We have just returned from 10 days staying at the Ranweli Holiday village and wanted to add a review as we found the reviews we read before we went helpful.
The hotel was very clean and tidy, the staff very very friendly, pleasant and helpful to any requests. All speak excellent English. Our hut was overlooking the beach which was a nice view, but not much of a tropical beach that we had hoped for. Also the sea was very rough due to the time of year which was a shame as we had hoped for a more 'beachy' holiday. However, the pool was great, good entertainment team to keep you occupied with volleyball, water polo, cricket etc. Dont ask the life guard about his tooth!
The food was nice (not cold as previously read), a different theme each night but always Sri Lankan food as well, but as with all inclusive hotels it became a little repetitive.
We also met Anthony, a decent and trusty local who organised several trips for us including Kandy (visiting the elephant orphanage, tea factory and botanical gardens with Leslie our guide, who was great), a boat trip around the mangroves and a day trip to Galle ( visiting the Dutch Fort, Turtle farm, Mask Museum and taking some beach time to do some snorkelling as well as a glass bottom boat trip..which was different! We did see some turtles in their natural environment though as well as lots of different fish.
We, too, also ate at Anthonys restaurant, a delicious feast of king prawns, crab, coral fish and more, all cooked by his wife. The restaurant was clean and we would recommend the seafood for sure.
We were a little put off by Anthonys persistance at first but after getting to know him we later realised that he wants only for you to enjoy your time in Sri Lanka and to build his own business (he has a Tesco store too-unofficially!!!). Anthonys prices were also much cheaper than our Tour operators(ie we paid 75 pounds per person for the 3 trips and the meal - whereas our tour operator was charging 45 pounds per person for 1 trip!!!).
In conclusion the Ranweli was pleasant, clean, great if you want to chill out, but for us it lacked a few activites and the evening entertainment needs some fun and energy. However, the Ranweli special cocktails were lush!!!
If you're looking for somewhere to fully relax, this would be ideal and with very few children present its quiet, but for us it just needed a bit more energy.
Couple of other mentions-tour operators may not tell you about the monsoon season when you book, therefore look into the affects this may have on your visit-ie reducing the opportunities and availability for scuba diving and other watersports. There are very few places to do this on the island unless you head to the East during monsoon season.
Sri Lanka is an eye opener in that it is quite a poor country. We were surprised to see that even in the cities, there is a lot of poverty and it doesnt appear that much is spent on keeping the country clean. Lots of dogs roam the streets and there are COWS, yes you read right, COWS, walking in the main roads and in pedestrian areas, often sifting through rubbish bins for food. Completely bizzarre!!
Speak to many Sri Lankans and they say that they recieved very little money from the aid funds that were sent there following the Tsunami-most was kept by the government was what we were told-and it shows. Therefore, think about where you spend your money or what / who you donate it to. Had the money been reinvested into revitalising the tourist industry, there could be much better quality of life for the people over there.
- 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