Chaaya Blu is a terrific property in almost all respects.
The location -- once you get there -- is fabulous. It is right on Uppuveli Beach. The beach chalets literally step out onto the beach, and have private porches overlooking the ocean. The rooms in the main wing overlook the pool.
The rooms are clean and stylish with all the standard amenities, including free wi-fi throughout the property.
The staff were unfailingly friendly and helpful.
Dining is either in their sit-down restaurant or the beachside "Crab". The sit-down restaurant leans to buffet-style, with different themes each night. The Crab has a small a la carte menu. Food in both was excellent, though I found the buffet was sort of the generic tourist resort fare, nothing special, but nothing to complain about either. Food in the Crab on the other hand I found pretty good for a casual beachside pub. Especially try the crab and corn soup. Club sandwiches and burgers were also great. There aEe other nearby hotel restaurants on the beach if you want variety.
The pool is large and well-situated, looking out towards the ocean. There's a limited number of deck chairs. It was okay in the low season, but could be congested in the high season. There's also a limited number of recliners on the beach under umbrellas.
I did not partake of their snorkelling or scuba services, though there is an on-site naturalist. I hired a boat from a fellow on the beach which turned out perfectly fine, and much cheaper than the hotel. The ocean was a bit murky, but I was there at the tail-end of the season. Everyone I spoke to who has spent more time there say the snorkelling and scuba-diving are unbeatable in the right season.
There is seasonal whale-watching and a school of dolphins that is apparently there pretty reliably.
The only downside is getting there. It seems like every road in the Trinco region is under construction. The hotel is at the end of a very pot-holed road. It was about 30 bone-rattling minutes from the airport.
All-in-all, this is not a super-deluxe six-star resort, but is a very comfortable four-star good for a weekend away from Colombo, or even a longer family stay.
I got a terrific last minute rate for B&B from an online reservation company. It was 1/5 the rack-rate (as if any hotel ever charges their rack rate). I was told the hotel also offers incentives for HSBC cardholders.
If you're flying, be sure to book transportation from the airport before you go. If not, like me, you'll be left at the side of the airstrip with not a taxi or tuk-tuk in sight.
Be sure to wander a couple of hundred meters north to the fishing village of "Sally". You'll have to wade across Fisherman's Creek. Don't be deterred. It's not more than two feet deep (depending on the tide) and only about 20 feet across. The people of the village are tremendously friendly. There is a small temple but the highlight is just wandering around the village. The children have all learned one English phrase: "School pen?". If you're interested in helping with their schooling, a better bet than giving away pens might be to go to the village school (it's the largest, ugliest building in town so hard to miss) and donate pens and books straight to the teacher.
Don't miss the fishermen dragging their nets in on the beach in front of the hotel. It's back-breaking work, fascinating to see for lazy Western city folk like me for whom food just shows up in the supermarket.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Once a 70s resort, Trinco Blu by Cinnamon was transformed to a retro-chic design decorated with bleached wooden decks, cut cement floors, rattan furniture and denim trimmings with a splash of orange to contrast the Blue and White hues. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Chaaya Blu Trincomalee Hotel Trincomalee