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“Almost 4 stars but not quite!”

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Heritance Ahungalla
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ahungalla
Certificate of Excellence
Aylesbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Almost 4 stars but not quite!”
Reviewed November 22, 2011

This is a strange one, to be sure.

With a few tweeks it could be one of the best beach hotels you'll ever stay in anywhere, but in the comparison with other places we stayed in Sri Lanka (and particularly Mount Lavinia), it just seems to fall short in areas that it would be so easy to correct.

The setting, design and physical feel of the hotel are all quite stunning. But right away you get those little irksome contrasts that make this a frustrating place. Complacency abounds and you sense that they are still all patting themselves on the back for being able to re-open after the devastation of the Tsunami (yes those dreadful Youtube videos from Boxing Day 2004 were from balconies at The Triton, which has now become The Heritance). Positive sentiment isn't quite enough at the 5 star level unfortunately.

It sits behind a gorgeous stretch of beach with surf that you just are dying to play in just 50 feet away - but to get from hotel gardens to the sea, you have to pass an almost comically persistent group of beach tradespeople each time. The hotel has a line of flags to keep them at bay, but the security staff still let them bother you from a distance when you are on a sun lounger by the pool. Would you get accosted by a panhandler on the steps of the Waldorf Astoria as you left to get in your cab? The sidewalk is public space but things can be done.....

The two pools are large and magnificent, with the green pool so huge it even allows you to "length swim". There is also a gym with fairly up to date equipment, but its functionality was comprised every day of my stay by an inability of staff to get the message (despite 3 reminders in 3 days) that the aircon needs to be on and set to below 28 degs C for anyone to be able to use it.

The minimalist design of the public areas has an overall calming effect on you, but with the architect apparently having a veto on everything, this extends to a lack of many of the features that you expect in any large resort - an excursions / news board; signs to different areas; names on the bars etc.

We had little to complain about the food. In fact it was fairly reasonably priced for a putative 5 star, but it had little real wow factor, and apart from some of the local dishes on the buffet menu, it just scraped by. Last year we stayed on Meeru Island resort in the Maldives and despite the obvious abundance of produce in Sri Lanka compared to a coral attol, Meeru's buffets were both more inspiring and much cheaper.

The room was spacious with a big balcony - as it should be for just over $300 a night! But the bathroom was blatantly unfinished with two walls smooth plastered but not painted. Some guests demanded a room change for this - we were told it was a design feature (see photo). With such a huge balcony a sun lounger rather than just 2 chairs and a table would have been an idea. And why oh why was there no rack to dry wet clothes. There was plenty of space, but maybe the architect had his say there as well.

All the staff we interacted with were cheerful and accommodating, apart from the reception staff who were a bit feckless and needed to be a little more proactive. We were invited to a cocktail party given by the assistant manager, and found him charming and with an earnest concerned approach to some of the criticisms we gently raised. It really did not sit well however to be told that the beach sellers were tolerated on a "better the devil you know" basis and that other "newer" nationalities amongst the clientele liked having them around. I am not so sure the Heritance is that well advised to try to imitate Sharm El Sheikh at these prices. Lose the traditional customer base and I think they will lose much of their trade to the likes of Mount Lavinia.

If you were to stay here and, as we are, you are fairly easy going if the weather is good, (as it was), you will probably be happy enough at the Heritance, give or take the $100 or so a night that should still be in your wallet. But I can imagine it could quite quickly become a nightmare in bad weather. You even had to pay to play on the pool table. Free pool if you spend 1500 rupees on drinks - come on!

To end on a positive note of a review which I had intended to be somewhat more complimentary than it has turned out, the laissez-faire approach has allowed wildlife to remain on the grounds undisturbed. To see massive Iguanas digging for crabs next to your sun-lounger while chipmunks frolic around on your umbrella stand is a uniquely warming feeling. We were even able to film troupes of monkeys and even pass them mango pieces to eat on the branches of trees by the pool. Enchanting.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Charlie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heritance A, General Manager at Heritance Ahungalla, responded to this review, November 14, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for selecting Heritance Ahungalla as your holiday destination. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to share your experience about the hotel on the Trip Advisor. We have read the very lengthy review by you and would like to apologise for any discomfort or inconvenience that you may have had to under due to our negligence. We have very positively read your remarks and have taken measure to immediately correct them. So thank you very much for giving us this opportunity to rectify our mistakes and improve ourselves. We hope you wilo visit us again to see the difference in our service and product. Until then take care and keep in touch.

Yours Sincere Refhan Razeen, General Manager at Heritance Ahungalla
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 13, 2011

The Heritance Ahungalla is NOT a five or a four star. Was traveling with my older parents and children. The AC and lights in my parents room was not working, it took 3 hours, 3 phone calls and a conversion with a guy at the reception for someone to come and fix this. 2 strange men in the room fixing the AC and lights for 45 minutes.
Moerover, the staff by the poolside is terribly slow. Hotel common areas are dirty. Saw used diapers and used band aids by the pool! Took them forever to ask for food and drinks. They did not even have mint to make certain cocktails! Ran out apparently.
I would rate this as a 3 star, and nothing more. Will not return. Diasppointed. Waste of money.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mariam K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heritance A, General Manager at Heritance Ahungalla, responded to this review, November 14, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for selecting Heritance Ahungalla as your holiday destination. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to share your experience about the hotel on the Trip Advisor. We have read your comments with concern and are very sorry for any inconvenience that you and your family had to undergo due to negligence on our part. However thank you for your constructive comments because this has given us the opportunity to correct ourselves and ensure that this type of mistakes do not happen again. We hope you will change you mind and come back to Heritance Ahungalla again because we have improved ourselves and we receive lot of good comments from the recent Trip Advisor reviews. We assure you that we will make a memorable experience for you if you visit us again. Until then take care and keep in touch.

Yours Sincere Refhan Razeen, General Manager at Heritance Ahungalla
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2011

We stayed at the Heritance Kandalama and were expecting the same high standard we had there. Unfortuantely we were very dissapointed by the Ahungalla. How this hotel managed to win an award I will never know! The hotel is dirty and tired and the service at breakfast is worth a special mention for all the wrong reasons. Dirty tables left uncleared for hours, the most disgusting tea and coffee I have ever tasted in my entire life and service without a smile. The only thing positive I have to say about the hotel is its location and the morning walk you can take along the stretch of beach on your door step. However, a word of warning, there are beach sellers who try to befriend (hassle) you about every 20 mins so go for your walk early before they get up!! All I can say is thank goodness we didnt spend our entire stay here!

Room Tip: Deluxe double is just an ordinary sized double
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mjf011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heritance A, General Manager at Heritance Ahungalla, responded to this review, November 14, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for selecting Heritance Ahungalla as your holiday destination. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to share your experience about the hotel on the Trip Advisor. We have read your comments with concern and would like to apologise to you for any inconvenience that you may had to face due to our shortcomings. However, we would like to assure you that we have now taken ourselves to a different level in service and we receive quite a lot of good comments for them. Thank you for your constructive remarks which gave us the opportunity to analyse ourselves and coreect our faults. We hope you will visit us one more time to feel the difference in our service. Until then take care and keep in touch.

Yours Sincere Refhan Razeen, General Manager at Heritance Ahungalla
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chennai (Madras), India
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 5, 2011

Property: Whole Hotel is situated in a calm and quiet property... Though secluded from the city of colombo... you can manage to get all necessities if you travel in very short distance...
Service: Service within hotel is not good... They need to stick to basics...
* There was lint on the bed sheets from the cushions and the comforter...
* There was no shampoo in the bath, on asking i was informed shampoo and bath gel is one and the same... When asked whether the person claiming so was sure about it... he returned with shampoo...
* You are given seat in restaurant however you are not served water until you ask for it... You have to remind the attendants to refill water more than once...
* Language is a problem, however all the people try their best to communicate...

Thumbs Up:
GEMS and Jewel Shop is pretty good...

Room Tip: Room number 235 is good if you wish to have a sea view...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank imratish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heritance A, General Manager at Heritance Ahungalla, responded to this review, November 14, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for selecting Heritance Ahungalla as your holiday destination. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to share your experience about the hotel on the Trip Advisor. We have read your remarks with concern and are very sorry for any inconvenience that you may have had to undergo. We are very thankful to you for your constructive comments because they gave us opportunity to think about ourselves critically and rectify ourselves to ensure that we deliver a good service to our guests. Thank you for the opportunity given to us. We are happy to inform you that we have taken measures to train our staff well in service provision and now we receive quite a lot of good remarks from the guests who visit our hotel now. We would like to invite you once more to our hotel to feel the difference and change your opinion about our hotel and our staff. Until then take care and keep in touch.

Yours Sincere Refhan Razeen, General Manager at Heritance Ahungalla
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2011

We stayed at 2 other Heritance hotels which were fantastic, so we were bitterly disappointed by the Ahungalla. Service was consistently terrible, filthy mattresses on the sun loungers (they looked like something that belonged in a sri lankan prison), no soap in the toilets, dinning room so dark another guest actually bought a torch to see their food.

  • Stayed November 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Karen_Doug73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heritance A, General Manager at Heritance Ahungalla, responded to this review, November 20, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review regarding your holiday with us. We are very sorry to know that we did not meet with your expectations with regard to the service. We have addressed the concerns raised with the relevant Department Heads and assure you that necessary measures have been taken in order to ensure that incidents of the nature you have mentioned do not occur again in the future. Whilst thanking you for you for sharing your experience with us we would very much appreciate an opportunity to change your impression on a return visit.

Yours Sincere Refhan Razeen, General Manager at Heritance Ahungalla
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vevey
Level Contributor
41 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed November 2, 2011

Okay it's one of the best hotel is Sri Lanka, it has won the award of best leisure hotel by the minister of tourism. Sure, the two pools are outstanding, the rooms are nice, the area is quiet and the beach is nice but... staying there we kept asking ourselves: is it how one should experience Sri Lanka beaches? Just before we stayed at Mirissa, a lovely beach with a lot of atmosphere, a couple small hotels and guest houses, a few waterfront bars and a great laid back atmosphere. The Heritance is the opposite. Big resort where you pay over-priced drink and food served by stylish staff. The hotel probably owns the beach, because there is nothing else around. Would advice to go there if you don't mind missing the charm of more "informal places". Compare to other places, we found the contact with the locals to be biased. It's either hotel staff or very insisting beach sellers. The later can be quite annoying especially when the seat in group of 8-10 just in front of your chair and stay all day long. The food was not exceptional, certainly not in line with the price they ask for it (in Sri Lankan terms of course!).

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Frenes5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heritance A, General Manager at Heritance Ahungalla, responded to this review, November 14, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for selecting Heritance Ahungalla as your holiday destination. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to share your experience about the hotel on the Trip Advisor. We have read your remarks about the beach agents and would like to inform you that we are trying to find a solution for this problem. We are very sorry if you were inconvenienced by them. However I hope that you and your family enjoyed your stay with us and would consider coming back in the future. Until then take care and keep in touch.

Yours Sincere Refhan Razeen, General Manager at Heritance Ahungalla
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manama, Bahrain
Level Contributor
51 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2011

Nice beach hotel with 2 big swimming ball, service is nice, in the first day I went with my wife to the beach and enjoyed watching the waves but i had a problem with 3 of the citizens they came to me and circled me and my wife I think they want to steal my money, the taxi driver warn me about these bad people near the beach, they spoke to me in english and offered me a drink and a dinner in thier restaurant, I managed to escape from them by promising them in the next day I may visit them in thier restaurant. they allow me to go and in the next day morning I found them waiting for me, I refused to go to them.
The hotel should notify all the visitors about these king of people for security reasons.
the food is fantastic. don't miss it.

Room Tip: Ground level rooms are nice.
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  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank redland_2003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heritance A, General Manager at Heritance Ahungalla, responded to this review, October 26, 2012
Refhan Razeen, General Manager at Heritance Ahungalla

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for spending your holiday with us at Heritance Ahungalla and taking time to comment about the hotel and the services on the Trip Advisor. We are very sorry that you had a bad experience with the Beach Agents while being at our hotel. We have positvely taken measures to educate the Beach Agents on how they should conduct any business on the beach without being a trouble to our valued guests. In fact our approach has taken a very positive turn with them and we trust that the guests will have more peace and privacy in the future. Thank you very much for bringing it to our notice. We trust apart from that you had a good holiday with us enjoying our lovely pools and Sri Lankan Cuisine. Please visit us again to give us the opportunity to take care of you and pamper you during your next holiday.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Heritance Ahungalla

Property: Heritance Ahungalla
Address: Galle Road, Ahungalla 54041, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Ahungalla
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ahungalla
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Heritance Ahungalla 4.5*
Number of rooms: 152
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to a beach hotel where style and substance mix like a classic cocktail. Just as the turquoise infinity pool seems to blend into the ultramarine Indian Ocean, award-winning cuisine fuses the best of east and west. Welcome to Heritance Ahungalla, where we weave a little magic into your holiday memories while promising you the finest hospitality and best luxury services among Sri Lanka beach hotels. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Heritance Ahungalla Hotel Ahungalla
Ahungalla Heritance Hotel
Heritance Hotel Ahungalla

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