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“A very happy holiday experience”
Review of Club Hotel Dolphin

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Club Hotel Dolphin
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Waikkal
Certificate of Excellence
Halstead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
39 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“A very happy holiday experience”
Reviewed December 9, 2012

Just returned from 12 very enjoyable nights at the Dolphin. The customer service experience is oustanding with smiling helpful staff who have obviously been trained to a high standard. The hotel site is large with extensive facilities and the room we had was a 'superior sea view' (I don't think there are any 'standard' rooms) which being on the top floor had a vaulted 15 ft high ceiling which made it airy and spacious feeling with a brilliant view from the balcony. Other reviews recommend the villas which I find curious as they appear to be quite crude brick 'huts' which, apart from the ones on the front line, have no view. The all inclusive food and drinks choices are so good that the optional fine dining restaurant seemed to be an under used facility and the 'fish market' dining area which offers reasonably priced sea food was also under used (possibly because you expect fish dining to be expensive, which this was not, and it is situated a long way from the main hotel area. The beach is probably not ideal for children as the sharp sand shelves steeply into the sea but for walking we found it a joy because, unlike most resorts, you can enjoy a good stroll watching the fishing boats and birds without being bothered by anyone trying to sell you stuff. There is plenty of safe swimming for children and adults in the two large pools and a fairly low key activity program organised by the enthusiastic 'Animation team' who also provide some of the amateurish but funny evening entertainment shows. All in all very satisfying holiday.

Room Tip: Top floor superior rooms have high ceilings and excellent views but make sure it is not near to firs...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Courtauldbowler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (450)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
portsmouth
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed December 1, 2012

We stayed at CHD for 2 weeks in Nov 12. We had a beach villa with sea view, The villa was huge well equipped, The room boys decorated our bed nearly every day,We had clean towels for the room and pool everyday, in the evening they come round and spray the room for bugs and turn down your bed,The bed was huge and very comfortable,The food was brilliant I am quite fussy but had no problem finding something lovely to eat, Even tried quite a few Sri Lankan dishes which were great,The animation team do a great job and we enjoyed quite a few nights with them very friendly, We done our trips with Asda tours just on the beach by the quiet pool, Cant recomend them enough very cheap and excellent service We went on 2 day safari (amazing experience) Elephant orphange again amazing and we went into Negombo with them by Tuk Tuk and train then travelled back to hotel by boat so go and see Thamal and Nissan for your trips also the Asda shop will get you anything you require so helpful and friendly Thank you to ALL The Staff at CHD you made our holiday fantastic and Thank You Asda Tours for some Amazing memories We will be back Lovely country and people We had beach Villa 54

Room Tip: Beach Villa 54 great location
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank jan0908
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Witney, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 1, 2012

We stayed at the Dolphin in August 2012. Having already done a weeks tour of Sri Lanka with Thomas Cook, ( recommended , private tour and our guide really happy to adjust the itinerary to fit in other things), we were looking forward to a few days chill out before coming home.
Having checked things out on tripadvisor we had opted for a villa to avoid the noisy pool area and it was well worth the extra, although we didn't exactly get the sea view, (past the next villa and over the flood defences), but only a few s
econds from the beach whcih was pleasantly empty as swimming fairly risky due to strong current.
The room was lovely, spacious and clean, the only disapointment being that there was no open air shower room as advertised which was one of the selling points for us. Beds very comfy, although we were not offered the chance to request either a smoking room or one with twin beds which we would have preferred, still these are minor flaws.
Hotel is massive and quite confusing at first, we got totally lost our first night trying to find the Anchor theatre for the show! Needs better signs.
The hotel is divided into two distinct sides based round the two pools. All the activities centre on the main pool as well as all activity notices which can mean that if you stay round the quiet side, you can miss things. We stayed by the quiet pool mostly, plenty of sunbeds and staff always willing to find you a parasol and move things around for you and with free drinks on tap at the bar, (we went all inclusive) happy days. Staff were great, especially the head chef, {I forget his name) who knew our names by day two and also bothered to invite us to a cocktail evening and a cocktail tasitng competition.
Didn't eat out as hotel well outside Negombo but food was good, plenty of choice although only if you don't mind everything including burgers being quite spicy. Sad thgat the all inclusive drinks seemed to include every spirit other than whisky, I ended up trying Arrak instead which was a very good substitute!
Mostly germans staying here and they didn't seem keen to mingle.
Spa lovely, we took a full body massage with manicure, good value compared to some I've had elsewhere.
As we had already done the major site tour we took no major trips but did take a couple with Blackie who we met on the beach our first day. I would recommend him, he's friendly without being pushy. Boat trip up the river spotting the monitor lizards was nice and we also went on a round trip to Negombo with him, this included a trip on the local train, something we would never have dared on our own, shopping via tuktuk (fun and cheap)and a trip to the fish market which is a sight not to be missed plus souvenir shops, market and a boat ride back. We aslo spent one pleasant evening sitting on the beach with Blackie cloud spotting and watching the sunset,generally having a giggle. Shopped also down at Asda store by the quiet pool end too, cheap and reasonable quality souvenirs and really cheap cigarettes £13 for 200, (btw cigarettes are not easy to buy in Sri Lanka generally)

In all a pleasant hotel to spend a few days relaxing but to be honest didn't quite live up to its press. I would probably try a different hotel next time, if only to get a different experience.

Room Tip: Ask for a villa if you want to avoid the loud music played round the activity pool day and night.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Dragonlady1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunderland, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed November 27, 2012

We are a couple, in our 50's and we have been to Sri Lanka many times and I picked this Hotel by reading the comments on trip advisor. I know you can't please all the people all the time and there were a couple of negative comments about this Hotel but I thought overall it sounded good. This is a true account of our holiday. Flew with Emirates via Dubai. It took about a 25 minute coach journey from the plane to arrivals in Dubai, once inside the terminal it was mayhem people just running all over, decided to go for a drink, now I know when you are on holiday things can be a little more expensive in airports, I bought a pint of lager for myself and a small glass of 7-up for my wife cost, £10. I would have thought £6 or £7, but not £10. Anyway, another 25 minute journey from terminal to another Emirates flight, the flights themselves were ok, comfortable, food ok and entertainment ok.
Arrived in Sri Lanka, wonderful country, transfer to hotel was good, driver waiting and arranged for our cases to be loaded on the mini-bus, only approx 40 minutes transfer time.
Arrived at hotel and that is when it all went wrong, we arrived slightly early so I knew the room wouldn't be ready, we arrived at 11am, filled the forms in, had the customary drink and was told our room would be ready until 1pm, I thought ok, we will leave our suitcase in reception go and have a drink and a walk about, came back at 1pm only to be told the hotel has over booked, when I said "I was told our room would be ready by 1pm" I was told, I will just have to be patient. What can you do in a situation like that, we just had to wait and see what happens. At 4pm we were told a room has been found and it would be ready in 30 minutes, amazing.
4:30 we were given the key card to our room. The room was fantastic, bright, roomy and clean, no problems with the room, it was a villa near to the quiet pool, which is what we booked.
Plenty of sunbeds and plenty pease and quiet, there is a small pool side bar there, you can get drinks and snacks, it was here we had a little language problem, on the menu, under "burgers" it has cheese, so I thought this would be a cheese burger, when it came I lifted the top of the bun and inside was a slice of cheese and a slice of tomato, when I asked were the burger was all I got was a shug of the shoulders, I got the menu and tried to explain what a cheese burger was, in the end I was told it was a vegitarian burger, can you believe that, amazing.
About the hotel, the hotel mainly look after the Germans, at the bar waiting for a drink you will find the Germans will get served first, or should I say try to get served first, you will have to speak up.
It's a very big hotel and there is something for everyone, the staff are very friendly but you will find that in any hotel. The food is good, plenty on offer, the only thing about the dinning room is it is not ait-con and it can get very warm in there sometimes.
We used the "Asda Tours" for trips to Kandy and elephants, great lads, also done a little shopping at Adsa's, a little shop near to the quiet pool, the lady that runs the shop along with her daughter can get you anything, they are lovely people, do a little barter with them, they love it.
All in all it was a nice holiday, but I don't think I will use this hotel again, I have been in better and for less money.
So go to this hotel at your own risk, you have been warned. Happy Holidays.

Room Tip: Villa rooms are best, without a doubt, get one near to the quiet pool.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Alan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
131 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2012

The hotel is MASSIVE! I was still getting lost after being there 5 days!

Great selection of food - exceeded expectations so usually plenty of stuff I enjoyed. The only criticism of the drinks that wine is not included at all in the all inclusive package. Also - they don't have diet coke on offer on any of the helpyourself places.

Spa is gorgeous - I had 60 minute facial and a 90 minute renew and both were thoroughly relaxing and the massages were good pressure.

Our room was quite large - a superior room. I didn't see the villas but our friends (who were getting married there) stayed in a suite which was very nice.

The staff were all very friendly at all times and helpful. The entertainment on the first night was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Not sure what you would call it but hilarious.

The whole hotel could do with a revamp - a little bit shappy in places.

The pool bar was fun and the nightclub was great a couple of nights. You could hear the noise from both very clearly from our room though. Pool bar often had people there until 2am too.

The restaurant next too the pool was a bit hit and miss and we went there twice but never again as they didn't seem to understand what we were asking for and therefore the order was wrong.

there is nothing close by to the hotel at all so unless you go on trips you would probably not leave the hotel your whole holiday.

All in all a good hotel but would benefit from a few improvements.

Room Tip: If you want a quiet room don't stay in the superior/deluxe rooms.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank annalou1224
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2012

Really brilliant holiday,would recommend to anyone. The hotel and restaurant staff went out of there way to do anything for you. The food was excellent and catered for all. Halloween nite was brilliant all the staff in the restaurant dressed up and all the food was shaped in bones,coffins or the scream a lot of work had gone into it and we appreciated it. The only bad and one moan is about mosquitoes if u are going make sure you get really good mosi repellant and stuff for rooms we got eaten alive even though we has used stuff. Mainly because it had rained every evening and some of the walkways were a bit jungly and few little ponds obviously breeding places. We are going back next year as stopover on way back from Australia as it was so good. All the trips were brill and our guide Edward was very informative and took us to some nice places for lunch. The elephant orphanage was really good and sirighalla rock was worth going to and dambulla caves in fact the whole holiday was brilliant ten stars I would say I have been to a few places All Inclusive but nothing like this

Room Tip: Would have stayed in a beach room upgrade if they had any left,but on saying that the room we had wa...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Wootton60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 21, 2012

what a superb holiday. this hotel is very clean and tidy. the staff are wonderful and cant do enough for you. we stayed in one of the villas and it is definately worth the extra cost. two poor points, 1, the food is abit samey everynight but there is allways something to eat.
2.the evening entertainment is abit poor but have a cocktail and find someone to talk to and alls ok.
finally DO NOT book trips through the reps,go to the beach and find Tony,half the price and anything you want,just superb.

Room Tip: go for the villas,worth the extra money,
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank PHILIP H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Club Hotel Dolphin

Property: Club Hotel Dolphin
Address: Kammala South | St. Sebastian Mawatha, Waikkal 61110, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Waikkal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Waikkal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Club Hotel Dolphin 4*
Number of rooms: 154
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Here on Sri Lanka's golden west coast, we believe that every moment of your time spent with us is precious. . Precisely why we offer a host of facilities for your comfort and opportunities for you and your loved ones to enjoy an unforgettable stay with us in Sri Lanka. Whether you want to PLAY or PAUSE you can have the best of both worlds at Club Hotel Dolphin Waikkal. Our hotel is known to be the ultimate family beach holiday destination in the region.. PAUSE... Find a place under the swaying coconut palms, and re-discover that inner peace that you've been missing for so long. Take a long walk on the golden beach. Enjoy the sensation of curling your toes in the pure sands and revel in the warmth of the sun on your skin. Lie back and listen to the soothing roar of the waves as you slip into a deep state of relaxation at the spa. PLAY... Dive into Sri Lanka's longest swimming pool and score the winning point at water polo! Hit the gym, or take a water aerobics class. Say yes to adventure! Learn to paddle a kayak and explore the mangroves, or feel the wind whistle past, as you see the world from horseback trekking along the beach. Enjoy top notch entertainment and live shows, indulge in beach-side BBQ s and delicious buffets, take time for a romantic meal for two under the moon and stars... Whether you want to PLAY or PAUSE at Club Dolphin you can enjoy the very best of both worlds... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dolphin Hotel Waikkal
Club Hotel Dolphin Sri Lanka
Dolphin Hotel Sri Lanka

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