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“Convenient Hotel for Elephant Orphanage”
Review of Hotel Elephant Bay

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Hotel Elephant Bay
Ranked #4 of 12 Pinnawala B&B and Inns
Bridgewater, New Jersey
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Convenient Hotel for Elephant Orphanage”
Reviewed August 30, 2013

The hotel has nice large rooms, and everything was very clean. Good view of the river from room. Breakfast area is also excellent, next to the river, and with a view of the elephants coming for a bath at 10 am. Food was ok.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank AKSarwal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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217 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
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English first
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2013

We, my wife and I, stayed here on the 11 of August this year for one night. We had been to Sri Lanka before about 6 years ago and had visited Pinnawala on a tour but felt like we would like to spend more time at Pinnawala so I booked 1 night bed and breakfast via agoda. When we arrived, I thought wow what a plush place and value for money at £37. The room we were given was on the second floor, no lift,and overlooked the rear entrance. A quick word with reception and we were given a 4th floor room overlooking the river, what a view ! It is really such a wonderful view and we spent until darkness fell, on the balcony. The room was very,very basic, the towels were damp and the mattress on the single beds, well, our base hotel, the Hotel mermaid and club, had thicker mattresses on the sun beds !
We went for breakfast the following morning, basement-river level to fantastic views. The breakfast, oh my, the ' hot' foods was straight from the fridge and the best I could have was a piece of toast, cold and a glass of fruit juice. The remaining offerings for breakfast was dire and when asked by a, was he a waiter ?,hotel worker whether I had enjoyed my breakfast, I said it was the worst food I've ever had. I really don't think that he understood English. Within an hour, I had brought up my so called breakfast.
To save going up to our forth floor cell, sorry room to use the toilet, I used the lobby toilet, which turned out to be a Muslim toilet, no facility apart for a hose pipe. We went to the elephant orphanage and then returned to check out. After bringing our luggage down from the forth floor to reception without assistance, the male receptionist asked did we enjoy our stay. I remember saying something like they should all be sacked ! Never, never again.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Wayne H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Pinnawala hotels

Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2013 via mobile

Perfect location for breakfast watching elephants taking a bath in the river and visit them in orphanage.
Friendly but not too effective staff. Not bad colonial styled rooms.
In general like european 2 stars.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dom_33333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 5 Contributor
41 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed August 12, 2013

We stayed here for one night in August 2013, we checked in quite late but the staff were lovely having looked after our bags from 5am that morning and made sure the kitchen was open for us to have dinner.

The dining area is a wonderful outdoor area where you can hear and see the river flowing just below you. The food was a great mix of Sri Lankan dishes and some international options. We couldn't fault the food at all.

The room was perfect, basic but very clean with an amazing view of the river (room 103). My only small niggle was the water took a while to get hot, but it wasn't too much of a problem.

Breakfast the next day was also really enjoyable with eggs, tea and toast while we sat by the river side and drank tea and coffee.

The hotel also has two little shops where you can buy souvenirs and offers room service.

I'd come back here in a heartbeat and already recommended it to anyone who will listen :-)

If you want to get up close to the elephants then go to Elephant Park Hotel (BUT don't book a room, it's grim, we stayed here the night before). However you can sit and have a drink and touch the elephants.

The elephants come down to the river on mass at around 10am, so don't forget to be ready with a camera. You get the best views from this hotel.

Room Tip: Make sure you're in the outdoor dining area at 10am to watch the elephants!
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank KikiPigeon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2013

My partner and I stayed here last weekend (August) having opted to spend two nights in Pinnawala as a base to visit Kandy and other nearby areas.

Having spent a night in Elephant Bay hotel 30 seconds down the road, coming to Elephant park was like walking into The Ritz.

We arrived late from a trekking trip in Knuckles Range, so perhaps around 9pm. We were swiftly checked in and informed the kitchen would be serving until 9.30pm - we appreciated this as we hadn't eaten.

Room was fine, clean bedding, AC, towels and for the most part hot water. View was nice with a small balcony. There was also a TV with a few satellite channels too.

We ate in the restaurant, a good selection of western, south east Asian and Sri Lankan food. We opted for a fish curry and it was very tasty (ashamedly I ordered french fries but these were also great). It was a dry night (no beers) as it was a national holiday but normally you can enjoy a beer with your meal. We ordered loads and it came in under $30 so we were happy.

Breakfast is included in the room price, a simple affair but done well. Try their fresh pineapple juice, it's amazing. Good eggs, nice fruit and jams etc.

Final thoughts - easily the best place to stay in Pinnawala, friendly staff, good location and nice simple food.

Would recommend it for groups or couples.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank simpleplan1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doha, Qatar
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank jadedexpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ballyk123
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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