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AVANI Kalutara Resort
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Reviewed 18 August 2010

This hotel is a little odd. There seems to be some issues with the management as there was not the friendly manner from most of the staff that we had come to expect in the other 7 hotels we had stayed at in Sri Lanka. On arrival, we were really disappointed to find that the pool was small and over-crowded. There were also a number of men waiting on the other side of the fence who on the first day we arrived were desperately trying to get our attention by shouting and whistling at us. A snake charmer with a monkey appeared at one point and a family who had gone onto the beach had the monkey make a go for their young son. I know that people have to make a living, but this is advertised as a 4 star hotel and the management seem quite happy to let it happen. The hotel also needs another swimming pool to cope with the volume of guests that it has.
We had problems with the bureacracy of ordering food and drinks. They seemed confused and unsure how to handle you if you weren't on the all-inclusive package. We faced delays as a result. You can pay an extra £15 per day to go all-inclusive, which is probably a good idea, even if you are all ready on the half-board package as drinks are expensive. We weren't told that you had to go to reception to get the band cut off although had removed it ourselves when we reverted to HB for the final day and received a rude phonecall from reception that implied that we had tried to use the band when it had run out.
The food was reasonalby good, with nice breakfast, good burgers for lunch and dinner had a range of food, although the meat (and on 1 occasion the tuna) was always very chewy!
Rooms are damp and so the air conditioning is meant to be left on all the time although they are clean and modern. The cleaning staff were the most over-bearing in terms of being over-friendly to gain tips in all the hotels that we stayed in and seemed to linger around all day so that they would see you to spark up small-talk.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank rhblack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2010

Stayed at Kani Lanka from june 24th for three weeks, this was the second time for us as we had been there last year same period. We wondered if it would be as good as it was last year and we were not dissapointed. The food and all round care was as good as before.

It was the last week and a bit of the world cup and being non football atall we were able to watch the wimbledon tennis instead, sounds boring but after wonderful days it was relaxing to the end of those days when football was on. We spent the first week relaxing pool side and walkling on beach and around in Kalutara, second week we did two trips , first one was taking train up from Columbo to Nuwara Eliya, left on 5.45am train and arrived around 7 1/2 hours later, wonderful scenery as we climbed up through the hills/mountains and tea plantations, a lot cooler up there. Left around 9am next day by car going back down on the other side of the valleys etc. Had a great driver 'Ganesh' who was really helpful as to views etc and great company, arrived back at k/l around 5.30pm , this tour we did through Walkers Tours, well worth it but you need to book seats in observation carriage on train, they will do this.

We then did a three day trip to Dambulla Royal Rock Temple, Pollonaruwa, Minneriya National Park finishing up with elephant riding . Stayed at Pelwehera Village Resort really sweet, good food, service and lovely gardens, this was very hot around 40c + , loved it . Dambulla is amazing has to be seen to be believed , and as for Pollonaruwa, well when you consider it is spread over 800acres with only 400 acres discoverd you realise how vast it is, went into google earth when we arrived home and that gives you a very good indication of how large it is and how much you don;t see but can see in jungle. Minneriya was (if your an elephant fan) incredible, we were amongst herds of 30 + which even a couple of local Sinhalese were saying that in their life time they had not seen so large herds.
Our good friend Jambo organised this trip for us, we met him and used him last year and again he was really good . We certainly recommend him very highly, in our experience you certainly won't be dissapionted.

Our last week the weather wasn't so good with monsoon showers now and then , however we did our own thing going into Kalutara again just to wander around and walked back along railway track very hot walk but lot to see. We also bussed into Aluth gama, interesting town worth a visit have a walk and look around you.

So second time in Sri Lanka , really good had a great time met a lot of lovely new Sinhalese, Tamils etc + old aquaintances so all being well might come back next year to look at the northern end of the island now it is more open.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank asadidnac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2010

Hotel fine in terms of quality and variety of food, cleanliness and service-no tummy bugs and no mosquitoes to speak of. Well worth going all-inclusive.Shame about not being able to swim in the sea but waves were enormous and strong rip tide evident. No pressure to tip staff at all. We ignored the advice about not speaking to the beach boys about tours and did a 3 day trip with Leo which was very good value undercutting both hotel and regular tour firms. Excellent rooms provided on the tour which Leo, who was an experienced driver, very good company and totally trustworthy, made great fun-would recommend you to contact him even prior to departure (---.Mobile=--). Kani Lanka a good and friendly base, with regards to staff and guests, from which to tour a beautiful island. Don't be fooled by the cloud, cream up well and you'll still get tanned even though the forecast suggests thunderstorms on a daily basis; they never arrived!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank oskar77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2010

Stayed for 2 weeks and found the hotel pure relaxation.Good swimming pool and nice restaurant with plenty of choice. The staff were fantastic and could not do enough for us. We booked a few trips out and used JAMBO LANKA who we found to be excellent. He will organise any itinery and his guides speak english. He delivered everything we asked for . Jambo can be contacted via Facebook so you can organise everything before you arrive. We found all the locals to be very friendly and knowledgeable. All in all we thought the country was fantastic and will visit again.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank liz1878
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2010

We’ve been in Sri Lanka for a sixteen days tours. For four days we’ve travelled around the country seeing things like Kandy, Sygiria, pinnawala, and Yala Park (jeep safari). The other days we spent in hotel Kani Lanka in Kalutara.
Before we went to SL we’ve done some reading about the local guides and we decided to contact Rammuni da Silva because of the positive comments about him. We arranged the tours with him true email.
After our email contact in witch we were setting the plans and the way of payments we’ve met Rammuni in person at our hotel to set the dates for the tours etc. He seems to us an honest and correct man.
We’ve not done the tours with him but with Sashi, who was hired by Rammuni, Sashi is a very enthusiastic and honest young man and we really enjoyed doing the tours with him.

To arrange tours around Sri Lanka we recommend Rammuni da Silva and Sashi.

During our tours we’ve spent the nights in hotel Dambulla (Kandy) and sin Simba (near Yala Park).
Dambulla is a fine small hotel with a friendly staff, clean rooms and good food.
Sin Simba seems more like a low budget hotel, the rooms (we’ve seen two rooms) are very basic and not exactly clean. From what we’ve heard the hotel has been shortly taken over by new owner’s whit an inexperienced staff.
Although the staff is treating they’re guests in a friendly way and they’re trying to do their best, they don’t seem to know much about serving manners.
Perhaps in some time things will be better around there because the staff is willing to learn.
For now it might be a fine hotel when you’re on a low budget holiday and your demands aren’t too big.
About the Kani Lanka hotel; we’ve spent a good time there, staff is friendly, rooms are clean, swimming pool is a bit small but clean and the food is good. The beach boys are standing at the gate every day, watching out for new guests so they can offer their services as guiding you for trips. They didn’t bother us after we explained that we’ve already had a guide.

Doing the Jeep Safari was fun; we even spotted a leopard several times.
Visiting the Sygiria Rock was a nice event, the view around the rock is beautiful and the story that goes with the Rock (about the King who once lived on top of the Rock) makes it all very impressive.
We’ve also visited Kandy, the tooth temple and Dambulla, Pinawala (elephants) and Galle, all very nice things to do.
All in all we’ve had a great time in Sri Lanka!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank darkje1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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