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“Elephants make it worth it all!”

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Hotel Elephant Park
Ranked #2 of 11 Pinnawala B&B and Inns
Reviewed May 13, 2012

friendly staff, good service, rooms are a little small. the Elephants make it worth it all!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank KymberleeFarhan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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120 - 126 of 197 reviews

Reviewed March 16, 2012

Stayed 2 nights in early Mar 2012. Rooms are small and a bit overcrowded with furniture. Restaurant is good. As with most in SL the dishes with rice (Nasi Goreng, etc) will feed 2 people adequately. Had no real problems with service other than it's a bit slow but hey, you're on vacation. Relax. Let it flow at its own pace. Did enjoy the elephants daily while awaiting the breakfast service. Watching them scratch their skulls on the rock outcrop was fun. Nice views across the river from the restaurant. If we return to Sl will definitely stay again at least one night. All in all a good hotel for the price. If you've a car and driver the hotel does not give the driver a free room. Plan to spend an extra US $ 9.00 (SLR 1000) on that. Not really a convenient place to stay as it is a bit away from Kandy, etc but worth the drive for the money spent. Wi Fi was iffy even in the public areas. It's free but only worth that! LOL

Room Tip: Stayed on 1st floor. Don't know about the rest.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank oldfatfella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2012

whilst visiting the nearby elephant sanctuary we visited the hotel to view the elephants bathing in the river found the staff to be friendly and the service very good considering its location found the prices charged to be very reasonable

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Trueblew9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2012

we booked this hotel due to its location,were else in the world can you sit and view elephants bathing and 2 times a day the elephants come past your hotel to the bahing sight(the sick elephants come down at different times.)thats the good part and its truely amazing.we booked for 6 days but only stayed 3.
the bad part
the hotel was filthy,the service apaulling,the hotel was being totally renovated around us,the room we had,well had the most amazing view over the river,however the window locks were completely broken which made the airconditioning useless,we were bitten by incects at night,be they from the window,bed or renovation work who knows.there was a tv in the room but the service had been scambled from the dialog tv company and well the bath room did have a bath but water tank very small,only 1 towel for 2 people and we had to ask for loo paper.
it seemed apparent when we were there that the main job for the staff was to offer drinks to the numerous tours that were packed into the viewing areas from 10am to 12 and 2pm to 4pm and at the end of the viewing periods they were non existant and could not be bothered with the people staying there.at 4pm the shops in the area also closed .there is a 2000rupee fee just to walk down this street and you are asked for this by numerous people including the security guard and to be perfectly honest its tedious to be asked for money to walk to your hotel.i will say that whilst it is wonderful to see all the elephants together,they are more a money making concern rather than a sanctuary for the elephants.you could get your photo taken for 2000 rupees from" a team of elephant handers" which goes in their pockets,1 banana and peanuts cost yes you guess 2000 rupees from numerous persitant street traders,and of course the admission to the elephant orphange sanctuary cost 2000 rupees.

oh gosh this could be made into a lovely hotel where people would pay a fortune for such a view of these elephants and just for the whole elephant experience it could offer but at present i would not recomend either the hotel or the elephant tours to anyone.the people say the elephants are in a sanctary and do not work,well yes they do 2 times daily they work very hard
for many people whom make their extra inome from their presence.we watched elephants eating plastc bags and bottles and a so called elephant handler throw a stone which hit a baby elephant in the face because it had wandered while the photo enetrprise was going on.they poked them with large sticks with hooks on to push them back into the water and the elephants seemed scared of them.a mahmoot or just a young youth displaying anoyance to his charges and asserting his authority with no concern for the elephants welfare?

Room Tip: hopefully the renovation will upgrade the hotel,at present though with work on going I would check w...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank lesleyallan2512
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2012

The rooms are very cheap (58-70 USD) but very mouldy, so if you are sensitive to mould, maybe do day trip to see the elephants and have lunch at the hotel. The curry they served was great.
The rooms are basic - no phone, no kettle (although they will bring you boiling water any time you ask), no amenities, no free water, but plenty of elephant sightings.

Fantastic views of the elephants bathing, and access to the river to get up close. Watch out for the mahouts - they charge for everything - photos, getting in the water with the elephants, touching the elephants etc.
A not to be missed sight is the elephants walking up the main 'street' on their way back from the river to the orphanage. Traffic police stop the traffic as these beautiful animals go home for dinner. As they pass the hotel lobby you can feed them bananas. We took our own bananas (which we purchased from a roadside stall on the way in) as hawkers try to sell you tiny bags for about 1 USD...and you need lots.
We checked out the other hotels in the area (with various permutations of 'elephant' and 'park' in them), and they were no less mouldy - it is just the general dampness of the area.

Room Tip: The front rooms have great view of river and elephants, but make sure you take mosquito spray, water...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sija56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile
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Stayed: March 2017, traveled as a couple
Thank bandusi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: August 2017, traveled with friends
Thank 通りすがり日本人
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Elephant Park

Address: Rambukkna Rd, Pinnawala 70130, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Sabaragamuwa Province > Pinnawala
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Pinnawala
Price Range: $40 - $54 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This enchanting hotel is designed in a unique way with a spacious area that could accommodate 350 guests at the same time. It also gives the guests a magnificent opportunity to watch the Sri Lankan elephants bathe in the river, while you have your meals or beverages at the restaurant. This hotel consists of 6 luxurious air-conditioned rooms and a riverside bar. We also provide services for weddings, parties and other occasions. ... more   less 
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