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Reviewed 7 September 2009

HOTEL– Lovely hotel in a really nice setting on the beach with a nice pool and attractive open bar/reception area. The food was nice (plenty of fresh fruit), and we all ate well, although there was more variety if you like curry. Some points I noted from other comments – All-inclusive extended to fizzy drinks, beer, local spirits and cordials and a glass of wine at dinner, but Sri Lankan produced Wine/Gin/Vodka/whisky are a tad harsh. Getting a bottle of duty free spirits on the way in or drinking Arrack help to overcome this. Staff are also interested in tips. I really wouldn’t overplay that one there at all though. If you give them, they are gratefully received, but I never got a hint of poorer service or a lesser welcome if you didn’t. Evening entertainment is provided every night although is pretty low key, as it seems to be elsewhere in Sri Lanka. Overall, niggles were minor and faded quickly, we had a great stay here. We had also heard about long transfers from the airport. It does take some time as the roads can be busy but they are well maintained and it was pretty comfortable, not a problem.

ROOMS – Absolutely fine, comfy beds, large rooms and there is a fridge in the room. If you find the fridge locked, just ask them, they’ll be happy to open it for you. All rooms have balconies and beach views and satellite TV. Beware of turning up the air conditioning much though, it’s pretty efficient, so you may wake up cold at night!

BEACH AND SHOPPING – One thing we hadn’t pick up from other reviews , was how good the shopping was in the shops nearby on the beach. The shops were quiet, which was initially off-putting, but we returned to both clothes (Amila fashion) and gem stores (Sekura’s Gem and Jewellery) due to the value and service. They take real pride is making clothes and jewellery that are just right for you and the prices are really good (e.g. less than £10 for a beautiful silk dress, whose design was perfectly copied from a magazine). We also had a beautiful seafood meal at the Saskia restaurant on the beach. It doesn’t look much from the outside (most traders are building up again after the Tsunami), but the food was really memorable. The local town is also close and very accessible (and cheaply) by the tuk tuks outside the front date of the hotel, although be aware that beach boys (who are nice and friendly) may seek to accompany you to stores in the hope of commission. Overall though, Sri Lankans are some of the nicest people I’ve met. If you leave the hotel to meet them (for example on a beach bar to watch the sunset) you won’t be disappointed.

TRIPS – We probably had the best holiday trip we’ve ever had when we took a 2 day trip up to Kandy. It was busy and particular highlights were the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy and the elephant orphanage. We took a trip with Sharli, who you’ll soon find on the beach if you stay at the hotel. He came highly recommended (all justified), at half the price of our tour company and also provided more extras (eg more people able to feed the elephants). The turtle sanctuary is also well worth a visit.

WEATHER – We went in August, which was apparently a more rainy time for this part of Sri Lanka. It had next to no impact on anything we did, with few short showers evident.

Date of stay: August 2009
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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4  Thank siherd
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 26 August 2009

Having spent two weeks at the palms we couldn’t find any thing to complain about. The room was spacious, sea facing, air con, TV, fridge, tea and coffee, ceiling fan, electric safe and cleaned daily. The food on offer was always plentiful and you could always make a meal up of something even if you aren’t a curry lover, on one occasion we asked the waiting staff if they could provide us with a portion of chips and this was provided at no extra charge. The sweets were yummy!! The hotel is set right on the beach, with lovely lounge areas, with streams running all around with fish; it was lovely walking down for dinner looking at the fish. The ground is kept immaculate by the gardeners. The bars staff were always friendly no problems being served all inclusive drinks. All in all we had a lovely stay bearing in mind that Sri lanka has just come out of a war and is still recovering from the effects of the tsunami and a tourist recession and the actual cost of the holiday was cheaper than most European tour packages, we would certainly return again.
WE booked with mercury direct, and flew with Kingfisher they were first class. We thought this holiday was excellent value for money, and cannot understand the negative comments about this hotel, it was a most relaxing and enjoyable holiday. The weather was good too

Date of stay: August 2009
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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1  Thank bernard44
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 21 August 2009

On arrival to the hotel we got met by the hotel receptionist, who gave us our room. We found this room to be unclean and smelt of urine. On inspection of the toilet/shower room we seen this to be urine stained. We then asked to see a different room, which was not much better. The third room was adequite, we then asked for the rep from Mercury Direct to see us, but she refused to come out to see us. The hotel lobby and resturant was very nice. However, some of the bar staff did'nt seem to like serving drinks which was all inclusive. The snacks were rubbish!! When they were there!!! We asked for fruit to be left out, but there never was any left. We asked for chips, as their was no snacks that day, and received a bill for these(they were cold and very few). The only good thing about this hotel was the trips, which were organised by Sharli Tours (pronounced shirley). He is a local, who you will find outside the wire fence at the beach. Just ask anyone and they will point him out for you. His tours are half the price of Mercury Tours and they are much better.

Date of stay: August 2009
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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Thank GillianoBelfast
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 20 July 2009

My husband and I spent two weeks at this hotel. The staff were excellent the rooms were kept spotless and the hotel was great.
The only complaint that I have is that the food was not up to standard everything was either luke warm or cold we complained to the manager but no changes were made. We stayed at the Neptune two years ago and the food was excellent. We ate out at other restaurants of a lunchtime and evening so that we were guaranteed to eat something hot. ( And I am not a fussy eater I just like to eat hot food).
Numerous guests were bitten by sand flies and the doctor was called out nearly every day of our holiday to have bites lanced because they had turned septic or injections to combat the swelling.
We used beach boys from the Neptune who we had kept in touch with from previous visits but the beach boys from the Palms did not like this because the Palms was their PATCH. On the second to last day one of the beach boys waited till my husband had walked on ahead with a friend leaving me and his wife walking behind the beach boy then started swearing at me and giving me a hard time telling me i could not use anyone else except them for trips I told him what I thought of him and so did my husband. I Have never experienced this In Sri Lanka but if it had been my first time it would put me off going again.
The beach this year was a disgrace I have never seen it so dirty there was broken glass, dog feaces and all other natural material that had been washed up something needs to done about this.
Apart from the above I have to reiterate that the Hotel was good and we still had a great time mainly down to the people that we met.

Joanne & Colin

Date of stay: July 2009
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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3  Thank QUIRKY68
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 8 July 2009

lovely hotel, staff very friendly but kept hearing that they would not be on duty again till after you left ,then turned up again! scam for getting extra tips. There is a box on reception for tips which is shared between ALL staff, even the ones you don't see who work behind the scenes & contribute to your holiday. you are asked by certain staff not to use this & give direct. so I wasn't very popular when I put my tip in the box.
Gave postcards & money for stamps to reception for posting but none arrived!!! so make sure you buy the stamps & post yourself.
Food overall good but don't touch the beef unless you have VERY strong teeth. loads of curry if you like it.
biggest draw back was sand flies & mozzies which are amune to any creams/sprays. almost everyone was badly bitten, they do not spray the beach to control them the reason given was that they couldn't afford to, for those who don't know sand flies can make you VERY ill.
After all that hotel was very nice, staff & service very good. hotel very clean & food good.
A nice place to chill out.
Would go back but only if I was assured the beach was sprayed as this ruined mine & others holidays. would recommend ONLY if this is actioned.
Beach boys can be a pain but are nice & polite, the trips are just as good as the holiday reps & cheaper.

Date of stay: April 2009
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DevonPam
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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