Sri Lanka Hotel bookings / Tour packages

Guest Comments – 2007

 

Alison & I had a great holiday in Sri Lanka.

The tour organized by your company was very enjoyable, if a little tiring!!

Can you please pass on our thanks & best wishes for the future to Alson & Senna. I must say they were excellent hosts and our 6 days with them was very enjoyable. (I hope they enjoyed them selves as much as I did.)

 

ROB STEWART

UK – December 2007

 We did arrive home safely – thank you! The arrangements you made for us went very smoothly and we were happy with the accommodation at each stop. We were both very impressed with the personal service you gave us, especially the fact that you visited us at the hotel, and would have no hesitation in recommending you and your company to anyone. All in all, we had a great holiday. One of the most wonderful things about Sri Lanka was the people. We found Sri Lankans to be warm, kind, happy people which definitely added to our enjoyment of our time there. Many thanks again and best regards to you and your family.

 

Rachel & Tom

Australia – December 2007

Your arrangements for my holiday in Sri Lanka were very good indeed and I am extremely pleased with everything. Stonehouse Lodge was a lovely place to stay in. The accommodation and food were excellent, and Mr Asoka the owner was an excellent host. The travel arrangements from airport to Kandy and from Kandy to Wadduwa were also very good. Finally the Test match tickets were in a very good position with confortable seating. So you have done an excellent job for me and I will have no hesitation in using your services again if I return to Sri Lanka. Thank you once again.

 

Kesava A Kumar

UK – December 2007

 

We were all very very happy with our holiday. It was amazing, and Rangith was a real treat to get to know. He took care of us and tried to do everything that we said we wanted to do. We were a bit saddened that we didn’t get one last airport trip with him at the end. One word of advice I would have is to talk with Sisira’s River Lounge to see if you can book people in there if they wish to do the white water rafting. Sisira was very good to us and it was a pleasure to spend time with him and his family. I will definitely give your company’s name, to friends who are planning a vacation to Sri Lanka in the future. Thank you for all your help.

Roslynn Jamani

UAE – December 2007

Our driver Lal spoke very good english, and had an extensive knowledge of Sri Lankan history and culture – which was really interesting. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, and we will recommend it as a holiday destination to friends and family.

Tamsin Larcombe & Jane Rose

UK – December 2007

W had a fantastic holiday and many thanks for all of your help. The people in Sri Lanka were lovely and we enjoyed our short stay there even if the cricket score was disappointing! Still fun however. Many thanks once again and I will use you in the future.

Joanne Iceton

UK – December 2007

The hotels were good, and Laksman our driver was exceptional – he was brilliant! Thank you very much for everything!

Dineth

UK – December 2007

just a note, now we are safely home, to thank you for your help in making our recent trip to Sri Lanka memorable, wonderful, and totally hassle-free. The Linhinya Surf has seen better days and the (now very swanky) Serendib was in an altogether different class ; but the staff were welcoming, and the location superb. All in all, we had a tremendous time.

Wes Williams

UK – December 2007

I just wanted to thank you so much for organizing such a fantastic holiday! Everything went like clockwork and Sena could not have been nicer, nothing was too much trouble for him. We have been telling all our friends about your company so I hope something will come to fruition for you. Its such a shame that some people are cancelling over the bombings but I have explained that they are targeting certain officials and it is not indiscriminate terrorism. The great pity is, is that people are missing out on such a lovely island with so much to offer. I am sure that we will be returning in the very near future. Please send Sena our kindest regards and once again thank you for the great places that you organized for us.

John van ross & Family

UK – December 2007

Firstly thank you for arranging the hotels, driver and tickets for our holiday. Everything was great and we had a fantastic holiday, I would be more than happy to recommend others to use your company when they come to Sri Lanka.

Thank you for the great service.

Alistair Smith

UK – October 2007

We really appreciated your help prior to and during our stay in Colombo. The transportation was very good and although there were some problems with the hotel reservation (they could not find us in the system) that was solved by putting some of us in suites for the first night. In all we had a very satisfactory experience with Lanka Holidays.

Erika Lundström

Switzerland – August 2007

I would like to confirm that the 5 day honeymoon in Sri Lanka that you organized for us was hugely enjoyable. We loved the place, the tours, the hotels and your guide, Lal was absolutely first class. The only disappointment was the short length of time we had which meant we couldn’t linger too long in any one place. Our intention is to return sometime and do the trip justice by arranging at least a week on the island!

Thank you for the great service.

Neil Page

UK – August 2007

We had a fantastic holiday, everything we could have wished for and more. All the hotels that you arranged for us were great. Our driver Lal, made our tour very interesting, if we wanted to stay longer at some places and not so long at others he arranged this. I can fully recommend him to anyone who wants to see Sri Lanka. Thank you, after a lot of worry had I done the right thing, you made it worthwhile.

I will recommend your company to my friends.

Tracy Cowling

UK – August 2007

Yes my girlfriend and I are both home safely and enjoying the memoriesThank you for your excellent service, patience and recommendations.

Tim and Toni

Australia – July 2007

We had a wonderful time in Sri Lanka thank you. All the hotel bookings you made on our behalf went very smoothly and our transport was on time and comfortable.

Thank you for your assistance with our holiday – we would recommend your company to others.

Danny and Marian Smith

UK – July 2007

Yes, I had the best holiday thanks to you and Rohitha.Everything went well and hopefully I will be back again soon.

Amedeo Prota

UK – June 2007

We are still talking about our fantastic holiday in Sri Lanka. Thank you for organising our accommodation in the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo. We will recommend it to others. The best thing about our holiday was Lal, your driver. He was so friendly and helpful. He took us to places we would never have found ourselves and to see so many interesting sights – the elephant orphanage, the moonstone mine, the cinnamon man on the river, the Maduganga Villa to see crocodiles, the turtle sanctuary, Golden Temple of Dambulla, Sigiriya any many others. Although our trip took us to different parts of Sri Lanka which meant long journeys he was always cheerful. We want to return to Sri Lanka as there is so much we haven’t seen of your beautiful country. We will be in touch again and have recommended your service to all our friends.

 

SANDY INGHAM

UK – May 2007

Very enjoyable holiday and excellent driver. Would contact you when we return.

John & Marie Griffiths

Australia – April 2007

We are pleased we could meet you and enjoying your tour, we will never forget your kindness and your concerning about our stay in sri lanka. We hope to come back soon but meantime….

Greetings from rome and thank you once again!

Kiara & Lucila

Italy – March 2007

The holiday was excellent, and the Hotel in Colombo just perfect. All your arrangements worked well and we were very pleased with your service. We had a very short time in Sri Lanka and tried to see too many places so found it rather tiring, but that is our fault, not yours. When we come to your lovely country again we will contact you to make our arrangements.

Many Thanks

Mike Dyer & Mary Searls

UK – March 2007

Our holiday was great. Sri Lanka is a very interesting place. Hope peace and order will be with your country always.

Ann Kung

Hong Kong – February 2007

 

 

We had a wonderful time and no complaints at all. We were very pleased with our hotels and our driver and would recommend Sri Lanka and your services at any time.

Isa Mueller

UK – February 2007

The holiday was fantastic. Specialy the Mr. Sena was very friendly and informative. Thanks for arranging the holiday.

Prabha Mohan

Germany – January 2007

Guest Comments -2006

 

We had an excellent holiday and were very happy with the accommodation and services.

We will be reccommending you to friends and family visiting Sri Lanka for holidays.

 

Judy Bateson

Australia- December 2006

 

Our Travel was terrific. Thanks.

Mr. Pial did a wonderful job introducing to us your wonderful country and driving us safely during the whole journey.

It was a pleasure for us to meet him. He was just the guide we were expecting for.

Yours faithfully.

 

Ivan Duval

France – December 2006

 

holiday was great and your service, followup and drivers of a very high standard. Hope all is well with you.

rgds

 

Christian Frie

USA – October 2006lhnpublish1

 

Thank you very much for all your arrangements. We returned back 2 weeks ago and everything went very well. I think I had an excellent service from yourself. We had people waiting for us in the airport in the 2 occasions (transfers) to make sure that every thing was OK.

 

So thanks again, you have been wonderful and hope I will be contacting you again in the near future for another holiday..

 

Dr. Farah Elias

UK – October 2006

 

I’d like to thank you for all your help in arranging our recent visit to Sri Lanka.  Although we made a couple of alterations to our schedule and thus lost money paid for two hotels, we still enjoyed the holiday and felt we got very good value from you service.  In particular our driver, Sena, was very helpful and anxious at all time to ensure we saw as much as possible.  It may be worth noting that at times to fairly reserved English people such as ourselves, this attention can seem a little intrusive, although I know that at all times Sena was trying to do his best to ensure we had an excellent holiday.

 

I hope to visit Sri Lanka again in the future and will certainly use your service when I do.  A number of friend here have talked about coming to Sri LAnka and I will have no hesitation in recommending you to them.  I hope to do business with you in the future, unitl then, thanks once again.

 

Richard Green

UK – September 2006

 

Really happy with Sameera, who was very knowledgable and helpful. He was

happy to alter plans as we needed and was very attentive and made the

holiday a great success. Car was fine and even when it got bumped was soon

sorted.

 

Would gladly recommend you and your service.

 

Thanks Pat Cater

UK – August 2006

 

We returned safely after a very nice holiday on Sri Lanka. Thanks to your driver Sena it was for all of us a succeeded trip. Thank you and Sena very much for the efforts and I shall recommend you in Holland.

 

Kind regards,

 

Gerie Benning

NETHERLANDS – August 2006

 

Thank-you for organising such a great holiday in Sri Lanka. We had such a great honeymoon – the accomodation was excellent and in many of the hotels we had great rooms. Lal was also great at driving us around and showing us the sights of your lovely country. So Thanks for sorting it all out for us and I would definitely recommend your services to other people who’d like to visit Sri Lanka.

 

Melanie Maidens.

UK – August 2006

 

Re our trip to Sri Lanka and our guide Lal

 

We were very happy to see Lal waiting for us at the airport when we arrived and were soon on our way to the first hotel.

 

We were extremely happy with the service that Lal provided for us thoughout our short stay, he was very informative and enthusiastic about all sites we visited.  We feel we gained a lot more from the trip having Lal’s undivided attention rather than being part of a larger tour.

 

We were unsure what to expect from our booking, it far exceed our expectations, the hotels choosen for us were of very high standard.

 

We would have no hesitation in rebooking with Lanka Holidays and have recommened their service to friends.

 

Tina Everitt

UK – July 2006

 

Hi,

 

I would like to mention that I came back by train from Nan-oya in the observation car. This was an exciting ride and a good experience, but the train toilet spoilt it. Is it possible for someone to do something about this?

 

Ramona Fernando.

USA – July 2006

 

Hello!;

 

we had a wonderful time there in sri lanka. It was everything fine, and we had no problem. Lal was aperfect driver, and also a very good companion and guide. we certainly would recommend him at all!. themost valuable thing is knowing a lot of places to eat,to visit, to stay, and everything always with a smile.thank you very much for everything and we will recommend if people we know want to come to yourbeautiful country. best regards for you and Lal.

 

Calixto, Macu and Rafa.

SPAIN – May 2006

 

We just wanted to say thank you for your part in our wonderful trip in Sri Lanka. Lal was a fabulous guide and driver and took us to places we will never forget. Thank you to both of you and we wish you all good things.

 

Geraldine and Oliver Shoemark

AUSTRALIA – April 2006

 

We were very happy with Lanka Holidays, everything was as we wanted it to be. Nice and reliable service! Thank you.We hope that things are going well for you.

 

Take care

 

Juliane Knötig

GERMANY – April 2006

 

 

We have just returned from our holiday yesterday night and I wanted to take this opportunity on behalf of myself and my husband to thank you very much for all your help.

 

Once again, we appreciated your prompt and courteous service and will certainly recommend you to our friends and will call upon you when we come back to Sri Lanka.

 

Regards,

S. Banerjee

UK -  April 2006

 

My family and I have returned home safely and it is a pleasure for me to answer to your questions.

 

Indeed, we enjoyed very much our trip to Sri lanka.

We thank you very much for all the job you did : it was definitely very well organised and the way you arranged this tour requires plenty of congratulations.

 

Although we were very satisfied by the quality of your service, l think that you could be interested by taking note of the following comments and recommandations.

1° Driver/guide

 

I want to mention particularly that our driver, Sunil, has been absolutely perfect.

He is a very friendly, clever and personable man, always smiling, extremely flexible, very kind to children.

He drives wonderfully, which is not a detail because the traffic in Sri Lanka is somewhat… difficult to manage.

Each morning, before we leave, Sunil has perfectly cleaned the minivan, so it was always a pleasure to board.

 

Thanks to Sunil, we never felt insecure and we have seen plenty of things, undoubtedly far more things than the usual tourists in a classical package tour.

 

Please, let him know once more how much we appreciated to spend 13 days with him.

He was exactly the driver/guide we wanted.

 

If Sunil comes to France for holidays in the future, we would be delighted to meet  him and… to drive hime for a sightseeing in Paris ! 

Tell him also that my daughter Elisabeth and my son Ferdinand enjoyed very much their holidays in Sri lanka and that they often speak of your country and of our friend Sunil.

 

2° Minivan

The minivan was all right.

However, I think that the air-condition will require soon a repair beacause, from time to time, it stops to work for a few minutes.

This minivan would have been perfect if the CD-player was also not out of order.

 

3° Hotels

We have been satisfied by the different hotels all along the trip, because I had chosen them in perfect knowledge of how they were.

 

Of course, the Habarana Lodge was the best hotel according to western standards.We appreciated this hotel very much : the rooms are beautiful, spacious, with a touch of refinement. The service is high ranking, the swimming pool is splendid, the buffet is perfect, particularly for the people who want to eat western food.

 

But, according to our taste, this hotel is a little too big (the rooms are far away from the reception) and is a little too “westernized”, with a lot of package tourists coming from all over the world.

 

From that point of view, we have found that the Galway Miridiya in Anaradhapura was a very good choice. It is not as beautiful as the Habarana, there is not the same  feeling of luxury, the buffet is not as good and the swimming pool is smaller. But the prices are… cheaper and the size of this hotel is more at human size. We found it perfect for families. If you can convey an advice to the manager of this hotel, you should tell him to refurbish the rooms, and specially to install more light in the rooms. Because they are quite dark at night, due to an insufficient number of lamps.

 

As you know, we had to face a big problem in Kandy as far as the hotel in which we were due to stay, following your personal recommandation, had make a mistake in our reservation. Thus, this “Serene garden hotel” was not as “serene” as expected. As far as we have seen, this small hotel looks out quite well and clean – although the rooms seems quite narrow and the hotel seems to be a little too far from Kandy donwtown. I was angry of the mistake made by this hotel and I was also angry by the fact that the people at the reception did not seem very upset by this situation. From my point of view, they should have been more friendly to us, they should have offer something like a free dinner. Moreover, they should have find by themselves another hotel, but a better hotel than theirs and not a less good hotel ! Fortunately, Sunil and you were there to find a solution…

 

As you know, we had to face a big problem in Kandy as far as the hotel in which we were due to stay, following your personal recommandation, had make a mistake in our reservation. Thus, this “Serene garden hotel” was not as “serene” as expected. As far as we have seen, this small hotel looks out quite well and clean – although the rooms seems quite narrow and the hotel seems to be a little too far from Kandy donwtown. I was angry of the mistake made by this hotel and I was also angry by the fact that the people at the reception did not seem very upset by this situation. From my point of view, they should have been more friendly to us, they should have offer something like a free dinner. Moreover, they should have find by themselves another hotel, but a better hotel than theirs and not a less good hotel ! Fortunately, Sunil and you were there to find a solution…

 

In Nuwara Eliya, we were pleased to stay for one night in the Hotel Heritage. The people at the reception are very, very friendly and the service is very pleasant.

The Governor’s suite in which we stayed is incredibly spacious. It is a good choice for a somewhat romantic stay.

On the other hand, the buffet is not very exciting. The dinner room and the rooms are too dark at night. Like in the Galway Miridiya, I think that the manager should take care of changing the bulbs of the lamp as soon as they are out of service ; he should also take care of creating a more warmful atmosphere with a convenient number of lamps installed in the rooms.

 

We have been absolutely delighted by our 2-day stay in the Galapita Ecolodge at Buttala.

It is, without any doubt, the place we rank number 1 among all our hotels during this trip.

The place is very remote and secluded, the location is incredibly beautiful.

There are only 4 “rooms”. This small number gives to this lodge a feeling of peaceful loneliness and of exclusive privilege.

Those rooms are open-air but there is nevertheless a feeling of privacy because each room is distant from the others.

Our room was situated on the top of a rock, and was very spacious, and extremely elegant.

Food is the best sri-lankan food we have eaten during all our trip. Curries, vegetables, fruits, curds, all is absolutely delicious.

The service is absolutely perfect because we feel just as if we were accomodated by friends, with a lot of discretion, grace and elegance.

Last but not least, it is possible to swim in the Ganga Menik nearby, and to look after gems (we found some small garnets in the sand of the river, which was fantastic for our children).

 

We have been slightly disapppointed by the Palm Paradise Garden in Tangalle. The beach is very beautiful indeed and isolated, far from the overcrowded beaches of the south-west coast. The place is very nice. Food is good. But we have found that the bungalows are a little too dark and hot, and that they are too many : 17 bungalows. Hence the atmosphere is different of what it prevails in the Galapita Ecolodge. Anyway, it remains a good choice for families or couples.

 

At last, we enjoyed our stay in Crystal Villas in Weligama. We stayed in the two deluxe rooms and  we found that they were pleasant : spacious, with an open-air bathroom and a good air-condition. However, there is also here a problem with lamps (no lamp over the bed, thus it is almost impossible to read at night before sleeping). This Hotel Crystal Villas is a very small hotel, with only 6 rooms : nevertheless, and strangely enough, there is a superb swimming pool, enlightened at dusk. It is extremely pleasant because we were just alone to benefit from this lavish pool.

The service is extremely friendly but very slow : we had to wait for 90 minutes before getting our meals at night, which is almost incredible beacause we were the only guests… Unfortunately, the food is not very good.

From the point of view of Sunil, this hotel is awful for the drivers. From our point of view, it is a good hotel for families, not too expensive, but they should make progress in the quality of food and speed of the service.

 

4° Places of interest

 

My program was a little too ambitious.

As you know, we have been obliged to drop the visits of Trincomalee, Nilaveli, Medirigiya, Dambatenne Tea factory.

 

We have found that all our trip was very interesting and we regret only the lack of time to visit more places and to stay longer in each place.

 

 

The stop at Yapahuwa was superb. It was our first visit in Sri Lanka and I think that it is a very good idea on the way to Anuradhapura.

 

I think that one day for sightseeing Anuradhpura and Mihintale is long enough. But I think that it should have better to spend one day to visit Sigiriya and Medirigiya, and another day to visit Polonnaruwa, which is superb and where there is a lot of things to see.

 

We appreciated very much the visits of Aukana, Sassurewa and Rigitala. There were no other tourists, those places of worship and history were very authentic, we loved them. For the same reasons, we were delighted to see Nalanda Gedige, Aluhivara, Dova, Buduruwagala and Wevurukannala.

 

Of course, we found that the visit of the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy was extremely impressive. We were also very much impressed by the puja in Kataragama and the puja in a hindu temple in Matale. The visits of Dambulla, Pinnawela and Peradeniya were also of an utmost interest, particularly for the kids. It was also the case of Yala and Bundala but I think that we should have visit Yala at evening, or even at night. When we arrived at 7.00 am, it was already too late to see a maximum of animals. However, the visit of Bundala was really interesting.

 

I have two small regrets :

1) we have visited the area between Kandy and Buttala during a saturday and a sunday. Unfortunately, there are no worker pluckering tea during those two days and the factories are not really working.

2) we spent our last day in Colombo, before leaving to Paris, and it was a friday. Unfortunately, the National museum in Colombo is closed on fridays.

 

 

Anyway, I think that you could develop your on-line sales with french customers. For that purpose, you should emphasize :

1) the extreme flexibility of your service

2) the good value of your service

3) some original ideas, to visit Sri Lanka “off the beaten tracks” : for instance, you should propose some of the visits we made (Sassurewa, Ritagala, Aluhivara, Dova, Buduruwagala,…) and also some hotels, particularly the Galapita Ecolodge.

 

4) and you should also develop some web pages in french language, at least to

describe your company.

 

I wish you to develop your business.

And I thank you once more for all you have done to make our trip to Sri Lanka truly unforgettable.

 

Faitfully yours,

François Asselineau

FRANCE -  February 2006

 

Now that we are safely home after an uneventful flight I am writing to say how much Prue and I enjoyed our holiday in Sri Lanka and to thank you again for all your efforts to make our stay in your country such a success. We really were impressed by you efficiency and courtesy and by the fact that everything you arranged worked like clockwork. We shall certainly be recommending you and your company to our friends and I hope that many will decide to vacation in Sri Lanka with your assistance.

 

Thank you again for making our holiday a memorable success..

 

Richard and Prue Davies

FRANCE -  February 2006

 

Just wanted to say now how much we have enjoyed our trip and your careful planning.   Lal has been marvelous and has added very much to our appreciation of the culture and the island.  

We also thought it might be useful to you to have our impressions and comments on the hotels in which we’ve stayed, some of which of course we chose ourselves!

 

The Galle Face – we enjoyed staying here.   We were in the older, unmodernised part of the building but it has great colonial charm and was comfortable.   Another time, we would have been interested to know what the suites overlooking the sea cost.   They have deep verandahs which looked cool and inviting.   The buffets were excellent and the service good.

 

The Topaz Hotel, Kandy.   We were glad that we had taken your advice and stayed here, not at the Queen’s Hotel!   The views were wonderful, and it was quiet.   We had a drink at the pub at the Queen’s Hotel and agreed that it was a bit run down and very noisy.   The Topaz had a lot of one-night tour groups and our three nights were definitely an exception for them.   It was easy to arrange taxis or tuktuks into Kandy itself and around.

 

The Rest House, Polonnaruwa.   A lovely setting on the lake.   The rooms were comfortable (although the shower didn’t work in the Davies’s bathroom) but opened onto the walk between reception and the dining room, so people walked past the windows.   The rooms beyond the dining room, looking out over the middle of the lake, looked better.   But we were very content with this rest house and the food was good, and the bird watching was very interesting even just from the verandah!

The Hill Club – well, exactly what we expected.   England as it never existed!   Excellent food and service.   A blast from the past.

 

Tissamaharama Lodge.   We had the suite rooms here – they were huge rooms with a terrific outlook over the lake and to the island where we saw egrets, herons and many other  birds.   We don’t think these rooms are often used and they were distinctly dirty.   A great pity as otherwise they would be stunning.  The pool was lovely, well-cared for and a pleasure to swim in.   The food was a bit of a mixture between European and Sri Lankan, presumably because of the tour groups.   It wasn’t as good as at the other hotels.   It’s a long way from Yala, too;  but we know this was not your first choice of hotel.  

 

Palm Paradise Cabanas.   We really loved this place.   The cabana was simple but there was everything one could have needed including  beach loungers, silent electric fans (no A/C) and constant hot water.   Excellent friendly management and staff.   Food was good and it was just bliss to sit on the shady terrace in the evening and watch the sun go down over the sea.   It was all very relaxed.

 

At the moment we’re at Mrs Khalid’s where we’ve been made very welcome.   It’s a very simple guest house, there is no A/C but there are fans and hot water in the bathrooms.   Mrs Khalid is a fine cook;  last night we had fish curry, several interesting vegetable curries (dhal, okra, manioc, pineapple chutney) and rice and tonight she has promised a Moroccan meal.   We’re looking forward to that.   No doubt the Davieses will tell you about our visit to the Sun House and the Dutch House Hotels – right at the other end of the luxury/price scale!   We had lunch yesterday at the Galle Fort Hotel and that looks very comfortable too.

We shall certainly come here to Sri Lanka again and will recommend your firm to our friends.   Your careful planning has made all the difference to our trip, as has Lal’s smiling face, unfailing patience and professionalism.

All best wishes

Sue and Nick Gild

FRANCE – February 2006

Guest Comments – 2005

Thank you for arranging the Honeymoon for us in Maldives & Sri-Lanka. It was totally amazing experience and I will certainly recommend it. The service in Maldives was first class and Sri Lanka was also to a very high standard. Our driver Sunil was charming and very helpful. Please say hello from both of us.

 

Sundar & Dhara

UK – December 2005

Well we’re back in Australia after our excellent holiday in Sri Lanka and some time with our friends in Hong Kong.

I really appreciated your advice and assistance with our bookings and wanted to give you some feedback.

The trip worked out well and we thoroughly enjoyed our travel in Sri Lanka apart from wishing we had more time.  You have a very beautiful country and we found the Sri Lankans really helpful and friendly.  We enjoyed talking cricket! (and of course we’re pleased to see the Sri Lankans doing well in the current series here!  My son will be wearing his Sri Lankan cricket jersey to watch the game today.)

The bookings were all smooth and whether we arrived early or late in the day, the booking was confirmed and everything was organised.  Thank you.  The only exception was Coral Sands and I’ll comment further later.

Sri Lankan food is delicious.  We made the most of the opportunity and enjoyed the egg hoppers for breakfast with curry and sambol.  We found some great little eateries for lunch and were amazed at getting a great plate of rice and curries for a couple of dollars Australian.  The day we got back we went to a Sri Lankan grocery here and bought ourselves a hopper pan.  I can see it will take us some practice to get it right, but those egg hoppers are just the best breakfast!

I have done a quick summary of comments about the hotels in case the feedback is useful for your recommendations in the future:

Colombo Hilton – as you said  – it was excellent.  I don’t know how other Colombo hotels would compare but we thought it was a good choice.  We ate at the Curry Leaf restaurant and the food was fantastic and we were amazed at the resaonable price, given it was a Hilton.

The Grand Hotel – the road to Nuwara Eliya was very rough and had road works the whole way and we were very worried that all our travel was going to be that slow!  the scenery was gorgeous and we had plenty of time to take it in.  We were very grateful to arrive at the Grand after the trip up.  The charaacter of the hotel has been preserved really well and it has a lovely feel. The hotel was beauiful and the food was really good.  We would have liked a bit longer in NE as there were lots of walks to explore etc. but I knew that when I set the schedule. Next time we’ll allow time for Worlds End, etc.

Rosen Rennaisance – trip down the mountains was beautiul and we were relieved that the roads were better.  We thought the Rosen was disappointing given it was a fairly new hotel.  Maintenance is perhaps not as good as it could be.  There was a sewerage smell in the toilet and it was also present around the hotel in other areas.  It’s a shame because it is an attractive hotel and the rooms were large, but other guests commented on the same thing to us. On the positive side the food was really good.  The highlight at Kataragama was going to the temples on New Years Eve.  Great expereince.

Yala Village – excellent.  Loved the hotel and the trip into the National Park was a real highlight.  Seeing elephants in the wild is a truly amazing thing. Could have had another day or so here so will put that on the list for next time!

Travel along the coast was very sobering when we could see the devastation left by the tsunami and the impact on the lives of so many. It was good to be able to be there to put some money directly into the economy that was affected.  Aid money is necessary but always takes a long time to reach those who need it.

Coral Sands  – Feedback on this is that we woud have preferred to stay either at Galle or to go on to Beruwela rather than stop here.  The room was fine but the food was not good at all. Staff and service at the hotel was not particularly helpful.  We arrived at 5:30pm and our room was not ready.  It was suggested that we wait in the lobby which was not large and only had a couple of chairs.  The hotel also tried to charge us for accommodation and food although you had booked and paid for room and half board in advance.  They changed the invoice as requested, but it was the only hotel where this confusion happened.  Overall,  I would not recommend this hotel. 

Riverina – Excellent.  I will highly recommend this to friends as although not rated as highly as the Eden nearby, we talked to people staying at the Eden and we felt the Riverina  was an excellent choice and good value for money.  The staff were fantastic – very friendly and helpful.  We talked to some of the staff and apparently they were kept on after the tsunami and were employed to help with the cleanup and the rebuild.  Many hotel staff that we talked to in that area and Hikkaduwa were unemployed for the period of rebuilding of other hotels.  I think the fact the Riverina kept staff on was part of the reason that the staff at the Riverina seemed to enjoy working there.  Plus the management seemed to be really good. Ravi DiSilva was the duty manager when we were there and he seemed to relate well to staff and guests.  The hotel had a really positive feel. Whatever the reason, it is a hotel I’d really recommend.  there were really good restaurants in the area and although the hotel food was also very good we had the option of eating elsewhere and we enjoyed being able to do that on some nights.

Deer Park – I can see why you are keen to recommend this one!  this is one of the best places we’ve ever stayed.  The environment was wonderful, staff were great, food excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.  So glad you talked me into making the long haul trip to get there and then having three nights there rather than stopping for a night along the way.  Good advice and thanks. Pollonaruwa and Sigirya were also real highlights on the trip. Incredible engineering and fantastic to imagine what they looked like in their prime.  Next time we’ll make it to Anurahdapura.

Taj Garden – hotel was convenient and served the purpose of allowing late check out from the airport. However, we found the front office staff very unhelpful.  Even something simple like organising the transport to the airport was not pleasant to organise through the front office staff.  In contrast, restaurant and housekeeping staff were very helpful.

Thanks again for all your help and although it will probably be a few years before we get back to Sri Lanka I hope we can call you again.  We didn’t see many Australians in our travels and most of those we saw were Sri Lankan by birth or heritage but living in Australia. I think there is an untapped market here.  Hopefully the current unrest will not escalate and tourism will continue to grow.

 

Best wishes to you in your business.

Kind regards,

Myra, Richard and Sam

AUSTRALIA – December 2005

 

My daughter & I would like to thank you very much for all the efficient arrangements made by you for our holiday in Sri Lanka. We had a wonderful time, and all our accommodation booked through you was to a really high standard. We were not disappointed at all!

I would also like to say that both drivers you arranged for our airport transfers were fantastic; reliable, safe & friendly people. This especially applies to Sunil, who met us at the airport & we subsequently arranged to take us on another journey later in our holiday. He was brilliant, & could you please send our regards to him and his family from us, as I unfortunately did not get a contact address for him.

I will be recommending you to friends and colleagues when considering Sri Lanka as a holiday destination.

 

Thanks again,

Shelby Wigmore

UK -  September 2005

 

I had no problem with your service and would certainly use you again on my next trip. But someone needs to sort out the political problems there!  I am worried its going backwards!!

Best regards

 

Eddie Foster

Dubai – November 2006

 

Guest Comment from a another site

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g304140-i9927-k467542-o30-Polonnaruwa.html

 

Just a quick email to say we had a great time at Tamarind Tree and with the  elephants and to thank Sunill for being such a good guide .thank you for  booking everthing and we hope to be back again at the end of the year.

Marian Hartigan

UK -  December 2005

 

 

 

 

Thanks for organising the trips around Sri Lanka, The driver was very good and punctual. We all had a good vacation and I will not hesitate to recommend you to any of my friends or family who wish to visit Sri Lanka.

 

Shashi Ghedia

UK -  December 2005

 

I arranged my own hotels but you organised car and driver – that went very well, quite happy with what was provided and his dedication to what I needed

Thank you for your assistance.

This was more a “pleasure/business” trip and I will be returning. I will keep this email.

Wish you the best for 2006.

 

Peter Mayne

Australia -  November 2005

 

We had a fabulous time and we wanted to thank you for your very individual and personal service. We were very impressed and you’ve been excellent at keeping me up to date all the way.

 

Many thanks. Good luck

Lan-anh & Ross

UK -  September 2005

 

We are safely home after an exhausting flight and would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your efforts in looking after our interests and those of our son Thomas. We had a wonderful first trip to Sri Lanka. We are sorry we were unable to take up your offer of sightseeing, but I am sure you appreciate time was short.

We look forward to seeking your help for our next visit, whenever it is!

 

Cled Jones

UK -  March 2005

 

Thank you for arranging our accommodation during our stay in Sri Lanka. Jacky and I both enjoyed our time there very much and we will not hesitate to recommend the island and your services to our friends in England.

 

Liz mart & Jacky Nesbit

UK -  March 2005

 

The holiday was very interesting and we enjoyed it.  I think we were a little disappointed by the hotel.  The service was not as good as we expected it to be.  It was an expensive hotel and although the staffs were always kind we did not think they were very experienced or well-trained.  There were many little problems (electrical problems in our room) and misunderstandings (the staff had very little idea of local amenities).  However, we had an excellent taxi driver who took us to many interesting places.  Overall, we did like Sri Lanka and we will certainly return.

 

Victor Schenk

SINGAPORE – May 2006