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Reviewed July 17, 2010

Spent 6 nights/7 days with the family (wife and 2 teenagers) at the Chaaya Blu Trincomalee in June and were very pleased with the entire experience. I was somewhat apprehensive about the readiness of the facility especially since it had opened on May 15th. By the time we arrived, everything appeared to be in order and we enjoyed a fabulous and relaxing week there.

We stayed in 2 beach front chalets that were located within foot steps of the water. The lower level units have a cusioned seat outside under the porch from which you can watch the sunrise, or relax. In fact, there is hardly a need to occupy an umbrella on the beach. The rooms were tastefully decorated in a denim blue motif with comfortable beds and a large spacious bathroom. There were occassional sightings of rather large black ants which I was not bothered by since it is part of life in the tropics. However, the hotel staff were quick to send over someone with some bug spray to take care of the issue. Our daughters stayed in the adjacent identical unit which had 2 double beds vs. the Queen sized bed in our unit.

We were on a full board plan (i.e. 3 meals a day) and were more than impressed with the food. Plenty of variety in the daily breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet with plenty of options from local as well as western cuisine. The dessert selections were the best...tasty and exquisitely presented (high compliments to the dessert chef). Additioinally, there were chef stations in the dining area as well that made fresh items such as waffles, crepes, tandoori chicken, hoppers, tempura, fresh omlettes, etc. The servers were the best we have expreienced in our travels to resorts worldwide. Very attentive, very polite, and always wearing a broad smile. Had a lot oabout Sri Lankan hospitality and truly got to experience it first hand. We tipped after each meal which we felt was more than deserving. The resuarant managers Sunil and Mahinida never failed to stop by our table at each meal and inquire about our stay.

The beach is fantastic,,,quiet, desolate and during June, calm (for the most part). The water by no means is like in the Caribbean (i.e. clarity), but the aquamarine and turquoise blue shades made it very inviting. The infinity pool in the resort made it hard to decide: pool or ocean??? Pool attendants were just as helpful and eager to please. I like the fact that there were no hawkers, or other problems that typically plague beach resorts. My only fear is that in time, as the area gets more popular, these issues will become common and unfortunately, ruin the ambience of such a beautiful place.

We also took a snorkelling trip to Pigeon Island from the resort. 4 hours, 4 in the boat plus pilot and guide. So it was almost a custom snorkelling tour...the reef is spectacular. I recommend going earlier in the day (we left at 7:00 AM) before other tourists/visitors show up. The hotel packed us a breakfast --they asked us for our selections the night before and had it expertly prepared and packed...see what I mean about service!!!

We also took side trips to the Hindu Temple at Swami Rock as well as trip to the Hot Wells (I highly recommend this very local experience)!

Our teenage daughters opted not to go on our excursions. We felt very safe leaving them behind at the resort.

Overall I give this resort 5 stars. The management team appears to be committed to guest service and treated us like royalty. Resident manager Mr. Lankesha Ponnamperuma seems to be running a good operation there and I want to thank him and his staff for providing with us a most enjoyable and memorable visit to Trincomalee.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank KYResident
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2010

We stayed for 3 days in Chaya Blu. Was quite worried about the past reviews but all or most of the issues mentioned in past reviews were corrected by the time of our visit.
The Check in was smooth and the rooms were refreshing to the eyes. The pool was great but the beach and sea in the front of the hotel was the highlight of the stay. It was not crowded at all and the dive center in the hotel had professional staff.
We were bit let down by the main restaurant, the food was nothing to write home about and we felt that it was below the other hotel standards in the same John Keels hotel group. It was clear that that staff needed more training and that the finishing touches for the service needed to be improved.
They need to do something about the crows that come to steel ur food while ur at breakfast! The Crab restaurant was the best in food quality although the service was always late. U can see that the staff are very eager to please u but they need to be trained more was our understanding.
All visitors should not miss a trip to the Pigeon Island for diving or even snorkeling. U can get cheap boats in the side of the other hotel ‘Nilawali Beach’ which is 20 mts down the same main road to Chaya Blu, as its 20% (abt 1500 to 2000 Rs) of the cost of hiring from Chaya Blu. If u want u can call this chap Kneel who we met and who let us hire his boat with no time duration...his local number is 0712213707 or his brother 0772006494. He has home made life vests so if ur worried u can hire good life vests and/or the snorkels and other requirements from the dive shop at Chaya Blu on a daily rental basis (about 1000 rs per set for snorkeling). In the side of Nilaweli Beach hotel u get many boats which u can hire and know that the money goes direct to the poor families who live by it!...

If u go to town and want to try some local food, and local Chinese cuisine try GEEN PARK RESTAURANT & HOTEL. in the beach road, middle of the city (ask for directions people love to help!).

happy holidays... don’t forget the sun tan as its scorching hot during the day..

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Roshan_Withanage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2010

We visited Chaaya Blu Trincomlee last weekend... Had a great experience.. The check in was done efficiently and the rooms are very pretty... We loved the beach... it was not crowded at all... I was a bit worried when I saw the past trip advisor comments about Chaaya Blu yet I must say that this place is actually very beautiful. It might have had some service issues before but when we visited the hotel it was perfect... The rooms are just stunning. I loved the tiles and the interior of the hotel and the colors are beautiful. We also thought the food was nice; the crab restaurant was especially delightful. However, the hotel needs to focus on getting rid of mosquitoes. This was the only problem, but when we informed the reception they very efficiently looked in to this matter.
Over all it was a really nice experience and i would most certainly recommend it to everyone......

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Paul255100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2010

I will recommend this place to anyone traveling to Sri Lanka. We had an amazing experience. We stayed in one of the beach chalets and it has been recently constructed and sited to ensure breathtaking views overlooking a sandy beach. Rooms were very spacious and the service was excellent. Our taste buds didn't give away for those delicious cuisines they offered. It's truly an amazing holiday with plenty of activities to do........

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank Sachi123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2010

I don't necessarily disagree with the criticisms of the previous reviewers... I think I just didn't care as much. The beach at Uppuveli is seriously one of the most beautiful and pleasant I have ever experienced--the palm-tree-fringed beauty of Southeast Asia with the clear, calm, warm blue water of the Caribbean. So what if they're still finishing the landscaping? There is very little else available in the area--certainly no large four-star hotels--so if you want a piece of that fabulous beach, the Chaaya Blu is not that bad an option.

We arrived and had no trouble checking in, plus they spiked our welcome drink, so no complaints there. The lobby seems to be going for a sort of cool, glitzy South Beach look. It was sufficiently attractive. We were led to our beach chalet room (that makes it sound freestanding, which it was not). It was pretty nice-looking (became more so the next day when they put in new curtains that actually matched), but don't expect something out of the Ritz--it definitely has a beachy vibe. We later discovered some issues with the room. First of all, the bathroom has an open-air shower, which gets hot and dirty. The drain wasn't working well, but that was fixed promptly. Secondly, security was a bit sketchy--you have to put the keycard into a slot to power the room, and the slot is out on the balcony for some reason! It would be really easy for someone to get up there (we were one flight up). Same with the bathroom--someone could get into the outdoor shower and enter the room through the bathroom, which doesn't lock from inside the bedroom. But our biggest issue was mosquitoes--there weren't many in the room, but a couple bit us at night, which we didn't like given the disease potential in the area. We thought more needed to be done to keep them at bay, like using mosquito nets. Not sure about internet in rooms--when we asked about internet, we were provided laptops free of charge that we could use in the lobby.

Whatever, let's move on to the beach, which is why you go. The beach is amazing. The sand/water were really clean. For some reasons the loungers were up on the lawn (close to the sand but not on it), but we would just call over the pool attendant to bring us the loungers, cushions and towels (from the pool area). However, I think the hotel definitely needs to hire a beach attendant. The pool was nice as well. As for the grounds, yes, landscaping was still in progress when we arrived (10 days after the official opening). But hey, welcome to South Asia! Nothing goes according to schedule. This didn't bother us.

Food was so-so... pretty standard hotel buffet fare that you get at all the big hotels in Sri Lanka. When we were there, there were no problems with them running out of things--there was always plenty to be had. The waiters seemed inexperienced but enthusiastic--again, not something that bothered us. We did have one service issue at the bar, when the fresh mint in my drink was replaced with creme de menthe and the whole thing tasted like toothpaste--but after I complained, the manager offered to replace it, so we were fine with that.

They are definitely still working out the kinks, but in a few months, this has the potential to be a fine hotel on a wonderfully fantastic beach. The minute domestic flights from Colombo to Trinco resume, they will be mobbed, so hopefully they work out the issues before then.

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank katiekins570
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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