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“An average property”
Review of Cinnamon Wild Yala

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Cinnamon Wild Yala
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kirinda
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“An average property”
Reviewed December 16, 2013

We stayed here 3 nights. It is on the edge of some wonderful national park resources and we saw leopard, elephant, snake and many other species of animals and avian fauna. But the hotel let us down. We were trapped in it as nobody would let us Out for walks etc due to danger from wildlife. Our sewerage system failed leaving our room floating over a pond of raw sewage! Our nature walk was cancelled without authority, we were directed to wait for a call in our room but the call never came and we felt let down and frustrated. I would recommend no more than 2 nights. There are other places to stay such as Tissa where you are not so trapped. Look, the wildlife is great even better perhaps but this property is not your only choice. Having said that the food was good and most staff lovely.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Peter T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CinnamonHotels, Public Relations at Cinnamon Wild Yala, responded to this review, January 18, 2014
Thank you for sharing your review on Trip Advisor following your recent stay with us.
We sincerely apologize for the unpleasant experience you had with us during your stay.
We thank you for the constructive feedback which is truly invaluable to us and we will certainly take the highlighted areas in to consideration for areas of improvement.
Thank you for taking time to write to us and we certainly hope to have you with us again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Negombo, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2013

Definitely pick this place to stay if you are going to Yala. good service, nice and clean rooms and overall a very exciting experience.
Couple of advice:
1) If you know somebody in Sri Lanka you can get app 30% cheaper rate for locals/ expats if they book for you. Have to book through their management company phone service.
2) Do not bother to book the safari through the hotel. On the road to hotel there are many jeep owners offering service directly. take their cards and call them. you will save half compared to hotel price. As far as I heard when you book your safari at the hotel - they call these people anyway as hotel does not own any jeeps. In any case we paid app 100 USD for each safari trip for 4 people. Evening trip is better as there are more animals around and we even were lucky to see the leopard.

Beware that monkeys can make some noise on the roof during the night. So bring the ear plugs!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Yefudi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CinnamonHotels, Public Relations at Cinnamon Wild Yala, responded to this review, December 16, 2013
Thank you for your feedback following your stay at Cinnamon Wild Yala. We are delighted to know that you enjoyed your stay with us. We look forward to having you with us again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hitchin
Level Contributor
78 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed December 14, 2013

Rooms are separate to the main complex in bungalows. Large comfy and clean and built with a safari image. You have to get escorted at night times which is a bit irritating as they are short distances but primarily because of crocodiles. Monkeys and wild boar also roam the site.

It feels aimed at Sri Lankans and this showed in the food. There was little choice but curry and I like curry but they were extremely hot by UK standards. I suggest you eat early as when the Sri Lankans arrive later it gets extremely noisy and market like with a lot of pushing and shoving. Service was polite but.....

The place is focused around tours of Yala so very quiet during the day as everyone is out in the back of a jeep hunting leopards. If you like birds safaris then in this area they are excellent. If you have had a big animal safari experience in Africa this doesn't compare well. You will get pushed for an all day safari but I would suggest a half day is enough having been picked up at 5.30. You won't be allowed out of the jeep at all until 12 when there is a beach stop for packed lunch so it can get very uncomfortable. The jeeps aren't equipped with anywhere to keep your packed lunch cool and dust free.

I review all hotels we stay at against our UK standards I would rate this 3.5

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Julie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CinnamonHotels, Public Relations at Cinnamon Wild Yala, responded to this review, December 16, 2013
Thank you for your feedback following your stay at our Hotel. We are pleased to know that you enjoyed your stayed with us overall. We offer both an Asian and Continental cuisine so that we cater to different palettes. We hope you would try the continental cuisine upon your next visit so that this would better cater to your requirements. our Hotel is located in the buffer zone where wildlife roams free, hence we do insist on escorting our guests at night for safety reasons. We seek your kind understanding on same. Whilst thanking you for your feedback we do hope to have you with us again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 13, 2013

I paid many hundreds of dollars through a popular booking website in order to secure my booking at Cinnamon Yala. In an attempt to confirm my booking I emailed every available email address I could find for them.

I emailed these addresses SEVEN times over the course of six weeks, and I didn't receive a reply from any of them. Yes, I know I should have called, but I was travelling at the time and it was not convenient to do so. Besides I was so stunned that a luxury resort could ignore me so blatantly, that I wanted to experiment to see how long it would continue.

Because of this negative experience and extremely poor customer service, I am not even going to comment on the rooms or facilities.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank FoodForFunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CinnamonHotels, at Cinnamon Wild Yala, responded to this review, December 16, 2013
Thank you for your feedback following your stay at our Hotel. We are deeply alarmed by the negative experience you encountered at the time of making your reservation. If you made your reservation online, you would receive an instant confirmation of your booking while the booking would be simultaneously entered in to the system. Should you have any queries related to your booking, you could either contact your agent and/or booking website directly, failing which contact our Hotel. We hope this information would assist you when you next make a booking with us. We hope to welcome you back at our Hotel for a more memorable stay.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chichester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
64 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2013

Oh dear! they missed the mark.

When we booked this hotel we had such high hopes - it all looked so good and the situation looked ideal, right on the side of a large water-hole (small lake) just on the edge of the Yala National Park - what could go wrong?......................answer........................the staff

Ok! I have to justify that - here goes. The young lady who checked us in wasn't.............a lady that is.........not in my opinion anyway. She seemed to have a massive chip on her shoulder and her attitude was nothing short of flippant and condescending, bordering on the aggressive, not what you would expect from the staff of a shangri-la hideaway in the jungle. Our tour guide, Dinesh, who had come along with us to help us book in (because his IS an excellent company and he genuinely does care) was flabbergasted with her attitude and quick to defend the attitude of Sri Lankans in general, saying that her attitude wasn't what we should expect from other hotel staff in Sri Lanka, in fact it was NOT what we had discovered was the norm..........it was just HER. Oh well! never mind thing will get better and on the face of it they did.
I went for a stroll by the water-hole shore and the pool attendant was there in a twinkling to warn me there were crocodiles in the water who can come out V quick and would love to make a meal of me, so don't venture too close to the water, good advice. A herd of wild pigs, led by a big wild boar, who charged us and the pool guy did his Indiana Jones bit and repelled it with an umbrella - brave bloke that! - but things went downhill again from there on in.
We were taken to our room - a small semi bungalow built in the jungle and adjacent to the main hotel complex (complex? hmmm - I will come to that later) The room, because that is what it was, as apposed to a bungalow, was on the small side and strangely arranged on a triangular basis. The oblong shape of the room being bisected on the diagonal to create a room and shower room, making two rather impractical but quirky spaces! The attempt at making the rooms safari-like, didn't quite work, a cloth wardrobe and no mirror in the room don't make it a jungle experience? but it was ok. The receptionist told us that whenever we wanted to come from our room to the main hotel building, which involved a trek of 150 yards through the hotel grounds, we MUST ring reception for a member of staff to escort us across as there were wild animals in the grounds at night. OK this meant we weren't going to ignore this rule and so that first night we phoned reception - reception said - 'ok sir, hang on there and someone will be with you in 5 minutes' Twenty five minutes later we rang again, - ok sir - sorry about that, someone will be with you in five minutes - but they weren't! fifteen minutes later and after another phone call they turned up and we managed to get to the hotel restaurant. The buffet food, although limited, was for the most part ok, but because we were now quite a bit late for dinner the Tuna pasta bake was quite dry and other things were a little limited - Oh well!
The next morning we went to reception early - it was light, so we didn't bother with the escort across - we needed to get there on time for our Safari tour. The reception staff were busy with a big group of Scandinavian tourists who had booked their tour through the hotel tour shop - we hadn't - so they ignored us. I tried to get someone to help us find out when our tour guide was to take place and was told that they knew nothing about it - you guessed it! we hadn't booked it through them? It transpired that the hotel DO NOT ALLOW OTHER TOUR COMPANY GUIDES TO PICK UP GUESTS FROM THE RECEPTION - THEY KEEP THEM WAITING OUTSIDE THE HOTEL GROUNDS 200 YARDS AWAY? So we didn't know he was there and he couldn't find us - not ideal at all and not good customer relations! So our guide eventually disobeyed hotel rules and came to reception to fine us - bright boy that! We had an AMAZING safari tour - saw, not one but two leopards. One, which was a female, hunted a large monkey and caught it, then took it to its cubs - WOW! we got back to Cinnamon Wild ready to wipe the slate clean and let bygones be bygones and when I got to the pool, after dropping off things in our room and desperate to cool off, I was greeted by the same smiling and efficient pool attendant, who got me a towel for the sun-lounger and I slipped to the bar by the pool to order a beer, where I was told to go and have my swim and it would be bought to me at poolside - things were looking up maybe? I had a 10 minute swim, lay on the lounger for 20 minutes and decided that waiting for the beer wasn't worth it any more - so I went to the bar where the bar boy suddenly remembered that I had ordered a beer half an hour before? too late mate - I went to reception to tell them I was checking out in ten minutes, so could someone come and get our bags, they said no problem. I waited in our room for half an hour - then took the bags to reception myself - no change here then!

To summarize -

The hotel is in a superb location and I can understand the managements' attempt to bring a 'stay on safari in the bush' ethos to it.But if you have rules - e.g. don't walk in the grounds alone at night without a guide, because of the risk from wild animals - they should make sure they stick to it, or it is dangerous for the guests, who get fed up with waiting and ignore the rule (we spoke to several guests who were doing just that - we did it too in the end).

The staff need to be reintroduced to the concept that the most important people in the hotel are the guests and not the staff themselves and hat the way they treat the guests is of paramount importance. Not arguing with guests and line managers, as a means of defending themselves against their own failings, is also a good idea.

in short an hotel with wonderful promise - that because of some staff - fails to deliver what is its full potential

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Raymond K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CinnamonHotels, Public Relations at Cinnamon Wild Yala, responded to this review, December 16, 2013
Thank you for your feedback following your stay at our Hotel. We have noted your comments and will certainly take necessary measures to ensure that we deliver a much higher level of customer service upon your next visit. Thank you for your constructive feedback which is truly invaluable to us. We hope to see you again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chippenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed December 12, 2013

We stayed at three hotels in the Cinnamon chain during a recent trip to Sri Lanka, and this was our favourite. Located on the grounds of Yala National Park, the wildlife visitors make this a truly special place to stay. We had a land monitor make its home in a drainage pipe outside our room, and spotted a wild boar in the middle of the hotel grounds during our walk to dinner. After 6:00pm you have to be escorted to and from the central area due to the wildlife, but that just adds to the feeling of adventure. The room itself was a lovely raised cottage, and was large, clean, and comfortable. The breakfast and dinner buffet were excellent. The pool looked inviting, but that was the only downside -- we couldn’t stay longer than one night and couldn't take advantage of everything the hotel had to offer.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank aMissElaineous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CinnamonHotels, Public Relations at Cinnamon Wild Yala, responded to this review, December 16, 2013
Thank you for your feedback following your stay at Cinnamon Wild Yala. We are truly delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us. We eagerly look forward to having you with us again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
116 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2013

We arrived at the hotel expecting everywhere to be parched and dry, instead it was green and lush with water everywhere! The hotel was very nice with comfortable bungalows scattered around the extensive grounds, there are no fences so you have to be prepared to meet visitors of the non human kind! One morning when we went to the area where we picked up our jeeps there was a very large (and smelly) family of wild boars there, they seemed quite unfazed by people, the monkeys also were everywhere and were like unruly teenagers hell bent on making trouble! to us this was much nicer than being fenced in to keep the animals out. Yala Wild really is that. Meals were buffet style in the upstairs restaurant, the food was OK but not outstanding although there was a bewildering choice on offer. On the two morning we were there we took packed breakfasts from the hotel when we went out early on our jeep safari, the food was very bland and uninteresting, I'm afraid a cheese and tomato sandwich does not seem like breakfast to me ( there was also fruit and a very dry croissant) I'm sure with a little thought they could have managed a better breakfast. if you want somewhere close to the park to maximise your time there then Yala Wild is the place to stay.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sue6676
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CinnamonHotels, Public Relations at Cinnamon Wild Yala, responded to this review, December 16, 2013
Thank you for your feedback following your stay at Cinnamon Wild Yala. We are delighted to know that you enjoyed your stay with us. We have noted your comments on the food and will certainly look in to improving on this aspect. We look forward to having you with us again.
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 Cinnamon Wild Yala

Property: Cinnamon Wild Yala
Address: P.O. Box 1, Kirinda 82614, Sri Lanka (Formerly Chaaya Wild Yala)
Location: Sri Lanka > Southern Province > Kirinda
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kirinda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Cinnamon Wild Yala 4*
Number of rooms: 68
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cinnamon Wild after undergoing a brand enhancement is more than a resort; it is an extension of the Yala National park and is intended to be part of the National park. It is designed to represent rustic luxury, resembling a game lodge. Cinnamon Wild Yala exceeds guest expectations with interiors that give the camp look and feel, embedded with large trunk boxes, old vintage furniture, director's chairs and indigenous artwork. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chaaya Wild Yala Hotel Kirinda
Yala Village Kirinda
Yala Village Hotel Kirinda
Cinnamon Wild Yala Sri Lanka/Kirinda

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