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“Place is infested with lake flies after dark”
Review of Hotel Sudu Araliya

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Hotel Sudu Araliya
Ranked #6 of 16 Hotels in Polonnaruwa
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Place is infested with lake flies after dark”
Reviewed January 7, 2014

Don’t be fooled by the glossy brochures and pictures of this hotel on travel booking sites. From the outside, it looks idyllic and peaceful. However once the darkness falls, the place is overrun by small lake flies (from the massive Parakrama Samudra lake situated just in front of the hotel). They somehow get into your rooms, in the lobby, in your food (falls in the buffet) and generally everywhere. We were given a nice clean room upon arrival but when we returned @ 6.30pm or so, the room was full with small flies despite the windows were closed (see pictures below). After complaining to the reception, we were given another room on the second floor that was without insects. Staff are not trained in customer service and appear to loiter around than looking after guests. It took 3 restaurant waiters to provide a fork! Front office appears to be the only place that is functional.

Area is ideal for exploring the city and ancient ruins. Also local safari (do not hire the safari 4x4 through the hotel – it is expensive and driven by a young boy who has no idea about passenger safety whilst driving on the main road to the national park). There are plenty 4x4s available at the entrance to the Minneriya national park that are much cheaper. Drivers appear to be under the impression that all tourists are there to see elephants – so they drive very fast even inside the national park! Minneriya is not the best place to anything other than herds of elephants.

Room Tip: check rooms before deciding to accept them (insects in the evening)
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Leon_Vas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelSuduAraliya, Front Office Manager at Hotel Sudu Araliya, responded to this review, January 13, 2014
Ayubowan!
Thank you for taking the time to review us. We very concerned about your comment, we take pest control very serious & pay special attention in conducting incentive pest control systems such as fogging the entire garden, rooms & trees for pest control, and it’s conducted by a reputed pest control company in Sri Lanka by Hayley’s group. It is unfortunately & regrettable in this situation, we do experience Lake Fly’s during the month of December and January during the rainy season. We do promptly change rooms if affected by Lake Fly’s & have reserved rooms in such an eventuality. We do advise guest to keep windows closed at all times.
We are in the process of training staff & do implement training as a intense training schedule daily and monthly. We would address all concerned matters & shortfalls in future and appreciate your reviews & comments.
If Guest request safari jeeps we do provide them by outsourced agents. The Hotel has advised the owner of the safari jeeps not to send such reckless drivers in the future & will take stern action in the future if the driver is found to be reckless in his driving.
Yours sincerely,
Front Office Manager
Nayani Galappaththi
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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316 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
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Kritou Tera, Cyprus
Level Contributor
33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2014

We spent 2 nights over the Christmas at this hotel, and I have to say they did everything possible to create a warm and welcoming ambience. All the hotel guests were invited to a gala buffet dinner with live music on Christmas Eve. It was very well done and they clear spared no effort to make it a memorable dinner.
The breakfasts are not bad, a good selection of fresh fruit, cereals, local curries and rice dishes, as well as an egg station.
That expansive grounds of the hotel are lovely, a little shabby but pleasantly so, the pool is nice and clean, and the staff very polite.
The one downside is the room itself which was not very comfortable, poor selection of TV channels (almost none in English), and no Wi-Fi in the rooms. Overall, we judge the room to be overpriced.
I would like again to say how much we appreciated being included in the special Christmas events.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RJCardinalli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelSuduAraliya, Front Office Manager at Hotel Sudu Araliya, responded to this review, January 13, 2014
Ayubowan!
Thank you for your kind review. We are glad that you had a memorable stay with us indulging in Sudu Araliya hospitality. We do at all times ensure the rooms are comfortable and cleaned & maintained to high standards. It would have been very appropriate if it could have been known as specifically why the room was not comfortable so as to rectify the issue promptly.
We do provide local Sri Lankan channels and foreign channels for our Guest viewing pleasure & are in the process of upgrading new starlight TV channels in the coming few weeks. wifi would be provided in the all rooms by end February.
Yours sincerely,
Front Office Manager
Nayani Galappaththi
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2013

First of all need to say... a Great hotel, located in a wonderful area. Relaxing atmosphere. Wonderful people n staff. Hotel was clean n nice. Rooms are in excellent condition. Drinks sandwiches n overall food was superb. One small disappointment is, its better if u can offer a full buffet rather than the set munu for breakfast. Overall a great place. Difinitely will b back...... SUDU ARALIYA :-) Prabath (colombo)

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Prabath L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wigan, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2013

My husband & I stayed at this hotel for one night during our recent 2 week tour of Sri Lanka. It was well placed in terms of our journey east & its position on the lake is stunning. The staff are friendly & anxious to please. Dinner was tasty & good value. The abundance of insects in the Dining Room is offputting & it is difficult to control given the open air foyer. The bedroom was large, very clean & comfortable. Our driver was well looked after. The hotel was very quiet & lost out on atmosphere as a result.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the lake. The elephants come to bathe at night!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Grainne59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelSuduAraliya, Front Office Manager at Hotel Sudu Araliya, responded to this review, October 8, 2013
Ayubowan!

Thank you for your kind review. We are delighted that you are happy with the location, facilities on offer and the service rendered at Hotel Sudu Araliya polonnaruwa; making your stay a comfortable one. We are currently looking at the insect problem and taking necessary precautions to minimize its effect as it unavoidable due to the nature of the lake & the surrounding. We hope to see you soon again for yet another memorable stay, in Sri Lanka and we thank you for your valued recommendation.

Yours sincerely,
Front Office Manager
Nayani Galappaththi
suduaraliya@sltnet.lk
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2013

Had we known this hotel existed we’d have stayed here for longer than the one night we had on our tour. It really is a blissful oasis in a desert of cold showers and tepid unappetizing buffet breaks. We arrived at sunset and drove up to the hotel along a beautiful scenic road, which skirted a huge lagoon where pockets of people were paddling, swimming and just generally cooling down and enjoying life. The stop at this spa hotel was the perfect ending to the elephant safari we’d enjoyed nearby, earlier in the day. This hotel was recommended to us by our excellent driver Sangeeth, from sangeethtravels.com.

Several large carved elephants form a guard of honour into the spacious polished marble entrance of the hotel. The hotel staff are exquisitely refined but lovably friendly and accommodating.

Our room was large, with a huge comfortable bed and a clean modern en-suite with plenty of hot water. There is a TV but not many channels; there’s a hairdryer and spare blankets but no tea & coffee making facilities. As is standard in SL, there's no wifi in the rooms but it's available in the lobby.

We didn’t spend much waking time in the room because I just managed to book myself into the spa for the ‘Complete Ayurvedic Spa Package’ lasting 2 hrs. The spa area is a higgledy walk away through the hotel’s vast gardens but it’s well worth the effort. My spa package included a complete head to toe scented massage; a facial massage; a herbal steam bath and a herbal water bath. It cost the unbelievable sum of £25.00 including tip and took place in a candle lit cabana hut. I’m not good at relaxing but this experience was truly divine.

After my spa, I was well ready for bed but fortunately hubby persuaded me to stay up and have dinner in the hotel restaurant. We ignored the set menu and went off-piste with the a la carte. We like seafood so the Maitre de recommended locally caught jumbo prawns. Jumbo means jumbo in southern Sri Lanka. There were two prawns on the plate, which was plenty, and they were another divine experience. Fresh from the lagoon they were sweet, succulent, meaty and tasty. A fresh green salad was all they needed to perform platter perfection. There were only a couple of other tables in the restaurant so the Maitre de chatted to us for ages about everything from Scottish water to my wardrobe choice for the next day’s outing. It was a perfect evening for us. As the other diners drifted away there was no rush to move us along; our waiter happily served tea & coffee after our meal and discreetly stepped back while we drank at a leisurely pace.

The £60 we paid for this hotel, the price included a decent breakfast in the morning and food & dormitory accommodation for our driver. The restaurant bill was ridiculously low and there were lifts to take our luggage directly to our rooms. I can’t recommend this hotel highly enough and wish we could’ve stayed there longer.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank portopunter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HotelSuduAraliya, Owner at Hotel Sudu Araliya, responded to this review, October 2, 2013
Thank you for your detailed five star review. We are delighted that you are happy with the location, facilities on offer and the service rendered at Hotel Sudu Araliya polonnaruwa making your stay a comfortable one. It is also heartening that you consider Hotel Sudu Araliya Polonnaruwa as one of the best hotels in Polonnaruwa, which we are sure, would help other travellers find the right accommodation in town. We are now looking at providing Wi-Fi Facility in rooms. Hence we hope to see you soon again for yet another memorable stay, when you next visit Sri Lanka and we thank you for your valued patronage. Thank you for your great review.
Yours sincerely,
Front Office Manager
Nayani Galappaththi
suduaraliya@sltnet.lk
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prague, Czech Republic
Level Contributor
94 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2013

The location is a bit far from the city, but very beatiful on the side of two lakes, especially great for birdwatching. The hotel is nice, though a bit outdated. There is only WiFi in the lobby and even that is not very reliable. The pool was a bit dirty, but the bar beside it was great, though the service a bit slow. We very much enjoyed the spa, which was also decently priced. Food could be better.

Room Tip: Try to get a lakeview room.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wijayananda, Front Office Manager at Hotel Sudu Araliya, responded to this review, September 29, 2013
Ayubowan!

Thank you for taking the time to review us. We are sorry to learn that the Wi-Fi facility on offer at the hotel did not meet with your expectations; We have noted your comments and taking necessary measures to mitigate the re-occurrence and seek your kind understanding on the same. While thanking you for sharing your feedback, we eagerly look forward to welcoming you back at our hotel for yet another memorable stay.

Yours sincerely,

Front Office Manager,

Nayani Galappaththi,
suduaraliya@sltnet.lk
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malaysia
Level Contributor
49 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2013

I was at Sudu Araliya yesterday and I was very impressed with the staff and their willingness to offer info and they provided excellent services. At the food buffet, there was fantastic food with a great chef and a very thoughtful F and B manager who took pains to make sure that we had more choice of food when he knew we were veg. The staff at the reception were very courteous . It was a lovely lake view from the hotel and yes I would love to come back here again.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RikaMalaysia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wijayananda, Front Office Manager at Hotel Sudu Araliya, responded to this review, September 29, 2013
Ayubowan!

Thank you for your kind review. We are delighted that you are happy with the location, facilities on offer and the service rendered at Hotel Sudu Araliya polonnaruwa; making your stay a comfortable one. We hope to see you soon again for yet another memorable stay, in Sri Lanka and we thank you for your valued recommendation.

Yours sincerely,

Front Office Manager
Nayani Galappaththi
suduaraliya@sltnet.lk
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Sudu Araliya

Property: Hotel Sudu Araliya
Address: New Town , Polonnaruwa, Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > North Central Province > Polonnaruwa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 16 Hotels in Polonnaruwa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Sudu Araliya 3.5*
Number of rooms: 104
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Polonnaruwa is one of the most historically renowned destinations in Sri Lanka. It comes as no surprise that there is a steady stream of visitors that flow into the city each and every year. With an extraordinary collection of ancient relics and nature's own wonders, the city is leaden with plenty of amazing opportunities for travelers to experience many facets of Sri Lanka.Strolling on the banks of the Parakrama Reservoir, gazing at the splendorous creations of ancient civilizations and giving in to the enticing aroma of traditional Sri Lankan food are but a few of the many travelling pleasures that await you in Polonnaruwa. Of course, selecting the best of the hotels in Polonnaruwa is the right way to make sure that your exquisite surroundings are complimented by comfort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sudu Araliya Hotel

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