, from putting a mattress & towel on your sun bed to serving you drinks & food. I found the food okay with plenty of choice; you’ll not starve at the Mermaid.

The rooms are well proportioned & very clean, every evening they would turn your beds back, place flowers on it & set the mosquito trap.

The beech is not maintained by the hotel & we found lots of rubbish washed up including 4 hypodermic syringes. You will meet the beech boys here trying to sell excursions, we used Ratna, he was very helpful, reasonable & took us on a trip to Candy. We also used Ratna to change money & just to shoot off to town to buy gifts.
He is a very trust-worthy guy, but then they all seemed to be & we never heard any bad reports.

Sri Lanka is mainly Buddhist & on a full moon no alcohol can be bought or served, also during our stay it was New Year’s Day 14th April, which meant no alcohol again for 2 days, so do your homework before you book. We used Ratna again to shop for booze before these days.

The Sri Lankans are very polite, friendly & helpful, but also like to be tipped, a lot.
Our trip to Candy was excellent, early start 5.30am & a long journey but we only wanted a day trip, not an overnight one. We stopped at a rubber plantation then onto a café which served fresh pineapple cut straight from the plant, the best pineapple I’ve ever tasted. Next was the elephant orphanage, being that close to these giants was amazing, watching them feed & the babies being fed. Then they are taken to the river, wow what a fantastic setting, beautiful & the elephants just wander off upstream, downstream & across into the forest & they come back when called, amazing. The Mahouts will beckon you down for a photo with the elephant for 1,000 rupees.

Just down the road from the orphanage was a place where you could ride an elephant,
2.500 rupees, this was the best bit for me, not the comfiest form of transport, but they take you into the forest then into the river for a trunk full shower. They take photos of you while going round & ask for a tip 500 rupee just before you get off.

Next we went to the spice garden, forget this it’s a herbal remedy shop & very expensive. Then we went to the botanical gardens, imported trees from around the world, boring & another 500 rupees for the guide & 100 rupees for the man with the scorpion on a leaf, “how lucky were we to have seen him”. Then to a fabric design type shop more boring more money.

The next stop on the trip was the Temple, a magnificent building & very interesting, with the guide being tipped 1,000 rupees. We were supposed to be going to a tea plantation but run out of time & the heavens opened with a tremendous downpour.
My advice is tell your guide/beech boy what you want to do/see & tailor your trip to suit your needs. We arrived back at the Mermaid just in time for the evening meal.

In the next garden to the Mermaid over the bridge, is their gym, sauna, massage, tennis courts etc, so plenty to shake off those calories you will put on.

The hotel staff do like being tipped & this becomes more noticeable towards the end of your stay, when they become more friendly & chatty & tell you of their life stories. Even on the streets they come up & cadge cigarettes, comment on your clothing & the children ask for bon bons {sweets} so take plenty, we took exploding candy & they loved it.

Beware the security guard at Colombo airport, I only asked for the Emirates check-in desk & he noticed cigarettes & offered a smoke break, which turned out to be the disabled toilet which he guarded & charged me $10. I should have told him where to get off, but he would probably have arrested me then.

All in, you can do what you want, chill out or go out, you will enjoy it. We would go back but I’ll check the moon charts before I book.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank MrFocco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2009

Myself and my partner (both aged 22) stayed at the Mermaid in February this year. We didn't pay too much for the holiday (I think around £700 each with Dreamticket, for Feb half term) but had read lots of good reviews on here so were expecting something quite nice. We definately got what we expected, and more! The hotel was lovely - everything from the lighting to the flowers that were put in the little pools was well thought out.

The pool was great, but the grassed area under the palm trees right in front of the beach was a much nicer place to sunbathe. The beach itself was gorgeous. It's not a private beach but this made it even better for us - it wasn't cluttered with sunloungers, but rather with the locals' boats and dogs! There were a collection of beach boys outside of the gates leading on to the beach as we were expecting, but on the first day we got talking to one of them called Siri. He bought us a "King coconut" from his back garden and cut it open to have a drink of. Normally I hate any kind of touters but Siri was lovely and so good at English and just so interesting! Another good thing was that as soon as we became friends with Siri none of the other beach boys hassled us but were just really friendly. We asked him all kinds of questions about the place, and arranged to go on a day tour to Kandy and the elephant orphanage. He showed us loads of reviews from guests at the hotel, his price was very good, and when we actually got on the trip we felt like we'd got even better value for money! We had a private tour with just us and Siri and his driver, and Siri couldn't stop telling us about everywhere we passed, it was fab. We had loads of extra stops which we didn't know we'd do, like a little cafe where we ate fresh pineapple and a rubber plantation. We didn't have to pay for anything - Siri tipped everyone on behalf of us and paid all our entrance fees. It was great having him as a tour guide as we really felt like we could ask him anything and we learnt so much more about the country than we would otherwise have done. I only wish we were there for longer than a week and then we could have experienced some more of Siri's tours!

The staff at the actual hotel were also great. On the first day they made the effort to get to know us and started calling us by our names...part of me thinks they were just haggling after a tip, but everyone we met in Sri Lanka was so friendly that I actually think they would have been friendly either way. They made every effort to make sure we had all the drinks we wanted etc. The food was absolutely gorgeous. Being vegitarian, all inclusive can sometimes be a bit of a dodgy choice with me ending up eating chips all week! There was nearly as much veggie food to choose from as meaty food, and it was all so tasty! I think we only ate the same thing once or twice over the week, and that's only because it was so good that we wanted it again! We didn't even have chips once!!

Overall, this was a wonderful holiday and I would whole-heartedly recommend both the Hotel Mermaid and Sri Lanka to anybody who wants a bit of a different holiday to a country which is so "real". Yes, the transfer is long and a bit of a hair raising ride, but it's all so interesting and new that a couple of hours in the car just flies by. With regards to the recent trouble in Sri Lanka, we didn't have any problems. The morning we left was the morning that the two Tamil planes were gunned down by police and even that didn't affect our departure - I imagine in the UK this would have caused a delay for hours!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank heatherhoward100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2009

We stayed at the Mermaid in July 2007 through Mercury Direct as we wanted to go long haul to avoid children as much as possible (my girlfriend is a primary school teacher) and the med was pretty much the same price for 2 weeks. We took a gamble on the weather as July is in the middle of the monsoon season but it spectacularly paid off, having the best holiday of our fairly short lifetimes (we were 25 and 26 at the time).

We flew out with Qatar from Heathrow, a fantastic flight out to Doha, the 242 formation ensured we had our own seats full of entertainment and comfortable meal / drink options at our disposal for the duration of the flight. A short stop-off at Doha and we were on the shuttle flight to Colombo - a more basic set-up for the 5hr second leg (no ents and curry was the only option) but we just slept for the best part of the journey.

Upon arrival in colombo we were chauffered down to Kalutara in a cab laid on by the Mermaid (customary practice as we've been back to the island since) and upon arrival at the hotel a cocktail and cooling towel were awaiting. Having been shown our room we were more than impressed; great size room, big kingsize bed, very very clean in general and a great bathroom with walk-in shower.

That afternoon we had 5 minutes of rain but we didn't get another drop for the rest of our holiday - great news. The one thing with SL (or at least that part of the coast) is that the sea was too rough to swim in safely as it was monsoon season so we were restricted to the pool, but we knew that before we were going out there so never mind!

We were on an all-inclusive package which included all drinks and food with morning and afternoon snacks - we took advantage of it at every opportunity! Only imported spirits and cocktails were in addition to the AI, of which we had a few of as the bar staff do upsell them at every occasion, as well as the wine (which for every bottle bought a steak meal was complimentary). The restaurant itself had all the usual buffet options with local and continental dishes on offer, the main thing for me having been ill on a return visit to the country is that we didn't get upset stomachs at any point.

The best part about a visit to SL is the trips on offer as there is so much to see. The hotel had an official guide but we spurned his advances as recommended on TA and went with the 'beach boys'. These guys had a very strong brand advocacy programme as we were approached by other holiday makers who had been on trips with them offering books with written experiences of other punters plus photos too.

We went on 3 trips in total - one down to Galle with Sami to take in a fish market showing the mornings catch, a spice garden, a boat trip to see wildlife (and a baby croc), a turtle sanctuary (fab), a gem mine, a glass bottom boat over the reef and a cooling swim in the sea around there as the coral stopped the current flowing in Hikkaduwa. This was with another family but we had a great time all the same and Sami was an excellent guide (thankyou sami).

We made friends with another young couple at the resort and decided to pal up for some other excursions to save cash and for some additional company. We decided to go with Sami again for an over-nighter to Kandy, incorporating (another) spice garden, the elephant orphanage (fab), elephant riding, sigiriya (fab again), a tea factory, the temple of the tooth relic, a batik factory, a wood carving factory, the botanical gardens, plus a little local dancing with an overnight stay in a hotel in Kandy. All were excellent (see photos) but one gripe was the hotel rooms were pretty grotty to say the least - our negotiations, £40 each, can't have left much for the room bill and one tip would be to say you want a decent room thrown in - if you aren't happy maybe go to reception and ask for an upgrade.

The other trip we went on we decided to spread our money as there were so many beach boys fighting for our cash and went on a trip with Silva to do a jeep safari. An early start we drove off to the safari location and got there for sunrise (stunning) and saw elephants, crocs, kingfishers, water monitors and other bits and pieces en route (my memory evades me given it was 18 months ago).

This was good, as expected, but just one example of the lengths the beach boys go to is on the way back to Kalutara we were asked if we fancied lunch by a waterfall, why not? Lunch was fine and then Silva asked whether we fancied a swim as we were ahead of schedule - up the waterfall - yeah why not!! This was by far and away the best part of the holiday, taken through the undergrowth at the side of the waterfall by a helpful local guide, 5 mins later we were swimming in a naturally formed pool through rainbows, jumping off rocks and we spent far too long in there but Silva didn't mind : ) - we tipped the guide a 1000 rupees (£4) between us (Silva said 100 would do) and this seemed to really make his day when in all seriousness he had made our holiday. All 3 trips are littered with examples of Sami and Silva going beyond the call of duty and they really helped us make our holiday that much more special!

Another example is that on our penultimate night Silva laid on a boozy beach BBQ for the 6 of us, including a seafood platter, lots of spirits and mixers, fireworks and lots more drinking all for £20 each. This was another highlight of the holiday and we had a great night and got ridiculously drunk.

All in all the Mermaid was the perfect base for us to explore the island, we had somewhere lovely to stay and enjoy once we were there, the location is pretty remote but we were central enough (country wise) to cover large parts of the island over our two week break. If we spent slightly less time relaxing the South part of the island has some brilliant beaches that shouldn't be missed. Galle / Unawatuna are places that shouldn't be passed up and we spent some time there on our return for a wedding last month.

Hope this helps any decision making, take a look at the photos, wish we could put some more up but are restricted to 10! Don't be put off by monsoon weather either - although some cloud cover it's very hot, you'll get a good tan and it will only rain for 5 mins at most.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Rex_Lee_Green_London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2009

Just returned from another marvelous stay at the Mermaid, our 4th in sixteen months. As has been said before, the hotel is kept to a very high standard of cleanliness with room towels changed daily and the staff are wonderful. Nothing is too much trouble for them. This quality might be highlighted by the number of return guests. We met three other couples (one from Germany) with whom we had shared previous holidays at the Mermaid. So why write a review saying the same thing as all the other reviewers?

I thought that it might be helpful to offer a different insight.
1) If you book with Mercury Direct, (the cheapest operator and, no, I am not an employee) pamper yourself with the two free massages included in the package at the hotel spa. You will really enjoy it. Otherwise, visit the masseur/s on the beach immediately to the left of the hotel grounds. They charge 1,000 rupees whereas the hotel charge 4,000 rupees. Although they did have a half price offer on whilst we were there.
2) Take sterling with you if you intend to take any sight seeing tours, buy Jewellery or have clothes made. You get a better rate of exchange that way than you do when exchanging travellers cheques.
3) Check whether there is a Poy day (full moon) whilst you are in Sri Lanka. No alchohol can be served on these days. If you like a drink, buy it in advance from a local store (The beach boys will always help) or duty free on your way in.
4) All the rep will do for you is to try and sell you trips at inflated prices. Do not listen to their stories about the beach boys. All of them can be completely trusted. We use Tilan who can be recognised by the lack of top front teeth for everything, exchanging money for us, Organising a reliable Tuk Tuk and organising our trips. If you book a trip with him, ask for his driver Gamini, he is very safe.
5) If you fancy a change of diet in the restaurant, or you have children that cannot find something suitable at meal times, ask for a portion of chips and or a plate of sandwiches. The restaurant staff are only too happy to oblige.
6) The covers on the sun beds under the palm trees have seen better days and are a little worn, so ask the attendant for two each. Far better for the old bones. Providing demand is not too high, he will be only too happy to oblige.
7) DO NOT visit the tailor immediately to the right as you leave the hotel front gate. We made that mistake only once. The owner is fine but his worker(s) are appalling. Visit the tailor across the railway track immediately opposite the hotel entrance.
8) If you want a piece of bespoke jewellery you MUST visit the jeweller immediately opposite the front gate. The craftsmanship is unbelievable. I had a multi stone pendant made for my wife to my own (rather complex) design and was invited to watch whilst it was being made. The finished article is unbelievable, way beyond my expectations. Many visitors opt for their name carved in Sinalese in a silver or gold pendant. With or without precious stones. Whatever you want, they can make it. Don't be put off by their display stock. If you wish, take your old gold and they will melt it down and fashion your jewel out of it.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Pete&Babs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2009

My husband and I stayed for 2 weeks in February and found the hotel to be very good. The rooms were very clean and mosquito free! The staff at the hotel were excellent, nothing was too much trouble and they were all very friendly and helpful.
The evening entertainment was okay but by the second week it started to grate.
The food was of a high standard with something for everyone although the desserts were good to look at they tasted of nothing.

We went on a tour with Ravi, one of the beach boys, to Kandi and he looked after us very well. He and Bobby, his driver ,were knowledgeable and helpful. I would recommend him to my friend

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Ememnh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Kalutara
0.5 mi away
Royal Palms Beach Hotel
Royal Palms Beach Hotel
#3 of 11 in Kalutara
1,310 reviews
0.7 mi away
Tangerine Beach Hotel
Tangerine Beach Hotel
#6 of 11 in Kalutara
1,210 reviews
0.8 mi away
Turyaa Kalutara
Turyaa Kalutara
#5 of 11 in Kalutara
837 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
4.6 mi away
The Blue Water
The Blue Water
#3 of 10 in Wadduwa
1,436 reviews
13.3 mi away
Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa Sri Lanka
0.6 mi away
Citrus Waskaduwa
Citrus Waskaduwa
#1 of 1 in Waskaduwa
1,028 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Hotel Mermaid & Club? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 Romantic Hotel in Kalutara
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kalutara
#1 Family Hotel in Kalutara
#1 Spa Hotel in Kalutara
Price Range: $114 - $266 (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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotwire, Priceline, TripOnline SA, Cheap Tickets, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Agoda, Travelocity, getaroom.com, Cancelon and HotelQuickly so you can book your Hotel Mermaid & Club reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Hotel Mermaid And Club
Resort All Inclusive Mermaid
Mermaid Hotel Sri Lanka
Hotel Mermaid & Club Sri Lanka/Kalutara

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing