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All reviews across the river deluxe bungalow sri lanka an eco resort ferry ride half board bird watching games room prawns water monitors curries virgin rep standard room pool bar local dishes german guests buffet style
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Reviewed 5 January 2012

Have just returned from a 12 night stay in Sri Lanka based mainly at the Ranweli over the New Year. We could not fault the hotel. The delux rooms were very comfortable consisting of bungalows by the beach. The food was excellent and the choice was very good including a choice of different Sri Lankan curries at each meal which were excellent. The New Year gala meal was very impressive. All the staff were polite and courteous. I would not hesitate in returning. The only thing I felt was missing was access to wifi which was available in other hotels we stayed at but in a way it was good to get away from technology for a short period.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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3  Thank Hibbs1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2011

Ranweli is a unique place. We stayed for 1 week in Dec. 2011. A few facts. Its only 20 mins from airport, but there is no aircraft noise. It is about 2 miles + north of Negombo, down lanes away from the mad S.L. driving. Some visitors have given poor reviews, its not a 5 star hotel it deserves 6. If you want long faceless corridors and lifts and huge T.V. screens this is not the place for you, which seems what some have expected and unfairly left bad reviews.

When you are dropped off, and are poled across the water you are leaving the hassle of the world behind. As you step off the ferry to be met by a porter, cold towels and fruit juice the peace of this resort is obvious. Bungalows are adequate we had a standard one, No 121, about as close to the warm sea as you can get, a short walk across beach or covered walkway to bar, pool and restaurant. We went A1 which we both recommend for an extra £114 each. Yes you don’t need lunch, but we did, and loved it, afternoon tea began immediately lunch finishes, we never made it, but best of all with all inclusive you forget about money completely, while having as many cocktails, beer ( Lion, excellent), gin, whisky, fruit juice, etc. Wine is the same price as in in UK and is not included.

The food was some of the best we had in the 5 hotels we stayed in over 2 weeks and has already been described by others. There are at least 10 curries at each meal plus an array of starters, and themed dishes which change each day. It is worth giving the odd 100SLR when you have been well looked after in the restaurant or by the pool, you will be made very welcome on your next visit. We understand that all tips are shared across all the staff. Some live a long way away and stay for a 10 day shift in the staff accommodation; we understand the wages are less than £40 per week.
Anthony, you can’t miss him. We found him very polite but a little too intrusive., We didn’t eat at his restaurant (by the ferry) or go on any of his trips. We heard both bad and good reports but no 1st hand experience. We enjoyed canoeing ( free with all inc) watching kingfishers, bee eaters, water monitors all a few paddles from the hotel. Also the hotel birdwatching boat trip is worth the easrly rise. I was woken when an English couple who had their sunbed “stolen” from outside their apartment, went walking through the bungalows loudly complaining. A call or a visit to the pool, a new bed, towel and mattress would have been rushed to their bungalow, but, they only to wanted to complain. Apart from this the week, was perfect peace, and by the end we didn’t bother locking the bungalow as it was easier to walk in the moonlight across the beach to dinner, and chat to others on the way sitting outside their accommodation.

Anthony has a small shop by the ferry selling odd bits and pieces; there are two silversmiths and a general small shop for postcards, toothpaste and ubiquitous wooden elephants in the hotel complex. We would return to Ranweli with no reservations about the standard of the hotel, its staff, cleanliness and food. It’s just brilliant, oh, and a private beach, often all to your self and the waves.

Room Tip: 121 was a standard room, close to everything. De luxe have TV and kettle. Who goes to S.L. to watch TV, with all inc someone will make you tea at any time
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank mrpiggy2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2011

We stayed here for 3 nights. Lovely little boat ride to get to the resort. Situated right next to a beach which we could see from our bungalow. We liked our room which had a fab bathroom with a glass ceiling above the shower so you could see the sky & trees. No fridge or mini bar in the room however. There is a nice pool bar where we sat at night & saw many shooting stars. The food is ok but we thought the choice was poor and very western. Sadly no spicey curries. However the chef did cook us something especially so they are accommodating.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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1  Thank Rjw332
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2011

Ranweli holiday village is the perfect location. I love the ferry ride over to the hotel, it is very magical at night. The staff at hotel are very friendly and helpful and all do there best to make your stay enjoyable. If you are keen on wildlife there are lots of local animals and birds. There are cute and incredibly friendly little palm squirrels tthat will eat out of your hand, you will see mongoose running around at night.There are amazing butterflies and large fruit bats, but best of all is the bird life. There are exotic looking bee eaters near the ferry and along the river that you will see every day and many more lovely tropical species. We did various trips out site seeing including a birdwatching expedition and a visit to Wilpatu National park.In all I recorded 71 differnt species. Brilliant if you are keen on birds!
I enjoyed the food at the hotel. The beach seafood barbacue was excellent and I would highly reccommend the private dinner on the raft, all decorated in flowers with your own chef ,waiter and boat man. So romantic well worth the money!Not to be missed!

Room Tip: Go for a luxury room, standard are the older rooms with no hairdryer or kettle. The luxury rooms are new and much nicer. also go for on close the beach 113 is a good one and we would ask for it again.
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank gypsycat13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2011

Stayed here for 4 nights, lovely setting, nice large bungalows with bright modern bathrooms. Beds comfortable with one pillow, no extra pillows or blankets in room had to ask for them but they arrived within minutes. Choice of food leaves a lot to be desired, poor choice and poorly cooked at times, the head chef very approachable and made authentic Sri Lankan currys and salads so one night dinner was excellent. The resort is very much run for the tour companies (Tui, Thomas Cook etc) so the food is 'dumbed down' to what western tourist are expected to like. The massages are amazing and well priced. Now the eco bit...eco friendly resort, they claim to be committed to saving the environment, each bungalow has a solar panel for hot water, no sun means no hot water! In the rainy season this means no showers, personally I think this money saving nothing more. They ask that you dont bring plastic bags or bottles to the island but buy something in the resort shop and they are put in a plastic carrier bag, all water is served in plastic bottles and whereas other hotels use bamboo curtains around the restaurants & bars Ranweli uses plastic curtains. The 'punt' over to the island is a nice way to get to the hotel, and the bird watching guides are very knowledgable...pity you go in a boat with an outboard motor which are smelly and far from eco friendly. The beach looks sandy but it is full of stones, dig down you find nice sand, it beach has been made over. Overall, nice resort, but dont think you are going to save the world by staying here.

Room Tip: Dont pick 160 - 180 you have to pass a cesspit to get to them and it stinks!
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank travellingbrummie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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