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“Mid-range, well-located, resort - with disappointing service in restaurant”

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Camellia Resort and Spa
Ranked #5 of 20 Hotels in Sigiriya
Reviewed December 29, 2013

We ended up here when Joe's Habarana Village (not recommended!) failed to give us the rooms we had booked and got their own booking confirmation for.

Opened as late as November 2012, the compact Camellia resort has settled rather well: A lot of work has gone into planning the area and planting an impressive amount of trees.
The area features small accommodation buildings with four rooms each, a restaurant, a pool area and an ayurweda spa.

The rooms are ascetic and clean with comfortable beds. The bathrooms are truly cool with the use of raw, polished, concrete at the shower walls - and with no ceiling over the shower (but there is a net preventing insects to come in - and a roof to prevent rain to come in). The housekeeping if fast and careful.

The pool is quite large and was valued by us all.

The restaurant however disappointed. The a la carte food is well prepared but comes with rather long waiting time, but the issue was really the fact that the restaurant servants were very young and inexperienced (a with limited language skills) leading to that 2 out of 2 of our orders were mixed up or incorrect - even though we at the last event actually asked the waiter to repeat the order.

Whereas the a la carte food was tasty, the buffet was not living up to the same standards - nor to what you can expect from a resort like this. It wasn't really tasty and not nicely presented. The restaurant is far from cosy in the evening, with its very bright lighting.

Front desk staff is friendly and helpful even though they were unable to fix the promised wi-fi access for a total of three days.

Overall, we think this resort has potential, but would benefit from better organisation and ambition in the restaurant.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank BizLeisureFred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lal K, Manager at Camellia Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2015

With our pleasure we take this opportunity to thank you for spending your valued time to review your stay at our hotel on Trip Advisor. Your helpful comments and suggestions help us to become 23rd place among best 25 Hotels in Sri Lanka. Also we have being awarded as a winner of Travelers’ Choice for year 2015 with your blessings. We have paid more attention to enhance our service and assure your complete satisfaction in the event of your stay in our hotel again.
Best Regards.
MANAGEMENT (Camellia Resort & Spa),
Sigiriya, Sri Lanka.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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264 - 270 of 579 reviews

Reviewed December 5, 2013

It's not really in Sigiriya, its about 8k out in the middle of nowhere and it's unmade up paths to get to anywhere. The hotel was really trying, but failed several times. Minor complaints but they left an overall feeling of dissatisfaction. A set meal one evening was excellent and very reasonable value. The local curries off the a la carte were also very good. Then we had the set meal which had curry as a main course and it was very poor. A chicken curry in a watery sauce with 3 small lumps of meat and gristle and a few beans, carrots and potatoes again in a watery sauce both shared between 2 was very poor. The place lacks atmosphere although to be fair the weather was rubbish during our visit.
Another complaint was that our first room was suffering from a ceiling leak in the en-suite. We complained and were told it was the open ceiling of the shower and was quite normal. The leak, still dripping was over the toilet and this was pointed out. Unfortunately it took 3 visits before we were taken seriously and moved to another room.
The other downfall is that being in a remote position, we had to rely on their recommended tuk drivers and were not impressed with their price or service, {couldn't find Lion Rock without asking 3 times and was 10 min late to pick us up for the return trip.
The hotel has loads of staff and most visitors only stay for one night, it seems to lead to very impersonal service.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank abe1953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lal K, Manager at Camellia Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded December 8, 2013

“a mixed bag”
Thank you for spending your valued time to review your stay at our hotel on trip advisor. And we have noted down your comments. As you say our hotel is really not situated in sigiriya. Yes, we are in the area of sigiriya. We never say that our hotel is situated in sigiriya. Also any customer can easily access to this hotel by using Dambulla /Habarana main carpeted road and only 800 meters from the turnoff is gravel road. I wonder why you written as unmade up paths to get to anywhere. I hope two days you were satisfied with the meals and the third day not satisfied. The day that you are complaining about the food, there were set menu available with four choices. And you have been selected an Indian less spicy set meal. So if it was not up to your taste you would have inform to the restaurant in charge and asked for another meal.
According to our hotel concept, the bath room’s shower area is open to the sky. Naturally its drizzle during the rain. Being in the remote position we have to hire outside transport what is available at the time and according to budget of the customer. I think you also had the same experience.
Your conclusion over the guest stay at our resort is completely wrong and most of the clients stay here at least three nights. They visit all cultural sites like Dambulla, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, and Anuradhapura from here.
Thanks
Management.

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Reviewed November 28, 2013

After a long flight from Europe we finally got to Colombo and instantly travelled 4 and a half hours to get to hotels Camellia, so we were exhausted and frustrated as well when we arrived. However, from greetings to check-out everybody was nice, helpful, and happy. We arrived late at around 11pm, but since there was a large group having late dinner we could join and have some food as well. On the dinner buffet I counted 15 different chafing dishes full of food, and a huge number of other items even sushi. And it was like that every day for breakfast and dinner. Amazing amount of great food. The hotel itself looks like many hotels in Bali, Thailand or Egypt. Large garden with pool, an open restaurant area and several 2-story bungalows with 4 rooms each. It is perfact for relaxation. The rooms are very large, bright with classic colonial furniture. We stayed 2 night in this little paradise and would definately stay there again.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank speedingkoala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lal K, Manager at Camellia Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2015

With our pleasure we take this opportunity to thank you for spending your valued time to review your stay at our hotel on Trip Advisor. Your helpful comments and suggestions help us to become 23rd place among best 25 Hotels in Sri Lanka. Also we have being awarded as a winner of Travelers’ Choice for year 2015 with your blessings. We have paid more attention to enhance our service and assure your complete satisfaction in the event of your stay in our hotel again.
Best Regards.
MANAGEMENT (Camellia Resort & Spa),
Sigiriya, Sri Lanka.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2013

We stayed there for 2 nights in room 140, The room was big and clean and everything felt new. Bonus - there were quite a few English language TV channels.

The Breakfast and dinner buffet spread were impressive. We especially liked the sour sop fruit, which was not available in other restaurants.

One negative was the faint "sewer" smell in our bathroom. The bathroom was dry and clean, so the smell could not be due to any leakage. Hope the management would be able to fix that soon.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank buzibody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lal K, Manager at Camellia Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2015

With our pleasure we take this opportunity to thank you for spending your valued time to review your stay at our hotel on Trip Advisor. Your helpful comments and suggestions help us to become 23rd place among best 25 Hotels in Sri Lanka. Also we have being awarded as a winner of Travelers’ Choice for year 2015 with your blessings. We have paid more attention to enhance our service and assure your complete satisfaction in the event of your stay in our hotel again.
Best Regards.
MANAGEMENT (Camellia Resort & Spa),
Sigiriya, Sri Lanka.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

Really friendly staff, beautifull area, good food, beautifull rooms. I can't make a long story, because everything is really beautifull and great. So only the word perfect is enough. I had a great time and certainly i Will come back to this hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank Joelvw1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lal K, Manager at Camellia Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2015

With our pleasure we take this opportunity to thank you for spending your valued time to review your stay at our hotel on Trip Advisor. Your helpful comments and suggestions help us to become 23rd place among best 25 Hotels in Sri Lanka. Also we have being awarded as a winner of Travelers’ Choice for year 2015 with your blessings. We have paid more attention to enhance our service and assure your complete satisfaction in the event of your stay in our hotel again.
Best Regards.
MANAGEMENT (Camellia Resort & Spa),
Sigiriya, Sri Lanka.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2013

I acknowledge the resort was only 6 months old when we visited but there is a lot of fine tuning still required. In the hot climate drinks whenever we wished would have been great. They either did not have them there or they weren't cold so we ended up buying our own and used the eskys we took as part of our junior cricket touring group. There were no fridges in room also no safes. The rooms were spacious and fit well with the theme of an eco resort. The staff spoke very very little english and it was extremely hard to communicate. Our laundry got mixed up with other residents. But think this place could be a winner with better supervision and overseeing.

Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
Thank Leanne G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lal K, Manager at Camellia Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2013

Dear Sir,
Thank you for spending your valued time to review your stay at our hotel on Trip Advisor. And we have noted your helpful comments and suggestions. As your comments we have already done a lot of fine turnings such as mini fridges in rooms ,general safe etc. Also we have been employed English speaking staff too. We thank you for your comments once again which was helped to enhance the quality of our service to ensure complete satisfaction to all valued guests.
Kind regards
MANAGEMENT

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Reviewed September 21, 2013

I stayed at this hotel for four nights from 19 - 22 September 2013. The hotel is set in beautiful grounds, including a swimming pool large enough for a decent swim. The rooms, set in blocks of four around the grounds,, are very spacious, with a large bathroom, very comfortable beds. The staff are really friendly and attendive. The breakfast has a good choice, and the dinners always had a choice of Indian food or more typical western food.The presentation of the food would grace a first class restaurant.

Camellia Spa is stuated in a very convenient location for some of the ancient sites of Sri Lanka as well as the elephant safari park, where we were fortunate to see at least 100 elephants at close quarters.

All in all a first rate experince.

Molly

Room Tip: All thr roooms seem to be the same
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Molly W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lal K, Manager at Camellia Resort and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2015

With our pleasure we take this opportunity to thank you for spending your valued time to review your stay at our hotel on Trip Advisor. Your helpful comments and suggestions help us to become 23rd place among best 25 Hotels in Sri Lanka. Also we have being awarded as a winner of Travelers’ Choice for year 2015 with your blessings. We have paid more attention to enhance our service and assure your complete satisfaction in the event of your stay in our hotel again.
Best Regards.
MANAGEMENT (Camellia Resort & Spa),
Sigiriya, Sri Lanka.

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 Camellia Resort and Spa

Address: Audangawa | Kimbissa, Sigiriya 21120, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Sigiriya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 20 Hotels in Sigiriya
Price Range: $65 - $211 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Camellia Resort and Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An elegant resort, situated in the middle of the cultural triangle known as an area with world heritage sites, such as Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Dambulla Golden Cave Temple, Polonnaruwa Ancient City, Anuradhapura Ancient City and one the famous Ramsar Wetland called Minneriya National Park where there are hundreds of elephants gathering for grass. The resort is surrounded by greenish vegetation and wildlife. We are pleased to welcome you to one of the best relaxing places in Sri Lanka. ... more   less 
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