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“Romantic place-cottage is a must!!!!”
Review of Club Hotel Dolphin

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Club Hotel Dolphin
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Waikkal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 26, 2010

Dolphin Club Hotel is a perfect place for couples.We got the deluxe room in first place, but it was in front of swimming pool with noisy music most of the day, so we pay a little bit extra and were moved to cottage.The cottage was perfect, lately refurbished (have a look at the photos) in first row on the beach.The view of sunrise and sunset was amazing every single day, also like falling asleep in the sound of Indian ocean. Food was brilliant, various every day and night, I started to love curry after holiday in this resort. The only trouble was that all inclusive package doesn't include wine. In the end we bought red wine in superstore in Negombo town which is just few miles away. We used Asda travel for excursion to Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Kandy and Dambulla and we highly recommend them as they did those trips really well and half price comparing to Thomson or other tour operators.
Generally speaking Dolphin Club is a good 4 star hotel in a good location(30 min from the airport and close -within 100 km to top attractions) with brilliant food and friendly staff. I'd recommend this hotel to everyone.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Gaja_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 17, 2010

I am really sorry for my late posting with regard to the Club Hotel Dolphin we were married there 10/10/10 this year.

It will be in 3 parts, Hotel, Wedding and ASDA Tours, all areas made up what was a perfect holiday, wedding, honeymoon and tour.

The hotel is superb, recently refurbished, staff without exception very, very friendly, helpful and nothing ever too much trouble for them. We stayed in a cottage, very roomy, very, very impressive, massive room, massive bathroom, massive shower, we were there during the end of the monsoon, we had trouble with it raining so hard, the rain would hit the door, then the wind would blow it underneath! This wasn’t the end of the world, reception furnished us with plenty of towels to contain the water.

The food was a good selection daily with the chef doing very special specials for a small supplement. I ate Sri Lankan food every day, even for breakfast, and you should try it before you knock it! Mil rice sambar, onion chutney or dhal for breakfast IS delicious. I also ate with my hands, I have travelled extensively across aisa, the locals really appreciate it, (I tucked myself away to stop Europeans staring)!! It is actually tastier eating Asian food with your hands, and I find easier.

Grounds very, very, very well maintained.

Pools, pool bar and snacks, faultless. I would really recommend the fine dinning at least once, it was included in our wedding package, and really romantic, 1st class food and a personal waiter!

Wedding

We booked direct with the hotel, we had a meeting with two members of staff Chandina, and Noorili (Sorry poor spelling), they were a dream arranging the day and the finishing touches, Mr George acted as MC and Best man on the day, he was 1st class (It was only the two of us). Even though we didn’t have a massive party with us, they made it all so special, the oil lamp, poowa, Dancers were all out of this world. It was a very spiritual, romantic experience, we could not have wished for more. Monica the Elephant made it so, so special and would highly recommend. The photos and DVD was slightly cheaper than the UK but of exceptional quality, you get to see all the proofs, and choose, they deliver the album 2 days later, it was a shame though on the DVD it was the “Old dolphin” and have not updated to the new hotel. I would have loved to have had guests with us, due to the huge effort they put into a wedding there, they really do pull out all the stops. (We brought extra bananas to feed to Monica the elephant, as I thought the bunch they would give us would be small) we gave her around 5-7lbs in the end, and she is awesome. I would be greatful if Chandina from the front desk could contact me please, via here is fine (His daughters baptism was the same day as the wedding (10/10/10). Hi to Mr George, I know he reads TA regularly, you were a star, and really made our wedding a dream, like you said you would! My wife brought her sari on ebay, I had my outfit made there in Negombo, (2 days to make) it was cheaper than hiring from the hotel, and I got to take it home. My wife could have easily got the Sari in Negombo too, arranged by ASDA TOURS, below! ….

ASDA TOURS

Right I promised Thamel I would put something on here as soon as I arrived home, but here I am now.!!!

ASDA are non confrontational, no pressure, fixed price tours, I met Thamel on the first hour of arriving at our room, he was walking along the beech, he was a DREAM, I did take one tour to Negombo with another one, and got ripped off big style!!!

Nothing at all is too much trouble for Thamel and his staff, they do 2 day tours and was advised by other holiday makers, they were excellent, the hotel was great you stay in too! From a really cheap Tuk Tuk (And he is the best price, most reliable, and doesn’t hassle you , what other tours you want, what other tours you want? Constantly. We took 2 trips to the Ayverdic (Or something beginning with A) Centre, for massage’s and other treatments, the cost was about a quarter of the UK. I took the Elephant Orphanage (Twice), Kandy, Tea plantation and Spice Gardens.

ASDA (after my advise) will hire you at very, very low cost a PAYG local sim card and or a mobile phone. It costs pennies to ring home per minute from a Sri Lankan PAYG, really good value.

They have a shop too, I went to Tesco, and they pressure you a lot, and really try to rip you off.

ASDA are the best for tours, advice and help. Thamel, please contact me even if through this website. I would like to send you something for your daughter too.

Thamel arranged for me to take me a supermarket to buy and take foods to the local orphanage, I wanted to give something back to the country who had offered so much with a warm smile for everything. I spent around £70. it brought a full size bag of rice dried milk, lentils and sugar (I did disagree with sugar for kids, but they have it in their rice for breakfast). I would respectfully suggest you too may consider making a donation or food, or just a visit, they receive no state funding, it is purely charitable donations, (they had run out of lentils prior to my arrival, I was advised, they may eat dhal again now) 

I will go back to Club hotel dolphin (with upto 50 people next time), I will be doing the 2 day trips, and I will not go anywhere apart from ASDA for tours, hence I hope he will contact so I can get things going. He is non confrontational, no pressure, happy to advise, very obliging, highly highly, highly recommended. (I even went to lunch with him to a “locals” restaurant , it was delicious, spicy but delicious!!!!

Tips, we tipped every one with a couple of dollar bills, gardners, waiters, room boys, tuk tuk drivers, these people although working don’t have a great standard of living, it never seemed expected as you would always get good service, but immensely gratefully received.

Have a great time at the Club Hotel Dolphin, my only hope is they will not be a victim of their success and price themselves out of the market. Any questions, just ask.


THAMEL and CHANDINA, contact me PLEASE!!!!!!

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank andiparker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2010

As I write this review I'm finding it difficult to find the words to describe both hotel and country as I was so taken back by this trip.

Both myself and partner booked the holiday through Virgin and flew with Sri Lankan Airlines, a direct flight from Heathrow, departing on 10/11/2010 and arriving back in the UK on 25/11/10.

Hotel:

The Hotel itself was chosen due to its more central location meaning we could "easily" explore the island (i'll get back to that later). On arrival after a long flight the staff were very welcoming and check in was brief and prompt. We opted for a cottage room and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was on the beach front! The cottages are great, newly refurbished with a large bathroom and a fantastic shower, also very clean and well maintained!

The hotel is still in the process of refurbishment, however, don't let this put you off as you cant really hear any of the building work and doesn't distract from tranquillity! There are two pools, a large one with a bar area which is also open at night. This pool is used for activities but is still great for relaxing and sunbathing. There is also a quiet pool which is somewhat smaller which myself and partner used the most, very chilled out! It also has a bar which is open until the evening.

There are now two restaurants in the hotel, the main one which is large however still retains a sense of intimacy and charm which is nice. It is the usual buffet style of serving, however to say its all inclusive, the food is varied and changed daily, it also manages to cater for all pallets! The Sri Lankan curries are great, quite hot but toned down slightly for our benefit, and, are even served for breakfast! The second is a new al a carte restaurant which isn't included in the all inclusive basis, however, gives the opportunity to break up the monotony of eating in the same place for two weeks. The food here is fantastic, well presented, and, if there's anything you want that isn't on the menu, they'll gladly get it (I asked for baramundi, and the next day it was on my plate!). The al a carte menu is 4000 Sri Lankan rupees (£28?), but in my opinion, very much worth it! The chefs are also of a high standard, many of them having worked in Dubai in hotels such as the Hilton etc.

The beach boys around the hotel aren't as bad as previously read on other reviews, a firm no will suffice and usually they don't bother you again throughout your stay. However, they are often nice people, great to talk to and just want to offer the time of day to you.

The beach was very picturesque, there was some rubbish that was brought in via the sea due to the monsoon season having recently come to an end, however this was minimal. The sea was at times rough, and when it was calm you still have to be very careful. The Tsunami (although this part of the island was not the hardest hit) still damaged a lot of the sea bed around Negombo, hence the currents are very, very strong. I wouldn't recommend swimming in this part of the ocean due to this and even paddling in the water you can feel the sea trying to pull you out. This was the most disappointing part for me however I was aware prior to booking. If you want the blue Indian ocean which is ideal for swimming and snorkelling, then the south and east part of the island (Arugam bay and Unawatuna in particular) is a prime location, however then restricts how you can then access the rest of the island.

And finally, the hotel staff. They were fantastic, very professional and couldn't do enough for you, particularly Amith who was a great barman and waiter who has all the time in the world for you!

Trips and Travelling around:

We did a mixture of self organised travelling and trips with tour guides. Sri Lanka is now safe to travel around on your own, however I would still reccomend to do this in couples or a group. We didn't encounter any problems and although you may stick out as a tourist, the people were very friendly! We caught a "tuk tuk" for about £2 to the local train station and got the train (£2.50) to Negombo which is a bustling and lively place well known for its fishing industry! Well worth a look around!

A local fisherman also gave us the opportunity to travel on his traditional catamaran to do some fishing, a great experience and well worth it!

The main trips we did were Kandy, Tea Plantations, spice gardens and Pinnewala elephant orphanage in one day. And on another day we went to Siguriya rock and Dambula temple. These trips were organised through our travel rep via a company called Walkers Tours costing around £120 for a couple (for each day). The tour companies can be somewhat more expensive however you can rest assured that they are registered with the tourist board and that they are professional guides feeding you with information and knowledge. The beach boys who also organise the tours are cheaper so shop around, however they are not always registered with the tourist board and are not as informative. Despite saying that, some of the couples we spoke to on holiday would recommend them so the choice is yours!

The roads in Sri Lanka are obviously different to European roads and the drivers are pretty mad to say the least. As I said earlier the reason we initially chose this hotel was due to the more central location and proved to be a worthy choice. Due to a mixture of road conditions, crazy drivers and indirect routes with fewer roads it can often take a lot longer than initially planned to get from A to B. To put it into perspective: From Hotel to Kandy = 3.5 hours. Hotel to Yala national park = 8.5 hours. Hence a recommendation would be to plan your travelling and trips before going and consider overnight stays on trips!

Weather:

Very tropical! we went in November on the tail of the monsoon, hot days of around 32-35 degrees with a nice breeze from the sea. At night it remained humid with only a variance of around 4-5 degrees from daytime temperatures. At night we experienced some thunderstorms, but they soon end and are short-lived! Take plenty of sun cream and high factors as even on a cloudy day you will still burn!

All in all, a fantastic hotel and great country!

Would I recommend the hotel? Yes! Trust the reviews written!

Would I recommend the country for a holiday? 100%!

If there's anything you wish to ask that I haven't answered then don't be afraid to E-mail me!

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Guy150
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2010

trust the reviews this is good and more you could not find a better resort in srilanka food staff rooms yes all place shave problems but here they are not worth talking about.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank les220658
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2010

Hi, We visited the Resort from 14th -17th of Nov 2010. All in all a great experience as not much of sightseeing but relaxation in the pool..even though we never got the sea cotteges but were very happy with room 135 and 136 as they are right by the swimming pool. Breakfast was great with continental and sri lankan dishes. never tried lunch and dinner at the hotel but felt with the population eating in the hotel resturent post 8 pm, it would be good too. My parents and my wife are more of outgoing resturent type so went for king coconut resturent at negombo...but a buffet is recommended for families with small children. Hotel reception was good if not great but chandra comes in for special praise....rooms are big and washrooms need a little upgrade but who cares....when you have a great view with beach and fun around..... Would definately recommend this hotel for more then 3 days stay

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank remson79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2010

On our honeymoon, this hotel was one of the very best, not only for the beautiful view it had facing the seashore but for the food the service. Highly recommended for family and couples specially. Would definelty would want to go back for a visit once again.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank BonJoey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2010

Can not believe it has taken me this long to write a review on this holiday but here goes!

This is the first time I have ever felt the need to write a review about a holiday but my husband and I enjoyed it so much we felt it was absolutely necessary to share it!

The flights - We booked our holiday with Virgin Holidays and flew with Sri Lankan Airlines. Before travelling I had read some really negative reviews about the airline but I have to say both flights were absolutely fantastic. Outward bounds the plane was a tad dated however the leg room was great and food and service were excellent. The flight flew by and before we knew it we had landed in Sri Lanka!

Hotel - The hotel is absolutely gorgeous! They have just refurbished the reception and dining area and there is still some work going on but it was hardly noticeable and the results were lovely. The pools were always sparklingly clean and you could tell that the grounds were kept immaculate by the army of cleaners, gardeners and maintenance. The dining area was clean and modern and there was always a choice of tables for meals. I have to say for the price the food was exceptional. There was always something to eat and coming from an Indian background the traditional Sri Lankan curries were absolutely delightful. The hubby also had a go with the curries but found plenty of other foods if he wasn't feeling up to one! One day I was talking to an employee called George Soloman about craving a specific indian food and the next day the chef had specifically made it for me free of charge! I couldn't believe how in tune they were to a customer's needs and the fact that I hadn't even requested it makes it even more special.

Rooms - The hotel has a choice of beach bungalows or rooms in the main hotel. We knew they had refurbished the beach bungalows but we stayed in a deluxe room in the main hotel so can't comment on what the cottages look like now. The room we had was the only reason I gave the hotel a four star. We arrived at the hotel in the early hours of the morning and when we got into our room I felt a bit disappointed and slighlty worried. The room smelled musty and the bathroom was showing severe signs of age with mildew on the grouting and stains on the toilet. However once the room had been aired the musty smell disappeared so my advice to the hotel, please air the rooms in between stays so that they stay fresh. I could also tell the next day that the bathroom was cleaned incredibly well and it was just showing signs of age. I am aware that the hotel will probably be refurbishing these room soon which I think will make a huge difference however this did not ruin our stay rather just an observation on my part.

Service - The service was five star! I could not believe how gorgeous the Sri Lankan people are and every employee you saw or walked past would greet you with a smile and a 'good morning'! Nothing was too much trouble for the guys working at the hotel, whether in the restaurant or reception area or the room boys who looked after our room. We were celebrating my husband's 40th b'day while we were there and I wanted to book a surprise 'fine dining' evening for him and the lovely gentleman I mentioned before (George) was amazing. He helped me with all the details and ensured it was smooth and easy to hide the experience from my husband. I also want to give special thanks to George for making our whole stay absolutely amazing from start to finish. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he even refused a tip from me after he went all the way to Negombo and purchased some spices I wanted as a present for a friend back home, during his time off. We had problems with a noisy fan at one stage and I rang reception about the problem, within minutes we had a couple of lovely maintenance guys come and fix it . The only problems in service were the guys in the pool bar. Don't get me wrong, they were polite but when you compare it to the warmth from other employees their service seemed colder than it really was.

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with beautiful people and I would recommend everyone to visit this paradise at least once. We did tours to the Elephant orphanage and Negombo with Harald tours and Blackie was our guide. The tours gave us an opportunity to see some of the country and we loved both the trips. I wouldn't however recommend Blackie or Haralds. Nothing obvious but I didn't feel comfortable with the guide and it felt like they wanted our money without putting some extra effort in, go with Asdas, they sound really great and I did some shopping at their store and they were absolutely lovely.

I also had a spa session at the Ayurvedice centre just round the corner from the quiet pool at a fraction of the price that the hotel was offering and fell asleep on the table while the lady was given me a neck massage! So if you enjoy relaxing head and body massages go there, don't spend the money on the extortionate prices offered by the hotel.

Finally I would just request the hotel to spend some more time cleaning the beach as it was stuffed with objects that washed up from the sea. I know they can not control the items coming in but I think if they spent half the time they spend on making the ground immaculate on picking the rubbish off the beach it would make a world of difference and customers would be able to walk barefoot in the sand by the sea.

I apologise for the long review and my constant use of 'absolutely' but I really wanted to get my experience down as it was just so wonderful! For the lucky sods visiting CHD soon I am extremely jealous but I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank femme30
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

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: $77 - $283 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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