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“Great location, needs an update” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Club Bentota

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Club Bentota
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Aluthgama
Manchester
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great location, needs an update”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2013

I have to say the rooms where incredibly basic and need an update, but we had a brilliant time here and the location is great. Ocean on one side and lagoon on the other. Loads for kids to do for watersports and some lovely boat trips in the mangroves. The location is spacious and spa facilities may not be the epitome of luxury, but very reasonable price and I had several lovely full body massages. If hotel luxury is what you want, this isn't for you, but if location and a holiday that suits all the family is your priority, then i think you will have a good time here.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kupendeza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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849 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Balsall Common, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
86 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2013

Club Bentota is a relaxing resort hotel in a good location that blends in well with the natural look of the area, unlike many others that are simply concrete blocks. On one side is a wide clean sandy beach and on the other the Bentota river which is ideal for water sports. Across the river there are a number of small local hotels, and unfortunatly very loud music blasting across the river from these often shatters the peace and tranquility of Club Bentota.
The rooms are not luxurious but are very comfortable including the king size bed in our bungalow room. One word of warning, noise travels well between the adjoining room, so noisy neighbours could be a problem.
The buffet food is fairly good and plentiful, and although varied it could be repetative after a while. My only criticism is that it should be kept hotter for taste and health reasons.
There is not much to do in the evenings, and the disco is pretty awful with cover versions of old pop music a regular theme.
Look out for the harmless Monitor lizards and occasional snake in the grounds- it breaks up the monotony of sunbathing.
We travelled on the local train to Galle which is well worth a visit. The fare is no more than 50p each way, but get to Galle station early for the return to make sure of a seat.
While there we also took a Tut Tut excursion around the area visiting temples and Brief gardens (warning on Brief gardens, its 1000 rupees entrance fee which is expensive for Sri Lanka and three times the amount stated in my 2008 guide), and a river safari through the lagoon and up the Bentota river. Both trips were good value and organised through Luba on the beach. Thanks Luba, and our Tut Tut drivers Sudu and Roy for the experiences.
We went with an open mind, and while not expecting great things from a 3.5 star hotel it more than met our expectations.
One final warning it is in the tropics, and a number of guests including my sister were badly bitten by insects while there despite taking all preventative measures.

Room Tip: Away from the disco and noise across the river from other hotels.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WanderlustKeith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
229 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for 7 nights in January and found it to be a comfortable,safe and well located.The hotel was comfortable but not luxurious which met expectations.The room had good aircon, fridge, kettle,comfortable bed and good shower.The general layout of the hotel was dated but well maintained and the pool clean and a good size.
We really liked the long broad beach which was great for swimming and walking and had its own life guard.At times the current was noticable but did not cause concern.There is no coral or snorkling in this area and we did not use our fins and masks that we had brought with us.The hotel is accessed by a short boat trip and this was great because it isolated the hotel from the town and gave a relaxed and isolated feel.The boat went accross frequently and the boatmen were helpful at all times.
Food in the hotel was fresh and varied buffet style but I would imagine that it could become repetative after a week.The downside - We had mosquitos like fighter planes due to a wet afternoon.So be aware of wearing insect repellant at all times and have plugins for the rooms (nobody escaped).
The bar staff were helpful and the local drinks were just fine.

Room Tip: We upgraded to a beach view room and it was good,we spoke to some guests who were in bungalows that...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RPRedman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2013 via mobile

Our first trip to Sri Lanka, we chose this hotel for its location, good value and a great beach. After a long flight and an interesting, but fairly long car journey through Columbo and along the coast, a short boat journey was refreshing. Check in was quick and efficient and our room was small, but well appointed. The complaints about the size of rooms is fairly silly as you don't go all that way to stay in your room!
The hotel has all of the facilities you could possibly need, including an electric mosquito killer for the room and a candle to burn outside if you decide to sit out in the evening. Food is good quality and plenty of it, puddings are very good, lots of fresh fruit and the wine is ok.
The people who work there are incredibly friendly as is everyone that we came across wherever we went. However, any journey that you take will be an interesting experience as the rules of the road seem to be somewhat different to home!
The comments about Kuoni seem to be unfounded. We used them for two excursions, for each one, everything they said would happened happened at the time they said it would. The highlight was the two day safari trip, to Yala and the Uda Wale national parks. These were amazing and we saw Leopards, Crocodiles, All kinds of birds, deer and of course Elephants. My top tip for anyone interested in animals is, DON'T go to the Elephant orphanage in Pinwella, go to the Ude Wale national park and see them in the wild, then go to the Elephant transit home and give your money to them as they actually release the babies back into the wild and have a far better reputation the the Orphanage.
This is meant to be a value option from Kuoni and some the people complaining on here seem to think it is meant to be a 5star establishment. It s a 3 star option and should be viewed as such. As a 3star, it is a good hotel with very friendly staff who work very hard. The only thing that was really frustrating was the wifi, which needs to be sorted out, either you pay but once for te entirety of your stay or it should be free.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Dtaylor65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yorkshire
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 6, 2013

I will start with the booking and Kuoni. To say we are disappointed at the level of customer care is an understatement. Do not be fooled by the champagne in the shop, and the feel of an upper class travel agency. From start to finish Kuoni have been horrendous. They sold a wedding package which was not guaranteed, sent out 15+ incorrect invoices, and needed babysitting throughout the booking. On arrival in resort they did not know of the wedding, the coordinator was unavailable for 2 days and then Kuoni had failed to inform the hotel of added extras required for the wedding, which they had in writing 5months prior. This being the elephant which was a big ‘extra’ for us and the wedding location. We booked for 9 people and would not use Kuoni again.
Sri Lankan airways were basic to say the least. We usually travel Thomson and have never had any issues. Sri Lankan were cramped, old planes that are desperate for updating. There are TV’s in the chairs however outbound they were unwatchable due to the amount of static and inbound both our TV’s handsets did not work, so we were unable to use them at all. At meals they left dirty plates on our laps for 60minutes before collecting making it impossible to move during that time. The plus was that they do include all drinks free, including alcohol, however this resulted in a big hold up as people were asking for drinks other than those on the menu at mealtimes, and instead of staff refusing they were running up and down the plane constantly to get them, which is why, in the end we were left with dirty plates for around a hour. As for the carriage of the wedding dress, this was stowed for us but they simply took the dress, no explanation of where it would go etc just walked off, if you have paid a fortune for your dress this does not do your anxiety any good at all.
The transfer is around 3-4hrs, we asked to pay the extra for the highway but were told no by the rep. Later finding out that a couple also with Kuoni had been allowed to pay to cut the journey by half. The transfer was interesting to say the least. The bus was cramped with baggage piled from floor to ceiling in the minibus. This was the same on return with a few couples putting in a complaint as they felt unsafe sat on the back seat with piles of baggage behind them. The transfer/drive at first seems really dangerous but after spending 3 weeks there, they do actually know what they are doing, we only saw one minor accident and spent hours on the roads. When you get to resort you then have a boat crossing, this is a pleasant surprise and is lovely to see the hotel as you approach via the river.
We were greeted with orange cocktails on reception, and the staff seemed really friendly. The booking in was a little chaotic, there was a lack of communication and they had people down in the wrong rooms etc and despite looking at the passports, were trying to give them back to the wrong people. Eventually it was all sorted and we were allowed on our way. The room boys bring the cases and appear to be centred on receiving tips. We were told around 50 rupees but they are not happy unless you are giving them at least a £1, and English money they seem to prefer.
The rooms are large and basic; they are painted white with dark furniture. The bathroom has a shower and toilet and again is quite spacious. Our bedding was changed daily as were the towels. There were on occasions a hint of must, but nothing to complain about. The balcony had a sea view (room 221) and 2 chairs for resting. The lighting is diabolical; you can barely see anything unless you are in the shower. The air con was fine in our room but we were a group of 9 and some had issues with the noise that they made. Our only issues with the room was the wardrobe door was broke and we couldn’t close it , and the room boy did the very bare minimum when it came to cleaning the room. We have had much higher standards in a lot less expensive hotels.
The food was good, and at first we were questioning the reviews that said that it was repetitive as there seemed so much choice. The reviews are correct. The food is beautiful but is repeated too often. There is generally 4 currys, 3 rices, salad, and soup, this changes but only rotates around every 3-4days or so. Then there is fresh cooking which is usually fish, pork etc and then veggies, potatoes, etc. There is usually a fresh pasta choice and pizza was once a week. The pudding literally feels like the same every day. You are allowed wine with your evening meal, and they take the room number to make sure you don’t go over your allowance. There is a snack menu at the bar, which I recommend (paid extra). We are curry eaters but after 3 weeks all we wanted was something bland.
The free drinks are local spirits and lion beer, nice beer. They have around 5 cocktails but they do not get changed often. What we didn’t realise is that Kuoni make you think your all inclusive, but in actual fact you are not entitled to the snacks and cakes during the day that the other guests are.
There is a lot of wildlife around the hotel. This includes water and land monitors which you will see every day, chipmunks which are all over the hotel and bar areas, and snakes. As well as the usual mosquitoes, sand flies, cockroaches, birds etc.
The location is amazing, between the river and the sea. It is absolutely gorgeous. With this comes the exclusivity which the locals want. The hotel is popular with locals generally on a weekend. There is usually a party boat that pulls on the river bank at the hotel and stays the weekend playing extremely loud music. We were informed that this man is a local business man who runs security firms and is ‘in with the government’; he is apparently a billionaire and comes to Bentota with around 7 guys and 5 girls every weekend for a party. Despite complaints from guests it appears that he is able to do exactly what he pleases. In addition to this it is important to mention that just across the river are two wedding halls, which in the three weeks we stayed played loud music all day, every day except the poya day. On some occasions it was not as loud as others and there are other places to bathe, however the riverside is very nice and is away from the sand flies, making it quite popular. As the venues are across the river there is nothing that can be done, but it can spoil the tranquillity. The beach on the other hand is amazing. It hardly has anyone on it and is beautiful. The waves are strong and they recommend that you do not bathe in it over waist height. There are no beach beds on the beach as it is a public area, but there is a small shaded area with beds just before the beach, on the sanded area. Sand flies are an annoyance.
The wedding was amazing. I could not have wished for a better day. The beach location was just how we wanted it and Mr Kumara was a dream to work with and ensured that everything we asked for was organized. This included added extras, the elephant, and meal on the beach for 9 people. There are no words to describe it was just amazing.
Luba is the ‘beach boy’, you can find him on the right hand side of the lifeguards watch tower, in his little hut. He is fantastic. We heard about him on here and we were not disappointed. His prices and customer service compared to Kuoni is brilliant and he goes out of his way to tailor make your trips. We went on a 1night/2day safari to Yala, a boat trip, town trips, local waterfall, and the poya day celebrations with Luba. Everything he said would happen, happened, he is very true to his word. He said the mini bus was new, and it was, he said the hotel on the Yala stay was better than Club Bentota and it was. He is fantastic. He even arranged a birthday party for my hubby while on safari, inclusive of alcohol and cake, which was fantastic. We will miss his little face . We asked what he would like us to send to him from England, he simply replied “more people to me”. If you choose Luba you will not be disappointed, I guarantee it.
Be aware on departure that you are asked not to take any rupees into the airport, there is a bank to change however they will rip you off. When I questioned the amount he was giving me he later said “if you have 20rupees (10p) I can give you an extra £5.00”. This was information prior that he was not going to tell me. My mother also got ripped off by £20.00. I do not know if this is intentional but they do not offer you the change in rupees, which you can ask for and bring home to exchange here. Then when in the airport we paid £ for a meal in the restaurant, and she wanted to give us change in rupees, again which we were told were no good, as you can’t spend them after the banks. It’s a joke. Make sure that you have enough English in change and if you have to get the rupees in change as i bet they make a fortune by doing this to every traveller.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank melanieYorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013

Me and my partner stayed in the club bentota hotel for 10 days over the new year. We paid for a standard room but were allocated a deluxe room on arrival. We were on the upper floor and although the room wasn't anything special, it was clean and the shower room was nice. We've definitely stayed in nicer rooms, but we've stayed in 5* hotels, for a 3* it was all you needed in a room. I will say that 2 pairs of my shoes went mouldy when left in the wardrobe for the whole 10 days, so maybe leave them out. The food was excellent, with a lot of choice, and they put on a beautiful spread on New Year's Eve. There are english style dishes as well as local dishes if you don't fancy curry everyday, and we couldn't get enough of the bread! The beach was lovely, although the sea was pretty rough whilst we were there and we tended to get sunbeds by the pool, which was a simple pool with regular polo games and aerobics most days. There were two beach volleyball courts and a tennis courts which you can use for free. The entertainment was good and so was the service, and they put on a great firework display for New Year's Eve.
It's been said before but don't hesitate to book trips with Luba on the beach! We went on a river cruise for £5 each and saw crocodiles, iguanas, monkeys, monitors, kingfishers and much more. We also went to the pinnawala elephant sanctuary with Luba for £45 each (half the price of booking with kuoni) and had a great day out. The highlight of our trip was going to yala national park, also booked with Luba, where we were lucky enough to see leopards and sloth bears as well as sambah deer, elephants and crocs. My partner is a photographer and got some great shots. We decided to customise the trip by adding an extra game drive and going just the two of us, which we simply wouldn't have been able to do if we had booked through kuoni. Our holiday wouldn't have been the same if we hadn't been approached by Luba (and read his great reviews on here) and we would've only been able to do 1 or 2 trips if we'd paid kuoni prices. We had a great 10 days in Sri Lanka and only wished we could've stayed longer!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Gracemiren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedford, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2013 via mobile

This hotel is on Paradise Island - and lived up to its name. From the minute we arrived we received first class service from everyone we met. We stayed in a superior room, which was a small but adequate cottage, with the best shower I have ever experienced in a hotel. The food was plentiful and varied. We never had the same meal on the buffet for the two weeks we were there, and were very spoilt for choice. Regularly the chef came out to ask if you had a good meal. Beach was wonderful with miles of white sand, and turtles laying their eggs at night! We decided to go on a tour of the island whilst we were there, and asked our Kuoni rep for some details. Sadly, he did not live up to our expectations and we booked with Luba on the beach. Luba, really made our holiday. He took ownership for everything we wanted to do, visiting the local temple, turtle hatchery, trip to Kandy, Sigiriya, Dambulla, Pinnewala, you name it, he could organise it. If you are considering visiting Sri Lanka you will not be disappointed if you stay at Club Bentota.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Jayne_Warman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Club Bentota

Property: Club Bentota
Address: Paradise Island, Aluthgama 12080, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Western Province > Aluthgama
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Aluthgama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Club Bentota 3*
Number of rooms: 150
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover the wonders of the beaches of Sri Lanka during your stay at Club Bentota. A hassle free vacation for you and a fun-packed adventure for the kids: we provide exciting water sports, an extensive Ayurvedic spa and so much more on a secluded, breathtaking beach front. Built on a peninsula referred to as Paradise Island, Club Bentota is located on the South West coast of Sri Lanka and is flanked by the Indian Ocean and the Bentota River. Have fun under the sun with jet skiing, wind surfing, beach volleyball, croquet, river boat cruises and much more. Unwind by taking a dip in the pool or Ocean, play a game of cards with friendly guests from around the world, or read a book in our hotel book shop. Choose from our all-inclusive or full-board packages and book a vacation to Club Bentota, where the sun and sand await you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Club Bentota Hotel Aluthgama
Bentota Hotel Aluthgama
Club Bentota Sri Lanka/Aluthgama

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