We're currently enjoying 11 nights at the Blue Water... Overall I would say it's a positive experience but tinged with some negatives.
The good points: the hotel is well laid out, thanks to the good design by the renown architect, Geoffrey Bawa. The staff for the most part epitomise Sri Lankans and their cheerful disposition - it's not known as the Island of smiling people for nothing! The pool is large and never gets crowded. We're all-inclusive so benefit from free drinks (all local spirits and wine which are an acquired taste) and meals included. The food is really good, all the dishes are buffet style and prepared really well. The local spirits and wine are an acquired taste but you do get used to them after a few days! The superior deluxe room is large and well serviced. The gym is small but filled with some good equipment - there's enough cardio and weights machines with a good selection of free weights. It has never had more than 3 people in each time we've used it. The place is kept spotless by hard working staff.
The bad points: Not all the staff are as friendly and welcoming as others. Some of the service has been poor, particularly at the pool bar - this may be because we're a gay couple and some have let their prejudice cloud how they treat guests. If that's the case they shouldn't be working for a hotel attracting international guests. It would reiterate though the majority of staff are incredibly welcoming and friendly. They will remember your preferences at mealtimes and always have a smile. The food, though beautifully presented and very tasty, can be almost cold - this is a common problem with buffet style food service. The restaurant can get busy at weekends due to the number of day passes the hotel sells locally. On Sunday we estimated the restaurant had an additional 80 guests for lunch arriving about the same time. Beware also large wedding parties, mostly foreigners who also arrive en masse to mealtimes. We were also surprised, and disappointed, at the number of young children at the resort. We've holidayed in this part of the world on numerous occasions and not experienced that. A number of mealtimes have been marred by shrieking toddlers and young kids pushing through to get to the buffet. I realise most people won't have an issue with children being around. However, I've mentioned it because we do and others may feel the same way. I wouldn't say it's the most relaxing of resorts either. Whether it's the noise of the crows in the morning and evenings, the kids screaming in the pool, the loud conversations of other people while relaxing in the sun (the resort is popular with Russians who, at the risk of stereotyping, do raise their voices to have a chat with each other). The resort is in the middle of nowhere so there's little to do or see within the immediate vicinity. There are no bars or restaurants locally so bear that in mind when considering food options. We did walk into Wadduwa town centre one day. It's not geared up for tourists and is a functional centre for locals but there are banks to change cash at.
Overall, despite the impression from the negatives, I like this hotel. We've enjoyed our stay here for the most part. It's just one of those places I wouldn't come back to and would only recommend once pointing out the above reservations. One more thing, the hotel's website offers a free pick up from the airport. Be aware this only applies to those who book direct with them and not through any other means. Seems a bit mean but when I challenged it they said those paying direct to hotel were paying more for their stay than those booking with an agent. A big plus though is the Business Centre next to reception. While the wifi throughout the resort is a bit hit and miss the computers in the Business Centre are directly connected to a router and therefore high speed. I used one to check-in online for flights back to UK, after some confusion over where the printer was configured to, I was able to check in online and print off boarding passes without any problem.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Hotwire, Hotels.com, Travelocity, getaroom.com, Orbitz, TripOnline SA, HotelQuickly and Cancelon so you can book your The Blue Water 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:
- The Blue Water Hotel Wadduwa
- Blue Water Hotel Wadduwa
- Blue Water Hotel Sri Lanka
- Blue Water Sri Lanka