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“Eco village paradise!”

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Ranweli Holiday Village
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Waikkal
Reviewed August 14, 2013 via mobile

My partner and I were lucky enough to spend 2 nights at ranweli holiday village, and stayed at the luxurious cottage at the far end of the resort. Everything was perfect from the room to the staff and the food which was incredible. Would highly recommend!

  • Stayed: July 2013
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2  Thank Kat140990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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331 - 337 of 756 reviews

Reviewed August 8, 2013

We booked Ranweli as our most expensive hotel at the end of a tour around most of Sri Lanka. For that reason, our expectations were high. Sadly, in reality, the hotel came nowhere near to meeting these expectations.

The hotel itself is promoted as some kind of 'Eco resort'. Sadly this appeared to be a method of pushing the price up of the hotel, as we could see very little that was 'Eco' about this place. As an example, the hotel provide disposable plastic shampoo and shower gel miniatures (despite requesting that guests don't bring plastic with them!) when other hotels that don't promote themselves this way provide reusable pots with these inside.

The rooms were very basic for the money we paid ($100+ per night), with no TV or minibar in the room (we had rooms better equipped for half the price during our travels in the country). We also paid for a double bed but were given two single beds pushed together with separate sheets and extremely hard, thin mattresses... Perfect for romance! My partner attempted to sleep with some chair cushions on top of the mattress to no avail. The shower was a trickle and very hard to wash with. We complained about these matters to the management and were thankfully upgraded to a better room, free of charge. This room was of standard of the very least you would have expected for such a price (it actually included a TV, a minibar and a REAL double bed!!).

Sadly the disappointment did not end with the room itself. The resort caters for the all-inclusive trade, and as a result, most of the food and drink available appeared to be the cheapest of the cheap, cutting corners wherever possible to boost profits from unsuspecting tourists who will not venture beyond the hotel during their stay. As an example, the 'beefburgers' on offer tasted nothing like beef, was white not brown (see picture), and when shown the uncooked, frozen patties, resembled anaemic sausagemeat. Needless to say, we did not pay for these. Furthermore, the beer on offer was DOUBLE the price of what we experienced elsewhere, there is simply no excuse for this and we felt thoroughly insulted at these prices, having paid so much for a substandard room in the first place. Cocktails are all made from concentrates, not even attempting to use the wonderful natural resources growing on the trees all over the country (not exactly 'Eco'!).

The breakfast itself was pretty average for Sri Lanka, although the omelette station seemed very slow compared to other hotels, and one morning one of the juices on offer appeared to have been supplemented with salt instead of sugar...

On more happier notes, the pool area itself is very pleasant, and the reception, pool, and housekeeping staff were always more than happy to help when asked. Also, the hotel ran a local food and crafts demonstration, which was a really nice touch, and something we didn't see elsewhere. Arriving at the hotel is unique, you are transported on a gondola over the river to reach the reception area, this is particularly pretty at night time.

On reflection, booking this hotel was a mistake. It is massively overpriced compared to similar hotels in the country, and appears to view their customers like cash cows, rather than guests. The customer relations manager appeared nonplussed at our reluctance at eating in the hotel, and rather than acting on our customer feedback, she was very dismissive. We would recommend that you avoid this hotel, and stay in Negombo itself, where the hotels may be slightly more expensive, but are far better value for money. We had such high hopes for this hotel, but sadly it just fell well below expectations.

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

More a 4* than a 3*. If you're worried about staying in a 3* hotel then don't. It's the first hotel, I've ever stayed in that had too few stars; normally it's too many. With its good food and attentative staff it made for a nice relaxing stay.
For trips and massages we booked with the much mentioned Anthony and we were very satisfied. If you're into running you must go along the local roads as I think it's the most friendliest place I have ever run. Also a walk into town is interesting, it's about 11km but there are plenty of tuk tuks if you want a lift back to the hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CroydonMarathoner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

The hotel is beautiful. But the service at our arrival was a disappointment. We booked 2 rooms two months in advance but arrived at seven in the morning because of our flight. Our rooms where ready but we had to pay 80 dollars extra for getting into our rooms earlier. We complained and the 'extra' charge was lowered to 40 dollars. Because of our jetlag we paid to get in our rooms. Besides the arrival we had a very pleasant stay in Ranweli Holliday Village.

Room Tip: I recommend the rooms at the end of the park. You can sit under the palm trees and it feels as if yo...
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank 265Monique265
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

Arrived during a refurb. Upgraded room because this was booked before the announcement was made on the booking website. All staff are friendly and go out of their way to be helpful. The ant infestation was immediately dealt with without further ado - this can't be helped in this superb setting.

Spent many a happy hour relaxing on a sunbed, by the pool, being attended to by the pool attendants and the bar staff. the pool is a pleasant haven when the temperature rises.
The all inclusive option is well worth the money. Plenty of good quality food throughout the day. The room was very comfortable and spacious with a large bathroom.

Beware the competition from "tour operator" Anthony and the local tuk tuk drivers- just outside the boundary of Ranweli. A violent argument between said Anthony and tuk tuk driver lost them both any chance of me using them! - Better to organise things yourself with the taxi drivers inside the boundary!

I will definitely go back there again!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank John S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Very nice place to be. Only the wifi was avaible in the lobby not in the cabanas,
I was positiv surprised,
The people are very friendly, For relaxing really a good place, you are off the world.
The cabana is very complete. You are close to nature

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank Rolf H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

i spent 5 nights in full board .our room was standard bungalow sea facing .it was clean , nice with a breathtaking view but so many lizards & ants IN ROOM LOL ... it was room number 126 , far away from everything but close to beach with privacy .no mini bar or Tv .staff were very polite & helpful .check in was easy with a nice welcome drink .we enjoyed the sound of waves of the sea was breathtaking ....food was not good ,

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank desert_rose7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ranweli Holiday Village

Address: Ranweli Hotel Road, Waikkal 61110, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Waikkal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Waikkal
Price Range: $93 - $170 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Ranweli Holiday Village 3*
Number of rooms: 88
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ranweli Holiday Village is an eco-friendly resort located on a 22-acre peninsula where mangrove forests and winding rivers converge to meet the sea. Located only 18 kms from Colombo's International Airport, Ranweli is the perfect base to explore the fascinating history, culture and nature of Sri Lanka. The hotel is on Waikkal Beach & provides bungalows & rooms with a private bathroom. The resort has an outdoor pool and its own restaurant & bar. Each bungalow / room is air-conditioned, has a safe, sitting area and telephone. The attached bathroom includes a hot/cold shower. Guests can enjoy a beach volleyball, billiards or table tennis at Ranweli. Water activities such as paddle boating, canoeing and kayaking are available. Ranweli is able to organize boat rides and bird watching tours. You can experience multi-cuisine dishes at the buffets of the resort's restaurant & a variety of liquor is served at the pool bar. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ranweli Holiday Village Waikkal
Ranweli Holiday Village Hotel Waikkal

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