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“Amazing location, poor rooms”

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Aqua Hotel trincomalee
Ranked #60 of 99 Trincomalee B&B and Inns
Reviewed September 22, 2013

This hotel is right on a wonderful stretch of beach, with a friendly beach bar and outside eating area. These are all positives.
The rooms however are not the best, more hostel than hotel. But if you like us are only interested in sleeping in the room while days are spent on the beach or diving then it does not become to depressing.
The dive shop on site is friendly and well staffed, unfortunately some of the hotel staff are a bit sullen. OK but only just, and that's more to do with location

Room Tip: A ggod room? Go somewhere else...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Richard46Thomas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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164 - 170 of 338 reviews

Reviewed September 21, 2013

Enjoyed my stay here- especially the relaxed traveller-vibe in the evening. We stayed in a fan room which was relatively fairly priced but A/c rooms are arguably not worth the money - the same, basic rooms and bathrooms the standard concrete cell with cold water only. Building is in an ugly tower with odd internal furnishings but this didn't bother me too much as generally was outside. The place to hang out in the evenings but some other guesthouses looked smarter.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank carsonlegarcon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2013

After finding no available accommodation in the Uppuveli area we had to settle for this one.
At 6000 rs a night this place is horrendously overpriced. The bathroom was revolting, the shower did not drain so was flooded with 3 inches of water most of the time. When it did drain we could see it dripping onto the hallway on a lower level.
The rooms were never cleaned. There were no secure lockers. The rooms were ridiculously dark. The food was below average. I wouldn't pay 1000 rs for this place. The service was rude and somewhat arrogant, I was turned away from the reception/bar once and told to come back another time because the manager/caretaker was "angry". The location I must admit is great, and the place has potential. They need new, clear, not green, windows, good lights, totally new bathrooms, and a new attitude. The service at the dive desk was very friendly, this was the only positive.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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Thank Lexiloo41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2013

I chose this Aqua Inn since we our two teenagers were with us and the bar on the beach looked quite appealing. I knew that more expensive options were available but thought the bar on the beach looked appealing. The contact with Jo Saunders was very efficient. However, when we arrived the place seemed in total chaos. We were left standing waiting for a long time then were eventually shown to our rooms. We had rooms on the second floor which had been redone and were quite colourful. the beds were comfortable with mosquito nets etc, but the bathrooms definitely need more attention , especially the shower base. After depositing our bags we went to investigate the restaurant for a snack and after waiting for 20 minutes decided to explore elsewhere further up the beach. Also, the day we arrived, the swimming pool was disgusting - full of mosquitos and the pump did not appear to be functioning. Things definitely improved when Jo returned on duty. I dont know who was in charge up until that point but the swimming pool was soon up and functioning. She really does seem to be doing her best to get Aqua Inns organized and has plenty of ideas for it to reach its potential. She works very long days but seems to be working alone "at the helm". We did not have the pleasure of meeting Fernando, and the rest of the team seem somewhat slow, lazy or lacking in initiative, and you have to be patient. But Jo seemed to work very long days and seemed to be trying to educate the team better. Because of the slow service, we only took our breakfast (and in retort to comments made below the B an B breakfast was perfectly adequate!)and lunch at the bar, but we very much enjoyed the atmosphere here and the food we did order was ok. The music was good, and it was a good place to chill with a book and meet interesting people. Mostly frequented by divers or backpackers who all seemed to be having a good time. Otherwise you have the possibility of a ten minute stroll up to the beach to various restaurants offering plenty of fish/crab or other local specialities.

We also enjoyed a massage with Doctor Margaret. Very relaxing, she certainly seems to know what she is doing and the prices here were much cheaper than elsewhere. Jo also was in big demand for pedicures and massage.

At the end of our stay, Jo gave us plenty of information for our next stay. She was always willing to find a solution to problems and I think she is a real asset to this place and if anybody can get it to reach its potential it will be Jo.

After the initial surprise of the place, (additionally, the good weather generally experienced in this area in August was not present although we were repaid on the South coast.Apart from two sunny mornings we had cloud and two very big storms, which left a lot of the balconies flooded ), we gradually began to wind down having spent a busy 3 days in the cultural triangle, and by the last day my son was playing handball with the locals on the beach, and my daughter was given a cricket lesson by the local professionals. Unfortunately we did not get to see Pidgeon Island. Unable to book with Aqua we went to the "Angel" diving school just up the beach. They told us that they were the only shop to have "unique access" to another island - Marine Island, where there would be less people on the beach and on the reef. Unfortunately we fell for their scam and found ourselves heading off in the direction of Trincomalee, to an area which did not seem to have any coral, and which was by no means as pretty as the pictures we had seen of Pidgeon Island. But in fact this turned out to be the least of our problems: We were a bit concerned about the afternoon trip because the previous afternoon we had seen all the 2 pm boats return because of the storm. But the weather seemed better and we were assured that the weather, although by no means idyllic, would not spoil our trip. On arrival I decided to stay on the boat, not being tempted by the black choppy waters. Our "boatman" decided he was going to snorkel too and just left me on the boat which apparently they are not supposed to do. I could see that the weather was worsening and that the sea was becoming choppier. We were a long way from our resort and when the "skipper" came near the boat I pointed to the sky and told him we should return. We called the rest of my family and a French couple that was with us and then the horror started. Firstly the "skipper" was unable to start the motor, and he certainly could not start the motor and lift the anchor simultaneously and we were drifting dangerously towards a rock. If my husband had not been on board we would have ended up on this rock, but between them we eventually managed to get away and start our perilous journey towards home. But the waves became higher and higher, and part of the boat broke, so my son had to hold it in place. It contained metal and the thunder and lightening then started. The waves started to get bigger and bigger and he was taking them straight on. We had the impression that this "skipper" was just a local lad who had little experience with tourists and thought we might like to share the sea life as the locals are obviously used to in bad conditions. But we all screamed "No", take us back to the beach. Its too dangerous. So we spent an hour on a horrible beach in our swimwear until the sea calmed down enough for us to return. When we returned to the diving centre, the manager said that if it was him, he would have turned round, but we did not see anybody chase after us or ring us, and he was annoyed when we refused to pay for this horrible adventure. We agreed with the French couple that we would pay just enough for the diesel and this did not go down at all well, but we have since been told that we should not even have paid this. So I am warning you now, maybe this dive centre does do some good trips (although people told us afterwards that it was not a reputable place) , so if you are thinking of snorkelling or diving AVOID this Angel Dive School at all costs!

By the way our bedroom was cleaned.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Lalyonnaise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013

Two girls in our twenties on holiday for two weeks...We arrived in Trincomalee on the overnight train from Colombo without a hotel reservation. We had been told everywhere was full. We happened to ask the waiter at breakfast if there were any available rooms and luckily, someone hadn't turned up so we stayed here for two nights.
The location is amazing...right on the beach front. There is a small pool, which seemed relatively clean. Uppuvelli beach only has one bar and it's at this hotel - it has a really great atmosphere: relaxed beach vibe with cheapish drinks and good food. At night the hotel lights a bonfire on the beach.
We were charged 6500lkr per night (triple room although only two of us) including breakfast and for what we got, this seemed a little overpriced - the room needed a facelift (poor lighting, damp bathroom) but the aircon worked fine.
Uppuvelli is relatively undeveloped and doesn't have a great amount of attractions. However, if you are happy to lie on the beach with a book, it's a great beach to visit (we visited Arugam Bay at the end of our trip and found it to be way more commercial and not as enjoyable as Uppuvelli).The hotel and bar staff are friendly and helpful and overall we enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Jocelyn C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2013

We read all the reviews about this place before we arrived but we couldn't find anywhere else to stay (busy in peak season!), so decided to book it, not expecting much.
I'm afraid the poor reviews were all exactly right, however it did give us a base to find other accommodation from.
The rooms are dark and bathrooms dingy and dirty. Everything seems to be falling apart or broken. No working plugs in our room which management, upon request, did nothing about. The balconies are a joke - at 1m2 or less and only with enough space for one chair. The swimming pool was murky and I never saw anyone in it, except practice divers. We did however have working a/c and nice towels.
The bar area seems to be very popular, however the food was terrible and service really poor.
Overall the price (LKR6500) per night was horrendous considering what you get. But in peak season, and with a location right on the beach, I guess they think they can warrant charging it. And the place seems to be busy....!
Overall, the accommodation on Uppevelli seems to be reasonably limited, so Aqua Inns is a backstop at best. Wandering down the beach are a few other options which would be a better option.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank DonneGerD11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2013

We had booked into this hotel for three nights but checked out after only one.
The place is so run down and dirty and the breakfast was very limited on the bed and breakfast deal.
Food was not good either.
The whole place had a depressing feel to it with the garden area also needing much maintenance.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Bardi
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 August 26, 2013

We offer a a european style breakfast for our inclusive B&B fruits, eggs, toast as well as the option of a meat breakfast with bacon eggs & toast. There is an additional al a carte menu offering pancakes and toasted sandwiches.

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Additional Information about Aqua Hotel trincomalee

Address: 42 Alles Garden | Uppevelli, Trincomalee 31000, Sri Lanka (Formerly Aqua Inns)
Location: Sri Lanka > Eastern Province > Trincomalee
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #60 of 99 B&Bs / Inns in Trincomalee
Price Range: $11 - $34 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We have accommodation to suit all budgets from Backpacker Caves to Standard rooms. The facilitis are what makes Aqua Inns attractive an outside pool, Herbal Steam Room, licensed beach bar, italian coffee machine serving espresso and cappuchino. A top 5* padi dive center, water sports and pigeon island trips. An aryuvedic spa, sun beds, Fernando's bar and grill restuarant serving , BBQ and many western and sri lankan dishes, beach bonfires, DJ parties on occasion. Yoga has just been introduced at sunrise and sunset ... more   less 
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