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“Basic accomodation, but a good view”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Elephant Bay

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Hotel Elephant Bay
Ranked #4 of 12 Pinnawala B&B and Inns
Singapore
Level Contributor
67 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Basic accomodation, but a good view”
Reviewed February 21, 2013

Travel forums, both TA and others, tout the elephant orphanage at Pinawala as a must-see.

The orphanage itself is a ticketed site where visitors can view the rehabilitation process. The real attraction however is when the elephants are ‘let out’ to play in the nearby river.

The Elephant Bay hotel has a lovely garden from where you can watch these elephants. Watching these elephants, big and small, romping in the river with the forested hills in the background is a memorable experience

Room Tip: All thier rooms face the river.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank PonsSingapore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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210 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    21
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
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English first
Krakow, Poland
Level Contributor
69 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2013

The room I stayed in had a constant smell of mould, the bed was poorly made (the sheets were literally just laid on the bed), the towel was seemingly a relic of when the hotel opened 20 odd years ago and the resturant left a lot to be desired in terms of quality food.

The one saving grace of the Hotel Elephant Bay is the staff, who were nothing but polite, friendly and willing to go out of their way to assist. Of course the cynic in me believes this is because they are used to catering to obnoxious, loud mouthed tourists who expect Hilton service everywhere they go, however their underlying friendleness cannot be questioned.

I wouldn't stay here again and it's worth one night at most. Please make sure you read up the abuse and mistreatment at the Pinnewalla Elephant Orphanage as well before deciding to come to this tourist trap of a town.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank As2k10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Pinnawala hotels

Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2013

Recently I have visited Sri Lanka and stayed at this hotel for a night .
It was a wonderful experience !
The hotel is situated on a river. Twice a day the elephants from a near by elephant orphange are walked down to the river to bathe.
This was a wonderful sight . In the evening at dusk we sat on our balcony and watched the fruit bats come in to roost (again wonderful) later on that evening we were back on the balcony to see the fire flies light up the near by tree.. what a day !
The hotel itself is fairly basic, although the room we stayed in was clean and had all we needed. The fact that it was basic did not matter to us. The AC worked, the food was very good and the staff friendly and helpful, the bed was fine and we had hot water. That was good enough, we were hear to see the elephants.
We stayed here in January and the hotel was fairly empty . I dont think i would want to stay here any longer than a couple of nights as it is basic however we had a fantastic stay here and in the two weeks we stayed in sri lanka this was one of the high lites.
well worth a visit if you want a quiet time and are happy to wait for the elephants as not much else to do inbetween apart from relax.

Room Tip: ask for a room with a view of the river
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank katyjay1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2013

we came directly from the airport to this hotel
it took less than two hours for us to reach the hotel ,but it was late in the evening.
we stayed 2 nights in the hotel
while you are in the restaurant you could see the elephant bath just 20 meters away from you
kids really love it
this is the first time we saw more 100 elephants bathing near a hotel
once in a life time experience
please make sure that you visit the orphanage early morning 2 minutes walk from the hotel
tips : you can have buffet lunch at the hotel restaurant which is very cheap
please make sure that you choose a room with a river view
you could also see the elephant bath from the rooms

Room Tip: please make sure that you book the river view rooms all air con rooms and nice and friendly staf...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank susan j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013 via mobile

This is a terrible hotel! It is dirty, old, breakfast is horrible and the staff isn't professional! It is just in front of the river where the elephants go in the morning, however I would look for another option before staying here again. It is very expensive. Not good value for money

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cecilia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 20, 2012

We stayed here to maximise our experience of the elephants. The location is fabulous with you being able to sit in the restaurant and watch the elephants bath in the river. Arrive by 2pm and you can watch a few hours of frolicking before heading over to the elephant orphanage for evening feeding. It is a lovely time of day to be in the orphanage as most of the tour groups have gone home. We then headed back early the next morning and had lunch watching the morning river swim before checking out.

The hotel is nothing amazing. Clean rooms and comfortable beds. The menu is average and not a lot of freshly cooked food - lots of deep fried stuff. But we weren't there for the food. If you can't get a river-view room I wouldn't bother staying.

If planning to explore Kandy, I'd recommend travelling to Pinnawalla as a daytrip. But if you're elephant-enthusiasts an overnight stay makes the visit really memorable.

Room Tip: River-view rooms a must.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FamilyIntrepid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2012 via mobile

We spent 3 nights in this place and I have to say that it wasn't too impressed! The rooms are big but dirty especially the bathroom, the food is expensive considering the Sri Lanka average and not fresh, only one of the waiters was really nice the rest of the staff was unfriendly and unhelpful. Pinnawala is a very small village and it is far away from everything. If you need to move around don't ask for assistance to the staff at the hotel! They will find for you only extremely expensive drivers! Outside the hotel there are always tuk tuk available to take you everywhere you like including Kandy which is about one an a half hour away for very small money compare to the hotel staff! The plus point for this place is the location! You can see the elephants every day coming for a bath in the river right outside the hotel! The elephant orphanage is just across the road from the hotel and it is a must to see! There are other hotels around but I cannot say anything because I did not stay in them! Overall you can stay in this place but just don't expect too much!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Leopoldothesheep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Elephant Bay

Property: Hotel Elephant Bay
Address: Hotel Elephant Bay Road, Pinnawala, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Sabaragamuwa Province > Pinnawala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Pinnawala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel Elephant Bay 2*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Pinnawala, Hotel Elephant Bay is right across from the famous elephant orphanage. It provides rooms with large private balconies and spectacular views of Ma Oya River.Rooms are bright and airy, with simple decor and furnishings. They feature a flat-screen cable TV, a tea/coffee maker and private bathroom facilities.Guests can enjoy leisurely strolls in the tropical garden or make use of the hotel’s sun terrace. The Elephant Bay Hotel offers bike rental facilities for guests’ convenience. Various activities like hiking and fishing are available.Ivory Inn Restaurant serves international dishes. Room service is provided.The Elephant Bay Hotel is a 70-minute drive from Bandaranaike International Airport and a 2-hour drive from Colombo. It is an easy drive to cities like Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. ... more   less 
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