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“A Great Holiday”

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Hotel Mermaid & Club
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Kalutara
Reviewed October 7, 2009

Before I travelled to this hotel I read all the reviews and have to say that they are pretty accurate.
Our initial feeling when we arrived was "what will we do for 2 weeks?" first impression wasn't great but the hotel and staff really do grow on you and before we knew it we were on our way home,
The hotel is very clean and every effort is made to ensure that the native insects are kept out of the rooms, but you must remember that this is a tropical country and bugs are a fact.
The food is plentyful and a good choice is availible, and if you want a dish that is not on the menu the chefs are pleased to make it for you, and a special mention for the desserts, which were fab.
Being a small hotel you have no problem getting sun loungers and the staff are attentive and supply towels ect.
Whilst you are there go for one of the massages they are great and provide excellent value for money.
We did all our trips with Indi, who ensured that we fed baby elephants, held Crocodiles and Turtles and he gave us a great insight to the countries history,wildlife etc. I can reccommend Indi and if you want to contact me I can give you Indi's email address and website for you to see what you can do before you go on holiday.
In all The Mermaid Hotel and Sri Lanka are well worth a visit. Try it you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank ellerob14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 3, 2009

Initial thoughts on arrival were as others have said, after a long journey reception does not impress, but within seconds the staff do impress!

Have travelled extensively and would find it difficult to say I have ever been anywhere as friendly, with staff who go out of there way to help, accommodate your needs and have such a sense of fun.

On our wedding anniversary, we were made such a fuss of, by all staff including a wedding bed, decorated table, and had received flowers from great people we met and wine from other friends, we had the best day ever.

Thanks to Mollymo 37. we met Indie. We went to Kandy & Yalla both overnight and I cannot speak highly enough of his desire to make your trip special. I asked to go on the train in Kandy, which he arranged and came with us, his sense of fun made the trip memorable ( including getting the police to check our tickets) , My husband and Indie stood on the train steps laughing like kids. We hand fed monkeys, he arranged beer on our safari, fireworks & Arrak by a lake at night, I bottle fed the baby elephants and had the best seats for the elephant bathing and the Kandy dancers.

Indie seems to know everyone, and does everything he can to make your trip with him memorable.
We were with Kuoni, Trips offered were expensive and we would never have seen as much. Indie managed to incorporate so much more into his trips, from sampling buffalo curd to red bananas . I have no hesitation in recommending him to others who stay at the Mermaid.

The Mermaid hotel is a 3 star hotel with 5 star staff. The room was kept exceptionally clean with Nehil even folding items dried on the balcony. This is the sort of hotel where people actually speak to each other perhaps the friendliness of the staff rubs off on the guests .

I

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank taffngill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2009

If you are looking for a relaxed, clean hotel with excellent beach front and amazingly friendly staff book the Mermaid!
I have stayed at lot's of 5* hotels in many different countries but this beats it first and foremost for the personalised service you get from it's staff...they have a balanced approach not unecessarily in your face but there when you need them or just fancy a chat!
We recieved nothing but friendly, helpful and useful service - the waiters and barmen were incredibly efficient, friendly and insightful.We learnt so much about Sri Lanka from where we should go on trips, to cultural information aswell as cooking tips!! There is nothing the staff at the mermaid wouldn't do to make you feel at home.
There were many lovely people we met who worked at the Mermaid but ones that spring to mind are Cheeky(excellent cockney accent and all round funny guy), Pradeep(amazing smile very friendly and helpful),Sammy, the bar staff and the chefs!!
We didn't think that all inclusive could possibly mean that the food would be of the standard that we experienced. Everything is fresh, perfectly cooked by the chefs and again if there is a dish not featured in the buffet, if you ask they will accomadate. Whist we were there we asked for Sri Lankan cashew nut curry, as we had seen it on a Rick Stein program just before we left the UK....we hadn't seen this curry on the menu so we asked if we could possibly have it, the next day we had the most amazing curry!!!!
The hotel is clean wih great facilities just perfect for a chilled out holiday, good sized swimming pool, fitness centre and direct access to the beach.
If I have only one tip for the Mermaid it would please don't change, don't become overly corporate and don't change your staff if you can help it.....your customers will be coming back because of the genuinely great team you have at the Mermaid!!!
I shared this wonderful holiday with my friends and we WILL be coming back to the Mermaid...Thank you to everyone there for giving us a holiday of a lifetime and let's hope we see you again soon!!
Jo, Claire, Paul, Claire and Graham - Marlow, Cippenham and London,

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Marlow74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2009

We arrived at Colombo Airport late evening on 5th September, and made the journey to the Mermaid hotel. On arrival, we immediately realised how caring the staff were as our dates had been muddled. The receptionist immediately telephoned our rep to put our minds at rest.

It was the begining of 10 glorious days. The staff were always very friendly and helpful, and could not do enough for us. The sport centre great and spa very relaxing.

We met Gamini Henry - the hotel taxi driver - after talking to him, we booked first a trip to a bank in Kalutara. On arrival (Monday morning) the bank was full to overflowing, my husband and I looked at each other aghast but Henry took things in hand and in approximately 10 minutes our money was changed and we were out in the sunshine.

We booked him on several more trips, which was a blessing. We found him very calm, which was quite a feat in the chaotic driving style of Sri Lankans, very knowledgeable and accommodating. Our trips were more enjoyable for him guiding us.

We also met a lovely family (Ajit) and his wife, the tailors directly across the road from the hotel. They are the ones with an elephant in the front yard. We had garments made for ourselves and the family back home. The service they provided was quick, professional and very reasonable and the end products very pleasing.

On the whole our trip was brilliant and our only regret was that we had not booked to stay longer,

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank WANDERERSAHOY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2009

Travel to Sri Lanka arriving at the Mermaid on 9th Sept, on checking in we were welcomed with a refreshing drink after a 2 hour drive from the airport.
The room we were allocated we found to be comfortable,well maintained and of a good standard.

Over the two week period of our stay we found the staff of the hotel to be attentive, accomodating and very proffesional in regard to meeting our needs and requirements. A particular mention has to be for the room attendant, his attention to detail and 15 years of experience working in this hotel must be commended, another example was the restaurant captain who arranged meals to suit our requirements and medical condition.

Although travelling with Hayes and Jarvis we chose to employ the services of one of the "Beach Boys", Indi, to arrange two customised excursions the first to Kandy and the second to Yala both overnight.

The services provided by this young man far exceeded those provided by the tour reps in regard to content, flexibility and experience as well as being a great deal cheaper. During our stay he also arranged a few short trips to Kalutara in order that we could get cigarettes and diet coke, which is in short supply and expensive in the hotel. We would certainly recommend Indi to other travellers visiting this hotel.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mollymo37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2009

Just back from a 2 week holiday at the Mermaid and we had a wonderful time, especially as we had become a little dubious before leaving having read some of the negative reports on Tripadvisor. However, we found all the staff to be warm, friendly and genuine in looking after us and helping ensure we had a good holiday. This ranged from helpful tips, local advice, even recipes. The hotel isn’t too big and wasn’t too full meaning that there was plenty of space around the pool, which was always very clean and a good size. As others have mentioned the rooms were kept clean and we had no complaints. During our day trips away then the staff were only too happy to provide early morning tea (05:30) and packaged lunches/breakfasts to speed us on our way.

We used the well equipped sports centre and tried out a few things alongside the hotel’s own massage and spa centre. Again, no complaints and the staff were wonderful. An unexpected pleasure was the local wildlife where there were always large fruit bats in the air and chipmunks scampering around the pool area.

We were introduced to Silva and his brother Sumi through a couple who were already staying at the hotel and using him for trips. Silva is one of the “beach boys” who are normally to be found outside the hotel gate on the beach. We found Silva to be more than helpful in sorting out trips that covered the things that we wanted to see and do and his prices were significantly lower than the tour reps. Silva accompanied us on one the trips we booked with him and was very knowledgeable of the island and had a very big network of contacts. Sumi was always on hand if we needed anything and happily took us into Kalutara town in his Tuk-Tuk. On the second trip Hanu came as our guide and made it an enjoyable two days.

Towards the end of trip we met up with the tailor and his wife who have a small shop almost directly opposite the main gates of the hotel (he has an small wooden elephant in the garden). We each ordered different garments, hand made and hand embroidered and the service, quality and price were first class. They made us feel very welcome and offered genuine expert advice, our only wish is that we had found them sooner.

All in all it was a wonderful holiday, in a splendid hotel in a good location on a beautiful island with beautiful people. We would encourage anyone to visit Sri Lanka.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank FlyingHigher7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2009

When we first arrived at this hotel, which is in the back of beyond, we first thought how are we going to stand two weeks of this! The hotel is at best a 3 star but is spotlessly clean and the staff make it with their genuine friendliness and eager to please attitude. However, the hotel is fairly remote although the nearest town kalutara is about a 10 min tuk-tuk ride away.
What really made our stay was the trips and outings that were organised by our personal guide a beach boy by the name of Indi.You can find him at the beach directly in front of the hotel or ring him on his mobile ([--]).All the horror stories given out by the holiday companies to try and get you on their excursions are simply not true and the beach boys offer a better value for money and more personalised service.
For example we went with Indi to the Elephant Orphanage where my wife was one of the few people that got to bottle feed a baby elephant, had a top class seat to view the elephants bathing all because of Indi's personal relationships with the staff. In fact wherever you go in Sri Lanka Indi seems to have a friend.
His aim is to make your holiday into such a wonderful experience that you can't wait to go back, something we will definitely do. Whilst on the safari trip with Indi we mentioned that we would love to have a BBQ by a lack at night and to our surprise Indi organised this.With the help of friends we sat out under the stars around a roaring fire over which wild boar was cooked and drank the local drink (arrack) whilst his friends played a number of Sri Lankan folk songs to us. It is these personal experiences that the tour companies simply can't deliver.
Sri Lanka is a treasure, the people are lovely, the Mermaid Hotel a calm oasis and we would urge anyone to go there, you won't regret one minute. By the way if you decide to go you can prearrange your trips by contacting Indi on [--]

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank LeedsWorldexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 Romantic Hotel in Kalutara
#1 Family Hotel in Kalutara
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Kalutara
#1 Spa Hotel in Kalutara
Price Range: $77 - $275 (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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