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“great location, rest not so much” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Elephant Bay

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Hotel Elephant Bay
Ranked #5 of 11 Pinnawala B&B and Inns
Doha, Qatar
Level Contributor
86 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“great location, rest not so much”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2013

the location is spectacular, right on the river where the elephants bath. Why the owners decline to capitalise on this is beyond me. Rooms are very poor, balconies tiny all reminiscent of an American highway motel built in the seventies. Food is also mediocre. A shame, a modest investment could turn this place in something really special.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jadedexpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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205 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    40
    65
    46
    33
    21
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68
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13
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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)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
london
Level Contributor
28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2013

The only reason this hotel gets 2 stars is because of the location.
Stayed here just for one night on arriving in Sri Lanka, after a long night and day of travelling, we just wanted a hot shower. No hot water, asked reception to help, they moved us rooms, same problem again, someone came to help, the disappeared. When I returned to the reception desk was told only hot water in the morning, not a good start.
At night when we wanted to go to sleep, there was no switch for the main light, to switch it off we had to remove the key from wall, which also cut the ac. Either hot or had to sleep with light on, not great.
The room had nice views of the river, and balconies. The elephant bathing was the best bit about the stay, without this it would have got no stars.

food was ok, did the job. Wouldn't go again

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ballyk123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Pinnawala hotels

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2013

I stayed in this hotel in mid july so it was the slow season. from chatting to staff we got prime location seats with the best times to watch the elephants bathe in the morning. (around 11 they are right outside the hotel) and we where the only ones there!!!

we ate lunch in the resturant and the wait staff where prompt and friendly, and the food was served to a great standard, especially for sri lanka (they offer western food from the alacarte menu that actually has flavour and not spicy)

our room was ready in a flash, they wernt expecting us but that was our mistake. we had great service, someone carried our luggage to the room, and showed us where everything in the room was (saved me from hunting around which was great!) and the view is one of the best. room was very clean, considering other places (5 star) that i have stayed in sri lanka. and for the price of the rooms I dont think you can complain, they do not over charge like other hotels here. Rooms are basic in terms of furniture in the room. but the beds are comfy and clean!

the location also like others have said is in a really good place! just a minute walk if that to the orphanage and shops. but do take note the town shuts when the elephents go home at 5 so do all your shopping before that. :)

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Piaget_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2013

Up to standard hotel room for Sri Lanka standard.
Room enjoy good view to the river, with nice sound from river.
Support late check in.
The food is ok, juice is fresh.
The whole restaurant is by the side of river.
The hotel is next to the elephant orphanage.

The most important point is: The elephant would walk towards you when they are bathing. You can feed them from the hotel restaurant and only guest can do this!

Room Tip: Room facing river
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank f6heymans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
25 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2013

Friendly staff, went out of the way to make sure our stay was comfortable. We checked in during the new year and everything was closed on that day. But the staff were kind enough to accomodate our food requests. Nice breakfast. Can relax and watch elephants in the lake.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AmrithaShenoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, QC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 1, 2013

The service was great. We were greeted by the manager who was friendly and warm. He even spoke with us about his Travels in Canada. The rooms were adequate. The views was overlooking the river so that was lovely but the room itself was nothing special. The food was my least favorite part. It was pretty disappointing however the view was stunning. We really enjoyed having such easy access to the elephants. Nothing compares to that. I would recommend staying here but eating somewhere else...Or at least eating a light meal.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Melodie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 29, 2013

great elephant watching over lazy breakfast. Another great hotel located by our driver, Nazar. It was the end of the season and therefore hotel pretty empty - as a result no buffet in evening and we should have dined out rather than stayed at the hotel. But great spot to watch the elephants in comfort.

Room Tip: We chose a triple room with a corner balcony overlooking the river - 65USD including breakfast
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank David R
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 #5 of 11 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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