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Reviewed October 20, 2012

a rather late review...but had to since the short stay was fab..the food was great, the rooms were excellent. The service from check in to the rest of the hotel services is great. The beach is totally safe and goes for ever. No hawkers but just fisherman and people enjoying the surf. whats worth mentioning, book a trip from the hotel for a whale watching expedition. Ask the restaurant for their version of the famous Jaffna crab curry...cannot wait for the next trip.

Room Tip: from colombo to trinco...leave early, get to the hotel around 12ish and just enjoy the beach with few beers...choose the rooms closer to the beach, for the sea breeze and the sun sets
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank sidath d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2012

We are just coming to the end of a 4 day stay at Chaaya Blu. We booked a beach chalet which is lovely. Clean, beautifully laid out and right on the beach. The pool is lovely and the beach goes on forever and swimming in the sea is very safe ( unlike many areas of Sri Lanka ). We have found the staff in the restaurant and by the pool to be second to none. They are a
Ways there with a huge smile and as soon as you finish one drink they are there to take away the empty glass.
We booked all inclusive - which may have been a waste as the buffet is extensive and the food at the The Crab is excellent and not that expensive. Even the signature dish of Jaffna Crab which is more than enough for two people is only £10!. Drinks may be a bit on the expensive but unless you are drinking loads I wouldn't bother with the all inclusive package - it just stops you eating at the Crab restaurant- and the daily promotions are not included anyway.
The food is excellent - with lots of variety and I can especially recommend the Sri Lankan food especially the breakfasts of string hoppers, Kiri hodi, sambols and egg hoppers.
The hotel itself is well designed and looks lovely with an infinity pool and well kept landscaped gardens. There are some very friendly and clean dogs who roam around making friends with the guests. Don't get too friendly as you will only make a member of staff throw something at them to shoo them away -and they are quite good shots-resulting in some unnecessary yelps of pain.
I have really enjoyed the serenity of this hotel. Lots of sun beds, lots of room and good service. I can recommend it and I would come back. It is certainly not the cheapest hotel but for a bit of a treat it is well worth it.

Room Tip: It may be worth spending the extra and spoiling yourself with a beach chalet.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JMH4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2012

Its the Location, its awesome and coupled with the Design and refurbishment that has taken place this is a Ideal Getaway for Family of Couples.

If traveling from colombo best to start early as 3-4am so you are there by 10-11am even with a breakfast stop. Once you are there you totally forget the Outside world as it looks so tranquil. The rooms are good and stylish the service is very good the pool is great and the Seafood restaurant is also great as yo can dine according to your wish without having to go through the Buffet and the crowd.
The Sea was the best I have ever experienced. You could just wade in the water for hours as there were no waves at all, just like a salt water Swimming pool. Kids just loved it there. We did accompany some foreign guests who were mesmerized with the location.
The only downfall if at all was the drive back to colombo which took over 8 hours which was a total killer. So its advisable to break the journey at Habarana if possible.

Overall the Hotel was a very pleasant experience

Room Tip: If you are with young kids best to get a Room closer to the pool for easy supervision
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Eroshi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2012

The hotel has a great concept and layout. It was clean enough except for the flies in the lobby. The staff are the hotel's biggest drawback. They are completely uninterested and sloppy. We asked for the mini bar to be opened 3 times only to be informed that it was the duty of another department and there was no follow up. We also requested a couple of other things which never arrived! We requested a car or van to take us to the air force airfield in China Bay, a 20 minute drive, we were told by front office it would cost LKR 4000.00 which is more than the air fare from Trinco to Colombo (45 minute flight)! At the airfield we saw several other guests from the hotel, perhaps they could have arranged a shuttle.

The cable tv kept cutting out due to weak signal and so did the electricity in the room.

The food was nothing special and it was overpriced, no interesting seafood options. The pastries and breads were good. The highlight of our stay were the friendly dogs on the beach. All in all rather disappointing for a John Keells 4 star property.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank CMBTraveller_85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

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.

Tips:

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.

Room Tip: Hard to beat the beachfront chalets for the feeling of being in your own private getaway.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank GVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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