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“Kalu's Hideaway - Beware!”
Review of Kalu's Hideaway

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Kalu's Hideaway
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Kalu's Hideaway - Beware!”
Reviewed January 13, 2013

On our way to Arugam Bay via Thanamalwila, we decided to break the journey at Uda Walawe. We thought ‘Kalu’s Hideaway’ near the Uda Walawe dam would be a perfect place to stay overnight. However, we were in for an unpleasant surprise.

The Kalu’s Hideaway is overpriced for the facilities that were available. For Rs 17,000/= a night (half board ) we thought they would at least provide the facilities they promised. But that was not the case.

We were given a room in the so called ‘newly’ built section. Alas! it was worse than an old section! There was no hot water in the bathroom although we were told there would be. There was no telephone in the room. The bed linen was not that clean and the room was a little bit dusty. Furthermore, there was no mirror in the room.

When we inquired about the hot water, we were told that the hot water system is solar and there was no hot water because it was a cloudy day!! And there was no electricity back up or it was not working. Very lame answer practiced by many!

The meals were quite ordinary. You could buy those meals from a standard café for the half of that price!!

If you want to pay by a credit card, be warned that they do not have an electronic fund transfer system. They have only the 20th century old manual system.

Chinthaka Fonseka
Sydney
Australia

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Keshf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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568 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Singapore
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2013

We had Christmas Eve at Kalu's Hideaway. only one night but would go back again to enjoy the wonderful service. Friendly and Efficient. Take an early morning safari and be back for breakfast, Be sure to specify you want a Sri Lankan breakfast

Room Tip: We had a high floor in the new block good views over the gardens and river
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank PeterSSingapore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Molesey, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2013

We had a lovely friendly welcome on our arrival, complete with a glass of fresh juice. Our room was stylish, clean and luxurious, set apart from the main building. The food was great, the service friendly and the atmosphere welcoming. We only stayed for one day and a night, but we would have loved to stay longer. Managed to fit in a gorgeous aromatherapy massage with the sound of peacocks in the background. Our experience here was wonderful and would certainly recommend.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jenny A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rhyl, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2013

A great welcome was received upon our arrival and very personable service offered throughout our stay. The room we were allocated was away from the main building on the second floor with a great view across the river. The room accommodation is spacious with TV, a/c, comfortable beds and with a large modern bathroom and a private balcony. The pool area is a very relaxing place to soak up the sun after having completed a 'safari' into Uda Walawe Park. There is also the spa which offers a number of treatments, I enjoyed a head, shoulder & back massage and it was well worth the money. Very reasonably priced.
Safari's can be arranged with the hotel or you can do this independently to go into the park.
Most guests stay one or two nights, we booked to stay three nights and at first thought it may be too long, but we went into Uda Walawe twice and enjoyed the pool in the afternoon and it made a lovely change to soak up a slower pace of life. We also ventured to the elephant orphanage in the local town Walawegama. The hotel manager Chandana, recommended this to us and when he could not get a tuk tuk for our trip, unknown to us it was the hotel chef who took us there in his tuk tuk, waited and brought us back. We found this out the next morning when chatting with Chandana and seeing the chef cooking breakfast.:0) Chandana Hewavasan is worth a mention becuase he was available at the hotel every day morning til night, was very helpful, and always made time with you for a chat.
All the staff were very attentive, offered a good service and always polite.
It is a great place to stay whether going to the park or if travelling within Sri Lanka and needing a halfway place to stay. We would definately recommend the hotel, it is a superb place to stayand we met the owner Kalu who used to play cricket for Sri Lanka, that was a bonus.

Room Tip: The rooms in the block away from the main building may be better, they all have a balcony, we didnt...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Netty04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
Reviewed January 1, 2013

Gorgeous rooms, remarkable grounds, amazing food, friendly staff and a superstar owner! We had an amazing time at Kalu's Hideaway. Getting the opportunity to spend some quality time with the man himself was a highlight. The pool was also fantastic! Kalu and his staff have done an amazing job of this property. Very unique and definitely one of our favourite places in Sri Lanka. The decor and design of the rooms is outstanding. If you are going to Udawalawe National Park I would definitely recommend staying at Kalu's Hideaway.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shannon T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012 via mobile

This is a wonderful property, fantastic architecture, a horizon pool look over to the rapids in the river and vege/herb grdens to wander through. The service is very close to non existent despite an abundance of staff and, given the time again, we wouldn't stay here. Having booked and paid for a Deluxe room, we were only presented with a basic room on arrival. The best service effort was only asking for something 3 times instead of 5, very often giving up and not getting it all. The heaters on the buffet were seldom turned on as the food was brought out fresh from the kitchen - luke warm in 20 minutes. Wonderful location, pity about the service...

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank AidanL398
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012

We spent two nights here and wished we could stay longer. it was a small, peaceful and relaxing place to stay with friendly and helpful staff and management. There was also a spa although we didn't find time to try this. The grounds which include some well tended organic gardens are, in the main, given over to a variety of trees and shrubs which succeed in attracting a great variety of birdlife. All in all, we considered Kalu's Hideaway a very hospitable and special place!

Room Tip: We loved the fact that our room had beds on a big balcony for relaxation!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sandstu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kalu's Hideaway

Property: Kalu's Hideaway
Address: Walawegama | Udawalawe, Uda Walawe National Park 00300, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Uda Walawe National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 26 B&Bs / Inns in Uda Walawe National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Kalu's Hideaway 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With 14 Fourteen Spacious rooms including 5 Superior rooms,6 Deluxe, 2 Chalets & 1 Suite, the hotel caters to the most unique clients. It provides the butler service with personalized dining menu of your choice. The Hotel is located just 5 Minutes next to Udawalawe National Park & Udawalawe Lake. From Colombo 187 km to the Hotel and around 04 hours drive from Colombo. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kalu`s Hideaway Hotel Uda Walawe National Park
Kalu's Hideaway Sri Lanka/Uda Walawe National Park

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