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“Watch out for wrong bills and poor service”
Review of Hotel Elephant Bay

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Hotel Elephant Bay
Ranked #3 of 12 Pinnawala B&B and Inns
Reviewed December 30, 2013

We booked throught a travel agent 5 rooms. Our group consisted og 5 childrena dn 8 adults. One of them could speak local Sinhaleselanguage.The staff did not understand Englishor even local language. There was inordinate delayin taking orders and they were not quick to furnsh the vouchers for the bar orders. Many a time the orders were incorrect they they were charging as they please. Service on the whole is very poor.Many inaccuracies and as a big group we felt we were treated badly. During the breakfast they were cleaning the dining room with dust flowing allover the palce. The manager had very little control over the staff.
I would srtongly recommend cheque your order and the billingand do not suffer overcharging

Room Tip: choose rooms wehre they can see the river.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Sudhi_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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96 - 102 of 237 reviews

Reviewed December 18, 2013

Dirty, old, no hot water, noisy, lots of insects. We saw lizard under our bed.
First night we arrived there was a wedding party that lasted until early hours of the morning.
We couldn't have a good night sleep.

I do not recommend this place to anyone.
The only reason to go to this hotel is the morning elephant bath.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MissisJaye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2013 via mobile

We stayed for one night. The rooms were reasonably clean, but the bathroom had quite some room for improvement.

The breakfast was called a buffet but was very poor: there were flies on every piece of food and what was beneath didn't look very appetizing. We settled for toast with butter.

It is a nice spot to view the elephants taking a bath in the river in the morning, however.

Overall: we wouldn't go a second time.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Asus1912
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2013

My wife loves elephants, so for her special birthday (60th!) secret holiday, two nights were spent here. Our driver was surprised that we were staying here when compared to the quality of the other hotels we had booked! However, the welcome and service we experienced were great. The room, although basic, had a river facing view overlooking countryside on the other side. As the first night was her birthday the hotel had specially decorated the bed with flowers and folded towels and balloons. They provided a birthday cake which had been arranged by our driver, Palitha. It was a surprise having arrived early afternoon to a busy hotel serving lunch that there were only 3 couples actually staying! As the only diners it was rather quiet.
So, if you love elephants then this is the place to stay as every day herds of around 30 elephants walk down to the river from the orphanage to bathe outside the hotel which has a "ringside" dining / viewing area.

Room Tip: Ensure room overlooks the river
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Ian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2013

We travelled on 3rd Nov 2013 to celebrate my mom's 75th B'Day. Through Trip advisor we were told wheelchair access is available. Surprise... Surprise... The Hotel does not have wheelchair access even to Lobby.... Forget about twenty odd steps you have to take to Rooms and Elephant viewing area. Lucky enough we had 4 gents with us and managed to carry my mom in wheel chair. Both Hotel site and Trip advisor state that this hotel has Wheel chair access which is an utter lie.

Prior visiting the place we have reserved a front view table to Elephant viewing area. But by the time we arrived it was given to a bunch of foreign tourists. When we gave a piece of our mind to the manager he was kind enough to explain the tourists are brought by Tourist agents who bring repeated business and get preference (WT.. Is he stupid ?). This was enough for us to get a good measure about the place and how it operates. After some heated argument they promised to arrange few tables next to Elephant viewing area. You would assume that story ends here but the smelled of sewage due to a broken pipe.

Buffet was supposed to finish at 3:00 pm, ran out of food by 2:00 pm (They did replenish some off the dishes later but it was too late). More excuses were provided.

We booked two rooms and they were one of few decent things I found for the money I paid. Rooms were clean and had a nice view overlooking the river.

Apart from above mentioned issues the restaurant staff were friendly, polite and attentive.

Room Tip: Take any upper level room overlooking river(If you don't mind climbing few stairs)
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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Thank RangaKan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2013

We stayed one night with our srilankan family the room was comfortable and clean food was very good and served hot, as I love elephants this was the best place for me to be, spent two hours watching them bathe in the river. Staff we're very efficient, would recommend this hotel and we will be staying here again next year.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jo S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2013

Although more expensive than most of the places that we have stayed at in Sri Lanka, the hotel was a lovely place to stay. The rooms were spacious, clean and the beds were large and extremely comfortable. The bathrooms were also very clean and the hot shower was lovely after a very rainy day! Nice areas on balconies outside rooms - we stayed up and played cards for a bit whilst using the wifi

We had a nice meal downstairs in the restaurant - a pasta dish and 2 Lion beers came up to just under £10. We were there in quiet season so it was a little eerie being the only group in such a large restaurant, but the waiters were attentive without being annoyingly so. . Really tasty breakfast included in room rate as well. The view of the elephants bathing in the river was fantastic. There is also a little shop in the hotel with nice souvenirs for reasonable prices.

The only real thing to do around the area was the elephant orphanage so 1 night is probably enough. If you are in Sri Lanka between August-September, it might be worth making the trip up to Minneriya National Park to see the wild elephant gathering (we saw about 300!) but if you do decide to go to Pinnewala this was a very nice place to stay!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank lily_bell-51
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

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 #3 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Pinnawala
Price Range: $33 - $61 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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