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“Nice place, ample rooms.”

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Calamander Unawatuna Beach
Ranked #16 of 32 Hotels in Unawatuna
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
155 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“Nice place, ample rooms.”
Reviewed January 12, 2014

The hotel makes a good first impression. Open reception, nice beach, good setting. The room was adequate, it had everything that I needed... except for internet, technically I could connect to wi-fi yet it was so painfully slow it was unusable, both of my devices had that problem. The buffet was nice, I've enjoyed the food, it was mild and hit the spot well, one thing I would notice is that there was not a whole lot of meat in the food, most of them were vegetarian (with the exception being the grill) All in all it was a good stay.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank wolf8668
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paloma scott S, Board Representative for the Calamander Group at Calamander Unawatuna Beach, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear Guest,
Thank you for your review of our hotel. We appreciate that you noticed our efforts to make the hotel visually pleasing and create a good atmosphere.

We constantly have the debate about how much emphasis we should place on meat given that we are a beach hotel. However we take your point and we agree we should continue to strive to please as many palates as possible.

Yours sincerely,
Miss Paloma Scott
Board Representative for The Calamander Group Inc.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Melbourne
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2014 via mobile

Only stayed 1 night.

Room was clean and staff were helpful by packing a takeaway breakfast for us for whale watching the next morning.

Buffet food was fine. Sit as far away from the food and grill area as possible as the entire buffet area becomes very smokey from the grill.

Live music is played in the buffet area until about 11pm. This can be heard from some of the rooms.

Beach was average but they are trying to do the best they can with what they have left after the tsunami. I think we may have arrived at high tide too which limited the beach area available.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Tara M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paloma scott S, Board Representative for the Calamander Group at Calamander Unawatuna Beach, responded to this review, January 12, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking time out of your holiday to review our hotel. We apologise for the smoke in the restaurant.

The breakwater constructed by the Coastal Conservation Department last year, had originally been to protect the coral reef. An unintended consequence was that the break water has caused half of the bay's beach, which was famous for being a continuous and harmonious crescent, which you could walk from one end to the other, to be seriously eroded. We have worked extremely hard over the last few months with the help of the Coastal Conservation Department, to restore and protect the beach in the most eroded areas. One of these areas being directly in front of our hotel. We have restored, from the destruction, a public beach and our sunbeds and umbrellas are now installed on the beach as in the past. The bay water is shallower as the current is depositing sand at a rapid rate, so arguably the swimming, when the sea is calm, is better. We have also created a private beach with lots of space for sunbeds which is arguably more enticing as it is protected from passing beach combers and hawkers. This private beach which measures approximately 10,000 sq feet has proven to be very popular with our guests who are not concerned with being next to the sea. We also of course have the swimming pool with additional seating and a table tennis table near by.

Yours sincerely,
Miss Paloma Scott
Board Representative for The Calamander Group Inc.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darwin, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2014

Having read poor reviews of this hotel before arriving we were not sure what was in store for us.. First impressions weren't good as WE had made a mistake on our booking having booked for 1 not 2 we were told so we paid the extra no problem... But had two single beds pushed together for our two week stay.... Not ideal for a married couple... There was a sewer stench coming out of the bathroom and we advised the staff someone came and spayed some deodorizer ..problem solved for 10 minutes.. We now burn insence sticks through the day to cover the stench... After unpacking I went to the bar to get some soda water and lime to take back to the room and was hassled by a young barman about drinking in our room... This barman has been unfriendly and arrogant our whole stay which is a pity as there are a couple of really good staff behind the bar and we would have spent more time there if it wasn't for this one who made us unwelcome
There are great young ones working on breakfast but they are getting taught by incompetent older staff who just seem to walk around and bark orders at the younger ones who are trying to serve.. Very hard to find a clean made up table when you arrive for breakfast most days having to get my own cutlery cups etc.... Even though the staff are ready to take them away before you are finished.. Also watching staff lining up for breakfast in front of guests isn't a great look, and watching a guest cooking his own eggs and a young kid who was told there were no more pancakes at 8.30 after he had been waiting for 20 mins for turn in the cue.
After going to yala national park and leaving at 3 am in the morning and returning at 1.30 we were very hungry we ordered a salad and ham and tomatoe sandwich not to hard I would have thought but after 50 mins and having to return the salad and then having to ask for dressing we were pretty pissed off.
All I can say there are some good staff here and hats off to the chef who is incredibly friendly...but it seems to be let down by older staff members....
We are travellers who don't want to be waited on hand and foot...would just like some good service..your kidding if you think you are 4 star, 2 star tops with a lot of work to do..

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Blarge34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paloma scott S, Board Representative for the Calamander Group at Calamander Unawatuna Beach, responded to this review, January 8, 2014
Dear Guests,

I have read your review with utter dismay. For every dreadful review we get in Trip Advisor we get a half a dozen glowing reviews in our guest comment book for the same period. I sometimes think that we are running to completely two different hotels. I have started to look into the circumstances of your stay and although I have not completed my investigation, I would like to say the following:

You should have been offered a change of mattress, given the information that was given to us on the booking form. And you should not have had to suffer days of sewer stench. I can only feel intense embarrassment that the solution offered to this problem was a deodoriser! All gully and drainage problems are dealt with by our Maintenance department and at this moment in time I cannot give you a valid reason why our House Keeping department did not report the problem to Front Desk who have a rigorous system of reporting and recording problems of any nature to Management. I can only apologise profusely for the discomfort that you have suffered staying in this room.

I have not been able to pinpoint who the barman is, whose behaviour is deplorable. But it should not be difficult as they aren't many of them. Again, it shocks me that you are writing about our normally friendly and polite staff. There is no excuse for rudeness and I cannot for the life of me imagine why you could not have a drink in your room. The barman should actually have offered to take the drinks to your room! There is a minibar in each room, so I cannot understand why he has made this statement.. Again I can only apologise profusely for this young man's behaviour and a thorough investigation will take place and action taken that none of our guests experience this sort of behaviour again.

The scene that you describe in the restaurant is absolutely terrible. And Management have been aware of the problems and have been making serious efforts to improve service. One of the things we have instituted and I have done it myself, long ago when I was a waitress in a busy London restaurant, is to section off the restaurant so that a captain and waiters look after a particular part of the restaurant and the captains keep an over view of service and step in when there are peaks of activity. If the captains are using the system to abuse the younger waiters, as you say, it is a complete distortion and corruption of a tried and tested system to ensure that diners are served as quickly as possible. The captains that are guilty of abusing their position will be taken to task.

It it hotel policy that staff, who are dining at the same time as guests, should always give priority to guests. Staff will be reminded of their duty to guests and I will personally ensure that this does not happen again.. That we now have children being refused a simple pancake and a guest making their own breakfast! Is a first for me, Again I can only say sorry for these two incidents.

We have had issues with slow room service and 50 minutes for a sandwich is unacceptable. That the kitchen failed to provide a dressing surprises me as, so again I am left apologising for lack of thought and poor standards.

You are absolutely correct. We have much to do to get to a four star standard. In our defence, we work very hard to make the hotel work for all our guests. Consistency of service and standards is a constant problem and I am just very sorry that you have been the victim of this catalogue of errors.

Yours sincerely,
Miss Paloma Scott
Board Representative, The Calamander Group Inc.
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 Calamander Unawatuna Beach

Property: Calamander Unawatuna Beach
Address: Parangiyawatta, Unawatuna 80000, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Galle District > Unawatuna
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Unawatuna
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Unawatuna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Calamander Unawatuna Beach 4*
Number of rooms: 83
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Calamander Unawatuna Beach is one of Sri Lanka's most popular beach resorts, located directly on Unawatuna Bay. The most renowned holiday destination on the South coast, Unawatuna Beach is famous for its natural beauty, laid back ambience, proximity to Galle Fort, a Unesco World Heritage site, and is the best beach in the country. UBR, established over 30 years ago, has been transformed, since November 2011, as Calamander Unawatuna Beach. The resort retains the relaxed character of the former UBR, the excellent service from long standing staff, good food and al fresco dining. The only hotel on Unawatuna Beach with swimming pools, Calamander Unawatuna Beach has built the first glass fronted lap pool in Sri Lanka and the longest, at 25 metres, in the Asia Pacific region. In addition a stunning Italian mosaic, 25 metres in length, outdoor pool, with adjoining jacuzzi and a separate children's paddling pool. Calamander Unawatuna Beach is a 4 star class hotel with five star facilities. It is the first beach hotel in Sri Lanka with accredited carbon neutral status and future projects aim to develop sustainable eco-technology in the hotel's power generation and transport services. Guests are encouraged to engage in utilising the resort's facilities in the most eco-friendly way, without compromising on comfort and are invited to offset their individual carbon foot print with a small, voluntary, financial contribution, to the hotel's carbon neutral status. Calamander Unawatuna Beach is a trail blazer in Sri Lanka, for the 'affordable luxury' concept. Its design ethos of modernity, complimenting the beauty of its geography, has proven to be popular with our guests from all over the world. This together with high standards of service, Calamander Unawatuna Beach is now renowned for being a family friendly resort welcoming Sri Lankans as well as foreign guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Unawatuna Beach Hotel Unawatuna
Unawatuna Beach Resort

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