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“Nice and quiet hotel, food and service could be improved”

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AVANI Kalutara Resort
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Kalutara
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 4, 2014

We (Swiss couple) stayed in this hotel for a week in January 2014. The hotel is very nicely refurbished and renovated and so are the rooms. It is a very quiet hotel, there are no animations which was more than fine for us. You hear the train from time to time, which can be annoying especially in the early mornings, but there are hotels much closer, so watch out for the situation when you book a hotel in South Sri Lanka. You should really take the time to visit the country, it's amazing and people are super-friendly (in non-tourist places... otherwise they're running after your money as everywhere else..)

Rooms: Very modern, clean and quite spacious. Bathrooms are nice and it has a good water pressure in the shower. We had a garden room on the ground floor which lacked a bit of natural light though. I would recommend taking a sea-view room on 1st floor, for the view (very nice sunsets) and also because you might hear the train less well. Beds are comfortable.

Food: Was ok, but not exceptional. Same kind of curries over and over. I couldn't eat rice with chicken curry after this week (and believe me, I'm not a picky eater!).

Service: Especially in the food area very slow. Took sometimes 45min to get a burger at the pool area. Also drinks served for the main meals took long. Roomboy was very good but in the end ran after us and insisted to get a tip, which I would have given under normal circumstances, but he was almost harassing us which bothered me so much that we ended up barely giving anything.

Reception: was ok, but not an exceptional help when we asked for tips for tours, etc.

Beach: it was nice but not very practical for swimming as there where waves and as it's public area, there are beach boys who want to sell you trips or souvenirs, which is very annoying in the end. ( I wouldn't recommend going on a tour with them, they are more expensive than a certified guide)

We ended up hiring a (very comfortable and new) car with driver to visit the country, his name is Suresh, he speaks English, he did a special education to be a guide in Sri Lanka and he lives very close from the hotel, so it's really practical if you just want to check him out. He was recommended by the hotel reception when we insisted a bit, his number is 0094 77 746 8702. He is a very nice guy, very funny, reliable and we always felt safe in any situation. We asked him to show us around non-touristic places, which he did, we ate in typical restaurants for 2 USD and saw places you wouldn't see with a tourist-bus. We paid an average of 60 USD per day for Galle & Colombo and 120 USD for Kandy & Nuwara Eliya on one long day (leaving at 5 in the morning, but no other tour offers this in one day...). If you call him, tell him that he got recommended by Nicole from Switzerland, he will for sure remember us :-)

Room Tip: I would recommend taking a room with a sea-view further away from the pool, which is more quiet as y...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Chiquita50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 2, 2014

Most people staying here were there for a few days only. We made it our base for a fortnight and the best thing was that the staff at the hotel got to know us and were very friendly, remembered what we liked and generally made the holiday special. We were warned off dealing with the beach boys, but on day one, Fernando spoke to us and became our good friend, so we experienced a little bit of Sri Lankan village life too, a bit of a reminder of the holidays we had as students.
Rooms at hotel were comfortable, there was a good variety of entertainment day and night. Food was good, especially the breakfasts with the best croissants I've had outside France, as well as curry for breakfast, but buffet dinner was a bit repetitive, hence visits to the village restaurant too.

Room Tip: I think it is worth going for a sea view room. We had a ground floor room, which meant we could go...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Janet H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2014

We spent a fantastic honeymoon at Avani at the beginnning of January. It's a beautiful location. All the rooms are clean and the staff can't do enough for you. Donald the f and b manager is brilliant and he arranged a private candle lit dinner on the beach for us. There was an extra charge for this but I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a special experience.

The trips are worth doing but prepare yourselves for some long bumpy drives

The room boys were great too, leaving little messages on the bed in flowers and towels. Little extra touches that make it a bit more special. If I was to go back to Sri Lanka I would definitely stop at Avani again

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LauraJames81852014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2014

We stayed here for 7nights at end of tour. This was our 5th hotel. Rooms were clean , modern & spacious. Staff friendly and helpful, although their first question is "when are you leaving" so they don't miss their tip. Same thing with the pool boy, he finds out you are leaving tomorrow then says he's not in that day so that you tip him today. I got used to this tip culture in the end, just about, by seeing the funny side of how blatant it was.
There was no tip box for restaurant staff, which made it difficult to single people out for a tip.
The food budget per head needs to be increased, the chicken was mainly just bones. The best choice & quality of food was at the Grand in Nuwara Eliya. After 2weeks of buffets I had had enough and this hotel did a great Australian steak on the beach.
I would not hesitate to return to this hotel again.

Room Tip: avoid a courtyard room
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank essex_paul_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2014

Having spent 8 days on the road exploring Sri Lanka we used the Avani as our 'week on the beach'. The hotel is located on a strip of land with the sea on one side and the lagoon on the other. We paid extra for a sea view but having been allocated a ground floor room, we could just about see the sea through the palm trees and over the steep sand. We never asked for a move to a second or third floor room as they did not give a view over the trees. That said, that is my only complaint and I would not pay the supplement for the view, but i would pay the same amount to stay for an extra couple of nights.

We stayed in room 121 which was the closest to the pool and wishing to have some privacy the pool staff provided us with loungers directly outside our patio doors.

Fernando was our room boy and he looked after everything from cleaning, to housekeeping and sorting our laundry. He was fantastic and very funny, courteous and helpful.

Donald circulates and offers a range of dining options from romantic dinners on the beach, which at £125 per couple didnt seem to put people off, where we indulged in the fish night where we dined on Mullett, Lobster & Giant Prawns all pulled from from the sea adjacent to the hotel. You pay by the weight so prices vary but at a fraction of the cost back home.

Food choice is wide with a selection of Sri Lanka meat & vegetarian curries, together with International cuisine, which included themed Italian, Mongolian & Mexican nights.

All the staff engaged positively and were polite and helpful in addition to the 2 i have named specifically. If you are looking to say in Kalutara I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel (and ask for a room being looked after by Fernando, he'll serve you right)

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank OLSPBH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2014

This was our 2nd visit to the Avani. My husband and I stayed for 12 nights in December 2013. This is a lovely hotel, set in very spacious grounds with views over the river or sea. The food is very good, with plenty of choices, rooms are very spacious and very clean and well equipped, to make sure you will have a very comfortable stay. We had a very memorable, romantic dinner. set by the beach with excellent food and service. The waiters at this hotel are very efficient, helpful and informative, special thanks to Shanaka and Monej, who made our stay even more fun.
We used Villy and Nelson (beach boys) again for all of our tours, they are honest, helpful and very knowledgeable.
Mu husband and I hope to return yet again for a very memorable holiday.

Room Tip: Rooms over looking the river are best.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sunshinebear035
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2014

We went there for a training, during a weekend. The hotel is very clean, friendly staff and good food. Everything was ready when we went there for our residential training, from the meeting room, Wi-Fi, power extensions, mikes to snacks and stationary.
Great value for money and since it is not very far away from Colombo, nice place for a short getaway.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled on business
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Thank Kusalika
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about AVANI Kalutara Resort

Address: St. Sebastian's Road | Katukurunda, Kalutara 0001, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Kalutara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Kalutara
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Kalutara
#2 Family Hotel in Kalutara
#3 Spa Hotel in Kalutara
#3 Luxury Hotel in Kalutara
Price Range: $99 - $332 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — AVANI Kalutara Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 105
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Breathe in that fresh sea air and feel the warmth of the sun against your skin. Before you, lies the ocean; behind you, the Kalu Ganga river, twisting almost 100 miles back to Sri Pada, the sacred mountain believed to be the footprint of the Buddha. Where the river meets the ocean, you'll find AVANI Kalutara Resort, and discover a place where your dreams of an island paradise come true.. This hotel was formely known as Kani Lanka Resort & Spa. Skim the white waves of the Indian Ocean on board a traditional fishing boat, or watch the sunlight glitter on the water as you kayak along the riverside... it's almost like you're paddling through diamonds. Later, draw close to the warmth of the beach-side fire and share stories of another incredible day. Savour every bite of that juicy fresh seafood and enjoy a sunset that's beautiful beyond belief... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
AVANI Kalutara Resort Sri Lanka

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