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“Wild life in Sri lanka”

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Yala Safari Game Lodge
Moscow
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Wild life in Sri lanka”
Reviewed May 22, 2013

I stayed 2 nights arrived from the beautiful Lavanga at hikkaduwa to here. It was very very hot and humid but had a nice curry lunch . The hotel was a little run down but nice staff made my stay pleasurable. They organize the jeeps for safari and was very helpful.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
7 Thank Gina K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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57 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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London
Level Contributor
83 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2013

Arrived at lunchtime, sticky & hot after a five hour drive. Pool looked incredibly enticing, but only had time for quick lunch before our afternoon safari at Yala. Opted for the lunch buffet which was good, in particular the Sri Lankan curry. There was lots of choice & if you were hungry & took full advantage of all on offer it was pretty good value.

The first thing you see from reception as you arrive back after a 3+hr safari is the pool. It was 7:10pm and I asked at reception about pool towels only to be told the pool was closed, with no swimming after 7pm. What!? I was SO disappointed. The heat during the safari was intense, & all I'd thought about on the drive back was a cooling swim. What a ridiculous rule, with no clear explanation as to why?

We returned to our room to freshen up. Great walk in shower & toiletries. Room was big, lovely bed, crisp cotton, soft pillows. Plus a nice balcony, which overlooked the pool and lake. Quite poor lighting over the bed, pretty dim so not great for reading at night, only a minor point but worth noting. You definitely need the air-conditioning as it was really humid, something you realise as you open the door to leave & the heat hits you smack in the face.

We opted to eat outside, despite the heat (well, when you live in the UK...!) Service was pretty slow but they did make an excellent cosmopolitan. Lighting wasn't really geared up for eating outside, as it was also quite dim.

The A la carte dinner, in comparison with the lunchtime buffet, was disappointing. Mixed seafood which said lobster, prawns, seer fish & calamari. I now think the 'lobster' was jumbo king prawn as I had that elsewhere the following day & it was identical. Also the 'lobster' was not fresh as I had a real job to get the meat out of the shell, seer fish was overcooked & dry & calamari tough & chewy. The Monkeyboy had 'seer fish steak' but the portion he got was tiny & also overcooked and dry. As a result we opted for dessert, English Bread & butter pudding, which the menu said had a 20minute wait. However it came in minutes, & had obviously been microwaved as it was hot in bits & cold in others. Tasted okay, but just generally disappointing in respect of food & slow service, plus in relative terms the food was expensive, & not worth it so I'd struggle to recommend from a food point of view. Can't comment on breakfast as we had a packed one due to early morning safari, this was bog-standard, hard boiled egg, cold hot dog, yoghurt, dried up cheese sandwich, fruit & a bottle of water. Not great, but it filled a gap at 6:00am (NB we ate ours en-route to safari park, not realizing the driver stops mid-safari in a shaded spot by the river for you to eat it! I did notice some people looked very civilized sat at a table and chairs which their driver had set up. Not sure where they were staying, but had a pang of envy!)

I made absolutely sure to use the pool after our morning safari, albeit we were limited re time as had to checkout by midday. I have to say it was fabulous. The heat was so intense it was necessary to keep dipping in and out to cool off. I could happily have stayed here all day & would have loved to stay an extra night just to take advantage of the pool & lake view. All in all, not a bad stay bar the fact that the service could be a bit better, & the food was slightly lacking.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank sexymonkeylady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riyadh
Level Contributor
73 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2012

We had a great time at Yala Safari Game Lodge. We went on Safari which was really exciting and then stayed the night at the lodge. Each room is a separate little house. You can sit on your porch at night and watch the wild life. The pool is really nice. The food in the dining room there was Okay. There was a large variety of different types of food, but average in taste. Overall it was a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: No tips. all the rooms are nice.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
11 Thank swanzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
341 reviews
119 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 207 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2012

Well this place was a bit different from your average hotel in Sri Lanka. Very much big game Africa themed to the long drive in, the 'game lodge' main building with the rooftop scenic viewing, the beautifully presented detached ‘huts’ for sleeping dotted about the enclosure, the odd chance of running into a cow or two in the night! Very atmospheric and authentic, unique and an excellent place to stay within Yala Park. It has to be said that Yala it self is only OK I would say in terms of a game reserve for viewing. Sri Lanka does not have the big five of Africa although there are still some great experiences to be had. Having said that some of guests had regular sightings of the elusive leopard which would certainly make the long journey worthwhile.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
7 Thank Sanjaya_Wijeyekoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2012

This is a tricky one. The rooms were beautifully presented and the communal areas stunning (the observation deck at sunset was one of our favourite spots). There's also a lovely pool for the hours you're not racing around on safari. However, the service was really terrible and the staff were not at all joined up which made our stay rather frustrating. There's not much choice in the area and it feels like a great hotel blueprint has been dropped into a stunning location and the staff just aren't able to carry it off. Not one to avoid but not worth the hefty price tag in our view.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
8 Thank Bdsey12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
1 review
Reviewed February 26, 2012

The location of this hotel is ideal for safaris. Beach chalet was lovely. Twisted my ankle on the stairs in the restaurant and the staff couldn't have been more helpful. Prishanti bandaged it then applied ointment etc. the next day- thanks to swift treatment, I could put weight on it in a couple of days. Food was bland which is unfortunate as there are no other restaurants within easy distance. Would definitely recommend this hotel as a great place to stay to see the Park.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank daphne19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorkshire
Level Contributor
31 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2012

Excellent lodges, with everything needed, except a plug near a mirror!! The best bathroom of the trip, with a powerful shower to remove all the dirt and dust from a trip out in a jeep - a pleasure to use. Some lodges on the sea edge are on stilts and look out to sea from their balcony, but they are the furthest away from the communal facilities.

The lodges are set in the local 'scrubby' jungle, next to a large watering hole, with resident crocodiles, and water buffalo - the children will be very impresssed. The back of the village opens on to a beach and the Indian Ocean - too dangerous to swim though. The communal areas are pleasant, the pool inviting. The only real hassle is having to ask someone to collect and take you back to your lodge in the dark - for fear of you being attacked by the wandering wildlife.

Monkeys played in the trees outside our lodge and a wild boar was snuffling around one morning. A few weeks earlier a baby elephant had roamed through the village during the night The road to the Village is a very long, bumpy ride, and may be flooded - so not a trip you want to take very much in anything other than a jeep. Because of that I'd only want to spend a few days here whilst on safari.

The food was fine and varied - best pasta dish of the whole trop - and the packed breakfast we took on safari was pleasant. The service was good.

A very pleasant place to base ourselves for visits to local Yala National park, and the local Bandala birds sanctury - which I enjoyed more than Yala, but I suppose it depends on your guide. We had arranged our guides before the trip, so I cannot comment on how helpful, or not, the hotel would be on this.

Room Tip: Do you want to be close to the pool, or close to the sea with a balcony looking over the beach?
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
9 Thank MirandaSmoothy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Yala Safari Game Lodge

Property: Yala Safari Game Lodge
Address: Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Yala National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Yala National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Yala Safari Game Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 108
Also Known As:
Yala Safari Game Hotel Yala National Park

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