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Aqua Hotel trincomalee
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All reviewsbeach bargreat beachlocation is excellentrooms are basicwhale watchingfernandoseauppuvelliwaves
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Reviewed February 21, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Aqua Inns for 3 nights with our 6 year old daughter and baby. We found the rooms to be large, clean and comfortable for our family. My daughter loved being in her own 4 poster single bed and thanks to the made to measure mosquito nets I never got bitten, and those mossies luuurrve me! We found the bathrooms to be clean and adequate for our needs.

The staff were more then accommodating which is a joy when you have a small baby in tow they did a special mashed pumpkin and vege dish and were always obliging when we needed bottles heated.

Luckily the sun was shining on our visit even though it was out of season and we spent a great deal of time relaxing in the shade loungers on the beach. We loved the fact that Fernando’s Bar & Restaurant had free wifi as well as a bonafide liquor licence so we could enjoy cold beer and even some wine. The new pool area is great and its refreshing to see how they have sculptured the garden with nature, my daughter loved watching the chipmunks and lizards it attracted.

Most of all we were amazed at what good value Aqua Inns was for an AC room and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this friendly place to all of our friends next visit will have to be for a diving course.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Tracy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2013

The restaurant had stunning views over the beach, and it was one of the few that served a range of acoholic drinks. the new pool is lovely as are the gardens. The building is not to every bodies taste though my husband loved it and the rooms are large, airy, and unusually for the area, with mosquito nets. Has had bad write ups in the past, because the building from the corridors is a bit grim, but really amazing value for money. The staff do not speak much english and are therefore rather shy, but Michael and Jo are always available to sort any problems and give advice.

Room Tip: if you don't like the building take the rooms on the ground floor.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank bernicedorset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2012

this "hotel" or "resort" (or whatever the owner thinks she can call it) was the most revolting place i have ever stayed in in my entire life. i went backpacking around india for 5 months, and paid $3 a night to stay in places MUCH MUCH nicer than this.

we arrived, and were so exhausted, we bargained with the owner to give us a $2 discount, and then she didnt want to give us towels because we weren't paying the full price.

the grounds of the place were horrible. the pool, had about 1 foot of water in it, and was covered in sludge. somehow, a goldfish was trying to live in it, breathing at the top. weird.

we sat in the restaurant and ordered "veggie burgers". the owner then tried to up-sell it to us by asking if we wanted avacado on the burgers. shouldnt it already come with avacado?

then we ordered some drinks, and then drinks came about 15 minutes later in glasses so small, they were like shot glasses.

after that, our veggie burgers arrived. i am not exaggerating in the slightest, but i bit into the burger, and it tasted like vomit. the "wedges" that were slopped onto the side of the plate were also pretty useless. it was like eating paper.

the beds were so small and uncomfortable, my mum got a sore back. i had to put the mosquito net up myself, as it had just been shoved in the corner of the room.

the worst part was the toilet; when you flushed it, it would leak out the bottom, and so you'd be standing in your own mess.

the shower water smelled like the toilet.

the best part about staying there, though, was watching everyone complain about the terrible rooms, service and food. someone ordered a fruit juice and when it arrived in a teeny tiny glass, they complained. the owners solution was to give them a bigger glass and just put water in the juice to fill it up.

after 2 nights in the hell hole, we got fed up, went next door and got a nice room, with air conditioning, a tv, hot shower, pool, and nice bathroom CHEAPER than aqua inns.

all-in-all, the aqua inns experience was hilarious, im glad we went there, only so we can now laugh at how money hungry the owner is.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank gaglersh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fernando104, Public Relations Manager at Aqua Hotel trincomalee, responded to this reviewResponded December 7, 2012

Thank you for your review, the management appreciate the feedback. We have never advertised that we have pool facilities but what we do have is the beautiful ocean on our doorstep. We take your feedback seriously and would like to inform you that the hotel has been closed for a month November to December 2012 for a major refurbishment and upgrade to all rooms which now have 4 poster beds, refurbished bathrooms including the completion of the swimming pool area, Sri Lanka's only 5* tec diving and sea view spa. Last year was Aqua's first season we recognise that renovation was needed and we have now had the time and resources to make these changes.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2012

Stayed for 2 nights in Sept 2012. Budget accomodation with excellent location on a stunning beach.
Trincomalee is very under developed for a tourist destination following 30 years of war. For adventurous travellers who enjoy stunning empty beaches this is a must!

I ate all my meals at Fernandos Bar which is part of the hotel. I thought the food was excellent and good value. They have started to offer more local dishes. I had a really good fiery prawn curry and rice, they can make it less spicy if you prefer!

The rooms are basic but mine was clean and safe and had AC. I spent so little time in my room prefering to spend time on the beach.

Finally the hosts....Fernando and Jo are trying to renovate but these things take time in Sri Lanka. I really loved the reclaimed wood that they used to build the bar area. It offered great shade in the Trinco heat.
I got on really well with Jo and enjoyed our chats and laughs together. They couldn't have been more helpful and nice hosts. This is just the kind of business I like to support.

A shout should go out to Sanju, my driver who picked me up from Trinco airport. He later drove me to Habarana. Excellent driver, honest, funny took me to see loads of things I would have missed. I even got to meet his lovely wife and daughter. You can arrange through hotel......I was very happy with him.

Go, relax, chill out....you're in Sri Lanka

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Markythetiger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fernando104, Public Relations Manager at Aqua Hotel trincomalee, responded to this reviewResponded December 7, 2012

Hello Mark,
Thank you for your positive feedback we arek delighted you enjoyed your stay & we were only too happy to help you arrange your onward journey with Sanju a reliable, honest and friendly tuk tuk / van driver. We are pleased to inform you as well that Aqua has been closed for Nov & Dec 2012 for a major refurbishment and upgrade. If you do plan to visit us again you are sure to enjoy a peaceful nights sleep in a 4 poster bed with custom made mosquito netting. In addition we have finally completed the pool which will be ready in Jan 2013, new pathways, Sri Lanka's only 5*tec diving center and a sea view spa.

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Reviewed October 6, 2012

I tend not to criticize places too harshly based on one experience, especially small owner/operated establishments. That is doubly true for Trincomalee which is still trying to recover from the war. However, to protect fellow travelers I am making an exception. The room was awful. It was so dreadful that I ran after one night, even though I'd paid for three in advance through Agoda.

First some good. The location is spectacular. You can't beat being right on beach. The a/c worked fine and the mosquito net was brand new. The young guy who seemed to be doing everything except cooking was great. He ran the reception desk, served in the bar/restaurant and acted as bartender. He was friendly and efficient.

Now the bad. The building is hideous. It would not at all surprise me if it was used as a jail during the war. It is a dark, cement block building with small frosted glass windows. The doors were very flimsy with feeble locks.

The walls are covered with finger marks and black scuff marks. There was mould growing on the ceiling. There were two lights over the headboard but the bulbs were missing. I assume the electricity was still live but didn't want to stick my fingers into find out.

There was a mat on the floor outside the bathroom door. It was filthy, impregnated with dirt and mould. The bathroom was scary. There was mould all over. The soap dish had about a teaspoon of fine black powder in it. I can't imagine what it was. The toilet showed no sign of having been cleaned recently.

I know it's hard to generate cash to invest in a business when you're starting out. My advice to the owner:

1. Use the slow monsoon season to thoroughly refurbish and clean a few rooms. Only do as many as you can afford, but do them right.
2. Hire and train a reliable, conscientious cleaner.
3. Once it's done, document your progress on this and other sites so customers know you've improved.
4. Rent only the rooms that are completely clean, no matter the temptation to sell a few more rooms when the cleans ones are full.
5. Once word of mouth gets around that you're doing better,invest in cleaning more rooms.

My advice to potential guests, unless and until this place cleans up, stay at any one of the other decent places along the beach, even of you have to pay more.

PS My opinion does not extend to the bar/restaurant which I actually found to be pretty good.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank GVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fernando104, Public Relations Manager at Aqua Hotel trincomalee, responded to this reviewResponded December 7, 2012

Dear Sir,
Thank you for your feedback and the management apologise for the lateness of the response.
The building whilst to my knowledge was not used as a jail during war did suffer a great deal during the wartime. It is however the only building that remained unscathed during the 2004 Tsunami.
We are pleased to inform you that after our first season we have put a sizeable cash injection into the maintenance of the hotel. Aqua has been closed for Nov & Dec 2012 for a major refurbishment and upgrade. If you do plan to visit us again you are sure to enjoy a peaceful nights sleep in a 4 poster bed with custom made mosquito netting and bed side lighting. In addition we have finally completed the pool which will be ready in Jan 2013, new pathways, Sri Lanka's only 5*tec diving center and a sea view spa. We also care considerably about the enviroment and are setting in place eco friendly measures such as composters, sensor lighting, electric card tags and planting of trees.

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