We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Awesome!”
Review of Club Hotel Dolphin

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 9 more sites!
Club Hotel Dolphin
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Waikkal
Certificate of Excellence
Wales
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Awesome!”
Reviewed July 6, 2009

Just come back from the best hol - and wedding ever! We chose Sri Lanka to get married as it's such a beautiful country - plus we wanted an elephant! And I have to say it was better than we ever imagined! The wedding advisor couldn't do enough for us and the cemerony was amazing, with traditional dancers and drummers. We were with a group of family and friends so did a few trips with Jonny at Harolds. they tailormade a trip which combined three of the 'must sees' (the elephant orphanage, Sigiria rock and dambulla rock temple) plus added a few extras in, like riding elephants down to a lake to get an early morning shower. Amazing. The food was also amazing - there were a couple of people with special medical diets and gluten free vegetarians with us, who were initially worried about the food but found they could eat much of the food that was there. Also, make sure you pop out for lobster at the canal restaurant just outside the hotel. Raj and his staff caught ours the day before and it was cooked to perfection for under a tenner! All the staff were so great, especially Chris and Dom our room boys, and margret in the spa. Plus met some amazing people, especially Chris and Di from nr Southampton, plus fell in love withthe black kitten who was a regular resident in my bag! All in all, an amazing time was had by all!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Ronnie09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,110 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,135
    650
    208
    68
    49
See reviews for
570
1,119
21
29
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (456)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Stafford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2009

First trip to Sri Lanka pleasantly surprised. Have travelled to Goa several times and always enjoyed it. Sri Lanka appears a little more affluent. Standard of rooms is good as is cleanliness throughout the hotel. Travelled as 2 single parents with an 8 and 16 year old. Swimming pool is excellent with plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas. There is also a quiet pool area for those who want to get away from the children and activities. Food was excellent with plenty of choice and always hot and fresh. Animation team work really hard with plenty of daytime activities. Evening entertainment was as expected, rather amusing at times but didnt really matter to us. Beach was a little disappointing but again didnt matter too much as the pool was so good. Did a trip to elephant orphanage and Kandy booked with Asda on the beach. Was good value, elephants were amazing. Booked with Holiday Genie online was excellent value and all went very smoothly. Flew with Sri Lankan Airlines and have definitely had worse flights. Would definitely recommend this hotel and Sri Lanka and plan to visit again.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank pocket_rocket32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ASHFORD, KENT
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2009

There were 21 of us in our group, family and friends and we had a brilliant time at the Dolphin. Everyone is so helpful, they will bend over backwards to help you. We stayed in one of the cottages and it was fantastic. Very clean and superb views (no 83)
Food was great,staff were very friendly.
We did lots of days out with Harald and his crew and they too were fantastic! Much, much cheaper than First Choice. Again they will do anything for you. I ran out of camcorder tapes and I saw Harald on the log on the beach (they are not allowed on the hotel grounds) and I asked him if he had any, and before I knew it he'd gone somewhere and brought one back for me within an hour!
Another thing I must stress is that just down the river (boat with Harald) there is an orphanage with mentally disturbed children/young adults. We stopped there one day on the way back from a boat trip and we were astonished. This place only survives by charity, so we never gave the man money but instead we went into town on a Tuk Tuk and spent around £60 on essentials for these kids there. Dried milk, washing powder rice, toilet rolls, sweets, toys, biscuits etc and their faces were amazing! One little boy is only about 6 and he is deaf, bless him. They all wanted to hug us as a thank you, and shake our hands.
Our group were so touched by the orphans that we are going to organize a container to go from England to there full up with clothes for these children. Just old clothes will do. No vest type tops though as it is against theire religion to show too much skin.
Old t- shirts, shorts, skirts is what they all really need as the ones they have are very old, dirty and ripped etc.
If you do go to see them, please bear in mind that it is a 3rd world country and they can't help being the way they are.
Harald even gave us a beach party on our last night, with fireworks, and drinks! We can't recommend him enough, and we have never heard a bad word about him.
Go and enjoy this lovely place as time went too quick for all of us!!

  • Stayed June 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank JESSPI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2009

A group of 5 of us stayed from the 10 – 24 June, after putting up with a nightmare booking system with first Choice we all needed the holiday. the flight was long but comfortable with plenty of leg room although I am only 5.3” so was not really going to have a problem there.

On arriving at the hotel we decided to go straight to out room instead of having lunch we were given room 323 over looking the bar and the large pool all very pleased with this and we had quite a good sea view as well.

The hotel was fully booked when we where there although you where not able to tell there was still plenty of room around the pool and plenty of sun beds, there where one or to occasions where we had to look around for a table that would fit us all but this was more due to the face there we where a group of 5, the waiting staff were more than happy to re lay a table for us if they had all been used already.

I found the hotel clean and specious and the staff where always very helpful ant thing you asked for they would do it nothing was too much trouble although we did tip right at the begging of the holiday and then again at the end.

We booked our trips with Harold which where fantastic we did not haggle with him which we probably should have but we thought it was a fair price quoted for what we where getting a 3 day tour 2 night. Going to pineapple rubber tea plantations elephant orphanage where we got to feed the baby ones that are only 8 weeks old, then on to watch them walk down the street for there morning bath, the driver had also arranged for us to have seats over looking the river at the café where we where able to have a cold drink and use the bathroom, one of ht e waters also gave us some free bananas to through to the elephants, from hear we went to a place where we could ride an elephant and have a shower the men will want tipping hear have money in your pocket or tip before getting on and you will get longer with the elephants, we then went on to Kandy and the botanical garden got a few mossy bites hear so take spray if you are going to go we then went to a great hotel called the Devon hotel we had about an hour hear before leaving to go to a cultural show and to the temple of the tooth stopping on route to see the fruit bats, on arriving back at the hotel we had a three course meal ready for us. And then an early night as it was going to be an early start the next day going to the Dambulla cave temple its quite a long walk up the rock face but well worth it there are people on the way up trying to sell any thing and every thing, after this we where supposed to go to Sigiriya but decided that we would rather give it a miss as our next destination was up North to go swimming at the beach and snorkelling the next day it was a three hour drive from Dambulla to Nilavveli beach hotel, the hotel was lovely and on a fantastic whit sand beach this hotel would not have had British tourists for a long time due to the Tamil tigers only 6 months ago you would not have been able to step foot on the beach we went to. So the food and the service was not great but it was easy to look past this as the beach and the sea was so good. After an early night we got take to a small island that is covered in dead coral from the tsunami, Harold guys had brought a cool box full of beer and pop for us all and supplied snorkels and flippers for us to use 2 of the people in our group are not good swimmers and so the guides helped them and looked after them the sea life was fab managed to see a shark. After this we had a three hour drive to Habarana to go on a safari which was about three hour this was great fun and again the guides where well informed and knew what the where talking about. We got back to club hotel Dolphin around 10 pm very very tire but had the best 3 days and 2 nights every, Harold’s guys looked after us all stopped to get us food and drink and also told us when to hide out cameras so we would not have to pay to take them in places they saved us a small fortune just buy doing this they also bought us all post card and shell chains as a gift. This tour cost us £180 each.

The weather was hot which was great and had a nice breeze all day with showers occasionally they did not last long and helped to break the humidity.

The food in the hotel was really really good and plenty to eat at all times with a good variety the only thin I would fault is the evening snack of sandwiches is rubbish don’t bother.

We went on one more trip with the man that owns a shop just past Harold’s he took us to negumbo in his boat and the we swapped to tuck tucks where we went to the market and the local fish market he only charged 1000rs around £4 each for this again this was a really good trip and well worth doing,

In all a fantastic holiday so pleased we went hear

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank daffyWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bristol
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2009

A strange title I admit, but this was the favorite time of the day for us. From cottage number 92, you open your door onto palm trees and the beach. From our table and chairs on the terrace we watched the sun set out to sea with a hotel cocktail or three, one appropriatly named a 'screwdriver'. And let me tell you, they're not shy with the measures, we had to ask for cocktails to be diluted on more than one occassion which was good as I hear other all inclusives cut back on this heavily. The draught beer was good, and for a real taste of Sri Lanka try and source a bottle of 8.8% Lion beer - but expect to wobble after consuming.

We went on two overnight trips - Yala National park to the south and Kandy to the north. We went with ASDA and I highly recommend them. They were great on both trips - Brian and Washington deserved their tips! Get out and see the country - this made our holiday. However be prepared for the craziest driving styles youre ever likely to witness. A boat trip on the Indian Ocean to Negombo is a bumpy ride but great fun - but remember health and safety doesnt exist so dont expect a life jacket or oars. Great experience though.

Weather was good - the sun is so strong - watch out. Monsoon rain showers are few and far between. Ignore the BBC weather forecast. they cant get tomorrow right in England let alone the next 5 days in Colombo.

Hotel good. Food good, especially breakfast. Staff all very nice. Theyre not all after tips like other on here say, but beware when youre out of the hotel people expect tips for the smallest things - dont give them anything unless they deserve it just ignore them. One guy at a temple was pointing out to mind your step over a metal bar and wanted some dib-dobs (rupees) in exchange for his taxing work. Joker!

Met some great people - lots of Brits Abroad. Sometimes it did feel more like Club Hotel Benidorm, but everyone was enjoying themselves and well behaved.

Flight long and avoid stopping in Maldives if you can.

Expect ghekkos in your cottage bathroom - you might be unlucky and get a massive spider like us. They are harmless though. The cottage was overall great - you cant put a price on your own little house on the beach. Look out for the stray black kitten - he was so lush and playful. The dogs are also very well behaved.

Take an alarm coz they forgot to give us two wake up calls.

Overall this was a great holiday.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank munchingbristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Yorkshire
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2009

My Fiancé and I stayed at the Club Hotel Dolphin from 2nd June until 16th June and we had a great time; all the staff were fantastic from the waiters to the gardeners (one of the gardeners even brought me some fresh Aloe Vera leaves).

Flight – We flew with Qatar and they were very good – a little bit late opening the check-in desks at Manchester but got everyone sorted quickly. We flew on 2 different types of plane (big 2-4-2 formation from Manchester-Doha then smaller 3-3 formation from Doha-Colombo and coming back big 2-4-2 formation on both legs) the leg room was very generous although the entertainment box gets in the way (1 box for every 2 seats). Entertainment was very good with over 20 films to choose from and lots of music, sitcoms etc. Food was good and all drinks were free!

The hotel was quieter during the first week but got noticeably busier during the second week, we still didn’t have any problems getting a seat at dinner or bed / umbrellas by the pool.

We went with Dream Ticket and Augustus the Rep (for Walker Tours on behalf of Dream Ticket) was a pain! I’m sure he’d had our A/I bands electronically tagged because he managed to find us wherever we were on the first few days! We didn’t book any trips through him which I’m glad of because another couple wanted to see the Elephants and Tea Garden and that’s it and they got dragged everywhere even though none of the other people on the bus wanted to go! I think they ended up getting a partial refund.

Weather – Most of the days were hot and sunny, some days a little overcast but still hot and some days hot with a couple of short showers. There was a constant breeze which was lovely but be careful to keep applying sun cream because the breeze made it feel as though you weren’t burning. A couple of new-comers fell asleep by the pool on their first day thinking they were ok because it was overcast and they got burnt! We also had a couple of thunderstorms late evening with heavy rain which was great to watch

Room – We stopped in Cottage number 68 which was a short walk (less than 1 minute) from the Quiet Pool and also a short walk (also less than 1 minute) from the main building. I agree with a few people saying the rooms are quite out-dated and tired looking but we saw several in the process of being decorated whilst we were there. The room was quite dark inside but had plenty of blinds to open and let the sunlight in. The room was a good size with a big bed, small table and 2 chairs, dressing table and stool, TV, DVD and fridge and a cupboard (extra pillows at the top!). The bathroom was quite quirky with a big walk in shower and a small garden with pebbles, washing line and sink and toilet. With the bathroom having a slightly open ceiling (covered with mesh) it did get quite warm in there but it also helped drying your wet clothes!!

Plugs – In our cottage we had 1 British plug and 1 Sri Lankan plug near the dressing table and the other British plugs were taken up by the TV, DVD Player and Fridge so we had to alternate charging our electrical items on the 1 available.

A/C – We had full control of our Air Conditioning in the cottage by a remote control (18oC was lovely when you first came back to your room after sunbathing but we had it on 24 oC through the night) and we also had several speeds for the ceiling fan.

Beach – If you do your research before going you’ll know this beach is orange/red in colour but what I wasn’t expecting was the coarseness of the sand – we went walking on the first day in flip flops and the sand that got under my feet hurt! I also wasn’t expecting the litter which was quite bad in places.

Food – No complaints at all! Breakfast – Pork bacon, beef or chicken sausages, boiled eggs, beans, French toast, tomatoes with cheese topping, veg, toaster, egg station (if you ask nicely they’ll make you scrambled or poached eggs in the kitchen), sweet pastries, cheese, ham, cereals, porridge and curries! Lunch – we only ate in the buffet twice at lunch-time and both times there was lots of choice. Dinner – excellent – we always came away with a plateful! Always a plain rice and flavoured rice, lots of meat dishes and veg dishes and always something being cooked fresh on the grilling stations. Watch out for the Mutton Rogan Josh on the Indian night – it was gorgeous! The puddings always went down very well with my Fiancé!! We usually ate at the Pool Bar through the day and they had Toasties (chicken, cheese, ham, onion, tomato), Beef Burger, Chicken Burger, Chicken or Beef Hot Dogs and chips

Entertainment – We didn’t actually see any of the entertainment; we spent most nights at the pool bar because of the lovely breeze. We took part in the Quiz and Bingo that was held down there 2 nights.

Changing Money – We changed our Travellers Cheques at the hotel; the rate was good and was a few rupees higher than changing cash – I didn’t fancy taking my Passport out to Negombo to change them there

Trips – We booked the Elephant Orphanage through Harold’s. We just wanted to go to the Millennium and Elephant Orphanage and nothing else – he originally quoted us £30 (including entrance fee’s) but the other couple who should have gone on the same day dropped out so he put it up to £35 each – I was disgruntled at first but it meant we could come and go as we please without waiting for anyone else. It was a great day apart me being scared to death while riding an elephant!! At one point I was wondering how much it would hurt to jump off it rather than keep riding it!
The other ‘trip’ we did was the boat ride up and down the canal which we also booked through Harold’s – this was ok but after 2 hrs on the boat my bum went really numb! We saw a few Monitor Lizards and some Kingfishers. It also showed some of the poorer parts of Sri Lanka where people live in huts and bathe in the river.
My Fiancé went on this trip again the day before we left and he said the second time was much better than the first – Harold’s boys got coconuts for them and they got to see the children this time
We also went to Negombo market which was an experience! We went on a Saturday afternoon when it was a little cloudy around the hotel – got to Negombo and it was baking hot! It’s a big outdoor market selling everything from DVD’s to handbags, Sari’s, baby clothes etc – it was good but very hot!

Shops – I bought all my tins of Diet Coke from Harold’s (just less than £1 each), they also sold ice creams and souvenirs. The woman at Asda was lovely as were her brothers (think they were her brothers anyway) who did trips, the woman at Sainsbury’s was also lovely – both Asda and Sainsbury’s sell souvenirs and things like Aloe Vera Gel.

Eating Out – We went to Negombo a few times (we used Ryan at Harold’s for a Tuk Tuk – lovely bloke), we ate at the King Coconut and had Seafood Cocktail Starters, Kings Prawns and Lobster and 3 Beers and it came to about £33. We also ate at the Rodeo Bar which was cheap and good. Fillet Steak with Caramelised Onions and Peppercorn Sauce – less than £4 and was very tasty! My fiancé loved the Chicken Cordon Bleu served there and they served all the food with proper chips!

Insects / Animals etc – We saw 3 dogs around the hotel and all of them were very friendly and would wag their tails if they recognised you! Lots of little gekko lizards, loads of very cute chipmunks, toads, little crabs, miner birds and crows. A friend of ours saw a Chameleon around the cottages near the quiet pool and my Fiancé saw a snake on the tennis courts when they were playing!

Tipping – we tipped the room boys and pool boys 100 Rupees most days – the pool boy had our beds ready in the morning for us

General – There are water coolers at both pool bars along with soda machines and the barmen just leave a tray of glasses near these so you can help yourself. The room boys should also leave 2 bottles of water in your room daily.

I was a bit paranoid about Dengue Fever before we went but I didn’t end up getting bit at all through the day when the Dengue Mozzies are about – think the breeze coming off the sea was too strong for them. Did get bit a couple of times through the night but once I'd realised I wore Repel 100 and didn’t get bit again. Be careful sunbathing on the grass – I think I got bit by an ant on my ankle.

All in all we had a great holiday and met some fantastic people (hello to Jo-Ann & Howard, Alan & Gwynne, Michelle & Nick and Mary & Sean)

Would I go back? Probably not but only because we like to visit different countries

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank L0ver0fH0lidays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
County Durham
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2009

This is my 6th visit to the Dolphin and I think that it is excellent value for money. Yes the hotel could do with updating, and the animators are not great, but the food id great and the staff friendly. Sangem jewellers (opposite the hotel) are great value for money, and Mohammed who used to be there has now opened his own shop, next to Harald's tours. He is also great value. You can design your own jewellery at either shop, and can even take your old gold to be melted down and turned into something new. we are going back to the dolphin in December, so obviously i would recommend it.

This time we took the train up into the tea plantations and forests on Bandarawela, the trip takes 8 hours, but the scenery is wonderful. The toilets on the train are only just bearable, but generally what an experience. The train goes from Colombo, and you do need to book in advance. The trip was very cheap, and we were in the observation car at the back. whilst there we stayed at the Bandarawela Hotel, a wonderful colonial experience. Don't miss shopping in Colombo, there are some great bargains, and a coffee at Odel's is lovely. barefoot has some great textiles, they aren't cheap but their stuff is really well made and different. They also have a nice shaded courtyard for a drink or a snack. I could go on and on about Sri Lanka, just go and try it for yourselves!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Marya9858
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Waikkal
0.8 mi away
Ranweli Holiday Village
4.1 mi away
Heritance Negombo
Heritance Negombo
#4 of 42 in Negombo
361 reviews
3.6 mi away
Jetwing Blue
Jetwing Blue
#8 of 42 in Negombo
1,406 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
3.5 mi away
Jetwing Beach
Jetwing Beach
#6 of 42 in Negombo
1,771 reviews
8.8 mi away
Jetwing Lagoon
Jetwing Lagoon
#3 of 42 in Negombo
996 reviews
3.4 mi away
Hotel Goldi Sands
Hotel Goldi Sands
#10 of 42 in Negombo
825 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Club Hotel Dolphin? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Priceline, Booking.com, Travelocity, Ctrip TA, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Orbitz, TripOnline SA, Cancelon and HotelQuickly so you can book your Club Hotel Dolphin reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Dolphin Hotel Waikkal
Club Hotel Dolphin Sri Lanka
Dolphin Hotel Sri Lanka

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing