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“Good location for safari but rooms need updating”
Review of Kalu's Hideaway

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Kalu's Hideaway
Certificate of Excellence
bournemouth, uk
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Good location for safari but rooms need updating”
Reviewed February 18, 2013

Rooms are tired and need updating. They are generally clean but in need of modernisation, also a few creepy crawlers but we were on the ground floor so not unexpected.
Good location for safari.
Pool very nice.
Food average.
Beware Mosquitos in the evening but this is to be expected

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank anabm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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552 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (106)
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2013

Excellent place to stay in the real Sri Lankan country side.
warm and friendly service, with a smile. cool atmosphere and overall worth the money.
In this place you feel a certain attitude of the owner. This business is run by heart, not by calculation only

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank torton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed February 12, 2013

Stayed at Kalu's for the last 3 years, each January... just back and it has got even better than before. The old accommodation has been added to by a separate block of brand new rooms that have all the amenities of a smart hotel. Great views and the garden is now finished and the veg patch in full production. It is a lovely place to stay for a few days and explore the area.

Food was excellent over the 3 days we stayed, buffet one night, served to you the other nights and the breakfasts were superb and set you up for any safari's.

Yes it's a little expensive, the restaurant area a little dark and there are gekko's on the walls...so what, you are in rural Sri Lanka ! It is by far the best in the area and an excellent base for the parks. The nearby river is a great place to explore if you are into birds.

The staff are friendly and helpful, if a little slow, but Mr Chandana Hewavasan (Mr Fix-it) is the guy to make your stay the best possible and a really nice man to get to know.

No hesitation in recommending Kalu's.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Roy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2013

If you want to do the Elephant Safari at Uda Walawe National Park then the location is perfect as it is about 20 mins by jeep to the park entrance.

Check in was very smooth and the staff and manager were all there to greet us. Having paid a premium for what we thought was meant to be luxury accommodation we looked to be getting what we paid for and expected but...

1. We informed the management of my husband’s food allergies at the time of booking and were assured that these could be catered for, as, incidentally, they had been without any problem at all the hotels and even more modest guest houses we had stayed at in Sri Lanka prior to arriving at Kalus. While the other guests were served an unlimited ‘rice and curry’ style buffet, we were served plain spaghetti, which was very disappointing to say the least. We went to bed hungry on our first night.

2. As soon as we arrived we gave our laundry to the manager who told us that we would have it back by noon the following day. We were pleased to hear this as we literally had one clean change of clothes left each. The next day…noon passed, the afternoon passed, the evening passed and still no clean laundry. After chasing the manager several times that day, we were given our still damp and now smelly clothes back late that evening and spent the rest of the night trying to dry them ourselves under the fan in our room. To paraphrase, the manager’s response was essentially, “it’s raining what do you expect me to do”. We suggested that, given the status and cost of the hotel, they needed to have a contingency plan for when it was raining.

3. The satellite TV did not work in our room. This was not a huge problem for us, but, again, given the room cost we would have expected this to be working.

4. It took about 3 hours for us to check out and a lot of arguing as we wanted to leave a day early due to the bad experience we had had, and the manager insisted, for a time, that we should pay for the third day. To clarify, we originally booked 2 nights and arrived a day early so we had fulfilled our original booking.

Verdict: Smooth and schmooze on the outside, very rough on the inside.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HReens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
327 reviews
94 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 211 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2013

We were "offered" room 101 but like all rooms in the "main building" (101-104) there are now windows, just access to a small balcony with little or no view! Room 105 is "upstairs" and is the "Honeymoon suite". There is a 2 room building near (106-107) which have verandah or balcony and are far more "light". However, we went to the new building (108-113) and had a very nice room on the 2nd floor with excellent views, a big spacious bedroom and big, spacious bathroom. Another room is being added above which will be another "honeymoon suite". Whilst the food choice is rather limited with a buffet for dinner, the breakfast was pretty good.
Enjoy this place, it's fun and will certainly get better in the next months.
I, for one, would certainly recommend it with "advice" to anyone who asks.

Room Tip: Ask for 106 -113.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MandY1943
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2013 via mobile

Nice rooms, pretty setting with lovely views. Staff very friendly but perhaps not very experienced / well trained. Nice and handy for a safari at Uda Walawe. Food was fairly average, not much choice and not that inspiring. Overall a good spot to stay for a night or so.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Rona B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester
Level Contributor
134 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2013

Owned by an ex Sri Lankan cricketer, the experience was only fair. First impressions were not good as we drove up the hotel drive full of potholes and surrounded by untended gardens. It appeared that all the walls in the hotel were of an unfinished concrete render. On closer inspection, they had been painted a battleship grey.

Check in was smooth enough and we were shown to our room which was reached via some steep steps in the restaurant. The most generous description of the room was spartan. There was an ante room with a fan and an old two seater settee and nothing else and the main bedroom which did not even have bedside tables.

No toiletries or hair drier in the bathroom and when asked for them it took two calls and 45 minutes to get the hair drier and the toiletries never arrived at all so we resorted to using our own.

The dining room is so dark that you cannot see any of the dishes on offer or their descriptions. I know that this is a small hotel but the variety and quality of the food was poor for dinner but very good at breakfast.

Check out was a complete farce. We had prepaid the hotel and food and do all we should have been charged for was the beer. After three attempts at producing the bill, they gave up and didn't charge us for the beers either. All this with three receptionists trying to solve it!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank grahamwLeicester
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 22 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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